Ubuntu Touch Q&A 25
The Scope Story


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General Updates on 16.04 (Xenial)

Maurius has been working on Xenial, and using it as his daily driver. It's just about usable to try out, as long as you know how to switch back and forth between 16.04 and 15.04 (or use two phones!). We need you to find the bugs and report them. This is a call out for testers.

Dalton looked into the "time reset" issue with 16.04. Also started work on the Nexus 5X port.

Maurius recommends the Oneplus One or the Pro 5 as a device. Any core phones work pretty well.

GPS and location services are not working yet on 16.04, so don't get lost with a 16.04 device.

Many of the apps need to be recompiled to work with Xenial. App developers will need to recompile the apps for 16.04

As we move forward we will talk with OpenStore to see how we can support both 15.04 and 16.04 for a short time. It will have to switch over to 16.04 at some point, once 16.04 is stable. Probably the vivid framework will be removed at a latter stage. Clickable can help doing the rebuilding of the apps for 16.04 easily.


Where are we at in the 16.04 cycle and where are we going?

We have two milestones on Github

  • Milestone 7: 16.04 Backlog - everything that was working before in 15.04 but is broken now; everything that we have to do to release 16.04
  • Milestone 8: Our OTA-4 milestone. The things that we want to do before releasing 16.04

What's the difference between Core Devices and Legacy Devices?

Core Devices are all the devices that we are supporting. We merged the old "legacy" devices into Core Device list. The benefit of having a Core Device is that it will follow our release schedules and it will follow our OTAs, daily builds, etc.

New devices are called Community Devices. e.g. Moto G2 is only a community devices. It won't have the exact same code as the core channel but it will likely be close. Community devices don't follow the same release schedule or builds.

What are the difference between the ready-to-use devices and in-progress devices?

Ready-to-use devices are the ones that are more available to obtain.

Anbox how? why? when? and Anbox

Anbox will still be an installable app that you can install. There are problems running Anbox on Qualcomm devices. And we need a stable platform to finish work on Anbox. We will only get this after 16.04.

Why doesn't Unity 8 work on 18.04 Bionic Beaver?

Some of the goals of Mir were delayed slightly. This is going to take a lot of work.

What is the situation with UT on 18.04?

Mir is broken while being changed to work on Wayland, so this would be a big challenge. 15.04 (our current version) is much closer to 16.04, so this would take much less work and make a currently achievable goal than 18.04. 16.04 can work with Upstart 18.04. So we can support older devices for a longer period on the way to 18.04 including security updates because work on 18.04 would take much longer.

Will 16.04 be the first release with Halium?

Maybe! Probably with will only be available on a core device on a release after 16.04 Too keep-up with work check: https://github.com/ubports/ubuntu-touch/issues/404

How far is the port for OP3?

Marius: It's getting there! It's usable as a tablet, but it's not a phone.

How far is the Nexus 5X?

It's usable as a dead weight.

Marius: Maybe Librem5 can change the panorama of fragmented versions of the same device.

Unity8 Desktop

We plan to find a solution for the issues. Right now it's broken, unless you are on Xenial.

How is the removal of scopes will be handled? ("The Scope Problem")

Scopes were originally a way to handle being able to search multiple providers from the home screen in Ubuntu. That's kind of where lenses came from in Unity 7. They were building on top of lenses into a more fleshed out idea. What scopes became was "mini apps". e.g. the music scope shows the same thing as the music app, but the app had more features, which makes the scope redundant and less useful.

Scopes are not use by many people. It's not a good experience to develop scopes, and they are not very user friendly. It's easier to tap than to swipe through scopes. The scopes would be good if you had a widget-like system. We have to keep convergence in mind when changing through scales. It sounds a lot like Plasmoids on Plasma.

If someone has any ideas for re-implementing scopes, then please draw some mock-ups or help us plan it out.

Is there a chance of keeping scopes?

If someone comes in and maintains the whole lot then maybe. We are all volunteers just trying to make it work right now. Scopes are so integrated into Unity8 that they are a problem. Smart Scopes Proxy is trying to connect to a Canonical service which doesn't exist anymore, but removing it gives problems. Flo is working on this, and it will be resolved eventually. There isn't enough of a demand for scopes to keep them at this point. People love them, but if no one wants to make them, then there's nothing to like.

Is KDE really usable on phones yet? Plasma Mobile?

It's not really within the "scope" of this Q&A, but it's not usable yet.

Have you talked with Purism? Any updates?

There are still conversations going on, but there are no definite outcomes. We expect UBports to support the phone. It shouldn't require too much work to get it on that phone. It doesn't exist yet. You can't install software on nothing.

Check purism's news site and our blog if related to us.

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