GNOME and Kylin become official Ubuntu flavours
The Ubuntu Technical board has given the official designation to two Ubuntu flavours, Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin. The decision was made in an IRC meeting and announced by the projects this week. Ubuntu GNOME 3 sets out to deliver the GNOME 3 experience on Ubuntu, while UbuntuKylin aims to offer a fully customised Chinese user experience on Ubuntu 13.04. The official blessing gives the developers of each flavour access to Ubuntu's build infrastructure and allows them to be managed as part of the Ubuntu project rather than as an unsupported fork.
Ubuntu GNOME first arrived alongside Ubuntu 12.10 in October 2012, and, apart from a 12.10.1 update, is the only formal release of the Ubuntu GNOME distribution. The next development release will come not with the forthcoming Ubuntu 13.04 Beta 1 release, but with the 13.04 final beta. The developers are also configuring daily image builds which should be available in a few weeks. This will lead up to a full release in tandem with Ubuntu 13.04 in April, where Ubuntu GNOME 13.04 will ship with GNOME 3.6; GNOME 3.8 will be made available from the gnome3-team's PPA. The project has a new mailing list available to discuss development and to bring contributors together.
UbuntuKylin will, beyond Chinese language support, offer China-centric changes to the Unity environment. These include making the online music search access music web sites in China, adding Chinese Calendar support alongside lunar and Gregorian calendars, and making the weather forecast pull its information from the China meteorological administration. The distribution will also use fcitx as its default Chinese Input Method and will work with WPS, described as "the most popular office suite in China". LibreOffice will, though, remain the default office software with WPS available through the Software Center. Those changes are lined up for Ubuntu 13.04. The team will then, for Ubuntu 13.10, be working on a system assistant application and simple photo handling for non-professional users. They also hope to work on adding Taobao search, Baidu maps, online payment, and Chinese travel information to UbuntuKylin 13.10.