The media continues to miss the story. There! I said it again. Don't believe me? Set up a recurring Google search for Ubuntu and see what pops up every day.
My good friend Charles spotted yet another article (which I shall not point to) today that picks on a perceived weakness of Ubuntu. In this case, the author was referring to the lack of Ubuntu local community in his area (greater Seattle, USA). Though I think the author missed the bigger points (1: we're working on it, and 2: he can help), I am somewhat happy that at least one person dared take the challenge to report that "Ubuntu is not just software." Score one small victory for the underdogs!
Overall though, I'm still tired of this. Really tired of this. Name a project that has more "awesome" than Ubuntu. Go ahead, I dare you.
Yesterday at UDS-R, I bumped into the amazing David Planella from the Ubuntu Community Team. We (Ubuntu folk) likely all know that David and the rest of the team recently did a 24-hour Ubuntu marathon for charity. What we probably didn't realize is that not one journalist (from the usual big sites) bothered to report the story.
So, how do we get the media to catch on? Good question! Today at UDS-R, I'm hosting a session to discuss this.
I hope you'll join me and add your thoughts. (And, if you're reading this after the session, chime in either in the blueprint or the comments.)
The Blog-o-thon is on! For the next 24-hours, expect plenty of mayhem on Planet Ubuntu.
Day 2 at UDS has begun, and by now you all have met the team behind the scenes. You know, the always friendly and awesome folks who make sure the event runs smoothly, make sure that you get your badges, goodie-bags, and all the other logistics that go into making a large event a success.
If you are at UDS, I hope you will take a minute to drop by the registration areas and say a big thank you to them. Maybe even bring some chocolates ;)
Are you at UDS? Met some amazing people? Blog about it!
The often misunderstood UDS-R Crew can be an intimidating force, especially given that they are armed (2 arms to be precise!), and lead by the arguably the toughest Ubuntu community member on the block: Chris Johnston.
If you were up early enough today, and at UDS in Copenhagen, you likely saw the "wall of orange" carefully guiding participants to the auditorium, and answering tough first-day questions like:
"Where are the meetings?"
"Where do I get my badge?"
"Where are the bathrooms?"
"When will Ubuntu phone be released?"
One of the things that I really enjoy is the camradarie that is built at UDS. The UDS Crew is but one example of people coming together to build a team and make UDS (and Ubuntu) better.
As sessions started, the crew assigned to the day made sure that all the meeting rooms were signed and that no one got lost. This fun will continue throughout the week.
In just a couple hours, at the opening party, we'll be your source of correct-answer stickers for the "top-secret" contest. So, if you see us walking around, please come over and say hi. Introduce yourself. Bring answers!
We're not what you think ;) We're armed (with stickers) and we're friendly.
Have an example of a fun team you've been part of at UDS? Write about it!
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/