Interview with Daniel Foré, founder of elementary OS

This time I asked my questions to Daniel Foré, who is the founder of the popular elementary OS. I think most of the readers of this blog already know about him, so I didn’t ask him to introduce himself or so, but I was rather interested about the OS they build.

What’s your main motivation for developing elementary OS?

Our primary motivation for developing elementary OS has always been to build the absolutely best computing experience we possibly can.

Do you have another job, or are donations enough for a living?

Yes I work for a small restaurant group doing their marketing and design. At the moment we technically have enough revenue that one of us could probably live off it. But it would be a hard decision of who that should be and it’s also a risk for that person since we can’t be sure that revenue will be the same every month.

It took 9 months to get from Luna beta 1 to the final release. Do you think it can be sort of the same with Freya?

No I don’t think so. We have many more developers now than we did a year ago and we’ve become much more disciplined and focused.

Some people are worried that once Freya is released it’s packages will be old. What would you say to them?

We recognize that there is a problem for third party developers to make sure the latest versions of their apps are available to users. For now it seems the solution is the use of PPAs. But for elementary itself, we’ll continue to make updates to our apps throughout the Freya cycle as we’ve done with Luna.

What is the current status of your AppCenter? Is there a chance it will make it to Freya final version?

No sorry AppCenter won’t be ready for Freya. I really want to put the utmost focus on it, but there is quite a bit of foundational work we need to do in order to be able to do AppCenter right.

What is the new feature in Freya you are most proud of?

I’d have to say I’m really excited about the revised multitasking view in Gala. I think we’ve come up with something that’s really fluid and flexible and should make using multiple workspaces much more enjoyable and understandable.

In my experience one of the first things people do after installing elementary OS is changing Midori to Firefox or Chrome. Are you still not considering using one of them as the default browser?

No we don’t have any intention to ship non-native apps by default. We have a strong dedication to only shipping native apps.

What’s the current state of

We have a decent prototype and I think we’re getting a good architecture planned out, but nothing to announce yet.

Will you release Freya with the same kernel as Trusty or are you considering using a newer one?

We’ll be using the latest stable kernel (and libraries) available in Trusty. We don’t have a kernel team, so we won’t be shipping a kernel any newer than one that Canonical provides.

How do you like Linux Mint’s idea of having the same LTS base for future releases? Are you considering that, or even rolling release for Freya + 1?

I’m definitely not fond of the idea of having the next version of elementary OS only available every two years. There has been some discussion of how we can fix that problem, but we haven’t reached any conclusions yet.

How does bounty system work for you? Are you happy with it so far?

Bounties have been great. I’m really glad that we can put money into the pockets of indie open source developers. Especially for students, we’re replacing summer jobs with the opportunity to hack on a large scale open source project instead. It’s attracted quite a few really talented developers and lead to fixes for some really difficult issues and big features. I think we’ll definitely continue to support and grow the program.

How do you see elementary OS in the future?

That’s a pretty vague question, but I think our goal is always to make the last release look bad. We want the new version to just feel better all the way around. Every new release has to be a really compelling upgrade. So the future of elementary OS has to be much much better.

Thank you Daniel for the interview!
If you would like to support the development of elementary OS, you can do that by paying some bounties.

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