The UKUI desktop used in Ubuntu Kylin is getting a major facelift — in Qt!
Admittedly it’s been while since I last wrote about this (formerly MATE-based) desktop environment, but it’s still out there, shipping as default experience in Ubuntu Kylin, doing its thing.
And that “thing”, to be rather blunt about it, is looking an awful lot like Windows 7 does (or did, I guess now Windows 7 support has ended):
But not for much longer, it seems.
Based on an updated shared on Chinese social media, the UKUI team appear to be rebuilding UKUI using Qt. The plan, they say, is to stick to to the same “easy, excellent, expert, elaborate” mantra that the original UKUI desktop was (supposedly) built to.
But honestly? We’re talking major revamp territory here, with Linux Deepin-grade levels of visual showiness — Blur, bling, and a buttload of GUI appeal!
Ubuntu Kylin as a distro doesn’t get much coverage here in the west (at least not on the sites I read) but it has proven to be hugely popular in China, its target market.
It’s particularly nice to know that all those interesting integrations with China-based web services that are lost on me, aren’t lost on those they’re included for.
You can check out a video of the UKUI 3.0 Preview Start Menu on Chinese social networking site Bili Bili (I tried to embed the video but it refuses to appear any larger than a postage stamp, and it’s an
iframe so nooope).
I will say that the short clip appears (to my eyes, at least) to be a motion design, i.e. visual mockup, not a demo of real code. That said the UKUI code repos seem very busy lately, so mockup or not, the video offers a tantalizing glimpse at what the bods behind this Ubuntu-based distro are pitching for.
If Kylin can pull this new look off, and make it as show-y as it looks in their screencast, it could be the start of something very special indeed…