A serious reason to get an Ubuntu Phone?

frodriguez2010frodriguez2010 Enterprise Tech Support EngineerTexasPosts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

As borrowed from :GitHub - mariogrip/browserhtml: Experimental Servo browser built in HTML




Browser.html is a research project aimed at building an experimental Servo browser in HTML. This project has 2 major pieces:

  • Graphene: a runtime for building native apps in HTML. It's currently in development and part of Servo.
  • Browser.html: an experimental browser UI for desktop.

This repository is for Browser.html (the front-end). Active development of Graphene happens in the Servo repository. Questions? Check out the FAQ.



We welcome contributions from anyone. See CONTRIBUTING.md for help getting started.

https://github.com/mariogrip/browserhtml#building-and-runningBuilding and Running

The Browser.html UI is bundled with Servo. To run it, you'll need to build Servo.

First, install Servo's prerequisites. Then, clone and build Servo:

git clone https://github.com/servo/servo cd servo ./mach build -r

Finally, run Servo with the --browserhtml flag.

./mach run -r --browserhtml

https://github.com/mariogrip/browserhtml#developing-the-front-endDeveloping the Front-end

If you're working on the Browser.html front-end, you'll want to run the web app locally.

Prerequisites: You'll need Node and NPM. Next, clone Browser.html and install its Node dependencies.

git clone https://github.com/browserhtml/browserhtml.git cd browserhtml npm install --no-optional

Then, start the front-end local server:

npm run build-server

Finally, start Servo with the Browser.html flags turned on in either debug (-d) or release (-r) mode:

./mach run -r -- -b -w --pref dom.mozbrowser.enabled http://localhost:6060

https://github.com/mariogrip/browserhtml#running-in-geckoRunning in Gecko

Browser.html can also be run on top of a Gecko-based version of Graphene. We sometimes use this variant to test and debug features that haven't yet landed in Servo. Build instructions for Gecko-flavored Graphene can be found on the wiki.

https://github.com/mariogrip/browserhtml#using-webideUsing WebIDE

The easiest way to use developer tools with Browser.html is to select the "Remote Runtime" option in WebIDE while using the Gecko Graphene runtime.

By default you should be able to connect to the running browser at: localhost:6000.

https://github.com/mariogrip/browserhtml#integration-testsIntegration Tests

Run integration tests with ./test/runall.sh. You need to have a Graphene Gecko binary symlinked in the root of the repository.

ln -s ../gecko/obj-graphene/dist/Graphene.app graphene

Imagine seeing it on a ZTE made phone with better specs than this Meizu.

What are your thoughts?  would this prompt you to try out an Ubuntu ROMed phone?


  • razor512razor512 United StatesPosts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    For ubuntu, it would have to be offered as a dual boot for people to try. At the moment, not enough has been established for it. For me, I need to know if I will have an efficient UI, access to a browser with an actual tab bar, extension support.

    I have looked at some reviews on phones running ubuntu, and a lot was lacking in terms of usability. There was a heavy reliance on the beyond horrible "unity" UI. It seems to lack a proper home screen, and instead, adds an extra step to get to your apps, it is hard to find info on the media capabilities (on android, I like to be able to surf the web while having a video playing in a separate window, I like being able to stream media directly from a samba share (no DLNA where you have to wait for a database to update).

    It is also hard to get info on the memory management in a real world setting.

    Android has its issues too, e.g., the way video playback is implemented, prevents multiple video from playing at the same time without 1 of the video apps crashing. For video, the best implementation that I have seen on a mobile ARM based OS so far, as ween on webos 3 on the HP touchpad, Multiple videos could play simultaneously with hardware acceleration, I remember a video a while back on xda developers of someone playing back 6 different HD videos at the same time. The hardware acceleration implementation was great since it meant I could surf the web, while having a video playing, and then if I found another interesting video on reddit, I could start playing it also, and turn its volume down, and have both playing smoothly even with mixed content, e.g., flash videos playing while an mkv h.264 video is playing, and both continuing to run even if you launch a full screen game.

    Overall, for ubuntu,  they do not make it easy to find all that you can do with the OS, and there are no display models in stores where you can find out, I find it hard to invest in one because even though I am experienced with usuing ubuntu in a desktop setting, I have no idea what to expect from it on a smartphone.

  • frodriguez2010frodriguez2010 Enterprise Tech Support Engineer TexasPosts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I am 100% in agreement with you there.  My knowledge of Ubuntu is limited to the desktop version and a few commands via CLI. Used it more when I was in the hosting industry where enterprises would implement it along side FeeBSD, Debian, Fedora Core and RedHat.  Dual boot like what is being done currently with Win 10 and Android would be the way to go to learn if it would fit the industry.  Look at Fire OS and Early Amazon Dev previews.  What I was curious about was the App Store and the apps availability.  Android and iOS have many apps, cross over apps, while Windows is still behind.  Adding yet another flavor could prove frustrating to consumers and cause a downward spiral towards this aspect of technology.  When you have options, that is great, when too many options, overwhelmed and frustration ensue. Yet I do look at the big picture and this also could have a positive impact, but until there is a following and public endorsement, we are left to speculation as to what it offers and doesn't offer.  
    The point here is to keep an open mind and see what the future holds. 

  • razor512razor512 United StatesPosts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I am definitely holding out hope for it, I just wish the companies making these devices put more effort into showing what they can do.

    From how I see it, the main thing holding it back, is communication and marketing. With smartphones today, people are not looking to completely change the way they do things, instead, they are looking do the same core set of tasks that they currently do, and what they want to know is will that OS allow them to do it more easily and efficiently.

    After that, they are looking for some innovation that will take the experience further (this is essential for adoption of a new platform).

    For example, there are alternative keyboard layouts which are designed to increase typing speed, while there have not been major research studies on them, some less formal tests have shown people typing slightly faster on a dvorak keyboard layout, but it never caught on, because qwerty is ubiquitous, (software is written for it in mind, with no consideration for other layouts), and no one wants to spend months learning a new system in order to eventually experience a marginal improvement.

    Overall, I want for there to be a thorough exploration of the functionality, customizability, and special use cases shown for these devices. I need to know that I can do the tasks that I already do, just as quickly and easily, while gaining new functionality that takes my experience to the next level.

    This is like how before the iphone came out, we had devices which ran windows mobile 2003, windows mobile 5, etc. At those times, we had video players, the ability to stream media, play music, surf the web, and do various other tasks, then the iphone came along and allow the same tasks to be done, but with an easier to use capacitive touch digitizer, and other improvements, though at the time, apple left out a lot of basic functions (file management, easy clipboard management, etc.), and android provided what apple offered, in a more efficient manner, and added the functions that it omitted, and quickly became the dominant platform. With this in mind, we have to see, what will ubuntu do to offer all that we have come to expect, and then what will they add go above and beyond the rest.

  • sshasansshasan Staff Member United StatesPosts: 4,077 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree Hassan! Manufacturers need to spend a lot more time on showing exactly what their device can do and how to do it. These phones are extensions of computers and they have features that we don't even know about or just don't know how to use them.

  • frodriguez2010frodriguez2010 Enterprise Tech Support Engineer TexasPosts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Well said Razor. 

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