Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday – Anti-Social Types

Unity8 lives! Android apps come to Linux, Thunderbird tweets, and GNOME welcomes Canonical. All this, plus your feedback.

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Colour key – Venn Pedro Mathieu Jordan

Ubuntu jobs

  • That was expected after the shutdown of Unity 8 and Ubuntu Touch
  • Not the happiest time for Unity developers
  • Friend of the show and Ubuntu Podcast cohost Mr Martin Wimpress did start off working on Unity 8 but he’s since jumped on the Snapcraft team.
    • No, not the Minecraft server, the Snap Package thing.
    • Speaking of which…
  • Say what you want but it’s a good thing that Canonical is gaining a bit of focus.
  • 30/60% reduction in overall staff estimated to be around 700.
  • No layoffs in support and consulting.
  • Canonical is making “tens of millions” in revenue and growing at “tens of per cent”.
  • Designed to get Canonical in a position where it’s attractive to investors.
  • No immediate plans for an IPO.



  • I like the “hopefully Flatpak” part, and I do hope Canonical embraces it since it’s such a big part of Gnome now.
    • I hope they don’t spend 6 years developing Snap before they realize nobody is adopting it.
  • That doesn’t mean they can’t keep Snaps as well
  • Canonical, Endless, Red Hat and Suse again share one desktop technology stack…”
    • I thought SuSE was a KDE oriented effort on the desktop, when did that change?


I live … again

  • UBPorts was already responsible for porting Unity 8 on unofficially supported devices
  • Now they are taking care of everything
  • Maybe not Mir, UBPorts have expressed interested in making Unity 8 work with Wayland
    • If Canonical had done that from the start, maybe the official support for the project didn’t have to be scrapped!
  • They also have a Patreon and it’s doing pretty well already


Fueling the Fire

  • The MASSIVE flaw here is the delusion that Mir, Ubuntu phone, or Unity were ever considered “mainstream” by the community.
    • That right there!
    • What boggles my mind is how everyone else saw that but somehow he doesn’t.
    • In his mind, he’s the oppressed visionary getting kicked while he’s down by those mean antisocial “Free Software Advocates”.
    • Maybe that distinction between Free Software Advocates and general Linux users wouldn’t be necessary if Canonical had started contributing upstream, instead of developing a very divisive DE, a display server no one else needed or wanted to use or a phone operating system relying on webapps wrapped in a sort of native looking platform.
  • I don’t think it’s fair for Shuttleworth to take a swipe at the community because his company decided to invest time and resources into products that had no market.
  • I fully understand Mark here and fully agree with him.
  • A large part of the open source community is rather useless, in that they don’t contribute to anything but they feel entitled to spit their venom on stuff they haven’t even used for the most part
  • For an outsider, I would see why this community looks unwelcoming, it’s very toxic.
  • Remember that you’re not paying for the software you use, it’s graciously offered to you.


Canonical will be needing this

  • This combines an IDE (Gnome Builder), a wiki, Flatpak and Gnome Apps
  • Any effort to make Gnome development more accessible is very welcome
  • Seems to be very centered around Gnome apps themselves but not really suited for software built around Gnome technologies.
  • I wanted to try it but Gnome Builder kept saying I was missing flatpak-builder.
  • This is less a thing Canonical will need, and more something the GNOME people hope they will adhere to.
  • And knowing Canonical’s MO, they won’t. They’ll probably make their own with Launchpad, Snaps and those GTK 2.5 applications they had to make for Unity.



  • Meanwhile, on Ubuntu 17.04, I’m still stuck with Thunderbird 45
  • They seem to have integrated some sort of Twitter client, which seems kinda weird
  • DMs for Twitter liking and favoriting,
  • Support for Jabber/XMPP Message Carbons
    • that’s not new ok, fine (I don’t know what a Carbons is)
      • In order to keep all IM clients for a user engaged in a conversation, outbound messages are carbon-copied to all interested resources.
  • Calendar: Event can now be created and edited in a tab


March of the fire ants

  • Registration on the main instance is closed due to very high traffic but there are hundreds of other instances to choose from.
  • The UI looks a lot like Tweetdeck (which is pretty neat, Tweetdeck is my favorite twitter client)
  • So, two more weeks until it falls into oblivion and it starts its long drawn out death process?
  • Meh, I tried it two weeks ago before it went mainstream.


Nouveau soon to be Vieux

  • Hope he wasn’t the only one working on Nouveau at Nvidia otherwise it would be pretty bad for the project
  • I know for a fact he wasn’t the only one, Mr. Aaron Plattner release a few header files for the Tegras but I don’t know if he has the same involvement with nouveau as Alexandre did.
  • Worse case scenario, nothing really changes.
  • What we really need to watch is whether or not NVIDIA fills the position.


Blade Runner

  • Using containers for Android apps? That’s a truly brilliant idea!
  • But it’s still in very early stage
  • I couldn’t get it to run on my system, it fails to find EGL from the Nvidia drivers.
  • That issue is already reported on Github, hope it gets fixed soon.
  • My question is, what do we get in terms of Play Store usability?
    • Nothing (yet)
  • Will we need to download and install the APKs separately, or do they plan to integrate the Play Store?
    • Yes (for the downloading of apks)
  • Tried to build it from sauce and the make spits out a bunch of boost errors, even though the cmake config finished with no problem.
    • You brave man



  • That has to be the most underwhelming changelog I’ve seen in a long time
  • The link on the DL page gives me a version that is “no longer supported”
  • Aside from that nothing.
  • Yeah, it still sounds like complete rubbish and chews up the CPU when doing naught.
  • …i wonder why


Speaking of

  • Discord noms about 139MB total… for a chat client.
  • That, and EVERY app having a different UI.
    • Why hire a UI developer who knows his business when you can make one yourself in HTML?
  • Developers don’t let friends write electron apps.”
    • That!
  • I can already hear Strider saying “Would you rather not get any of these applications on Linux, instead?”
  • To you Strider I say, if I’m going to be using the web version of something I could just as easily do it from the two or three browsers I have currently installed already.
  • I don’t need another, albeit self contained, browser window to run a freakin’ text editor.
  • The thing is, you can very easily create desktop shortcuts for any web app from Chrome.
  • Sure you don’t get all the features of Electron but it’s good enough for most things and it doesn’t create another Chrome instance
  • Currently use that for Tweetdeck, Wunderlist, Keep, Mastodon and Feedly

Slice of Pi

Thar Pi

  • I wish this website wasn’t needed but since it is, it’s very useful!


1UP Pi

  • That’s a really cool project but I wish there was a way to power the Pi through the HDMI port to avoid having two cables plugged in the controller, that would be even cooler
    • You could shove a Lithium Ion Polymer Battery in there but it might get a bit splody.
    • Or… I don’t know… USB 3.1 Type C? It can handle power and video.
    • Hardest part would be building a splitter end to retain compatibility with current displays.
  • Someone figured it out!
  • They finally made one with the ports facing the top of the controller.



  • Looks very similar to what Western Digital released a few months ago




  • KDE can mimic Unity quite well but I’m currently very happy with my Gnome Shell Unity look alike

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