Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 45

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 45 for the week June 10th - June 16th, 2007. In this issue we cover Mark's reply about a possible Microsoft deal, Gutsy translation opening, an interview with Matthew East and much more.

UWN Translations

In This Issue

  • Mark debunks rumour of Microsoft patent deal
  • Gutsy translation open
  • New developer forum on ubuntuforums.org
  • Interview with Matthew East, new Community Council member
  • In the Press & In the Blogosphere
  • Upcoming Meetings
  • Bug information
  • Security and updates information

General Community News

Mark debunks rumour of Microsoft patent deal

Recent rumours that Canonical might be signing a deal with Microsoft, similar to the patent deal that Novell, Xandros, Linspire and others have signed, was debunked by Mark this week in his blog. Mark stated, "We have declined to discuss any agreement with Microsoft under the threat of unspecified patent infringements". Speaking further about the OpenXML spec, he stated having "no confidence in Microsoft’s OpenXML specification to deliver a vibrant, competitive and healthy market of multiple implementations". However, Mark did not rule out any future participation with Microsoft provided they "adopt a position of constructive engagement with the free software community". You can read the full blog post at http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/127.

Gutsy translations are open!

If you’re an Ubuntu translator, you can get to work on Ubuntu Gutsy straight away!
Simply visit: https://translations.launchpad.net/u.../+translations

Thanks to some great work from the Launchpad Translations team, Ubuntu translations will now open much earlier in the development cycle.
The Launchpad Translations team can now import new Ubuntu release translation strings without taking Launchpad offline. This means that translations for future Ubuntu releases will open as soon as the Ubuntu developer team is ready.

For more details, please read Matthew Revell's email: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/la...ne/001574.html and the fridge announcement: http://fridge.ubuntu.com/node/1010

New Developers forum on ubuntuforums.org

We have a new sub-forum on UF: the Dev Link Forum within the current Development (Gutsy Gibbon) forum.
The rationale is to allow developers to request feedback from the forum userbase without all the noise.

Developers can start threads, and regular members are welcome to comment and give feed-back.

Please see the dev sub-forum at: http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=265 and the "gnash 0.8.0 + easy-codec-install in gutsy" thread asac started yesterday at: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=2853762.

You can subscribe to the ubuntuforums.org via RSS at: http://ubuntuforums.org/cv_rss_feeds.php

Keep it up!

Interview of the Week
This week we interview Matthew East, one of the recently appointed Community Council members.

UWN reporter: Since when have you been member of the Ubuntu community?

Matthew East: I tried out Ubuntu towards the end of 2004 but didn't begin to use it as
my main system immediately because I was too hooked on gentoo. In those
days I was a student so had plenty of time to play around with my system
and research/fix problems that arose. Eventually I began to get busier
and needed to spend less time maintaining my computers, so I moved to
Ubuntu. I became involved in the Ubuntu community quite soon after
beginning to use it regularly in around March 2005 as I was drawn into
helping out with the newly born Italian community. Quickly I became
involved in the documentation team as well and became a member in May 2005.

UWN: What do you think the next year will look like for Ubuntu?

ME: The next year should be quite exciting for Ubuntu. First of all, in
terms of adoption Ubuntu is beginning to flourish and get into the
mainstream news more and more often. Secondly, in terms of quality I
feel that Ubuntu 7.04 was a big step forward and the next two release
cycles will build on that nicely towards a long term release, which I
hope will be something really special.

UWN: What do you think can be improved in the Ubuntu community?

ME: Two main things at the moment. First, intra-community communication -
now that the community is very large, teams need to work harder to
communicate with each other and to make everyone in the community aware
of what work they are doing and how others can help. The UWN is
absolutely essential in helping this happen.
Secondly, the relationship between Canonical and the community needs
some work. Often, each does not know enough as it needs to about what
the other is doing. It's a difficult balance to get right because there
are a number of private aspects to Canonical's work, but I hope that we
will be able to work to get that balance right over the coming months.
The fact that there are now a few Community Council members (including
myself) who do not work at Canonical and are coming from a purely
community perspective should help with this.

UWN: What are you most active in the community?

ME: I am heavily involved in the documentation team in terms of team
management and administration. I'm the contact for the Italian local
team and am involved in high level issues in that team. I'm an editor of
the Ubuntu website and a Fridge editor, although I don't do much work
for the Fridge at the moment.

In The Press

  • Marie Boran, of Independent.ie, provides a biography of Mark Shuttleworth and his work with Ubuntu. Talking about Ubuntu, Mark says: “Of all the things that I have taken on, this is the most challenging, and the thing that should potentially bring about the best changes in open source movement.” While many think Linux is complicated, “Linux is something that can bring extraordinary potential to the lives of people who don’t think of themselves as experts.” Marie points out though Mark is wealthy and has "achieved a great amount for the open source community, he is modest enough to know his place in the grand scheme of things." Read more at http://www.independent.ie/business/t...an-701637.html

  • Mathew Newton, at PC World, reviews Ubuntu 7.04. PC World has ranked Ubuntu among their list of Best Products of the Year for the last two years. Ubuntu 7.04 is described as "a few major new features, and distinguishes itself mainly with its continued focus on usability, especially for newcomers to Linux." The review mentions the Live CD, partitioning and migration of files from Windows, and the wealth of applications installed. Mathew notes that many have predicted the advent of Linux on the desktop, and "Feisty Fawn is exactly the sort of polished, friendly release that is necessary to make the dream a reality." Read more at http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,13...x/article.html

  • Computerworld interviews Mark Shuttleworth and discusses how he became interested in Linux and cultural tidal waves. Mark was introduced to Slackware at university and was amazed at the wealth of available tools. Linux was pivotal in the success of Thawte. Similar to tidal waves, the Internet and FOSS are sweeping through society and making changes to everything. Mark points out that the concept of collaboration has a stigma, but the Internet and FOSS is proving that shared work "can become more valuable than something that is closely held, as long as it is both shared and contributed to by everybody who is sharing in it." Read more at http://www.computerworld.com/action/...intsrc=kc_feat

  • Jason Brooks reports for eWeek that Dell machines with Ubuntu preloaded are now shipping. He reports that while it is too early to tell whether or not shipping Ubuntu is a success, Jason is pleased by the price, information about Ubuntu and level of support. On the price, he is pleased that they are less than the equivalent Windows machines but is concerned that the limited selection of only three models might be too narrow to appeal to buyers. On getting information to the buying public, he says, "In particular, I'm impressed with the five-minute 'Linux 101' video that's available for viewing on Dell's Ubuntu launch page" and that he might even direct people who ask about Linux to that video. Lastly, he is pleased that the laptops ship with repair partitions and diagnostics tools as with their Windows equivalents. You can read the whole article at http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2144791,00.asp

  • Adrian Kingsley-Hughes at Datamation figures Dell selling Ubuntu preinstalled will not increase Linux marketshare as predicted due to flaws in the way Dell has implemented the deal. While encouraged they chose Ubuntu, he says the Ideastorm page is "a pressure group", not a cross section of customers. He also comments on the lack of models offered and further comments that only Ubuntu was chosen, not multiple distros. The price difference, around $50 USD, "doesn’t seem like much at all, considering what you get." He also comments on the lack of support for multimedia codecs and free phone support, when compared to Windows machines. Overall, he states "It’s no wonder that Dell isn’t expecting to sell many of these rigs.". You can read the whole article at http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osr...le.php/3682576.

  • Borys Musielak from polishlinux.org finds 7.04 "cool, fresh and very unstable". In a short review, he states he likes that the fonts have gotten nicer and Open``Office.org 2.2 is faster to load documents while still remaining "like a turtle" in starting up. Aside from the specific issue of Liferea, the author goes on to complain about general instability, something few other reviews have commented on. He states "Unfortunately it isn’t stable enough to recommend it for real work. For this purpose I would go for version 6.06 Dapper Drake" and hopes that the release policy will change from "let’s release it on time, anything we have” to "let’s release it when it’s ready. I mean really ready". You can find the full review at http://polishlinux.org/linux/ubuntu/...-and-unstable/

  • Carla Schroder at Server``Watch reviewed Edubuntu this week, saying "When you need to set up a computer lab, classroom or meeting room in a hurry, look no further than Edubuntu." In this short review, she talks about how you can reuse old computers, giving specs on the requirements as well as some of the more specific steps needed to get your lab up and running. She states "literally all you'll have to do is start the server, then start the clients." You can read the full review at http://www.serverwatch.com/tutorials...le.php/3682596

  • Nathan Sanders contributed a guest article on Ubuntu's Google Summer of Code projects to Linux Weekly News (LWN) at the end of May, and it has now been made freely available. Since "Ubuntu's GSoC projects are too numerous to explore comprehensively here", he covered five projects, contacting the students and mentors of each and writing up a short piece on their plans and progress. You can read the full article at http://lwn.net/Articles/236142/

In The Blogosphere

  • 1-2-3-reg, a large UK webhosting company, wrote about their decision to offer Ubuntu 6.06 LTS on their hosted server. Speaking on their company blog, they were pleased to see a customer already giving them praise for this decision, talking about how it is key that they can "rely on it long term", saying "what you want is boring predictability and stability, knowing that you can trust it to keep serving your website for years to come" rather than the 6 month release cycle Ubuntu follows. Another key deciding factor for them was the ability to freely download Ubuntu, allowing users to run the same OS on their home machine as their hosted machine. You can read the full blog post at http://inside.123-reg.co.uk/archives/why-ubuntu-linux/.

  • Another blogger is pleased with the LTS component of 6.06, saying "not everybody wants to upgrade all the time". In a short blog post entitled "A (Ubuntu) Dapper Day," CLICK talks about finding GNOME just as snappy as Xfce and how WINE worked well. You can read the full blog at http://www.insidesocal.com/click/200...apper_day.html.

  • Two bloggers commented this week wondering where their Dell machines were. The All about Ubuntu blog wonders where the computer is, given it was ordered on May 27th. In the comments section, you can see that a "richardatdell" said that he was looking into it. In a followup post, the blogger explains that while he is sad he machine will not ship until June 19th, he is glad they are "everywhere online", commenting on users blogs about the issue. You can read those two blog posts at http://allaboutubuntu.wordpress.com/...eres-my-order/ and http://allaboutubuntu.wordpress.com/...eres-my-order/.

  • TechIQ also picked up the story, with The VAR guy wondering if something strange was going on at Dell. He too commented on the fact that Dell left a comment on the All about Ubuntu blog, saying it was "The sliver of hope in all this". He later updated his blog post to say he had been contacted by Dell and that the computer The VAR guy had ordered had been shipped, saying "No explanation on what caused the delay. But the system is in transit. Once it arrives, The VAR Guy will gloat a bit before booting it up and sharing some observations with readers." You can read it all at http://techiqmag.com/2007/06/13/dell...x-pcs-delayed/

  • On the subject of spreading Ubuntu further into the world, we have two related blogs this week. The first is from Google's Summer of Code blog talking about spreading Ubuntu and Open Source in Africa. Wojciech Gryc, working on Open``Office.org for GSoC has also been helping youth newspapers in Chad and Kenya switch to Ubuntu for writing their papers. You can read more at http://googlesummerofcode.blogspot.c...in-africa.html

  • Eric Lee, a trade union activist, also blogged about switching from Windows XP to Ubuntu, stating there are 5 good reasons to switch to Linux: cost (he mentions the Dell deal), legality, security, ideologically, and lastly and most importantly "because you can". He says in closing, "It's time for unions to save their members' money, to make their offices more efficient and secure, and to support the free and open source software movement. It's time for unions to switch over to Ubuntu Linux." You can read the full blog post at http://www.ericlee.info/2007/06/ubun...he_unions.html.

Meetings and Events

Sunday, June 17, 2007
==== Georgia US LoCo meeting ====

==== Catalan LoCo meeting ====

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
==== Technical Board Meeting ====

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
==== Edubuntu Meeting ====

Thursday, June 21, 2007
==== Mozilla Team Meeting ====

==== Ubuntu Development Team Meeting ====
  • Start: 20:00
  • End: 22:00
  • Location: #ubuntu-meeting

Friday, June 22, 2007
==== Forums Council Meeting ====

Saturday, June 23, 2007
==== Ubuntu US LoCo Team Meeting ====

Updates and security for 6.06, 6.10, and 7.04

Security Updates

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Updates

Ubuntu 6.10 Updates

Ubuntu 7.04 Updates

Bug Stats

  • Open (30193) -78 # over last week
  • Critical (26) +1 # over last week
  • Unconfirmed (14985) -235 # over last week
  • Unassigned (22519) -159 # over last week
  • All bugs ever reported (105891) +1171 # over last week

As always, the Bug Squad needs more help. If you want to get started, please see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HelpingWithBugs

Check out the bug statistics: http://people.ubuntu-in.org/~carthik/bugstats/

Archives and RSS Feed

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Additional Ubuntu News

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See you next week!


The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Corey Burger
  • Nick Ali
  • Isabelle Duchatelle
  • Martin Albisetti


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