18

Recently I've been wondering whether we need to change our practice in view of the fact that Canonical is no longer developing Ubuntu Touch. As far as I know Ubuntu Touch is still out there running on many devices and is still installable; until it becomes officially EOL (at the end of the support cycle), there's no reason for us not to support it. But I would like to know what others think about how we should be treating questions about installing and doing other things with Ubuntu Touch.

Looking at newer questions in the tag, I don't think those questions are faring very well. I see lots of unanswered questions with low views, and several with only a comment about the cessation of development on Ubuntu Touch, for example:

I doubt that Ubuntu Touch questions going unanswered and getting little attention is a new thing, and since older ignored questions get deleted automatically it's hard to tell for sure. Out of ~2500 questions with the tag, ~970 are unanswered (which is, for instance, comparable to the tag and better than the tag, so not too terrible). I think historically we have usually closed most questions about installing Ubuntu touch against What hardware does Ubuntu Touch support? or How do I go about porting Ubuntu Touch to different devices?, but I am seeing some (sometimes minority, so later hidden) off-topic votes on these posts.

Since people are still interested in Ubuntu Touch and there will probably continue to be people interested in tinkering with it even after it's completely out of support, my opinion is that we should try (insofar as anyone here has any time/desire to do anything about it) to make the resources we have about it as useful and accessible and relevant as possible to as many people as want it, but I am not sure how we can best do this.

In particular, I couldn't easily find much information about exactly when support will end or what is happening in the meantime. Is the last release of Ubuntu Touch LTS? has an answer that had no upvotes until yesterday. Maybe we should be trying to make such information more complete and easier to find, by linking to it from more places. The canonical post about which devices are supported might need to be updated?

How should we be handling Ubuntu Touch questions now and how should we deal with them in the future?

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15

This is my opinion, and not a statement of policy as a member of the moderator team. I believe that we should treat new and future Ubuntu Touch questions as we would End of Life release questions, or come end of 2017 consider it unsupported anymore, for the same reason.

As with anything that goes End of Life and End of Support (such as Ubuntu Releases going EOL and such), we should treat such questions as we would other EOL releases. We can't provide support for a release if it's no longer updated or maintained by the teams that helped develop it, and that applies for both EOL releases and Ubuntu Touch.

My opinion therefore is treat it as an EOL release with regards to handling questions. (However, unless all the moderators are in agreement with this being policy, it's up to community decision/quorum for what is actually the way to move forward)

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  • 1
    To be clear, when is Ubuntu Touch EOL? At the end of June (already) or some time in the future? So you think we should be closing these questions as EOL? Can we have a meta EOL notice? – Zanna Aug 26 '17 at 13:27
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    @Zanna my opinion doesn't equate to policy unless everyone agrees with it - at such time it becomes policy I can make a "Not Supported" announcement. Asking questions long before we actually have policy :p – Thomas Ward Aug 26 '17 at 13:28
  • Sure, I wasn't taking it as policy, I'm just asking you to expand a little if possible... – Zanna Aug 26 '17 at 13:30
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    I concur. I don't think there's any harm in pointing them toward ubports.com as a place where they might be able to get (or lend) a helping hand though. – Elder Geek Aug 27 '17 at 16:14
  • Since we're past the end of 2017 now, do we have an official policy? If so, the ubuntu-touch tag could use an update. – wjandrea Feb 9 '18 at 21:02
4

I'm a UBports contributor, so i might be biased, but i think it would be great if new questions about Ubuntu Touch could still be accepted. Yes, Canonical is no longer maintaining Ubuntu Touch, but it's still very much alive in the community, and there's no reason that should change any time soon. ;)

Ubuntu is not only about Canonical, so I think the policy should not be that everything that Canonical doesn't directly support is off-topic.

If Ubuntu Touch questions will be accepted here in the future, we would definitely advertise it more actively to Ubuntu Touch users again.

One thing that the moderators and reviewers should pay attention to is that the Ubuntu Touch tag should only used for questions that are actually about Ubuntu Touch, not questions about using other Ubuntu flavors with a touch-screen.

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-1

I would say that my answer at https://meta.askubuntu.com/a/17708/50737 is what we should do, or perhaps we should treat it more like questions about Ubuntu Touch are on topic, but questions about UBports are not, in the same way that questions about Ubuntu are on topic, but questions about Canonical are not.

That is, UBports is granted use of the Ubuntu name for Ubuntu Touch and it is running based on a supported Ubuntu LTS version (as well as the fact that it provides a way to run legacy X11/CLI apps inside a container, via libertine). While it cannot meet the official derivative requirements (and never could, even when Canonical was doing all the development), it is as practically close to being so as one can reasonably get for a phone/tablet OS based on Ubuntu.

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  • Why in the world as this downvoted? – dobey Feb 14 at 21:57

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