Let’s be clear on what happened here
Back in the LXD days, we were tasked to build an Ubuntu Core appliance image, this came with no web UI which seemed a shame and so I tried to change that by having us include LXD Mosaic.
You and I had a bunch of back and forth about that, resulting in a snap of LXD Mosaic and some good progress towards getting that appliance up and running.
Then Canonical basically killed (or stopped caring, not sure which) about those appliance images which ended up wasting both of our time on this initiative. I believe we only ever saw 2-digits usage on those prebuilt images
Later on, as part of trying to compete more with Proxmox and VMWare, Canonical decided that they wanted their own web UI for LXD, following the design patterns and look of their existing products (Anbox and MAAS). I was generally supportive of the idea but did repeatedly raise the point that we have an active community of web UI developers and that while the company requirements likely meant we’d end up with a new project rather than being able to just ship one of the existing ones, that we should make sure to try and hire or contract some of the community folks, make sure the job openings are widely shared across the community and that code, roadmap, … should all be handled in public.
As you no doubt noticed, that last part didn’t happen. The LXD UI efforts were moved outside of the LXD team control and onto the general web & design team at Canonical which is responsible for work across all web interfaces and websites.
While I personally like the folks who have come to work on the Canonical LXD UI, I still strongly feel that having that team be completely outside of the control of the LXD team, especially when it comes to job openings and hiring, was a big mistake from a community standpoint.
But there was really nothing much I could do about this situation, other than keep complaining about it, which I’ve been doing until the day I left the company.
Now when came the time to talk web UI with Incus, our decision to just ship the basic web infrastructure to serve web UI files to users but nothing else, specifically came from not wanting a repeat of the mess that happened with LXD. The current solution offers a level playing field for all possible Incus UI, making it easy for them to provide packages that will nicely integrate with Incus.
As Incus itself doesn’t do any packaging (we only release code tarballs), whether to package and ship a UI by default becomes a distro decision. Some will just ship Incus on its own, some will package some of the possible web UIs and some may have one of those ship by default with Incus. That ultimately isn’t the Incus’ project concern. This will mostly be reflected in us not providing UI instructions in our documentation unlike what LXD is doing these days.