COMMUNITY UPDATE 17
OTA 3 | 1000 COMMUNITY MEMBERS | AND MORE
Patreon reaches $2500 per month
Our Patreon has reached our latest goal of $2500! This is excellent and will give us more chances to send devices or other 'aid packages' to developers. It also means we can continue to afford our growing infrastructure.
Thank you to everyone who donates to us via Patreon, as well as our sponsors. Without you, we wouldn't be here doing what we love to do.
1000 Supergroup Members
Our Telegram supergroup has reached 1000 members. This may not seem like a large achievement, but it means that we have quite a number of people who are interested in watching our progress as we grow the Ubuntu Touch platform. It also doesn't count the people who are joining only from IRC or Matrix. If you'd like to join in on our discussion, you can reach us at @ubports on Telegram or #ubports on Freenode.
Language groups and news channel
Due our large main chat group, we've found that sometimes pieces of news from the project can be lost. To this end, we've created our Telegram news channel at @ubports_news.
We've also had community members showing a huge amount of support for being able to speak their preferred language in the UBports setting. Because of this, we have new groups for many different languages. They're linked near the bottom of our welcome page. If you would like your language to be represented and you know of a representation for it in our community, please get in touch at our main groups and we can help you with that.
We're holding OTA-3 back due to Canonical dropping 15.04 in Launchpad and 16.04 work. The Launchpad drop meant that we had to move to repo.ubports.com for our packages, which took some time away from us. Work on moving to 16.04 has taken a large majority of our time.
You can find our list of bugs targeted for 15.04 OTA-3 here
We also have some open issues that could be great for people seeking their 'first contribution' to UBPorts. You can find them with the 'help wanted' or 'good first issue' tags on GitHub. Here's an example of one.
Why is there no WhatsApp app?
We commonly get questions like this in our Supergroup since WhatsApp is such a popular chat platform. There have been some efforts to get WhatsApp support, such as LoquiIM, but Facebook changes the WhatsApp API so often that community projects are always one step behind.
Facebook is also protective of WhatsApp, as the below articles show. A sufficiently popular unofficial client may meet a similar fate as these stories tell.
Why is there no Signal app?
Open Whisper Systems is similarly protective with Signal as Facebook with WhatsApp. This is for good reason. OWS has paid for audits of its Signal encryption and very carefully reviews the code that they use for the app. We've heard from them previously that an Ubuntu Touch Signal app will either be made by Open Whisper Systems or not at all.
For an instance of OWS indicating their position on third-party apps, see [LibreSignal #37]/LibreSignal/LibreSignal/issues/37#issuecomment-217211165)
Can we use an SD card as merged storage?
This feature is not built in. Maybe something could be done with an overlay or merged FS, but that definitely wouldn't be supported on all of our devices due to old Android kernels.
Is that really your liberabay account?
Yes, we have now set up a Liberapay account due to popular demand. Thanks for all of your feedback on this, let's see how it works! https://liberapay.com/UBports
Are there plans to make a pre-built kit for Qt 5.9.x for Ubuntu Touch?
There's some work on QtQuick2 controls Suru styles. This should make it easier to write apps for Ubuntu Touch using the standard QtCreator. There are no current plans to make our own SDK and we are accepting of any community initiative to maintain the current one.
What do you guys think of moving the applications action bar from top to bottom, or at least having a setting?
This is a decision of the app author. Android and Windows phone have global back buttons at the bottom of the screen, iOS has them at the top. Putting the navigation at the bottom of the screen would interfere with bottom swipe-up menus, of course.
Will you use Yunit or Unity 8?
We aren't changing any software for 16.04 unless we have to, so that we can ship it faster. This means that we're sticking with Unity 8 for now. Maybe we'll fast-forward to Yunit later (there are a lot of changes between our Unity 8 and the newest codebase).
I built apps that run on Yunit. Will that translate to Ubuntu Touch 16.04?
It's likely that these apps should work the same, assuming you're using pure QML or the UITK. Give it a try and let us know!
Is there a decision on a new packaging format?
Nope. Clicks work the same way in 16.04 as they do in the current images based on 15.04, so we're going to stick with them until we're able to work on something else.
Will the new notification service be ready before Canonical shuts theirs down?
Marius is currently working on a proposal and example code for an Ubuntu Touch notification service. We're still looking for comments on this proposal, so please take a look if you're a developer. https://github.com/mariogrip/notifyer-specs
It's highly unlikely that this will be ready in one month. However, there is currently a project to run the current Ubuntu Push Service on our own infrastructure. Stay tuned for that.
How is the device survey going?
We have a few interesting points that we can glean from it (Oneplus 3 and Galaxy S3 are very popular devices), but the survey is meant as an ongoing project to test community interest. We will use the data from it to make future decisions, but we won't try to create situations needing action from the data at this time.
OP3/HTC 10 images
Marius has been working on ports for the OnePlus 3 and HTC 10 when he has a spare moment, mostly to test Halium. These ports are not really ready to see the light of day.
Minetest for ubuntu touch?
There have been experiments in the community to get Minetest running on Ubuntu Touch before. Currently most efforts are stopped due to a lack of Mir support in Minetest. It's possible that it would run under XMir.
Do you have mailing lists?
We get a question every now and again about providing mailing lists for our users and developers. We do have this option available for you, if you would like to take it: https://list.ubports.com