Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-features (542 mails)

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[openFATE 310804] Include Unity as alternative GNOME GUI
  • From: fate_noreply@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2010 22:00:03 +0100 (CET)
  • Message-id: <feature-310804-10@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Feature changed by: Nelson Marques (ketheriel)
Feature #310804, revision 10
Title: Include Unity as alternative GNOME GUI

Package Wishlist: New
Requester: Desirable

Requested by: Markus K (kamikazow)
Developer: Nelson Marques (ketheriel)
Partner organization:

Canonical introduced "Unity" with Ubuntu 10.10 as netbook GUI and plans
to extend it for desktop use.
As Unity is FOSS (GPLv3), Unity can be made available as alternative

- Blog by Nelson Marques (url:
- ketheriel home project with some packages (obs/project: home:ketheriel:

Business case (Partner benefit): Users may want to try different user experiences.
Offering Unity as option would be beneficial. Its dependencies are
probably all already packaged anyway.

#1: Anomyous Anomyous (jcat123) (2010-11-22 03:11:08)
A classic advantage to Linux has always been the ability to run it on
old systems. By addng this, we would help restore that.

#2: Jos Poortvliet (jospoortvliet) (2010-11-30 10:38:05)
I love this idea. Choice is good, ain't it? Besides, unity seems like
an interesting experiment, so I'd love to see it on openSUSE... No
reason not to offer our users all the available linux DE's ;-)

#3: Koushik Kumar Nundy (kknundy) (2010-11-30 22:02:58)
The idea is noteworthy. Unity is appreciably light. Also it is
sufficiently capable as GUIs go, if not as pretty. The only major
concern might be added overhead/dependencies in the DVD, if Unity is
added as default. Also, I am not aware if upstream contrib is
sufficient to keep development high.

+ #4: Nelson Marques (ketheriel) (2010-12-23 21:56:43)
+ Here's a brief view based on my own perspective around this: 1. Though
+ I fully support we have a repo for it (including even some patched
+ applications for indicators, currently done metacity and empathy for
+ testing purposes), I strongly disencourage it to be on the media for
+ several reasons: * Compiz needs a patch often referred as 'glib main
+ loop patch'. From a small talk I've had with Adam Williamson from Red
+ Hat which is doing this task for Fedora, the patch was sent to upstream
+ and there's strong beliefs it will be accepted for the next release.
+ Without this patch, there's no Unity. I'm not much in the mood to re-
+ package compiz from a git version. My call is to wait a bit more. *
+ There is absolutely no warranty that GNOME3 applets will work on Unity,
+ I've got no information about this. If GNOME3 applets do not work with
+ Unity, we have a problem and will be relying on Indicators (read
+ bellow). * Indicators - I've built most of the indicators, and
+ currently here's the deal for them: - indicator-network > A serious
+ downgrade from NetworkManager-gnome. Not gonna happen. It also requires
+ 'The Connection Manager' to be present, which is pretty stable even
+ working in compat mode with NetworkManager. This leads me to contact
+ the SUSE Security Team to implement and more packaging. Not gonna
+ happen by my hand for a piece of software which bring no real benefit
+ against NetworkManager. - battery-status > funny python-gtk applet...
+ Requires gnome-power-manager to be patched for doubled functionality.
+ Not gonna happen by my hand. - indicator-me > The 'ME Menu' (that weird
+ stuff for online status and all). This works ok without patching
+ software. Pidgin, gwibber and empathy work even without patching. So
+ this one is a clear go. - indicator-messages > This indicator picks up
+ the messages from apps and places them under a very clear structure.
+ It's kinda cute, but requires patching on many applications (evolution,
+ xchat, empathy, pidgin). Gwibber does work without hassle, and minimum
+ functionality is provided by applications which are not patched, in
+ other words, it works if the application is being run already, ex:
+ empathy. - indicator-session > This indicator provides session options
+ for users... So far: Lock Screen, Switch from user, Logout, Suspend and
+ Hibernate work... Shutdown and Restart do not work unless gnome-power-
+ manager is patched. Like stated before, not gonna happen by my hand. -
+ indicator-applications > This is a fun one for mac lovers, strips the
+ menu from GTK apps and places it on the panel, mac style. I'm not going
+ to package this one because it's kinda alpha and gnome-globalmenu does
+ provide the same feature with less hassle. - Apps... Some apps require
+ also patching to support some indicators or to place themselves an
+ indicator. I'm not going to duplicate them all as it will end up in a
+ maintenance nightmare or actually in a 'fork' like packaging solution.
+ Unity is cool to have on a repository for those wanting to check it out
+ (with or without full functionality), but bringing it into the MEDIA
+ will make us patch a lot of unnecessary stuff (which I can do on a
+ separate repo) and mess too much with GNOME. I do favor to have Unity
+ available, specially to avoid having users installing a platform from a
+ competitor. I favor to have Unity available to offer o wider choice to
+ our users and to take a minute to educate them on why some divergences
+ from Canonical to upstream aren't usually good for free software. I
+ have some regards to support this as well: - Most feedback I got is
+ inspiring and makes me move at double speed towards this goal. But some
+ people seem not to like it either. - This might become itchy to some
+ Ubuntu users which will take the opportunity to throw something at
+ us... since we're kinda hitting them where it hurt most... on their
+ ego... no longer they will have 'exclusive' stuff... Place some
+ attention to this, cause it might be fun to actually figure out why
+ they go Ubuntu and not something else. Please no Unity on install
+ options for the reasons stated above. I would love to provide this as
+ an option through repos/zypper dup. Fully integrating Unity with
+ Indicators will end up on a maintenance nightmare because of many
+ patches that are now upstreamed (thanks to Vincent for pointed this
+ out). To finish... IF unity supports GNOME2/3 notification applets,
+ then we can offer this in any way you like... since we will be only
+ requiring this: 1. Compiz with glib main loop patch (should be
+ upstreamed for next compiz release); 2. dee / bamf / nux as
+ requirements > no strange requirements. 3. dbusmenu > no strange
+ requirements. 4. We need to provide Ubuntu icon theme Humanities and
+ Humanities-Dark... so far with any other icon theme, Unity blows up ;P
+ And we're fine ;) I leave this into your hands... and would wait a bit
+ more before taking such decisions as giving Unity to install on media
+ (by the way, the requirements in space for the libs and icon package
+ should be minimum, understanding that compiz is patched, maybe 20Mb's
+ tops... need to check it out soon).
+ NM

+ #5: Nelson Marques (ketheriel) (2010-12-23 21:59:27)
+ I forgot the licences... The whole stuff includes: 1. GPLv2 and GPLv3
+ 2. LGPLv2 3. MIT / expat 4. Canonical's Agreement
+ Not all the components are only GPL... they involve other licences...
+ I'll make a small catch of all of them and will transcribe them here.

openSUSE Feature:

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