Ubuntu debates replacing Nautilus file manager
In a bug report on Launchpad, Ubuntu developer Sebatien Bacher has suggested that Ubuntu might ship Nautilus 3.4 with version 12.10 of the Linux distribution – currently available as a third alpha – instead of the latest upstream version of the file manager. Nautilus 3.6, which is currently in development, would be included in the repositories but not be bundled by default. This would mark a departure from recent practices where the Ubuntu developers had always shipped the latest version of Nautilus with their custom Unity desktop interface.
The discussion of whether the next version of the distribution should ship the older version of Nautilus seems to be founded in the recent changes introduced to the file manager, which have also prompted the Linux Mint project's development team to create their own fork of Nautilus, called Nemo. Bacher is further suggesting that the developers should listen to feedback from users on this topic and then act on it at the next Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), which is coming up in the autumn. The developer suggests Nemo or the Marlin file manager as alternatives; Marlin is a file manager maintained by the Elementary project, which has been available for some time.
As part of the discussion, Bacher has also sent an email to the Nautilus developer mailing list, explaining the problems he sees in the cooperation between the Ubuntu and GNOME development teams. According to Bacher, it is the opinion of the Ubuntu developers that "GNOME is not planning their work enough in advance or communicating enough". He says that if the situation does not improve, Ubuntu might move away from shipping the latest version of the underlying GNOME tools. This would mean that Ubuntu would build Unity on the current stable version of GNOME instead of the development branch, effectively shipping with GNOME libraries that are one major iteration behind at release time.