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Canonical Developing Ubuntu OS For Tablets

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the wheels-spinning-all-the-time dept.

Operating Systems 228

snydeq writes "Canonical is preparing a version of the Ubuntu OS for tablet computers as the company looks to extend its presence in the mobile space, InfoWorld reports. The OS will be a lightweight version of Linux with a simplified, touch-friendly user interface, and tablets with the Ubuntu OS could become available late in winter 2011. The focus will be on developing an OS with a simplified user interface that provides quick access to the most-used applications. Development efforts will also focus on adding on-screen keyboard features and compatibility for multitouch drivers."

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Another iPad wannabe? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32517596)

All this "me-tooing" of the iPad is getting old you Loonix twits.

Re:Another iPad wannabe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32517724)

Are you claiming that apple invented the tablet computer?

Re:Another iPad wannabe? (0, Troll)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517946)

Are you claiming that apple invented the tablet computer?

They put it on the map, regardless of how long it's been there.

Re:Another iPad wannabe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518130)

No, but that doesn't change the fact that Ubuntu is me-tooing on Apple's success with the iPad. If they weren't why didn't they announce this years ago?

Re:Another iPad wannabe? (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517794)

I dunno... who wouldn't want a uPad?

Re:Another iPad wannabe? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518338)

Who really gives a shit if Ubuntu copies Apple? Apple is the market leader in some areas, like UI for example, but their shit is expensive and non-free. They make locked down shit that I would never purchase (for myself) or use. Canonical makes a distribution of a free operating system that anyone can use, and they are steadily trying to improve it. If Canonical can make something to emulate the market leader in UI design, and their product is also FREE, then what is the problem with that? I can't see how that is NOT a good thing for the average person. Apple may not like it because they are trying to make money, but I don't think we should shed any tears over that.

It's not like you have to use this tablet OS, anyway. You can use the standard Ubuntu UI if you choose to. That's the nice thing about having a choice, and choices are something that Apple will never willingly give you if you buy their products. I, personally, don't care for dumbed-down interfaces. I didn't care for the netbook remix on my netbook so I installed full-blown Ubuntu on it. If I ever get a "tablet" (i.e. a regular netbook with a touchscreen, not any of this faggy no-keyboard ipad crap), then I will most likely run regular GNOME or KDE on that as well. For my grandma, sure, I will give her Ubuntu Tablet Edition or an ipad or whatever. She would benefit from the simplistic UI and lack of options to confuse her. It's nice that the option is there for those who want it, but that doesn't mean I have to use it.

Re:Another iPad wannabe? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518634)

You can use the standard Ubuntu UI if you choose to.

Sorry, I don't use garbage like Loonix.

Re:Another iPad wannabe? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519054)

Sorry, I don't use garbage like Loonix.

And I don't use garbage like iPads. See how that works? Now get back into your cave, troll.

Re:Another iPad wannabe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519060)

Apology accepted.

HELL YES! (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517614)

AFAIK you can install your own version of Ubuntu onto the Joojoo, which is way cheaper than an iPad but has decent enough hardware specs.. this could be really awesome!

Re:HELL YES! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518466)

on the other hand, TFA says this won't be out until the end of 2011 :/ Best just to wait and see what other decent tablets come out in the meantime.. preferably ones with expandable storage, and an open environment..

Re:HELL YES! (2, Informative)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518864)

The JooJoo and the iPad are both $499. How is the JooJoo "way cheaper"?

Re:HELL YES! (1, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519012)

I entirely get your point. However, if you stop paying Apple whatever they ask in the future, then the iPad loses functionality. This doesn't happen with an OS like Ubuntu or any other free distro.

Re:HELL YES! (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519046)

It includes a USB port that you need to pay Apple an extra $30 for...

Lightweight 'version'? (0, Troll)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517616)

No, it won't be a "lightweight version of Linux".

It will be a lightweight version of Ubuntu.

Unless they are going to roll their own kernel fork, that is.

Re:Lightweight 'version'? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517890)

Unless they are going to roll their own kernel fork, that is.

All the major distros have their own 'kernel fork' -- they each add their own set of special patches.

My guess is that they'll probably compile-in some of the kernel modules to save memory and ship without modules for stuff you wouldn't find in a tablet, like SCSI drivers.

Re:Lightweight 'version'? (2, Insightful)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518138)

Including/excluding modules doesn't constitute a kernel fork or a "different version". That's like saying you rolled your own version of Windows by removing the network driver.

I'm not sure why he got modded troll - he's absolutely correct. TFA summary makes it sound like Linux is an operating system.

Re:Lightweight 'version'? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518164)

TFA summary makes it sound like Linux is an operating system.

It is. Stop trying to change the meaning of words.

Technically... (2, Informative)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518242)

Linux is a kernel. This means it's part is a dispatch and control mechanism for the operating system as a whole. The complete operating system includes other things such as libraries and utilities to name some. Correct me if I'm wrong?

Re:Technically... (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518350)

The Linux Kernel is a kernel.

Linux is a family of operating systems that are based on one of the Linux kernels or a kernel derived from one.

Re:Technically... (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518620)

This is where you get into naming such as "GNU/Linux" when talking about the combination of GNU compilers and utilities with the Linux kernel. Often, the essential GNU parts lose their distinction and people just call it "Linux." I personally just say Linux too but Linux depends heavily on GNU.

Re:Lightweight 'version'? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518976)

What part of 'they each add their own set of special patches' did you not understand? That's quite a bit more than including/excluding modules.

So... (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517626)

What about getting it ON a Tablet? Anybody agreed to or even thinking about putting Ubuntu on their tablet?

I don't see a lot of people wanting to buy a tablet only to replace the existing OS.

Though it'd be nice to get some kind of slate for a cheap price - this should cut down the price by $100, if Ubuntu can get someone on board with it.

Re:So... (4, Informative)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517796)

Well, the consequence of putting Ubuntu, or any linux distro on a tablet, is that it would provide a less restrictive platform than the iPad. If you want your own drivers, software, etc, then you can just apt-get them. I imagine this will also be nicer for developers as they wouldn't have to wrestle with vague rules on getting their work submitted to the apple store. What Canonical should do, after this, is setup an opt-in app store, such that users can support developers if they want to.

Re:So... (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518332)

I use a Gigabyte Touchnote T1028 http://gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3190#kf [gigabyte.com] and the first thing I did when I got it is replace the OS with Ububtu (netbook remix).Works great

Re:So... (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518358)

OKay - so its a Tablet PC. But still used as a tablet. (I do all my ebook reading on it)

Re:So... (0)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518368)

Ubuntu is already running on tablets...

www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook

While the multi-boot feature is "pending", I would point out that ubuntu has been compiled and installed on some touchbooks by their owners already.

Don't think the business model will work. (4, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518624)

Don't think the business model will work. Let's use the iPad as an example. The OS isn't the expensive part of that product. Apple sells the iPad for $499 with the understanding that the purchaser will likely buy several apps and many movies through iTunes. You put Ubuntu on there, and the user can apt-get to bypass the App store. Same with movies.

The other problem is that tablets are media consumption devices, and Netflix doesn't work on Ubuntu.

Using Linux isn't going to save any hardware manufacturer a significant component cost. And since Android is there for free, there's not a good business argument for bundling Ubuntu.

Seth

Re:So... (1, Troll)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518850)

The problem with Linux on consumer devices like that is this: Unless you make it like an embedded device, no updates and no plugging in anything non approved, then it will only work until the next update, because Linux from the kernel up is like the shifting sands and things that work today may not work tomorrow. I was talking on here just the other week with someone that bought one of the Dell Ubuntu netbooks. He gets it home, he updates it...can you guess what happened? No Sound and no wireless after the update!

Linux has great security, Linux has really nice looking UIs, what it needs now is some serious stability. It needs a stable driver ABI, it needs a way that retailers like me can actually sell your product without having to disable security just to make it usable. I ran Ubuntu on 4 machines, 3 desktops and a laptop, hoping against hope that they would get it right on the next release, but by 9.04 I simply gave up. Not once, not ever, did I get that damned OS to update without something breaking. wireless, sound, video, my printer, it got to the point I looked at the update notification as a "break your OS NOW!" button.

Canonical can put out 31 flavors of Ubuntu, hell even have a different one for every day of the week, but as long as you need a CS degree to fix the damned thing every time an update is released most OEMs are gonna avoid it like the plague. Just look at how quick netbooks, which were supposed to usher in Linux on the desktop, were switched over to XP. Hell even Canonical admitted Ubuntu netbooks had higher returns [laptopmag.com] which of course hurts any retailers bottom line.

As a retailer I'd like to sell your OS, I really would. But until I can take a bog standard AMD or Intel PC, install Ubuntu, run the updates, and have 100% of the hardware that worked before work after I run the update, then I just can't allow it in my shop. The time wasted trawling forums looking for "fixes" will cost me more than simply putting Windows Home on it. Sorry.

Re:So... (2, Informative)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518924)

I don't see a lot of people wanting to buy a tablet only to replace the existing OS.

I might not qualify as 'a lot of people', but I will be damned if I will leave Windows 98 on my Fujitsu stylistic 2300!

20 years ago was a long time, but I am pretty sure my intent was replacing its OS right fast after buying it.

Ubuntu runs on it just fine today. Back then I used slackware and then debian, as ubuntu didn't exist yet.

Why so long? (1, Interesting)

crhylove (205956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517678)

The iPad is out NOW. Windows tablets will be out SOON. Why be so late to the game? I don't understand the slowness of FOSS to catch Win/Mac.

Re:Why so long? (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517784)

No-one gives a shit about tablet computers. Never have.

Re:Why so long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518804)

IMHO that's because the implementation has been fucked from the beginning.

Tablets should be used as a monitor/psuedo-thin client to a local computer. Use it as a monitor at your desk with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Pick it up and use your home computer on the john, in the garage or the kitchen. Take it to the office and use your work computer through it. Go the coffe shop use it as a tablet pc.

This is the model that will start selling these things. We have the technology.

Re:Why so long? (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519084)

On my desk I want a big monitor, whereas a tablet computer should be as small as is practical. Where I would put a tablet computer, if anyone sold one for a price that was actually worth paying, is on my coffee table. The laptop I have on it now is clunky to use while lazing on the couch. I expect if ASUS ever get their act together I'll buy one of theirs and install this Ubuntu on it.

Re:Why so long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519022)

Come on. It looks like trolliness but it's just plain honesty.

Re:Why so long? (4, Informative)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517888)

The iPad is out NOW. Windows tablets will be out SOON. Why be so late to the game? I don't understand the slowness of FOSS to catch Win/Mac.

And the android tablet was out in 2009 [youtube.com] . I don't understand why the Win/Mac are so slow to catch up...

Re:Why so long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518910)

How come that never made a splash?

If an Android tablet is put on sale in a forest and nobody buys it, does anybody care?

Re:Why so long? (4, Insightful)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517920)

*sigh*

FIRST of all, tablet PC's are over 10 years old.

Second of all, the reason FOSS always seem to be behind Win/Mac is that when there is a FOSS project which is pioneering something, it is usually not advertised and ignored until one of these companies comes along and claims to have invented it. When MS/Apple pioneer something, they spend millions telling the world about it. It then becomes relevant to people that there is a FOSS version of this famous thing.

So, in summary:
FOSS comes first -> not a big deal until the others do it.
Proprietary comes first -> FOSS are lagging behind.

Mmmkay?

Re:Why so long? (2, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518398)

FIRST of all, tablet PC's are over 10 years old.

Sure. But what cool technology ever hits the big time on its first birthday?

PCs were around for 15 years before the web sold them to your grandma's friends.

Tablet PCs before the iPad were clunky and slow computers with weird connectivity and someone trying to pump you up for balky character recognition as their greatest feature.

Now they're big-screen smartphones, and everyone wants one.

Re:Why so long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518746)

No, what Apple have done with the ipad is taken the decade-old idea of a Tablet PC and remove the PC part of it. Now it's just a "Tablet". This confuses people like you and I because we expect things like text input and connectivity and multitasking in a Tablet, but that's only because we are still using the old terminology. The words "Tablet" and "Tablet PC" used to be synonymous, but now thanks to Apple they are not. The ipad is not a PC and doesn't try to be a PC, it's a dumbed down appliance, a "big smartphone" as you call it, for people who do not want or cannot handle a real PC.

In a way it really is a new type of device -- it's just not one that you or I would want anything to do with. Other companies will still continue to make PCs and Laptops and Tablet PCs, and now they will also make this new thing, the Tablet, because there's apparently a huge market for it. Comparing the ipad tablet with the tablet PCs of the old days is like comparing a Speak & Spell to a word processor. Apples and Oranges. Just buy one for your children or your technologically challenged family members and let them have their fun while you keep using the devices that suit your own needs.

Re:Why so long? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32517932)

How much money can Microsoft invest in putting touch drivers into Windows 7? How much money can a company with a fixed six-month release cycle who puts out free software invest? For that matter, how much development time have you invested into making Ubuntu what it is?

Personally I'm just a leach - I barely touch alphas and betas and have only started to participate in the forums and bug reports to help collect information, but I understand full well why my Touchscreen PC works flawlessly under Windows 7 but barely functions under Ubuntu.

On the plus side, I don't think Mac has any idea about how a touchscreen works either so at least Microsoft is ahead of them. It's only the gadgets that Reverend Jobs seems to think are worthy of his efforts.

Re:Why so long? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518478)

...it's all about interest.

If there's interest, there can be a better experience on Linux than Windows 7. Beating MacOS/PhoneOS is a much lower bar.

Personally, I want tablets that don't skimp on the parts and aren't gravely restricted to what they can do or are allow to do.

I'm not holding my breath on Redmond here...

Re:Why so long? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518002)

FOSS will always be behind since they don't innovate, they copy. FOSS is interesting from the standpoint of a student learning to code but you won't find innovation there. You know it's true.

Re:Why so long? (2, Insightful)

chilvence (1210312) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518222)

FOSS is more than that, its primary tangible benfit is that it keeps people safe from being milked for every penny they are worth for everyday software that everyone should get the benefit of. Without it there wouldn't be innovation, know that too.

Building the Open Base. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518272)

F/OSS is reimplementing quite a few areas to make that code compatible with itself. On top of that base there are also quite a few innovative and novel F/OSS initiatives already.

Re:Why so long? (2, Interesting)

Shellfish_Jean (1470409) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518064)

There has been lots of suggestions but as you can see from my submission it gets downvoted pretty mercilessly on Ubuntu Brainstorm http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/23527/ [ubuntu.com]

Where's the innovation? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32517698)

They just steal anything they want and don't bring anything new to the table. Sounds like Microsoft but at least Microsoft normally pays for it.

Just a bunch of bitches who are jealous of Apple.

FFS - winter in which part of the world? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32517730)

When will comapnaies/websites with worldwide audiences wake up and realise that usign terms like 'ready in the winter' is NOT conducive to setting expectations equally? 'Winter' is completely relative to where in the world you are located.
How about using something somewhat universally acepted like '3rd quarter', or even better - state the damned month directly and give youyself an actual target/deadline!

Re:FFS - winter in which part of the world? (5, Funny)

Garridan (597129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517838)

Perhaps they, like the DNF team, refer to the winter in Ecuador.

Re:FFS - winter in which part of the world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518176)

Not only that, but even if you assume they're talking about the Northern hemisphere, it could mean January-March 2010 or December 2010.

X11? (0)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517732)

If this has X11, I doubt it will be especially lightweight. I also doubt that graphics will be worthwhile.

For a tablet device, why is Ubuntu better than Android?

Re:X11? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517926)

Why would it have to? They could very easily adapt a desktop based on Qt Embedded or something. Think Meego.

Re:X11? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518018)

Does anyone remember X11 running a 486-100mhz with 16Meg of memory?

Have you actually measured the performance/overhead of rendering on X11?

Then you suggest Android...

Re:X11? (0, Troll)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518412)

he didn't say X11 graphics wouldn't be fast

he said they'd still suck, like they always have

Re:X11? (2, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518042)

If this has X11, I doubt it will be especially lightweight.

Hmm, why? Xorg uses less than 5MB in all PCs I have.

I also doubt that graphics will be worthwhile.

Again, why? Xorg may currently have many hacks, but it works fine. Linux based OSes were of the first to show desktops as 3D surfaces, and even have real time video playing on them.

Re:X11? (2, Interesting)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518172)

Linux based OSes were of the first to show desktops as 3D surfaces,

Yeah except for the fact that they weren't. Apple and Microsoft were showing it off before Compiz existed.

and even have real time video playing on them.

That's funny cause my Amiga was doing that before the first revision of the Linux kernel even existed.

Re:X11? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518962)

Yeah except for the fact that they weren't. Apple and Microsoft were showing it off before Compiz existed.

Apple: Bullshit. They were submitting for patents on that, indicating they could something like it in December 2008. Here's the /. story [slashdot.org] .
As for Microsoft, maybe they had some demos, but nothing real until Vista, which was the first Windows with a compositing wm (Desktop Window Manager).

By these dates, Compiz had already been forked and that fork (Beryl) had already re-merged.

That's funny cause my Amiga was doing that before the first revision of the Linux kernel even existed.

Real time video playing on distorted 3D surfaces on the normal desktop? (demos and games are different).
Then I'm seriously impressed. Doesn't deny what I said, though.

Re:X11? (2, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518556)

X11? Pfffft. Some of us quite happily ran X11 on 486s. The problem is not X11.

Any tablet is going to be heavily dependent on proper GPU drivers regardless of what's powering it. Ubuntu has an advantage for being more open and having a wider developer base that also includes power users. The bar is much lower and the community is more interesting.

Hardware that is already supported in Ubuntu has an advantage here.

Re:X11? (4, Informative)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518728)

If this has X11, I doubt it will be especially lightweight.

Er, the Nokia n series including the 770, n8x0 and n900 all use X11. Works fantastically.

Re:X11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519064)

For a tablet device, why is Ubuntu better than Android?

It is better because developers can write apps in the language of their choice and are not restricted to Java.

@crhylove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32517756)

The answer to your question: Money. By the way, Windows tablets have been around for over well over ten years. I had an IBM slate with a monochrome screen!

Re:@crhylove (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517804)

There is a reply button. Then messages are threaded. This makes things easier to follow.

Re:@crhylove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32517900)

This isn't twitter. There's a reply button.

What are the odds... (5, Insightful)

neiras (723124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517762)

I hope they hire a UI designer who isn't an Apple admirer. We need fresh ideas [youtube.com] ...

Window Buttons (2, Insightful)

chargersfan420 (1487195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517780)

I wonder if anyone over at Canonical is now thinking this:
"Okay, so we're now designing a touch-screen version. Considering how many right-handed people are out there, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to move the window controls to the left-hand side of the screen."

Doesn't seem so ergonomic anymore, now, does it?

Re:Window Buttons (2, Insightful)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517816)

I wonder if anyone over at Canonical is now thinking this: "Okay, so we're now designing a touch-screen version. Considering how many right-handed people are out there, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to move the window controls to the left-hand side of the screen."

You can change that. You know that, right?

Re:Window Buttons (1)

chargersfan420 (1487195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517882)

Yes, of course. My favourite way of changing it is:

sudo apt-get install emerald

But it still bothers me just a little bit. It makes me think that Ubuntu is going in a direction that I don't want to go.

Re:Window Buttons (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32517966)

But it still bothers me just a little bit. It makes me think that Ubuntu is going in a direction that I don't want to go.

left?

Newbie Friendly Too. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518320)

The buttons default to the left with the Ambiance and Radiance themes right now. If you select the other themes the buttons go back to the right automatically. No command line voodoo involved for less-seasoned users.

Re:Window Buttons (2, Interesting)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517916)

A tablet version will probably try to run apps full screen anyway, with a few possible exceptions. Ubuntu Netbook Remix already works that way, and I assume the tablet edition will take the netbook concepts one step further. Classic windowing controls don't really apply, though clearly there will still be a need to close windows/applications.

Re:Window Buttons (1)

oblio_one (1182111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518302)

I believe WebOS's "window manager" is an excellent way to handle this situation (full screen apps with minimal window control needed.) Apps start up in full screen, a hardware button reduces them about 1/3 the screen size and all open apps/windows are shown in a long chain you can use flick gestures to scroll through them. An upward flick gesture closes them. Very easy / intuitive / and fast. On a tablet with more horsepower you can handle more apps, may want to have multiple chains instead of a single, maybe a limit of ten or so apps per chain ?

It's the apps stupid (1)

DCMonkey (615) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517864)

Are they going to redesign those "most used apps" too? A simple touch friendly veneer won't do much good if all it does is throw you into an instance of the Gimp or OO.org.

Re:It's the apps stupid (1)

Shidash (1420401) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517994)

That problem will be solved if there is a way to get something like the iPad on dual boot with this OS.

Re:It's the apps stupid (4, Informative)

spagetti_code (773137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518120)

You are correct - Its the APPS.

If this is a business device, the killer app is OneNote. Sure tablets dont suit a lot of people, but if you want to take notes, do research, read and link information, be mobile etc... Onenote is it. Evernote is not. (right idea, wrong execution). There are also niche applications (medical etc), but from a general business focus... do Onenote.

If its a consumer device - create an open iPad. BUT you will also need to ensure that Music, Reading, Web browsing, Gaming, Sharing work brilliantly. Only Apple has really succeeded with that, as long as you live in their ecosystem. If you can made those apps work openly **and** get the media providers on board, then you stand a chance.

Linux customize for "X" never works (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517884)

Unless every app were designed to run in the new constraints, they won't look, work or act right. Netbook spins of Linux are always just menus with large icons that just make you feel like you are playing with a toy with extremely limited options and usability.

Maemo just about got it. Droid definitely got it. Making an "Ubuntu" version would need to be more than a new Window manager and selection of packages. It needs a controlled and contained UI that will work within that environment and integrate well.

This rather leads me to an idea... one that is either really stupid and/or impractical or something else.

If Linux's X apps were created with an application's equivalent of HTML's "CSS" then perhaps applications could be tremendously more adaptable to different user environments.

Re:Linux customize for "X" never works (2, Interesting)

Mekabyte (678689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517990)

If Linux's X apps were created with an application's equivalent of HTML's "CSS" then perhaps applications could be tremendously more adaptable to different user environments.

Sounds like the QML (Declarative UI) portion of Qt Kinetic [trolltech.com] (and Qt Style Sheets have been around for a while).

Re:Linux customize for "X" never works (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518116)

It does but I think there needs to be more. Applications generally expect to run in a window and have tool bars and all the things a typical Window system does. It doesn't leave it open, necessarily to other paradigms. Not saying that I have considered other paradigms or could even imagine one, but considering the iPhone and Maemo, I can imagine a bit where current expectations of current apps won't be too adaptable. Basically, my idea is completely unrefined and not well thought out and would require someone a lot smarter than me to really go where I am vaguely indicating. But the short is that an app might best be able to run as well on an iPhone or Droid device as it does on a Desktop/Window type of interface. And there are other interfaces out there as well. It would call for either "awareness" other other interfaces or enough adaptability that some clever tweakers to create the right CSS to adapt an app to that interface. And it could be that the QtSS thing is exactly what I am thinking -- I don't know about QtSSes let alone its limitations, but I know I'm not at all clever or original so perhaps someone has answered the question well in advance of my even considering the question. Wouldn't be the first time.

Re:Linux customize for "X" never works (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518206)

But Ubuntu has Dell, and Dell has a small, known product line.
Other netbook lines are the same. Ubuntu gives the world the freedom to support any hardware they like with at any price point.
HTML's "CSS" sounds good, just need the perfect fonts :)

please don't make me use my fingers as a mouse rep (4, Interesting)

vladisglad (1214592) | more than 4 years ago | (#32517962)

I'm just dying to see the user interface. If there is any instance when I need to use scroll bars to scroll in any application its insta-fail. Same goes for windows.

Re:please don't make me use my fingers as a mouse (2, Insightful)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518186)

Wait why exactly is a scroll bar bad? Given sane restrictions on how small the scroller can be, it offers a pretty decent way of getting directly to any vertical or horizontal location when presented with more information than the computer can handle. Yes obviously gestures can be used for relative scrolling (Scroll up from here, down from here, etc.) - the beauty of a scroll bar is the potential for either the "tap and you're there" functionality often associated with playback position for audio/video, sometimes volume level, etc. - as well as a "tap and you've scrolled a great distance" functionality more familiar to say, a word processor or web browser, allowing you to click or tap in one place and quickly scroll to that place, covering pages at a time, and stopping when it reaches your absolute position. It seems to me that, in the case of viewing a substantially large amount of information, the combination between a scroll bar and a gesture for scrolling would in fact be QUITE powerful.

Re:please don't make me use my fingers as a mouse (1)

vladisglad (1214592) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518278)

If there is some kind of a scroll bar type area to show you your place in the document or to quickly jump further down is one thing. I just don't want to use my finger to tap on the down arrow to move through the document/application/whatever. I'm just curious to see how a windowed user environment could be rigged to facilitate touch gesture. For example, if you have two windows open concurrently side by side how would you move them around on the screen? Will you be able to flick to scroll elements within a windowed application. Obviously the iPad deals with this by allowing a single application in the forefront. Don't get me wrong, I just want them to compete with the iPad. But if the touch interface is still centered around a pointing device paradigm then it defeats the whole purpose of the form factor.

Re:please don't make me use my fingers as a mouse (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518472)

Wait why exactly is a scroll bar bad?

for the same reason that having a scroll area on the touchpad is bad, and multitouch scrolling is good. sometimes you mistouch and you scroll when you meant to move, or move when you meant to scroll. but most humans can touch with one finger or two, or for that matter, drag instead of tapping.

Re:please don't make me use my fingers as a mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518828)

Given sane restrictions on how small the scroller can be, it offers a pretty decent way of getting directly to any vertical or horizontal location when presented with more information than the computer can handle.

I second this. Kinetic scrolling is OK, but sometimes a scrollbar is just easier. You hear that, phone OS designers? Give me back my fucking scrollbars! Oh wait, I still have them, because I run Windows Mobile 6.5. Lucky Me :)

Re:please don't make me use my fingers as a mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518318)

mozilla firefox = instafail? I'd hate to see this entire page smooshed into a single, non-scrolling pane.

Re:please don't make me use my fingers as a mouse (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518606)

Insta-fail? Lack of scrollbars cripples the mobile browsers. Their absence on the iThing is merely annoying. Whereas Android could sorely use real scrollbars.

So who is the Linux darling these days, anyway? (2, Interesting)

BumpyCarrot (775949) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518006)

Canonical or Google?

It seems like at every turn... (1)

jjrff (891275) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518152)

I'm not a huge fan of Ubuntu because of its kitchen sink installations (which I know I can change or I could just track debian...). I'm a huge fan of Ubuntu for others ... because of its kitchen sink installations :) That said, one thing I will give Canonical is at every technology turn they take a real crack at it.

Joy for Dell Streaks? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518168)

Will this work on the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dell_Streak [wikipedia.org]
Ubuntu as a "something newer" OS would put real computing power and freedom into a larger pocket/messenger bag.
Could we finally enjoy a flash supporting, codec rich, web friendly OS on usable hardware with real usb?
I really hope this works and we see a generation of creative computing again vs the DRM, rented, book erasing, push dreams of an Apple, MS, Amazon ect.

The car geeks been there, done that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518238)

http://wiki.openice.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

Shuttleworth must be stoned! (4, Insightful)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518310)

8.04's focus was stability.
9.04's focus was netbooks.
9.10's focus was cloud computing.
10.04's focus was pretty themes (and apparently dyslexia).
10.10's focus is now tablets.

Am I the only one that thinks that a Linux distro should stick with focusing on doing one thing very well? Seems all of these half-baked ideas are just late-night bong-induced dreams that get left at the wayside 6 months later. You just end up getting a bunch of "won't fix" bugs in LP because "the focus is now release+1". /me grows weary of this runaround...

Re:Shuttleworth must be stoned! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518886)

9.10's focus was cloud computing.
10.04's focus was pretty themes (and apparently dyslexia).
10.10's focus is now tablets.

You skipped a few.

10.10 is clearly not focused on tablets

11.04 will be released April 2011

11.10 will be released October 2011, which is the closest date to "Winter of 2011"
So 11.10 will be focused on tablets, not the two before it :P

Re:Shuttleworth must be stoned! (0, Flamebait)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32518902)

You've managed to explain why Ubuntu is so damned bloated. I mean, jeez, Linux is usually known for being lean and mean and making absurdly small demands on the hardware. But Ubuntu's system requirements are right up there with Windows!

I'm reminded of a programmer I used to know who claimed he could only code while stoned. His applications used to have all kinds of baroque options.

I don't really think the Ubuntu team consists of potheads. I mean, Cannonical is in London, not Amsterdam. But there do seem to be stoner-like attention issues here.

Re:Shuttleworth must be stoned! (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519068)

Am I the only one that thinks that a Linux distro should stick with focusing on doing one thing very well?

I hope so.

A useful OS needs to do *MANY* things well. And the UI must be at least not hell to work with, not everyone does everything in a terminal and uses Pine to read their mail... Window GUIs exist because many people prefer them, they should elegant and well designed.

Re:Shuttleworth must be stoned! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519076)

Man, if you can commit to something for 6 months while stoned, you're smoking Ritalin...

Anonymous Coward (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518446)

0K, 'bout time.
Don't make the mistake of taking apfull head-on.
Get some sidux into your brains, and cut them off at the throat.

it's the best linux jihad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518488)

to supersede the neo-cons, it's world domination by ubuntu no less!

it's just the best by the sadists!

Hope it works on the hardware (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518614)

Having tried Canonical's last 2 releases on my two Intel-based laptops, and getting only blank black screens once X starts up, I hope they fix their video driver problems.

The only Ubuntu I use anymore is Server (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32518858)

I've lost hope with Ubuntu making a user friendly desktop experience.

The full desktop distributions, for a long time, had this obsession with brown and orange, nothing neutral. Now it's purple, which is still not neutral. Even with changing themes it's hard to get rid of all the purple.

Apps tend to get changed from the default UI to some bastardization of it. I've run into many issues where I'd update to the latest Ubuntu release and I had to relearn various programs.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix is a half assed attempt at a netbook friendly distribution. Power management is a joke (I get 5 hours out of my netbook in UNR, and 9 hours in Win7). The apps aren't actually modified to work with a netbook; instead, a hack is used (modified window manager and a maximizer tool). Dialogs are left alone, and many are larger than most netbook screens. In short, UNR has been a disaster since its inception and it still is today. Multi-window apps (ie: Empathy) totally break the flow of UNR.

Ubuntu doesn't really do anything innovative. I only use the server distribution. And really, I could get away with just using Debian, at that point.

This leads me to believe that a tablet edition will be very poorly designed, engineered, and developed if they are going to stick with a pure Linux root similar to all of their other distributions.

Re:The only Ubuntu I use anymore is Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32519034)

>Ubuntu
>I only use the server distribution.

Seriously, I can understand using Ubuntu on a desktarp, but are you braindead? Use a real server distribution on a server, for fuck's sake!

Re:The only Ubuntu I use anymore is Server (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32519062)

Why would you put Ubuntu on a server? I only have an Ubuntu server because I run xbmc on Ubuntu as MythTV frontends so using Ubuntu for the backend is the easy way to ensure that everything stays consistent between the different boxes; it's about the last distro I'd pick for a general purpose server.

And while I agree that UNR is a kludge, it works pretty well for what it's designed to do (e.g. web browsing). If I boot Windows on the same netbook and run Windows Update, IE can only display about three lines of text between the menu bars and the border.

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