This blog post is the second in a series of many that I will be posting about UDS, the Ubuntu Developer Summit. It is inspired by "Is This The World We Created" by Queen.
Yesterday, I challenged you to participate in the growth of Ubuntu (the project). When we all participate to our fullest capability and with positive intent, Ubuntu (the product, the platform, and the project) gets better.
The Ubuntu Developer Summit begins next Monday Oct 31. Leading up to that, Ubuntu contributors around the world create, review, and refine the blueprints that will drive the development of Ubuntu into the next cycle. Then, beginning Monday, they gather in meeting rooms (both physically and virtually) to discuss and make decisions.
All blueprints are public and are posted here:
Here's something important: Blueprints are not only about code. Ubuntu is not just software. Ubuntu is also a thriving, lively, and fun community. So, many of the blueprints you'll see are about community and making it the best in the world.
Community blueprints are public and posted here.
Have you reviewed the blueprints? Have you created any? Do you have a serious gripe with Ubuntu? Do you have the next "killer feature" in your mind that would help take Ubuntu mainstream? We (the Ubuntu community) need you to speak up.
Help change the world, one blueprint at a time.
This blog post is inspired by "Is This The World We Created" by Queen.
Ubuntu (the project) is collaborative. We all make it what it is. Many of you know that, but I still encounter people on a daily basis both online and off who have not realized this (yet). I often hear gripes about Ubuntu not being this or that, but I don't hear enough constructive discussion and "creation" of the Ubuntu we want.
Let's change that. Ubuntu is what we make it. Do you want to live in a world where you have no say in your technology? (Redmond and Cupertino come to mind. I've been to both, and they're *not* fun.)
So, why post this now? Well, we're coming up to the Ubuntu Developer Summit (Precise Pangolin edition) where the future of Ubuntu will be discussed.
The Ubuntu community (of developers, designers, artists, advocates, community leaders, translators, managers, documenters, hackers, and others) comes together at UDS-P to collaborate. To do this they use Blueprints. The Blueprints are public and are posted here:
Please take a look. Read through them. See what the Blueprints say. Add your thoughts. Join the discussion. Help change the world.
Opening salvo: Posts on a mailing list asking for technical help are indicative of a broken local community.
A thought experiment: What if each one of us who post to mailing lists, forums, and other online places to ask for Ubuntu help were to do one extra thing: State your town/city in the post?
An extension: What if each tech-savvy person encountering a plea for help in their (now recognizable) town/city were to offer assistance over a coffee/tea, in person.
The result: Instant formation of a new Ubuntu group in your town. Ubuntu becomes more fun! Parties!
The pleasant side effect: Less chatter and noise about Ubuntu problems, errors, bugs, and Unity-hate on the interwebs.
It only takes two people and 20 minutes to start an Ubuntu group in your town. I hope you'll give it a try. JUST ADD WATER!
image (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) eraine
This morning I presented "Contributing to Ubuntu at a Local Level: A Roadmap" as part of the ever-popular and inspiring Ubuntu Open Week.
This session was for anyone who wants to make a difference and help move the Ubuntu project forward without writing a single line of computer code (unless you want to.)
The punch line: Find a group. Start a group. Grow a group. Have more fun!
The much-sought-after and often-controversial session logs are here:
I hope you enjoy! And if you were there, I hope you enjoyed :P
Special thanks to everyone who was there, especially the rockin' Ubuntu Classroom Team, and the ever-friendly Open Week organizers Amber Graner and Jorge Castro!
Ubuntu 11.10 is out and has been "in the wild" for a couple days now. (Yes, I'm a master of stating the obvious.)
One of the highlights (for me) of an Ubuntu release is watching and analyzing what the non-Ubuntu online media is saying. I love to see whether buzz is increasing and whether the coverage is generally positive. Here's what I've spotted so far:
The OStatic blog reports that Ubuntu 11.10 hype is everywhere and inescapable. Evidently, there's not a website on earth that isn't reporting on the release and hoping to "cash in" on the mania. Likely a slight exaggeration, but great buzz!
Scott Gilbertson of The Register suggests in "Ubuntu's Oneiric Ocelot: Nice, but necessary?" that "unless you have some clear need to upgrade, I suggest riding it out for now." He has praise for the new Ubuntu Software Centre, but little love for Unity. He fixates on the lack of a Gnome desktop. He's not happy with Thunderbird as the new email client either. Hmmm. Not a lot of love in this article.
Adrian Bridgewater of Dr. Dobbs in his article "Ubuntu 11.10 Is DevOps Distilled" sticks to the facts about the cloud, Juju, LXC, ARM and other aspects of Ubuntu 11.10 server. Neutral, report-it-as-it-is. Good stuff!
Matthew Humphries of Geek.com concludes that "Overall, this looks to be the best version of Ubuntu yet for existing users and those considering the jump from Windows or Mac." I like the sound of that!
Christopher Tozzi of The Var Guy laments that Ubuntu releases have become somewhat unexciting, but for a good reason: "Ubuntu has become so consistent and predictable in its evolution that the release day just doesn’t feel like as big a deal as it used to." For me, release day is still an exciting time but I will agree that Ubuntu is maturing so perhaps the "shock value" is a little lower that in the early days.
Ryan Paul (of Gwibber fame) reports at Ars Technica that "Although Unity has come a long way, there are still some areas where mediocre design compromises Unity's intended usability advantages." He does say something positive though: "The ability to sell programs to Ubuntu users through the Ubuntu Software Center could make the platform a more appealing target for commercial software developers than it has been historically." A mixed review, but according to the site they'll have a full review shortly.
Scott Merrill concludes at TechCrunch that "The upgrade to 11.04 was a bit disconcerting at first, but the more I use it the less it bothers me. As Canonical works to improve the lens mechanism of Unity, and as third party lenses proliferate, I expect that I’ll enjoy using 11.10 more." Scott's still clinging to the notion that people aren't comfortable with the Unity decision, and aren't aware of the value of Lenses (yet). Scott's apparent fixation with the kernel bugs me. (Ubuntu is not linux.)
So what can one conclude so far? I conclude that there's a ton of coverage out there, much more than in previous releases. The reviews are mixed, but there are distinct threads that are positive. That's an improvement over previous Ubuntu releases, especially 11.04. Now, if we can just get people seeing the value of Unity, shedding their fixation with desktops past, and dropping the L word once and for all we'll really make some progress. :)
How about you? What are your thoughts about Ubuntu 11.10? Have you spotted any positive (or negative) press? Please share your thoughts and links in the comments.
As the Community Manager for Ubuntu Vancouver, it saddens me when a member resigns:
"When asked why he or she was leaving the group, "the member" answered: I really wanted Ubuntu to work out for me, but such was not the case. I've had two really bad experiences using the OS and I've decided to give it up. I just installed ubuntu on my desktop computer at home which failed miserably (I get as far as logging on but after that there is some sort of serious video card problem and the desktop fails to load properly rendering it useless) and in a second instance, I used WUBI on a laptop which after an update destroyed the dual boot on my machine making both Ubuntu and Windows inaccessible at boot time. With great regrets I have to say good-bye."
Please share your thoughts on how we can retain humans like this...
In a previous post, I declared the site that likes to throw BOOKs at people's FACEs to be dead. Though that may be a premature statement, I think we've got a shot.
Just like Ubuntu has a Bug #1 that will be fixed in my lifetime, so will Diaspora (or something very similar to it) fix the current sorry state of centralized data collection.
Diaspora is not done yet. In fact, it has only just begun. And, it needs us to help make it awesome, just like Ubuntu.
Want to join Diaspora and see what all the fuss is about? Send me an email: randall at executiv dot es and I'll send you an invitation. Easy stuff.
Ubuntu developers: I'd love to get rolling on tighter integration of social networks like Diaspora with Ubuntu. If this appeals to you too, please send me a note and let's start changing the world.
Thanks everyone who already emailed me. You should all have your invites now and be enjoying Diaspora. Please remember to share the fun with your family and loved ones too. Diaspora thrives when everyone is there.
This has been a long time coming.
Good riddance Facebook. You will not be missed.
Yes, this is a re-post. I didn't realize that the Alpha was closed. Want an invite? Send me an email: randall at executiv dot es
Welcome to the continuing story about what happens when an Ubuntu local community meets great software and decides to help make it more accessible.
The Ubuntu Vancouver Local Community believes that one barrier to the widespread adoption of Ubuntu's ethos and its collection of outstanding software is a shortage of well-written and accessible user guides. Guides that make people say "Wow! I didn't know Ubuntu is that easy. I didn't know Ubuntu could make my life easier and more fun!"
The Ubuntu Software Center is one of the most important components of Ubuntu. It's the entry point for new users into the universe of excellent software that is written with freedom in mind. It's our delivery channel. It's an Ubuntu first (now copied by a fruit company), and it's full of amazing.
With that in mind, back in the winter of 2011 I set out to catalyze the creation of the first comprehensive guide to the Ubuntu Software Center written primarily for the benefit of those coming from the world of proprietary, community-less software where random apps are downloaded from random web sites. My second small spark to hopefully light a massive bonfire. (Unity was the first in this one-two punch.)
With the help of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) we, Charlene Tessier and I, identified a talented technical writer, Courtney Loo, to partner with us and to help new users get software the easy and fun way.
Many months later, dozens of edits, a few curve-balls thrown at us by the world, and here we are! I am happy to announce that our first Ubuntu Software Center guide is complete and ready for you and the people you know that are new to Ubuntu. The creation of this guide really was a second labour of love, and I hope the results will speak accordingly.
Special thanks to the Ubuntu Software Center Team for making USC a delight.
This guide is dedicated to Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt), Ubuntu visionary. Thank you for helping to make the world a better place.
Want to Help?
All Ubuntu community members are invited to help make UVLC's guides even better and to help get them into the hands of even more people. The Ubuntu Software Center team needs you, and so does your own Ubuntu local community. Join one today and help change the world.
Yesterday, I submitted irrefutable photo evidence to the Planet that hosting an Ubuntu Global Jam event in your city can lead to a ton of fun and lots of smiles.
Actually, I made that up. The reality is that Ubuntu Global Jams are dead serious affairs. At a UGJ event, one shouldn't expect anything but intense labour and stress.
And more proof?
And yet more?
See! There are strict rules about what can and cannot be done in the name of humanity to others. Please always be serious when practicing Ubuntu :)
No humans were harmed during the application of jam. Please do not attempt this at home. If jam is applied to your face, please remain calm.