For the past year, Ubuntu and Canonical’s founder, Mark Shuttleworth has been talking about full convergence i.e., the same OS and its applications can be run on desktops, servers and mobile devices. Canonical plans to start the converge from its Ubuntu 14.10 release cycle. However, no activity has been seen on the development front, until now.
A new thread in the Ubuntu developer mailing list has been started by Ubuntu developer Oliver Grawert on convergent apps. In the thread, titled “Default File Manager with Unity8 in future desktops” , Oliver has detailed out initial requirements for a new file manager to be developed and shipped with Unity 8 for desktops. The idea is to use the Ubuntu Touch file manager, which is already in development and build on top of it.
Another file manager?
Ubuntu and GNOME’s default file manager, Nautilus, was a great file manager until the GNOME developers decided to drop some important features thus reducing the functionality by many folds.
With all the complaints and unhappyness about Nautilus upstream ripping out things like dual pane and other beloved and helpful features I expect we can do better [sic]
Apart from Nautilus, there are numerous file managers available for Linux users. Ubuntu could have picked up Nemo, the forked Nautilus, which Linux Mint uses. However, that would lead to extra work for the devs as it’s not built with Qt. Dolphin, KDE’s default file manager, is built with Qt but has too many dependencies with KDE.
While development on the file manager app for Ubuntu Touch is on full swing, work specific to the desktop version is yet to begin. The thread looks to be initiated to discuss and gather requirements from the developers and the Ubuntu community (I sincerely hope the devs include “Sort by Group” feature, available in Dolphin(KDE)).
Interestingly, Jono Bacon, Ubuntu’s community manager, has hinted that a preview of the File Manager app may be shipped with Unity 8 (preview) in Ubuntu 14.04.