The Linux-based mobile operating system, Ubuntu Touch run by UBports, has dropped the name Unity8 from its Desktop Environment; which name change was as a result of clash with the popular game engine, Unity.
While the name clash is one reason, with "Unity" well known as a 2D/3D game and simulation platform. Another reason is that most users found "Unity8" same as the game engine, whereby they commonly inquire on how to import 3D models and meshes into the shell.
The choice of the new name Lomiri is the stickiness with the name "ubuntu" in many of Lomiri's dependencies. Such dependencies as "ubuntu-download-manager", "ubuntu-ui-toolkit", and "qtubuntu", among others. Albeit, there are warnings that packages containing the name "ubuntu" may not be accepted into some target distro.
What Packages and Projects will be renamed?
Typically, a name change is time-consuming, so renaming as few projects as possible should be the right way to go. The following are some of the things that will be renamed or modified in the short term:
- ubuntu-ui-toolkit -> lomiri-ui-toolkit
- unity8, containing the shell, will become lomiri
- ubuntu-download-manager -> lomiri-download-manager
Also, the interface used to call on the projects will be changed. For instance, the Ubuntu.Components QML import will change to Lomiri.Components. And in the foreseeable future, the company will provide backwards compatibility in Ubuntu Touch images. While developers will only need to update to new API when packaging their apps for other distributions.
The QML's lack of namespacing is perhaps a blessing, as the only change to most QML applications will be the statement (from import Ubuntu.Components 1.3 to import Lomiri.Components 1.3).
The Packages that will remain Unchanged
Ubuntu Touch, the convergent operating system shipping Lomiri, the OpenStore, and its confined applications, will still retain its names. Additionally, all components which are used by other projects and for other distributions, such as gsettings-qt using the com.canonical.gsettings D-Bus namespace.
Albeit, Debian has accepted it for use by the Deepin desktop environment. And components that don't use the "Unity" or "Ubuntu" name, such as qtmir and morph-browser, among others, will not be renamed.
How will the name change affect Users?
The name change will not be noticed by most users of Ubuntu Touch as only components will be renamed, with the old "Unity8" name which is not used visibly within the mobile operating system.
But developers creating unconfined applications may notice small changes, like Upstart job names will change, as well as internal API shifting. However, the company plans to maintain backwards compatibility within Ubuntu Touch in the foreseeable future.
The name change is currently in progress for some components, like lomiri-download-manager. So these components are been prepared for building on Debian testing, renaming them, and then moving the upstream repositories to GitLab.