Welcoming Ubuntu to GNOME and Wayland

So as most of you probably know Mark Shuttleworth just announced that they will be switching to GNOME 3 and Wayland again for Ubuntu. So I would like to on behalf of the Red Hat Desktop and Fedora teams to welcome them and say that we look forward to keep working with great Canonical and Ubuntu people like Allison Lortie and Robert Ancell on projects of shared interest around GNOME, Wayland and hopefully Flatpak.

It is worth mentioning that even as we been competing with Unity and Ubuntu we have also been collaborating with them, most recently on working with them to integrate the features they wanted from GNOME Software like the user reviews, but of course now sharing a bigger set of technologies collaboration will be even easier.

I am personally happy to see this convergence of efforts happening because I have for a long time felt that the general level of investment in the Linux desktop has not been great enough to justify the plethora of Linux desktops out there, so by now having reached a position where Canonical, Endless, Red Hat and Suse again share one desktop technology stack and along with consulting companies like Centricular, CodeThink, Collabora and Igalia helping push parts of the stack forward we are at least all pulling in the same direction.
This change should also make life easier for ISV who now have a more clear target if they want to try to integrate their UI with the Linux desktop as ‘the linux desktop’ becomes a more meaningful term with this change.

And to state the obvious, we will continue our effort around Fedora Workstation to continue to lead on innovation and engineering and setting the direction for where Desktop Linux goes in the future.

18 thoughts on “Welcoming Ubuntu to GNOME and Wayland

  1. Hopefully the direction is not GNOME to the exclusion of everything else.

    • Well there is no reason to assume the Ubuntu variants are going away as they are already volunteer driven

  2. Hopefully, with GNOME being back in the spotlight, they will start listen to people’s wishes for different workflows instead of “my way or the highway”. Make it configurable and let people choose how they would like to use their computers (without having to install 100 extensions) and not force your views on everybody.

    • You can’t listen to everyone. People want sometimes things that contradict, and adding more and more stuff doesn’t mix well with a good user experience. The GNOME community listens to users, but can’t listen to ALL users. In the other hand, having extensions allows everyone to build their own experience and extra customization. But think of a firefox that would be shipped will all possible extensions to satisfy everyone, that would barely be usable. People have different expectations so GNOME people make a choice that they think would satisfy most users, and allows customization for the others.

      • Firefox alone has more setting options (excluding about:config) than the whole of Gnome and is far from being overloaded with options.

  3. To gnome devs. As we love gnome, we would love see some ubuntu innovations in future gnome releases. Such as global menu and dash. Gnome has confusing menu system. One on the headerbar, one on top panel, and one in the menu bar of an app. Please give the menu a central location. Dash would be nice to find actions in the menu.

    • I agree that this is Gnome’s biggest remaining weakness.

      I have a proposed solution that would still be very Gnomish, while also being friendlier to newbies and non-Shell environments.

      I’ve been meaning to write it up for literally years and I need to just actually do it. Keep an eye on desktop-devel-list.

  4. I’m happy for reduced fragmentation, but sad for the plucky ‘upstart’ getting crushed by the Redhat juggernaut. Also good to see new found focus on ‘Desktop Linux’ after previous abandonment.

    • Unity wasn’t crushed by a RedHat juggernaut. The Unity 7 desktop probably had similar number of users as Gnome. The Unity 8 convergence/phone project did not attract commercial interest, furthermore it had snowballed into a very challenging deliverable. To quote smspillaz’s blog post:

      About this time last year Unity 8 started to look an awful lot like compiz++ [a failed effort to rewrite an X11 compositor] on a larger scale. Not only was it going to use Qt, it was going to use an entirely new display server! Not only was it going to use an entirely new display server, it was going to use an entirely new driver model! Not only was it going to use an entirely new driver model, it was going to use Android as the base for mobile! Not only was it going to use Android and Debian, but Debian would go away and we’d have containerised applications! Not only was it going to use containerised applications, but the applications would be all-new and written in Qt! And not only all that, but its going to be perfect!

  5. I agree that a large number of desktops do compete for finances. But the death of a paradigm is never a good thing. I do wish there had not been so much opposition to Mir/Unity; there was a potential for coexistence, cooperation, sharing and eventually a merging of these technologies. That is how one imagines Open Source is supposed to work; I would feel the loss of Mir is a bad thing, the same way as a victory at the expense of the defeat of a friend.

  6. i do a prophecy here: the moment microsoft open sources windows, half of the linux user base that migrated over during the last years will be gone, cause they never understood the concepts of ux and extensability for an example gnome has, and most of them switched because of getting it free, following the myth of godgiven security (while not having changed their browsing habits), or because of stupid “money equals evil” stereotypes, having never understood that new paradigms coming from passioned academics are behind those opensource projects, who are open to changes and able to bring them because they just do it, take (financial) risks, instead of just ranting about others work, and linux community is full of unqualified rants or stupidity like “i don’t like gnome, cause i hate it”

  7. Back in business with those guys who have left you years ago in favor of what they imagined being a more proper solution than Gnome… Always know your enemy ;)

  8. I suspect turning to Flatpak is unlikely given Ubuntu’s continued interest in Snappy (because of its usefulness in IoT) and I think an all-Snappy Ubuntu release would be quite cool and a good differentiator from Fedora (unless if Fedora is also planning, in the long-term, to move away from RPM and to a fully-Flatpak release?) But yes whilst I loved the convergence vision I also love how welcoming you guys are and I can’t wait to see where Ubuntu goes next – helping with upstream but also working hard on Snappy to finally resolve the old up-to-date vs stable Linux application dilemma!

  9. Dear GNOME devs, I love your product and the way it meant to be open source, but I can never love the way you think and work.
    I cannot believe a desktop that hide the minize button out of the box, let alone hiding all the apps into activities > dash, making users confused and tired of navigating and installing a bunch of extensions to make it just “right”. I can never understand what they are thinking and correct me if I am wrong but Unity, for god’s sake, fixed many GNOME problem and it is forked from GNOME because GNOME devs just never, never ever listen to what users want.

  10. I see a lot of people complaining that we can’t customise GNOME a lot. That’s precisly what is make GNOME so intuitive, you follow a fresh way of using your desktop, and can customize a little easily with extensions and themes. If you want a lot of options, go to plasma, wich is also a good desktop ;).
    But I agree that a global menu could be a good idea, but only for non GNOME apps, and a global menu in the application “hamburger menu” in top left corner near activity.

  11. Did Mark Shuttleworth really say about using Wayland? Or just GNOME ?
    GNOME 3 may be used with X, right?

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