Support open source games, donate to 0 A.D.

0 A.D. is an awesome cross-platform game that is fun, has stunning graphics and is completely open source.
There’s even a PPA for Ubuntu.
It works wonderfully on both my laptops.

They are looking for a round of donations to pay for some more development work, and as of this moment they’re $634 USD short. I’ve just sent $50 their way.
If you’ve got a few bucks to spare, please send some money their way. Or maybe you want to get into some development work, they have detailed instructions on how to do just that!

Calling all Ubuntu power users: Upgrade to Ubuntu Precise Pangolin today!

It may of been a bit below the radar, but it was announced that for 12.04 LTS, there would be an improved focus on stability throughout the whole development cycle so more people could use it early on and catch problems with more time to fix them. There’s a specific team dedicated to making this happen for all subsequent releases from now on.

This release is probably the most important of them all. We’re releasing an LTS that will be supported for 5 years, that means it’ll be around until 2017!
Different people will help out in making it awesome in different ways, but one we can all help with is upgrading to Precise today. And I do mean today. I’ve upgraded all my computers, including my work laptop and it’s all generally running smoother than 11.10. And if it isn’t, file a bug with the relevant information, that’s what you upgraded for  🙂

So if you’ve been unsure about upgrading, please take the plunge and help out in making 12.04 a rock-solid release.

Ubuntu members over time

During the Community Council meeting yesterday we were talking about the general health and excitement levels of the community, and whether we were loosing a lot of members. I had a vague memory of us (Canonical) having an internal graph of number of members on the ~ubuntumember team, and I dug it up to see what story it told. As it turns out, it’s a very positive and healthy one \o/
Here’s the graph of number of Ubuntu members over time (there’s no data prior to Sept 2007):

Ubuntu member growth

Note that the curve starts to really go up around May of 2008, that’s when the membership boards took over member approvals from the Community Council.

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.