Back at UDS-R in Copenhagen, I had the fortune to meet the fine folks on the (Canonical) Ubuntu Nexus 7 team. One thing that impressed me is just how open they were to community input and how eager they were to make Ubuntu the best it can be on a tablet form factor. Oops! That's two things.
Actually, I have a bit of a funny story. On the second day of UDS, I was sitting in the dining hall beside one of Ubuntu Vancouver's finest co-conspirators and pulled out my shiny new Nexus 7, freshly (that morning) flashed with Ubuntu 12.10. He asked, "So, what do you think of Ubuntu on the tablet?" I was just about to launch into a rant about how difficult it was to use the touch interface, the lack of automatic screen rotation, and the dreaded "button 1 lock-ups", but then my inner voice said, "Randall, this is a proof-of-concept, an alpha. Be nice." Also, there was a kind looking gentleman sitting across the table from us who looked quite interested in the device and our conversation. Who was he?
So, instead of answering my friend's question I said, "Try for yourself." He played with it for a bit and then handed it back to me with a smile. We both knew what that smile meant.
That turned out to be the right move. The gentleman across the table soon identified himself as one of the developers on the Ubuntu Nexus 7 team. Face-palm averted. More importantly, a demotivating whine from a community member likely wouldn't have helped morale.
The next thing that happened was what I call a "classic Ubuntu moment": The gentleman mentioned that he had observed our interaction with the device and noticed several things (tweaks) I could do to make my Ubuntu tablet experience more enjoyable and usable. I thanked him for that, and I also thanked him for his hard work to get Ubuntu up-and-running in the first place. He encouraged me to find more bugs and to help the team.
Here I am.
I am testing Ubuntu on the Nexus 7. I'm using it everyday. And by doing so, I am trying to help the project even if in a small way. I attend the weekly Nexus 7 team meetings on IRC. I demo the Nexus 7 at Ubuntu gatherings in my city. I gather friendly people to pose for pictures.
Even though the first functional Ubuntu Nexus 7 image represents a baby step towards the goal to have Ubuntu on all form factors by 14.04, these are exciting times for Ubuntu and I feel invigorated (and honoured) to be involved in a really big thing. I am not Canonical. I am part of the jedi force that is often called Community. You are part of that community too. I'd love for you to get involved.
Oh! I almost forgot: As of today, Raring Ringtail is now available for the Nexus 7. Re-flash and have a great time! https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Nexus7/Installation
Ubuntu is not just software.