Tag Archives: YourWay

10 + 2 things you’ll get with Ubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex”

A quick resume of what the most important (IMHO) things users will get with the next Ubuntu release: Intrepid Ibex. If you want to check the whole list please visit Intrepid’s blueprints.

1. faster login
The time that ubuntu takes to go from the gdm login prompt to an usuable desktop is too long, it will be faster.

2. better Flash experience
Intrepid will ship improved plugin finder wizard experience, better experience for sites that use the flash detection kit and improved user-experience for selection of available alternatives.

Probably we’ll also have the final Flash 10 shipped with Intrepid.

3. 3G networking
Title says it all, Intrepid will have built-in support for 3G networking with the new NetworkManager.

4. guest account
It is very common to lend someone else a laptop for a quick email check, or having one’s computer play music and be a surf station on a party.

Instead of requiring people to create guest accounts with widely known or empty passwords, Ubuntu will set up a locked down guest account with a temporary home directory by default, where an existing user must authenticate the start of a guest session. This avoids passwordless accounts, which are a security threat.

5. Clean up cruft from system, especially after upgrades
When systems are upgraded from release to release to release, and especially if they are upgraded frequently during development of next release, they gather a lot of cruft: unused packages, old kernels, etc. Intrepid will have a tool to remove cruft, based on what update-manager already does, and extending that.

6. Automatic download of printer drivers through the internet
The printer setup tool of Ubuntu 8.10 and later will automatically download LSB-packaged printer drivers from the OpenPrinting database. This way there will be no need to ship all drivers on the CDs, Intrepid will be prepared for printers being launched after our release or being supported only by closed-source drivers which we are not allowed to distribute or driver updates.

7. font selector
Fontconfig offers a variety of font related settings, which can currently only be modified by hacking a XML file together. Intrepid will have a GUI for this task, taking common settings like font ordering, antialiasing, hinting and embedded bitmaps into account, as those settings vary greatly depending on different users’ preferences.

8. faster installation from desktop DVD
Modifications to ubiquity and apt as well as triggerisation of packages in order to minimize the extra time needed by the installer when dealing with the larger set of packages found on the desktop DVD image.

9. installation from USB stick
An application will be developed to convert and write Ubuntu CD images to USB disks. In addition, Ubuntu’s existing tools will be modified to better handle installing from a removable disk.

10. new graphic for the installer
The visual design of Ubuntu’s installer has remained largely unchanged since its creation, however there are a number of areas where graphical aids will be beneficial.

and maybe (low priority):

What about the new graphic theme?
Intrepid alpha releases come with a new graphic theme for the GNOME environment but I couldn’t find a blueprint about that thus it’s not in the list.

UPDATE 1: I’d like to add a task to the wishlist: SOUND!!! In hardy sound it’s a big mess because some softwares (Flash) do not integrate with PulseAudio (this workaround does seem to be stable to me) and I constantly have to close applications to make sound work again :-(

UPDATE 2: A user told me that I forgot to write an important new feature: support for dmraid from the livecd, he’s completely right, I thought it was not so important to average users but probably I was wrong.

YourWay opens in a different way

YourWay is a commercial service by my company, born to allow customers to create their own Ubuntu based Linux distribution with just a few clicks on a web page.

After a long time freeze, we decided to change the approach to YourWay service, not just leaving the customer alone with his choices but making it a face to face service.

Why this change?
When our customers ask us to create a Linux distribution they want to have control of every small part of the process and of the result, thus we understood that a standardized approach would not work for YourWay.

So what do we have now?
A general description page of the service and a “get a free estimate” button. Clicking it will lead you to a cost-estimate request form, with some question that will help us understand your needs. After this step we’ll work face to face with the customers to take care of every little part of the project.

And what if I just need some easy tweaks?
What if a customer just needs “a standard Ubuntu plus support for his language plus a couple of applications”? This will be absolutely easy, quick and cheap, I swear :-)

And what if I’m an hardware reseller?
This is the most interesting part, we can build auto-installation Ubuntu based DVD to deploy your hardware quickly and easily!

Conclusions
Visit CreaLabs YourWay website and start building your own Ubuntu based Linux distribution!

Ubuntu delusion: BuildYourUbuntu.com won’t come to life, trademarks win, ideas lose

Introduction:

We (CreaLabs) are Ubuntu affiliate because of:

  1. some Ubuntu promotion/spreading activities
  2. 2 ubuntu derivative distros: ubuntu italian iso, ufficio zero
  3. Ubuntu Customization Kit

We constantly and actively support open source and free software with many projects (check crealabs.it for the list).

All of these projects were created and are maintained for free.

The new condition

Ubuntu affiliate program changed, actually some points of the new programs are not clear to me but I read

The other tracks have distinct revenue requirements for progression through them. These numbers are not being made public, but will help you understand the reasons for the tiers.

[cut]

The figures are the revenue that flows to Canonical from sales that you make. These sales can be made up from the range of Canonical services and future product offerings.
These may look initially high, but we have set the bar for the highest level quite high intentionally. Any partner that reaches gold tier has really earned it.

We have based the tiers on revenue to alleviate any potential entry fee to the programme.

I can’t really understand if we’ll have to pay to remain affiliate or not… anyway I hope more info will be given us.

The idea

We said “hey, if we’ll have to pay, let’s try building some real business on Ubuntu, so we can remain affiliate”.
Working on UCK the idea was easy, build a website where people can customize their Ubuntu adding software, language support and many other things and get their brand new shining DVD at home for a price.

I wanted to call that buildyourubuntu.com. It seem to us that’s really a good name, you can understand what the service do and that’s what we want.

A good business must have a good name, a good business would bring us revenue and we would give part of them to Canonical (we haven’t decided prices and revenues yet) for the affiliate program and would keep alive our free projects and maybe build other new free services.

The problem

Ubuntu is a trademark, we can’t use that name without a license.
We write to Canonical trademarks team.

The answer

After 3 weeks we get a “NO, you can’t use that name for your business, you could for a free service but not for a business one”.
Why? Because it could seem too “official” meaning “related to Canonical”.

Our delusion

How would you call a service that build a custom Ubuntu for you? Oh I don’t want to hear flickr/scriptaculous clones please.

The point is, I think I can say we do fair play with free software, it’s not right to avoid us the possibility to create a new original service that would also bring money to Ubuntu itself.

Sure we can call that service “BuildYourOs.com” or “BuildYourDistro.com” or “BuildYourLinux.com” but:

  1. it’s not clear: you can’t understand we’re ONLY talking about Ubuntu
  2. it’s simply ugly, if you work in marketing tell me if I’m wrong
  3. Linux is a trademark too thus you must gain a license to use the Linux name

Is my love for Ubuntu ruined?

Actually I don’t know, I’m feeling really sad right now.