Mark Shuttleworth: Ubuntu’s Bug #1 Is Fixed

Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, sat with the Ubuntu community for a one hour long IRC chat session to answer some pressing questions [Read Muktware’s exclusive interview with Mark Shuttleworth]. We selected some questions for Muktware readers. You can read the entire Q&A session here.

Ubuntu TV
Canonical got a lot or press coverage with their Ubuntu TV announcements and plans around Ubuntu for Android. Everyone is interested in Canonical’s plans for mobile and tablet segment. So everyone was excicted when a user asked Mark about the status of Ubuntu TV

Question: Any news from Ubuntu TV and Ubuntu for android? Will we see a device with them soon?
Mark: Mayyyyybe ;)

Even if Mark did not give any indication of when Ubuntu TV will hit the market, success of Ubuntu TV much depends on the services it will offer, when asked about the availability of Netflix Mark said: Netflix is EVERYWHERE so i think it would be a natural conversation to have, but i’m not aware of the status one way or another, and besides, today is not the day for announcements :)

Ubuntu Tablets and Mobile Phones
I always believed that Ubuntu missed the tablet and smartphone bus by not reacting to the market demand in time. On the contrary even Mozilla has come out with a ‘working’ mobile OS Boot To Gecko. Open Source community KDE has also launched their own KDE tablet and has received great response, so will we see Ubuntu phones and tablets in 2012?

Question: Any news about Ubuntu tablet and mobile? Is there any work with other teams like MeeGo-teams?
Mark: No news, as for MeeGo, there are excellent folk who contributed there, I don’t know what the current situation is there but we’re always open to discussion.

Will We See Ubuntu For Android In The Market?
Questions: Has Canonical made any headway on getting interested parties to partner with for the purpose of delivering a great Ubuntu for Android experience on their mobile devices?
Mark: Difficult to say, there is a lot of work still to do there. But that’s a very fun project, yes, and I think we will do more with it.

Ubuntu’s Bug #1 Is Fixed
Question: Referring to this bug about Microsoft market share, assigned to you in Ubuntu: With the number of other devices in the marketplace doing what desktop pc’s did in 2004, should this still be a critical bug?
Mark: Interesting question. I think the world is a much more balanced place now with iOS and Android     so, perhaps we can consider that one fixed.

Future of Dash & HUD
Where is the Dash search going? Will the Dash find exif, ID3 tags in the future?
Mark:  Good ideas, there! Dash wants to read your mind, as does the HUD so the answer is ‘whatever fits your brain best’, and these will be fun conversations at UDS next week. I don’t have a fixed, detailed, secret roadmap for that the framework enables you to plug in any sort of result set you like so, it’s something to invite collaboration and inspire innovation lenses and scopes are a lot of fun to work with there are iirc over 100 already, more welcome!

Question: It was noted that in order for the Heads-Up Display to completely replace the current application menu system, the tools all need to be discoverable (not just searchable), as they are in the traditional menus. Does the Ubuntu team have any ideas concerning what solutions to this obstacle could look like?
Mark: No concrete ideas, beyond keeping traditional menus around as long as we need them for that purpose. It’s a fun topic to brainstorm around, and an area for creativity since we have all the data in the global menu now, it should be possible for people to experiment with lightweight python programs to mock up ideas or suggestions unity-design would be a good place to do that.

Question: What is the status of Wayland? Do you think that the next LTS in 2014 will use Wayland?
Mark: I think wayland will be exactly 2 years more mature for the next LTS. I think X apps will be supported well beyond that and we’ll make the pieces fit together smoothly along the way exactly where that line will fall I can’t say.

Adobe recently dropped support for Flash on Linux. Google came forward and worked with Adobe to ensure that Flash will be available to their Linux OS — Chrome OS, which also means other Linux users will be able to use Flash via Chrome browser. That raises questions “will Canonical also step in to to work with Adobe and ensure that their technologies will be available for Ubuntu?”
Mark: Not clear, sounds like a topic for UDS :)

Why is there no Gnome-Shell or Gnome-Classic with default Ubuntu installation?
Mark: Based on user testing, Unity provides a much better desktop shell experience for our users individuals can get whatever they want from the archives but we have always made tough choices about what works smoothest, best. We *always* get criticised for that. We get criticized for using Firefox not Epiphany, or Rhythmbox not banshee, or… you name it but the fact that we make those tough decisions, with the criterion being “what works best out of the box for users”, is part of what makes Ubuntu important in the open source ecosystem. That’s how we’ve made open source useful for millions of other people if you are a super-technologist then there is value in learning all about linux from every angle try arch. try gentoo. try fedora. try debian. try suse. They are all good. It’s not very useful to turn the differences into religious debate. Our focus in ubuntu has ALWAYS been to (a) deliver a tight, clean package of goodness in the default install, and (b) to have an open archive with good governance where different communities could collaborate. I  think we have done that very well, we have an amazing community and governance and canonical is very proud to support and enable that if you want a change, you need to justify it on user experience grounds, not ideological ones.

Question:  If a part of the community want to start a new flavor with a pure GNOME Shell experience, what steps should it take to become an officially recognised flavor?
Mark: Same as for Lubuntu or Xubuntu or Kubuntu, really.

About Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

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