I was up bright and early this morning, meeting fellow members of the illustrious, never boring UDS-R Crew and getting ready for the onslaught of attendees from all parts of the globe.
One of the things that impressed me was just how *BIG* UDS seems to be compared to previous ones. It's been a year since my last UDS and wow!!: Ubuntu is growing, and growing!
Some "behind the scenes" shots:
Are you attending UDS-R? Please share your photos and experiences! "Ubuntu is not just software!"
The wisest readers of Planet Ubuntu will certainly remember my challenge to ahem, "journalists" to report the real story: "Ubuntu is not just software."
Who do you think will be the first to take the challenge? Who dares stand up to their editor? And, which publication dares to let out the little secret that Ubuntu is wildly the hugest thing on the planet? We shall see.
In the meantime, while you're reading the types of stories that the same pack of (approximately ten) contract writers write every cycle, here's a little game you can play.
Each writer starts with a perfect score (or zero?). Then, for each of the following tactics points are deducted (or awarded?):
- Refers to Ubuntu as a kernel
- Attaches/includes the "L" word
- Says s/he has been using this release for a long time
- Says s/he has been using computers since dinosaurs walked the earth
- Calls the release "Quantal Quetzal"
- Laments that it won't pass the "ancient hardware test"
- Laments that it won't run on random hardware
- Criticizes that the project is soliciting donations (or repeats the criticism)
- Criticizes the stance on Secure Boot (or repeats the criticism)
- Criticizes the inclusion of search results from the "Large Rainforest in Seattle" (or repeats the criticism)
- Refers to Ubuntu as a commercial product
- Refers to Ubuntu as a company
- Refers to Canonical as the owner of Ubuntu
- Drops the name of at least 1 other distro
- Drops the name of at least 1 other desktop environment
- Recommends breath fresheners
- Admits to having regular halitosis
- Compares Ubuntu to an OS sold by a Monopolist in Redmond
- Compares Ubuntu to an OS sold by a Fruit Company in Cupertino
- Compares Ubuntu to an OS created by a Large Number Company in Mountain View
- Writes for a site that is sponsored by at least one competitor
- Uses the term "users"
- Uses the term "noob", or "newbie"
- Uses the term "geek", or "techie"
- Includes random blather from forums/blog posts, etc for dramatic effect
That's my list so far. Did I miss any?
Next up? A point system to go with the above.
Possible extension: an award ceremony or a prize.
Soon, very soon, Ubuntu 12.10 will be upon us. A flurry of articles will be written on how to tweak 12.10 by the usual authors on large techie-websites that are sponsored by companies that have no love for this thing. Others will find nits to pick with the best free OS in the world and will complain that Ubuntu is losing its chicken. Horses will run in random directions, chased by 114m4's. There will be outbreaks of goats with halitosis. Uni will be served. Yawn.
Here's the real story. The story you won't see published, the most important one:
When you encounter Ubuntu, you are not encountering just a product. You are encountering a philosophy, a project, a platform, and really good people. I've met hundreds of them. They are genuine.
You see, Ubuntu is not just software. It's people working together unselfishly to make something the world has never had. There is no analog for this in the proprietary software world. Therefore it remains largely a societal blind spot, and it is our bug to fix.
With that said, the only thing you need to do after installing Ubuntu is to install community. Find the people in your town that love it and want it to succeed. Find others that you can talk to face-to-face to share tips, tricks, and your unique knowledge of the amazing things it can do.
Get together. Have fun. Ignore the interwebs. The real action is right where you live.
"We are making Ubuntu. Not just software!"
Do you write for a large tech site? I dare you to write about what Ubuntu really is.
Soon, very soon, Mark 'sabdfl' Shuttleworth will tell us the development name of the next Ubuntu release (R-cycle) that will become 13.04.
Major scoop! My spies on the ground have recently discovered what that name is. Are you ready for it?
13.04: "Randall Ross" - An unconventional animal that uses unconventional means to take Ubuntu in new directions.
There it is! What an honour :P
Want to help choose a better name? Submit your entry!
Update (10/18/2012): Raring Ringtail it is! Oh well :P http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/1195
Yes, I'm coining the term Amazônicagate.
Have you noticed that the journalists that are frothing/blathering about the inclusion of elements of a "Large Rainforest in Seattle" in the Dash all have something in common?
They are not Ubuntu contributors, nor are they members of their local Ubuntu community, nor are they likely even Ubuntu "users" (as much as I hate that term.)
So, in other words, they have already made a conscious decision to not support the project and to not get involved. It should be no surprise that they are eager to express displeasure about recent decisions. It should be of even lesser surprise that they so readily dredge up random vitriolic commentary from forums, blog comments, and other random internet places.
I could name names. But I'll be nice.
The astute reader might want to use a search engine and do some investigative research on who these people are, what their journalistic credentials are (not), and which sites they write for, and who advertises on those websites.
I encourage everyone reading this article to do something tangible. Do the research. Then reach out to these people. Some of them are in your city. Educate them. Or simply tell them that if they want to help change the world for the better they can get involved in the project in a positive way.
And, if all that seems like a bit too much work: Ignore them.
Finally, if you publish newsletters or other popular Ubuntu news sites, perhaps you can ask yourself "Will regurgitating shoddy journalism for all to see help the project? Will it motivate contributors?" Why not find some useful topics to write about?
The world needs more Ubuntu, not more FUD, or armchair quarterbacks, or click-throughs.
Want to help? Show your support for Ubuntu. Join an Ubuntu local community. Get involved in a positive way.
image based on edgeplot's, http://www.flickr.com/photos/edgeplot/
Fast Edi! He's at it again. The one-man-translation-magician has taken another of our Unity guides and worked his magic.
Please thank "Fast Edi" Hoffman from Offenburg for his hard work and his dedication to spreading Ubuntu and Unity.
Something cool: Edi is a teacher. He told me that he uses the Unity Orientation Guide in his course for those new to Ubuntu and the world of free software.
Imagine if every teacher out there had Edi's enthusiasm and energy. Spreading the idea of Ubuntu to a new generation. That just might help tilt the earth's axis a little more. I've watched a whole generation of kids (including my own) grow up trapped with proprietary tools cleverly placed in schools. Luckily, we now have the means to reverse that damage.
Are you a teacher? Do you know a teacher? Why not grab a Unity guide (or three) and spread the word. Are you a member of an Ubuntu group in your town/city? Why not print our guides and host a "Getting to know Ubuntu" night at your local library or community centre?
The world needs more Ubuntu.
Outstanding work Fast Edi! Thank you for a job well done! :)
Want to help? Show your support for Ubuntu. More translations needed and welcome! Are you fluent in Chinese? French? Spanish? Portuguese? We need you!
There's been some chatter on the interwebs, especially on a popular Ubuntu software-only news site, started evidently by that guy that wants Mono everywhere saying something to the effect that the "Linux Desktop is Dead".
He's right. It's dead. Put it in a coffin. Fill it with lead. Nail it shut. Head over to Marianas Trench (1). Drop it to the bottom of the sea. Fill the trench with rock.
The sooner we all end kernel fixation, the sooner Ubuntu will cross the chasm. Don't be that guy living in the 90's and lamenting about kernels on the desktop. Kernels don't live on desktops. Neither do Colonels.
Echoing Michael Hall's post (with updated terminology):
As long as there is a demand for a "Libre Desktop" OS, there will be people creating it. And right now, those people are amassing around the project that is called Ubuntu, creating something that millions and millions of people enjoy every day.
Now, back to building Ubuntu!
(1) Marianas Trench is the deepest part of the world's oceans. It is also a a Canadian pop rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia.
(2) The legend of the Challenged Chicken: http://blog.sighworld.com/2011/10/01/ubuntu-challenged-chicken/
Remember when the internet was free? Hint: Parts of it still are.
Yesterday, the project's founder announced that Diaspora* is now a community project and is wide open for everyone. No invites necessary. Just sign up!
In the words of Daniel Grippi:
"Today, the network has grown into thousands of people using our software in hundreds of installations across the web. There are hundreds of pods that have been created by community members, and it has become one of the biggest Github projects to date. It has been translated to almost fifty languages, with hundreds of developers worldwide contributing back to the project."
"Diaspora has grown into something more than just a project four guys started in their office at school. It is bigger than any one of us, the money we raised, or the code we have written. It has developed into something that people all over the world care about and are inspired by."
"Today, we are giving control of Diaspora to the community."
"As a Free Software social project, we have an obligation to take this project further, for the good of the community that revolves around it."
"This is a new opportunity for Diaspora to grow further than ever before. We can’t wait to see what we can do together."
Once you join, be sure to follow #ubuntu.
And how about this for an idea?
I think Wayne's onto something. With all the nifty web integration that will be in 12.10 we have a golden opportunity to lead by example. The world's most popular freedom-centric OS meets the world's most popular freedom-centric social network. Anyone have the skills to make this happen?
See you there.
Apologies in advance if you hold Facebook stock. ;)
What do you get when you remix UVLC's Unity Orientation Guide with an amazing dose of enthusiasm and multilingual talent? A strong dose of pure amazing!
After the release of our guides, I was fortunate to receive a note from "Fast Edi" Hoffman from Offenburg asking if a German version would be welcomed. Wow. Yes! Yes!!
Here's the result:
In his own words:
"Als Freier Software Aktivist bin ich vor kurzem über die praktischen "Guides" der Vancouver Ubuntu-Community gestolpert.
Da ich mit meiner Community versuche, Linux und Freie Software weiter zu verbreiten, sind solche Einsteiger-Leitfäden ideal für Menschen, die bisher nur proprietäre Betriebssysteme verwendet haben. Und da ich kein Entwickler oder "Hacker" bin, möchte ich durch die Übersetzung der Gemeinschaft etwas zurückgeben.
Ausserdem kann ich diese sehr gut geschriebenen Werke in meinen Kursen als Schulungsunterlagen verwenden. Und als Beispiel für die grandiosen Wirkungsweisen Freier Lizenzen und der internationalen Zusammenarbeit der Freunde Freier Software."
Please join me in thanking "Fast Edi" for taking Ubuntu and Unity to an even larger audience, to our German friends on the other side of the chasm.
Outstanding work Fast Edi! Thank you for a job well done! :)
Want to help? Show your support for Ubuntu. More translations needed and welcome!
Add this one to the list of reasons people install Ubuntu!
Word to the wise though: Always check the "Ubuntu Certified" and "Ubuntu Friendly" lists before taking that first drink. Don't get hit with your first IUI (Installing Under the Influence).
image Glen Bowman. CC-BY-2.0.