Due to the high priority of Unity in the Ubuntu 11.04 development cycle, the inclusion of GNOME3 into Ubuntu were postponed until 11.10, and Unity was shipped in Ubuntu 11.04 as a shell for GNOME2 instead.
Not wanting to waste any time, development on 11.10 started yesterday and GNOME3 packages have begun landing in Ubuntu 11.10.
What does this mean for me?
In Ubuntu 11.10 you’ll be able to install GNOME3 directly from the Ubuntu main repositories instead of relying on a PPA (unlike the situation in Natty).
Moreover, since the Unity shell will run on the GNOME3 stack for 11.10, installing GNOME3 with GNOME Shell won’t affect the Unity desktop session and you will have a choice to boot into either Unity or GNOME Shell at the login screen.
And what about the AppIndicators?
Many applications in Ubuntu have been patched to show AppIndicators for consistency in the Unity desktop. But as many Ubuntu 11.04 GNOME3 testers found out, these patches meant that these applications wouldn’t integrate well into GNOME Shell. All that will change in Oneiric.
A smart detection mechanism will be implemented to only show AppIndicators if a Unity desktop is detected. If instead vanilla GNOME is found it will fall back to the default upstream behaviour seamlessly.
Are you excited for GNOME3 in Oneiric?