For many the best time of the year: Christmas holiday! The time to wind down.
Unless… You are working on the 20.04 release right now...
Many of the devs in the community are working literally around the clock to prepare for the launch in the new year. We know it will be worth it: 2023 is the year to look forward to when we can bear the fruits of all the hard work done so far. Brace yourselves for an exciting new year ahead!
For now, the Newsletter team wishes you a Happy New Year! We also very much hope to meet you in person somewhere, sometime soon (hint: Fosdem?).
Let’s keep in touch!
The Ubports Newsletter Team
Development updates & news
Future proofing Ubuntu Touch
We had a short chat with Marius Gripsgard (Lead Developer & BoD Member) about the upgrade to Ubuntu Touch 20.04
He told us that with modernisation of the UT code stack, a lot of code was cleaned up. Unnecessary strings were removed, deprecation warnings fixed. Newer libraries were updated, the codebase has been made work with qt version 5.15 and and qtwebengine has been updated. READ MORE
By replacing Upstart with SystemD, the user experience improved tremendously with the biggest speed advantage and other code updates. SystemD
This all benefits to a stable, more user friendly, secure and mobile operating system!
All about Fosdem ‘23
Wonderful news! Fosdem accepted talks from our community. We are delighted that Marius and Alfred will be on stage… We wanted to share with you their applications, you can read these below:
VoLTE for FOSS by Marius Gripsgard
Implementing VoLTE support for FOSS on mobile devices
FOSDEM23 track: Embedded Mobile And Automotive devices
Marius has been playing around with VoLTE* and Qualcomm Mediatek devices. He has got to the point where it is possible to make and receive calls and send and receive SMS messages on Ubuntu Touch ported devices. But it is still very hacky. Without any knowledge of the modem stack, it seemed very difficul! We are learning, and at the point where we are gaining insights into how it all works. Also it is possible to see how the binary blobs work. The way forward is to run Android and capture all the calls made to the drivers. Sailfish have some of it working, so their solution provided tools to help us succeed.
The fixes done so far are very specific. Every proprietary system has its own unique way of doing things. It is a horrible standard and so not a single carrier even follows the standard. In fact, the modem is a black box with no outputs. To be honest, when it works, we don’t know why it works. It now works perfectly well. In his talk at Fosdem, Marius would like to share his results, discuss them with the wider community and find ways how to roll this out to eventually support more devices.
Notes: In the recent and coming years 2G and 3G are being phased out by network operators. Many Mobile Foss OSes that are Halium based will be useless because you can't make calls anymore. It has been extremely difficult to enable VoLTE service due all the proprietary components.
VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE, and LTE (Long Term Evolution) is better known as 4G. So essentially, VoLTE amounts to mobile calls over a 4G network.
Lomiri Mobile Linux in Desktop mode Alfred Neumayer
Lomiri and the myth of the pocket-size desktop computer
FOSDEM23 track: FOSS on Mobile Devices (devroom)
The commonalization of desktop, phone & tablet aims at providing the most user-friendly shell to the hands of users. With years of development behind it - and a strong community of enthusiasts around it, Lomiri is well positioned to provide a delightful experience to both power users as well as ordinary users as it is powered by future-proof technologies.
In this presentation, Alfred will demonstrate how over the last 5 years Ubuntu Touch convergence has evolved from vision to reality. Switching from the custom windowing protocol it used before, to a commonly shared one, adapting to the defacto-standard systems layer for GNU/Linux systems, software pieces that work in tandem to provide UI features such as workspaces with window snapping and resolution specific window scaling, and managing app lifecycles in a scenario-based way.
FOSDEM has just announced the list of accepted stands for February 2023! We're thrilled to see that the Ubuntu Ecosystem stand was accepted. We are part of the organization and represent Ubuntu Touch on this stand.
We are also very happy that the Linux on Mobile stand was accepted, and we will also be doing collaborations with the MobileLinux community over there.
This story has been in the pipeline for a while, but it’s still relevant anyway: Remember that two editions ago we told you that Alfred went to Prague to speak at the Ubuntu Summit? Diogo Constantino wrote a report about it. You can read it below:
The Ubuntu Summit was held in the lovely city of Prague on the 7-9th November
The Ubuntu Summit is the spiritual descendant of the Ubuntu Developer Summit, however the Ubuntu Summit doesn't have the focus on development that the UDS had. It is also not the same as an Ubucon chiefly because Ubucons are fully organized by the Ubuntu Community and the Ubuntu Summit was organized and fully paid by Canonical.
We were very glad to see that the living coroporate memory of the UDS, led to the internal proposal of this new event, and to an enthusiastic adoption of the idea by Mark Shutleworth himself. Who did not miss the opportunity to be present and participate in the event.
The Ubuntu Summit was an ideal oportinity for UBports community members to connect with other key Ubuntu Community members, let them know that we're still very active, but also to know technical and social details about our project and the progress we have achieved.
Our community members Alfred Neumeyer and Diogo Constantino, took our flag and engaged with the broader Ubuntu Community.
Alfred also made an excellent and very complete overview presentation of our technical platform. It would make a very good document for developers who want to get kickstarted on platform development and get a very fast broad initial understanding, before diving in the documentation available at docs.ubports.com for more details. Not forgetting the information available from the forums and Telegram/TELEports chats.
To watch the video recording of Alfred's presentation just follow the link:
After attending Ubucon Europe 2019, several Ubuntu Party in Paris and multiple FOSDEM, we do welcome the Ubuntu Summit as another opportunity to get together with other Ubuntu Community members.
We're very happy to have had an excellent reception from the attendees and the opportunity to talk with and show our tech. This could eventually lead to more technical progresses, awareness about our project and opportunities for project collaborations..
If you couldn't attend Ubuntu Summit but are interested in meeting us and having a face to face chat, you'll soon have another chance at FOSDEM 2023 on the Ubuntu Ecosystem stand. We will also be on the Linux Mobile stand with several other communities and, possibly also in the Linux Mobile Dev Room to give a presentation.
See you all soon!
We have some very special news! Ubuntu Touch 20.04 Focal Fossa now has a beta Release Candidate update channel. To give it a try use the UBports Installer or if you're already using 16.04 or 20.04 Devel, change channels and pick the second "Release candidate".
Daniel has sent us a direct message in which he calls for people to help with developing the app Touch IDE. He is excited about the platform and thinks it has many opportunities for UT. He says: “It has a unique way to develop apps right on the UT device. It’s good for learning as for advanced development. It is now available on the web (touchide.net) where users create, share and discuss their code among the community”.
Daniel has already developed three apps before and wants to focus now on Touch IDE. He also thinks this platform will be beneficial as it likely will draw attention to Ubuntu Touch.
Who would like to investigate this further together with him? Let us know firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you in touch with Daniel.
Thank for being part of our community newsletter and see you next time!