Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ubuntu 10.04 is on the Right Track to an LTS Release

Waterfall ModelImage via Wikipedia
In Ubuntu 10.04 LTS: How we get there, Matt Zimmerman goes over the differences between the recent releases' development process and Lucid's. The major differences are:

  1. Pulling from Debian Testing, not Unstable, leading to a more polished product from the get-go.
  2. An emphasis on testing instead of features, meaning that there's actually less to test.
  3. No major changes to infrastructure. PulseAudio was introduced (and lambasted) in 8.04. No one wants to see that mess again.
  4. An early beta release (and I understand there will be two betas).
  5. Coordination with Debian's release schedule, leading to more eyes on bugs.

I had real problems with the choices for 8.04, and several things were broken on release. I'm tickled to see Ubuntu taking an LTS release extremely seriously.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This is an extremely interesting view into Google's opinion of open standards, open source, and open information. 

Open Standards

Today, we base our developer products on open standards because interoperability is a critical element of user choice. What does this mean for Google Product Managers and Engineers? Simple: whenever possible, use existing open standards. If you are venturing into an area where open standards don't exist, create them. If existing standards aren't as good as they should be, work to improve them and make those improvements as simple and well documented as you can. Our top priorities should always be users and the industry at large and not just the good of Google, and you should work with standards committees to make our changes part of the accepted specification.

Open Source

So as you are building your product or adding new features, stop and ask yourself: Would open sourcing this code promote the open Internet? Would it spur greater user, advertiser, and partner choice? Would it lead to greater competition and innovation? If so, then you should make it open source. And when you do, do it right; don't just push it over the wall into the public realm and forget about it. Make sure you have the resources to pay attention to the code and foster developer engagement.

Open Information

So while having more personal information online can be quite beneficial to everyone, its uses should be guided by principles that are responsible, scalable, and flexible enough to grow and change with our industry. And unlike open technology, where our objective is to grow the Internet ecosystem, our approach to open information is to build trust with the individuals who engage within that ecosystem (users, partners, and customers). Trust is the most important currency online, so to build it we adhere to three principles of open information: value, transparency, and control.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Shuttleworth Steps Down As Canonical CEO

"In a surprise move (at least, it was surprising to me), Ubuntu founder and Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth has announced he's stepping down as the CEO of Canonical, the commercial endeavour behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution. He will continue, however, to play major role in the company and Ubuntu's future.

Jane Silber, the Chief Operating Officer of Canonical, will take over Shuttleworth's role as CEO. His stepping down as CEO does not mean, in any way, that Shuttleworth will disappear from the stage. In fact, his stepping down allows him to focus more on product design and development, his passions. He will also remain as the head of the Ubuntu Community Council and the Ubuntu Technical Board, and he wants to spend more time working with partners, especially in Asia."


"'This move will bring about is a clearer separation of the role of CEO of Canonical and the leader of the Ubuntu community,' Silber said, 'It will be two different people now, which I think will be helpful in both achieving their joint and individual goals more quickly.'"

See OSNews for full report. Also reported on Compuworld.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So a Man Walks Into a Bar and Asks for an Ubuntu on the Rocks

A screenshot of Linpus Linux Lite.Image via Wikipedia
Earlier today, I had to go to IT Square in Laksi to do some banking. Knowing what a geek that I am, and since  there are ten branches closer than the IT Square one, you'd be forgiven for assuming that I went to bank there as an excuse for computer shopping, but you'd be wrong. I was required to go to that specific branch. After the baning, though, my gf and I walked around a little.

She was checking out laptop bags, and my attention went to the Acer display just outside the bag store. To my shock, there was a low-end laptop (about USD400) with a localized version of Ubuntu on the computer. There was a special Acer desktop background, and the menus were in Thai.  The next computer had the same system. Hmmm. The specs described the computer as having Linpus Linux installed (pictured above), but the system was definitely Ubuntu. There were about twelve models on display, but some of them weren't on.

"Do all these computers have the same operating system?" I asked.
"These two have ," the clerk answered.

Those two computers were the high-end ones, at least 50% more expensive than any other model on display. The actual OS installed was Windows 7 Home Premium.

What's the punchline to this joke?

"But we can install Linux on those two for you if you prefer," the clerk added with a smile. "It's ."

My, how times have changed! Six years ago, there were Linux computers on display everywhere, but the salespeople knew nothing about it and encouraged everyone to pay the extra money to have Windows installed.

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