Ubuntu keeping up with GNOME stable updates

Recently Michael blogged about epiphany being outdated in Ubuntu. While I don’t think that a blog ranting was the best way to handle the problem (several of the Ubuntu Desktop members are on #gnome-hackers for example, it would have been easy to talk to us there) he was right that the Ubuntu package for epiphany was outdated.

Ubuntu does provide updates, even for packages in the universe repository

One thing Michael wrote was

Because Epiphany is in your universe repository, rather than main, I understand that Canonical does not provide updates

That statement is not really accurate.

First Ubuntu is a community project and not only maintained by Canonical. For example most of work done in recent cycles on the epiphany package was from Jeremy (which was one of the reason the package got outdated, Jeremy had to step down from that work and no-one picked it up).

Secondly, while it’s true that Canonical doesn’t provide official support for packages in universe we do have engineers who have interest in some of those components and help maintaining them.

Epiphany is now updated (deb & snap)

Going back to the initial problem, Michael was right and in this case Ubuntu didn’t keep up with available updates for epiphany, which has now been resolved

    • 3.28.5 is now available in Bionic (current LTS)
    • 3.32.1 is available in the devel serie and in the Disco (the current stable)
    • The snap versions are a build of gnome-3-32 git for the stable channel and a build of master in the edge channel.

Snaps and GTK 3.24

Michael also wrote that

The snap is still using 3.30.4, because Epiphany 3.32 depends on GTK 3.24, and that is not available in snaps yet.

Again the reality is a bit more complex. Snaps don’t have depends like debs do, so by nature they don’t have problems like being blocked by missing depends. To limit duplication we do provide a gnome platform snap though and most of our GNOME snaps use it. That platform snap is built from our LTS archive which is on GTK 3.22 and our snaps are built on a similar infrastructure.

Ken and Marcus are working on resolving that problem by providing an updated gnome-sdk snap but that’s not available yet. Meanwhile they changed the snap to build gtk itself instead of using the platform one, which unblocked the updates, thanks Ken and Marcus!

Ubuntu does package GNOME updates

I saw a few other comments recently along the lines of “Ubuntu does not provide updates for its GNOME components in stable series” which I also wanted to address here.

We do provide stable updates for GNOME components! Ubuntu usually ship its new version with the .1 updates included from the start and we do try to keep up with doing stable updates for point releases (especially for the LTS series).

Now we have a small team and lot to do so it’s not unusual to see some delays in the process.
Also while we have tools to track available updates, our reports are currently only for the active distro and not stable series which is a gap and leads us sometime to miss some updates.
I’ve now hacked up a stable report and reviewed the current output and we will work on updating a few components that are currently outdated as a result.

Oh, and as a note, we do tend to skip updates which are “translations updates only” because launchpad does allows us to get those without needing a stable package upload (the strings are shared by serie so getting the new version/translations uploaded to the most recent serie is enough to have those available for the next language pack stable updates)

And as a conclusion, if as an upstream or user you have an issue with a component that is still outdated in Ubuntu feel free to get in touch with us (IRC/email/launchpad) and we will do out best to fix the situation.

Ubuntu stable updates

There was some blog entries this week about GNOME stable updates on Ubuntu. There is no reason new bug fix versions could not be uploaded to stable out of the fact that the SRU rules require to check carrefully all the changes and doing this job on all the GNOME tarballs is quite some work, or the ubuntu desktop team is quite small and already overworked.

There is a list of packages which have a relaxed rules though, we have discussed adding GNOME to those since the stable serie usually has fixes worth having and not too many unstable changes (though the stable SVN code usually doesn’t get lot of testing) and decided than the stable updates which look reasonable should be uploaded to hardy-update.

There was also some concerns about gnome-games, 2.20.3 has been uploaded to gutsy-proposed today which should reduce the number of bugs sent to the GNOME bugzilla. The new dependencies on ggz has also been reviewed and 2.21 should be built soon in hardy.

GNOME and Ubuntu

The FOSSCamp and UDS week has been nice and a good occasion to talk to upstream and people from other distributions. We had desktop discussions about the new technologies landing in GNOME this cycle (the next Ubuntu will be a LTS so we need a balance between new features and stability), the desktop changes we want to do, and how Ubuntu contributes to GNOME.

Some random notes about the Ubuntu upstream contributions:

  • Vincent asked again for an easy way to browse the Ubuntu patches and Scott picked up the task, the result is available there
  • The new Canonical Desktop Team will focus on making the user experience better, most of the changes will likely be upstream material and discussed there, etc
  • Canonical has open Ubuntu Desktop Infrastructure Developer and Ubuntu Conceptual Interface Designer positions, if you want to do desktop work for a cool open source company you might be interested by those ;-)

GNOME updates in gutsy and hardy

  • Selected GNOME 2.20.1 changes have been uploaded to gutsy-updates
  • The GNOME 2.21.2 packaging has started in hardy, some updates and lot of Debian merges are still on the TODO though
  • We have decided to use tags in patches to indicate the corresponding Ubuntu and upstream bugs so it’s easier to get the context of the change, technical details still need to be discussed though

Update: Scott pointed that you can use http://patches.ubuntu.com/n/nautilus/extracted to access to the current nautilus version

Ubuntu desktop updates

  • GNOME 2.19.6 is now available in gutsy. Thanks to all the contributors mentioned on the WeeklyTODO, especially Áron, Baptiste and Fernando, you do a rocking job!
  • Daniel packaged rarian and I’ve made it easily instable now. If you want to replace scrollkeeper and give it a try what you have to do is to install rarian-compat. You can report bugs on launchpad or upstream on bugzilla. The new help will be uploaded soon and it’s likely that the next tribe CD will use rarian. Thank also to Don for the work on it and the quick reply to my questions
  • Ian worked on integrating the fast user switching work done by fedora and upstream in Ubuntu and fixed some bugs on the way. You can now install consolekit in gutsy and user switching should work nicely. That will likely be installed by default on the next gutsy CD.

GUADEC

The GUADEC week really rocked. There was quite some interesting presentations and talks during the week and it was really nice to meet Vincent, Jeff, Ryan, Lucas, Thomas, Carlos, Danilo and lot of other cool guys again.

Some random notes on the week:

  • Vincent is always a good source of entertainment
  • Lucas can also speak french
  • Daniel, several people asked why you were not there, you need to come next year! Alter!
  • The weather in France is not really great this summer, that’s nothing compared to Birmingham though
  • When it comes to food don’t trust Danilo‘s choices
  • Michael like tea (we already knew that though ;)

Ubuntu Desktop News

I’m sending this entry using blogs.gnome.org, thanks to jdub and everybody who worked on the new system which really rocks and is trivial to use!

Some news of the Ubuntu desktop:

  • New contributors have joined the desktop team and been doing a rocking work there, giving an hand on the merges and updates!
  • Desktop packages have been merged with Debian
  • The desktop has been updated to GNOME 2.19
  • glib 2.13, GTK 2.11 and pango 1.17 have been uploaded
  • xdg-user-dirs and xdg-user-dirs-gtk have been uploaded and will start being used soon
  • Michael Vogt and Travis Watkins have been working on updating compiz to the git version and packaging the new comcomm plugins, enabling them by default on the system supporting is a gutsy goal

The team is now working on GNOME 2.19.4. The packages which need an update are listed on the wiki, if you want to work on one of them just write your name next to it

24 Apr 2007

That’s an Ubuntu Desktop Team call for contributors! The team has some rocking contributors already and the feisty desktop is quite good, we are overworked for some time though and it’s not easy to keep up with the work to do. The working ambiance is usually quite nice, so if you want to give it a try just join on IRC or the list ;)

The things you can do there:

  • help triaging bugs: apport bugs are really nice, they are sent directly to launchpad though which highly increased the distribution bugs workload. Upstream might be interested by the retracing which gives automatic debug backtraces for the crashes.
  • give an hand to merges desktop packages with Debian. The list of packages to look at is available on the wiki desktop TODO. Feel free to claim one if you want to work on it. If you have any question or need a sponsor to review and upload your work you can join #ubuntu-desktop on the freenode IRC or the ubuntu-desktop list
  • maintain a desktop package. There is quite some packages that could use a dedicaced maintainer or team. The usual work is to merge changes with Debian, send them patches they could be interested in, up to new versions and look at bugs.
  • work at packaging new cool things which are not available to Ubuntu yet
  • create new teams to work on a group of packages. Daniel recently announced a ubuntu-gnomemm team that some people have already joined, applying that to other domain like the voip (ekiga) could be nice
  • update the wiki to make it easier to contribute, list cool ideas we can work on for gusty, etc

20 Apr 2007

This week has been really an amazing one for Ubuntu and GNOME!

  • Ubuntu 7.04 is available since yesterday. Edgy was rough on the edges due to the short cycle after dapper, feisty is ROCKING!

    What is new with this version (Ubuntu 7.04 tour)?

    – The installer has now a Windows migration tool

    – GNOME 2.18.1 is available on the desktop and it’s a pretty good milestone, congrats to the whole GNOME community for the awesome work

    – Network-manager is now part of the default installation

    – Compiz is available on the CD, you just have to use the desktop effects menu item to try it

    – Easy installation of multimedia codecs

    – Easier install of proprietary drivers

    – The new bug reporting tool apport makes trivial to retrace crash files to get debug backtraces. The bugsquad is doing a rocking work there but there is still lot of detailed bugs which could be useful upstream. If you are upstream you are welcome to subscribe to the package corresponding to your software on launchpad or have a look on bugs there. If you don’t want to get distributions bug you can subscribe to the upstream product and you should get mail only when an upstream task is opened

    – And many other changes

  • Other good news for Canonical, Ubuntu and GNOME, Canonical has joined the GNOME Foundation’s advisory board and is a silver sponsor for the next GUADEC ;)
  • Next week Ubuntu will have a new UbuntuOpenWeek with lot of interesting IRC sessions, feel free to join!
  • Congrats also to everybody who worked to create the GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative