QuoteUbuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth told press recently that a move to daily updates would help the popular Linux disto keep pace with an increasingly complex software and platform ecosystem as Ubuntu goes on more devices and syncs up Android and iPhones.
Software Center - barely a year old - is leading these changes, and Shuttleworth has promised this would "go further and faster than people might have envisioned in the past."
"Today we have a six-month release cycle," Shuttleworth said. "In an internet-oriented world, we need to be able to release something every day.
"That's an area we will put a lot of work into in the next five years. The small steps we are putting in to the Software Center today, they will go further and caster than people might have envisioned in the past."
QuoteThe next major transition for Unity will be to deliver it on Wayland, the OpenGL-based display management system. We’d like to embrace Wayland early, as much of the work we’re doing on uTouch and other input systems will be relevant for Wayland and it’s an area we can make a useful contribution to the project.
We’re confident we’ll be able to retain the ability to run X applications in a compatibility mode, so this is not a transition that needs to reset the world of desktop free software. Nor is it a transition everyone needs to make at the same time: for the same reason we’ll keep investing in the 2D experience on Ubuntu despite also believing that Unity, with all it’s GL dependencies, is the best interface for the desktop. We’ll help GNOME and KDE with the transition, there’s no reason for them not to be there on day one either.
QuoteShuttleworth described desktop adoption of Unity as the "most significant change ever" for Ubuntu. He also acknowledged that it is a "risky step" and that much work remains to be done to prepare for the transition. The move reflects Ubuntu's growing divergence from the standard upstream GNOME configuration and effort to differentiate itself with a distinctive user experience. During the keynote, Shuttleworth emphasized that Ubuntu is still committed to GNOME despite the fact that it will ship with Unity instead of GNOME Shell. He contends that diversity and competition between different kinds of GNOME environments will encourage innovation and benefit the GNOME ecosystem.
The decision to ship a custom interface in Ubuntu is going to be controversial. Critics in the upstream community are already expressing disappointment with what they view as a move to fork the desktop. It's worth noting, however, that Canonical isn't the first company to build a unique user experience for GNOME that deviates from the standard upstream user interface stack. Intel also similarly produced a custom shell with the Clutter that is used on the MeeGo platform. Canonical's deviations from the upstream configuration receive closer scrutiny because Ubuntu's popularity among Linux users makes the distribution a king-maker on the Linux desktop. Canonical's decision to ship Unity could deeply marginalize GNOME Shell.
QuoteNevertheless, the Ubuntu Project does bring something unique, special and important to free software: a total commitment to everyday users and use cases, the idea that free software should be “for everyone” both economically and in ease of use, and a willingness to chase down the problems that stand between here and there. I feel that commitment is a gift back to the people who built every one of those packages. If we can bring free software to ten times the audience, we have amplified the value of your generosity by a factor of ten, we have made every hour spent fixing an issue or making something amazing, ten times as valuable. I’m very proud to be spending the time and energy on Ubuntu that I do. Yes, I could do many other things, but I can’t think of another course which would have the same impact on the world.
I recognize that not everybody will feel the same way. Bringing their work to ten times the audience without contributing features might just feel like leeching, or increasing the flow of bug reports 10x. I suppose you could say that no matter how generous we are to downstream users, if upstream is only measuring code, then any generosity other than code won’t be registered. I don’t really know what to do about that – I didn’t found Ubuntu as a vehicle for getting lots of code written, that didn’t seem to me to be what the world needed. It needed a vehicle for getting it out there, that cares about delivering the code we already have in a state of high quality and reliability. Most of the pieces of the desktop were in place – and code was flowing in – it just wasn’t being delivered in a way that would take it beyond the server, or to the general public.
QuoteWhat do we do for free software? And what do I do myself?
For a start, we deliver it. We reduce the friction and inertia that prevent people trying free software and deciding for themselves if they like it enough to immerse themselves in it. Hundreds of today’s free software developers, translators, designers, advocates got the opportunity to be part of our movement because it was easy for them to dip their toe in the water. And that’s not easy work. Consider the effort over many years to produce a simple installer for Linux like http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/08/massive-changes-coming-to-ubuntu-1010.html which is the culmination of huge amounts of work from many groups, but which simply would not have happened without Canonical and Ubuntu.
There are thousands of people who are content to build free software for themselves, and that’s no crime. But the willingness to shape it into something that others will find, explore and delight in needs to be celebrated too. And that’s a value which is celebrated very highly in the Ubuntu community: if you read planet.ubuntu.com you’ll see a celebration of *people using free software*. As a community we are deeply satisfied to see people *using* it to solve problems in their lives. That’s more satisfying to us than stories about how we made it faster or added a feature. Of course we do bits of both, but this is a community that measures impact in the world rather than impact on the code. They are very generous with their time and expertise, with that as the reward. I’m proud of the fact that Ubuntu attracts people who are generous in their contributions: they feel their contributions are worth more if they are remixed by others, not less. So we celebrate Kubuntu and Xubuntu and Puppy and Linux Mint. They don’t ride on our coattails, they stand on our shoulders, just as we stand on the shoulders of giants. And that’s a good thing. Our work is more meaningful and more valuable because their work reaches users that ours alone could not.
QuoteA company that measures Internet service reliability has given Microsoft the top score in a test of operating system update services.
Microsoft's Windows Update was available 100 percent of the second quarter of 2008, Pingdom said in a blog posting Friday. Apple's service was down 2 hours and 34 minutes, with 99.9 percent uptime, and Canonical's Ubuntu version of Linux was down 1 day, 5 hours, and 45 minutes, for 98.64 percent uptime.
"Microsoft wins this one hands down," Pingdom said. It noted that Ubuntu's service also is available through mirror sites, however.
The company tested the three services every five minutes.
QuotePrinting also has had an overhaul, with a virtual "PDF printer" set up by default to allow any application to output into PDF format. The old printer management system has been replaced and a new configuration tool should mean that printers are set up just by plugging them in and turning them on, developers said. The Tribe 5 release also includes the latest version of the Gnome desktop, the public test version of what will become Gnome 2.20. Other additions scheduled for the final release include faster desktop search, fast user switching, a new deskbar applet and the AppArmor security framework, released as open-source software by Novell. The final release is scheduled for October 18.
QuoteSimilar to what we've done in the United States, we will configure and install open source drivers for hardware, when possible for these new products. See John Hull's Technical Details post for a more detailed explanation. Recently, some IdeaStorm readers asked why we discontinued the Inspiron E1505N in the United States. The answer is that we transitioned to the Inspiron 1420N, which is a product that we do not offer in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
QuoteThe Ubuntu developers are moving very quickly to bring you the absolute latest and greatest software the Open Source Community has to offer. The Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 1 is the first alpha release of Ubuntu 7.10, and with this new alpha release comes a whole host of excellent new features. The feature list for 7.10 has been slowly growing more exact since Gutsy opened late last month. While looking forward nothing is completely certain, here are some of the new things that have already arrived, such as GNOME 2.19, a new 2.6.22-rc kernel, as well as a good look at the approved specifications for Gutsy.
QuoteTo fulfil the aims of our mission and in response to the technical challenges that these devices pose, we are announcing the Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded project. We will start more detailed planning at the Ubuntu Developer Summit next week in Seville and the first release of this edition will be in October with Ubuntu 7.10. If you are interested in the project, please get involved. We will be working through our normal development processes on Launchpad, the developer mailing lists and IRC.
QuoteAt the end of May, the No. 2 PC maker will begin selling some consumer-focused laptop and desktop models with Ubuntu's new "Feisty Fawn" version of Linux installed, Dell spokesman Kent Cook said. The company plans to announce the Linux move Tuesday on its IdeaStorm Web site, launched in February to gather feedback directly from customers about what they want. When buying the Dell systems, customers will have the option to purchase support from Ubuntu backer Canonical, said Jane Silber, the start-up's director of operations.
QuoteUbuntu is the award-winning Linux distribution for the desktop, laptop, thin client and server which brings together the best of open source software every 6 months. Ubuntu 7.04 desktop edition includes a ground-breaking Windows migration assistant, excellent wireless networking support and improved multimedia support. Ubuntu 7.04 server edition adds support for hardware facilities that speed up the use of virtual machines as well as other improved hardware support, making it an excellent choice as a web, database, file and print server, the fastest growing area of Linux server use. Ubuntu's already outstanding support for thin clients is boosted with advanced print and sound support.