• Community Council

    So, it seems my nomination to the Community Council has been accepted  \o/   It caught me a bit by surprise, so I’m struggling to add information to my wiki page again (it’s been 4 years since I last touched it!).
    The current list of nominees is awesome, so I’m very happy that no matter what the results are it’s going to be a great board.

    I wanted to share why I’d like to fill this position at this point in time with everybody so you know what you’re voting for  🙂

    My main concern right now is the decrease in motivation I’ve seen in some places in the community, which is counter-intuitive because there’s more to do today than ever.
    I’d like to get to the bottom of why this is happening and turn it around. I want to find new, exciting and clearly articulated goals for us to achieve and continue working on all the delicate balances we have between upstreams, Canonical, and Ubuntu.

    I’d also like to find ways to more clearly document the different uses people have for Ubuntu and make sure either the default install is addressing them, or when impossible, communities are formed around spinning off the needed changes into its own thing to keep people productive and happy.

    These are ambitious and hard things to do, but that’s the case for most things worth doing.


    P.S. I’m going to be on a plane from London to Buenos Aires when the results get announced!

  • Ubuntu One Files for Android released!

    After a long and interesting journey, today we’ve released Ubuntu One Files for Android.

    The app started being developed by Michał Karnicki as a Google Summer of Code project, and he did such a fantastic job at it that we hired him on full time and teamed him up Chad Miller to end up releasing a fantastically polished app. It got immediately featured in the press!
    It was built on top of our public APIs, documented here: https://one.ubuntu.com/developer/

    Besides it letting you access all your files stored in Ubuntu One, it has a very cool feature to auto-sync all the pictures on your phone, having an instant backup of them, and a convenient place to share them!

    I’m super proud of the work we put out.

    Also, as with all the rest of our clients, it’s open source and you can get it in Launchpad

  • Thunderbird will be default in Oneiric (11.10), maybe

    A very healthy and civilised session about switching to Thunderbird by default just ended here in the Ubuntu Developer Summit, and the outcome was that if the Thunderbird developers manage to do some needed work (to be defined) by a certain time in our cycle (to be defined), we will ship Oneiric and more importantly, the 12.04 LTS with Thunderbird by default.

    The bits I can remember that need to be done are:
    – Evolution data server integration
    – Tighter integration with Unity
    – Shrink the size of the overall application so it fits in the CD
    – A good upgrade story
    – Migration plan for Evolution users

    We will also make sure it ships with integration with contacts in Ubuntu One, thanks to James Tait’s head start with the Hedera project.

    I’m a big fan of Thunderbird, so I’ll be doing my best to help them achieve their goals  🙂

  • Looking for a CSS/HTML guru to work on Ubuntu One

    In the last few months, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to hire some exceptional people that were contributing to Ubuntu One in their free time. Every time someone comes in from the community, filled with excitement about being able to work on their pet project full time my job gets that much better.
    So, everyone say hello to James Tait and Michał Karnicki!

    Now we’re looking for a new team member to help us make the Ubuntu One website awesome. Someone who knows CSS and HTML inside out, cares deeply about doing things the best way possible and is passionate about their work.

    If you’re interested or know anyone who may, the job posting is up on Canonical’s website.

  • Ubuntu, Natty and Unity

    I have to confess, after I heard I found out we where shipping Unity in Ubuntu by default I was nervous. I got asked many times what my feelings were, and I think I generally dodged the question. This was a pretty risky move, which we are still a few months away from finding out how well the risk pays off.
    Given that a lot of the design behind Unity wasn’t done in the open and hadn’t had a long time to mature, I’ve been sceptical of whether we  (as in, the Ubuntu project) could pull of such a massive change in a such a short period of time, and still have happy users.

    I’ve been using Unity on and off on my netbook (which is my secondary computer), but while enjoying a long weekend I’ve spent the last few days using it a lot, and my feeling towards the it have changed quite a bit.

    I think it was the right decision. Overall, it feels like an overall improved experience, even with its current rough edges. Exactly what I think we need to win over a wider audience and have them fall in love with Ubuntu head over heels. Everything is starting to feel much more tightly integrated and with a purpose, as well as some eye-candy sprinkled in a lot of the right places.
    I’m really glad Canonical decided to invest to heavily in such a risky and insanely complicated task, Natty is probably one of the most exciting releases I can remember.

    There are still a few key challenges ahead, most notably to me is making the design process more open and inclusive, but still being able to deliver something that feels polished and not a pile of consensus between people who have gotten good at arguing. The Ayatana community does seem to be slowly growing, though, so the future looks pretty bright. Getting the right balance between Canonical and a community around design feels like one of the hardest problems to solve, luckily, Canonical continues to hire the brightest and most enthusiastic minds around, so I’m sure it will eventually feel like a solved problem.

    I think it’s been almost 6 years since I landed in the Ubuntu world, I’ve done all kinds of things in the community ranging from starting and building the Argentine LoCo to editing the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, to evaluating new Ubuntu members in the Americas region. With its ups and down, great press and wild controversies, it still feels like the best place to be.

  • UbuCon 2010 – Argentina edition!

    After toying with the idea for a while now, the Argentina LoCo has finally announced that we’ll be hosting UbuCon 2010 in Buenos Aires, on November 19 and 20th of 2010 (yes, in 9 days!).

    The schedule is up here: http://www.ubucon.org.ar/ (in spanish)

    If you’re around, and would like to attend, I suggest signing up, as the available space is limited.

    Thanks to the Universidad de Palermo, Canonical, EXO, Cronon, OpenSA and Academias Linux for sponsoring and making this event possible.

    See you all there!

  • Open source is awesome

    I am ZOMG very tired from the exciting release for Ubuntu One, but I wanted to highlight a very pleasant surprise.
    We launched the Ubuntu One Music Streaming a week ago, and yesterday, while hadn’t yet publicly released, we got a patch that adds support to tell last.fm the music you are listing from the Android app.

    A big thank you to Scott Ferguson for being so awesome.

  • Exciting changes in Ubuntu One

    Matt Griffin has written a great blog post, so I’m just going to echo it:

    After over a year’s worth of feedback from users like you and a clear view of where we want to take Ubuntu One in the future, we’ve just made some changes to the Ubuntu One service offering and pricing plans.

    For starters, we will no longer offer the 50 GB plan to new subscribers. Everyone will get the basic plan and then have the option to add various ‘add-ons’ of services and storage as needed. But here are the details:

    Ubuntu One Basic – available now
    This is the same as the current free 2 GB option but with a new name. Users can continue to sync files, contacts, bookmarks and notes for free as part of our basic service and access the integrated Ubuntu One Music Store. We are also extending our platform support to include a Windows client, which will be available in Beta very soon.

    Ubuntu One Mobile – available October 7th
    Ubuntu One Mobile is our first example of a service that helps you do more with the content stored in your personal cloud. With Ubuntu One Mobile’s main feature – mobile music streaming – users can listen to any MP3 songs in their personal cloud (any owned MP3s, not just those purchased from the Ubuntu One Music Store) using our custom developed apps for iPhone and Android (coming soon to their respective marketplaces). These will be open source and available from Launchpad. Ubuntu One Mobile will also include the mobile contacts sync feature that was launched in Beta for the 10.04 release.

    Ubuntu One Mobile is available for $3.99 (USD) per month or $39.99 (USD) per year. Users interested in this add-on can try the service free for 30 days. Ubuntu One Mobile will be the perfect companion to your morning exercise, daily commute, and weekend at the beach – we’re really excited to bring you this service!

    Ubuntu One 20-Packs – available now
    A 20-Pack is 20 GB of storage for files, contacts, notes, and bookmarks. Users will be able to add multiple 20-Packs at $2.99 (USD) per month or $29.99 (USD) per year each. If you start with Ubuntu One Basic (2 GB) and add 1 20-Pack (20 GB), you will have 22 GB of storage.

    All add-ons are available for purchase in multiple currencies – USD, EUR and, recently added, GBP.

    Users currently paying for the old 50 GB plan (including mobile contacts sync) can either keep their existing service or switch to the new plans structure to get more value from Ubuntu One at a lower price.

    We know that you will enjoy these new add-ons as well as the performance enhancements we’ve made to Ubuntu One in recent months. If you have questions, our recently updated support area is a great place to start. There you’ll find a link to the current status of Ubuntu One services, a link to our frequently updated list of frequently asked questions, and a way to send us a direct message. As always, you can also ping the team on IRC (#ubuntuone in freenode). We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions.

  • Ubuntu One Music Streaming public beta!

    After a solid 6 months of work, music streaming is up for public testing!  \o/

    Read the full announcement for all the details, and go see the wiki page on how to sign up.

  • No, we are not infringing any licenses

    We spend a lot of time making sure we’re not violating any licenses, and usually work with upstream early on. Charlie Smotherman got confused about how we had implemented music streaming and filed a bug reporting a violation. I’d encourage anyone who even suspects there may be a license violation to report a bug or contact us as soon as possible, but maybe hold off on the inflammatory blog posts  😉
    We’ve contacted him explaining all this but he seems to not had a chance to update his claims so I’m bringing this up now.

    Nobody on the Ubuntu One team commented on any of his blog posts either. Ampache seems like a nice piece of software and even some people on the Ubuntu One team use it. We chose to go with Subsonic clients (we are not using any of the server pieces as it doesn’t fit with our infrastructure) because the API seemed to be very nice, the existing clients where very nice to use, and all upstream developers where friendly and happy to help us release the service.

    I’m sorry if any feelings got hurt, but there’s no need to lash out like that.

    For future reference, the whole team hangs out in #ubuntuone on Freenode.