From GNU/Linux to Warhammer & back again!
My last article saw details of GIMP being removed from the default packaging of 10.04LTS and whilst its not yet decided what its replacement will be, Im sure there will be a whole host of reasons put forward why it should be a Mono one. That aside, what we do understand is that 10.04 will be is a long term support version.
Canonical are reporting that LPIA will no longer be supported which has been reported in detail here and since it has no bearing on my Ubuntu requirements (and apparently not many others either), I’ll move on.
Interestingly its being rumoured that there may be some affiliated online music store included in the release which is great news if true and shows that Canonical are thinking more about the Linux platform as a viable mainstream product. How this will manifest itself in 10.04 (if it does) is not certain at the moment. The following was said on the subject:
The Lucid music store project aims to deliver the ability to purchase music from within a desktop music player.
There apparently is no official partner for the music store and Ive yet to find any information on the often hot topic of DRM or other anti-sharing technologies being employed. Further details about the music store can be found here.
Ubuntu One continues to go from strength to strength. I have been using it since the beta test invite and can see that being another decent revenue stream for Canonical who appear to have been delivering an out of the box platform for many years with little reward.
Of course with every Ubuntu release comes the promise of faster boot-times, so we are not disappointed when we hear that 10.04 is aiming for a 10 second boot up and in addition to the faster boot times, you can guarantee that the calls surrounding “the ugly brown theme” will start up again!
We can be certain that 10.04 will not be shipping with Gnome 3.0, firstly because its release is rumoured to be not until September 2010 and secondly because its unlikely that Canonical would ship a brand new release with an LTS and risk unforeseen bugs/issues.
Computing in the cloud is rumoured to be more of a part of the Ubuntu desktop and contrary to the suggestions from the visiting Microsoft advocate to this blog (Andre Da Costa), cloud computing is upon us and I think the “amount” on the cloud will only increase. Although as far as they are concerned it’s not happening unless its offered by Microsoft (IMO)
The Hardy Heron was a mainstay on a couple of my rigs and in respect of the Ubuntu upgrade process, I prefer to stick with the LTS. That being said I recently upgraded my Heron machine to the Koala which will remain in place until 10.04 has settled in the community for a few months. 8.04LTS has still a decent user base in my opinion and there are several current distro’s still derived from it. Gnewsense springs to mind (which was looked at here a few months ago)
I must admit I didn’t have high expectations on an upgrade to 9.10 (Gnome) since 8.04 is on 4 year old hardware and its not getting any younger. Maybe its because of a acceptance of others platforms where an upgrade of software usually was followed by an upgrade of hardware. I expected a few annoying bug fixes to be remedied, but the main reason for the upgrade was the rig testing Ubuntu One had long since been replaced with another distro I was looking at.
9.10 came as a surprise in that it was smoother, quicker and once the teething issues were sorted out (as per my original article) I was very happy with the experience and has certainly removed some of my concerns when 10.04LTS comes around.
As is always the case, speculation, campaigns, complaints and “good advice” are in abundance for Canonical to digest and consider, however what strikes me as different now, what with the decision of GIMP removal, Ubuntu One’s development and talk of online music stores, Canonical seems to have a more planed future and Im not sure if that involves as much input from the community. Thats no bad thing either. I think that if Canonical and Ubuntu want to represent Linux as a viable competitor to Windows then they need to start grabbing the “bull by the horns”. I base this opinion on the survey results so far on Ubuntu’s forum regarding GIMP. Despite the survey results appearing to conflict with the Canonical stance, they are going ahead with the removal anyway. That to me suggests a firmer business plan. Time will tell what its replaced with.
Firstly we will look at a negative comment taken from a discussion group, which is very similar to any comment attempting to cheapen Linux or indeed Ubuntu:
Linux on desktops is just a toy OS that is essentially in a perpetual “beta” state… forever destined to live in the shadow of Windows… unable to crack the 2% market share…..
Which whilst I strongly disagree with, at least the claimed market share has been increased (according to other detractors its less than 1% – although Steve Ballmer at a recent meeting seemed to have it higher than 2%). I do find a little truth in this “posters” comment in that I think the 6 month release cycle is damaging to the image of Ubuntu. I think people who haven’t used it properly (or at all) will see the 6 monthly releases as some sort of admittion that its not fit for purpose and is in a constant state of repair. As I said above, I had 8.04 running on one of my rigs for a considerable time and if I look back to when I had a Windows platform as mainstay in my home, I spend more time fixing/tinkering with it then I ever have with Linux (and thats any distro).
Now some more positive anticipation/comments of the LTS (taken from Mr Shuttleworths Youtube comments):
Ubuntu is getting better and better in every release, I’ll never go back to Microsh*t Windows again, Linux has saved me alot of money, time, headaches, etc. Just everything is at your fingertips I love it!
I’ve been a Windows user until three years ago when a friend told me about the alternatives. Since then, aside from me, a lot of friends switched to Ubuntu at my recommendation.
and it seems even the Youtube commenter is talking about Microsoft and their alleged actions:
Have you not heard about the classes microsoft gave to bestbuy employees? I’d say they already consider it a threat
i love to hear this, and please think about new icons and make gnome compositing work better, for the rest, congratulations, you are making linux very popular nowadays…!!!
So as usual the next version of Ubuntu is being welcomed. You can download an alpha for yourself (if you are wanting to do a little testing of your own)
 – Being on the receiving end of a pro Mono comment can be quite offensive. I have experienced numerous occasions where voicing concerns about Mono have been met with insults and vulgarity. After running this blog for over a year I think I know my reader-base a little. Ive found that the two area’s which cause hatred/abuse to be posted (in some cases) come when I write about Mono or Microsoft. Please, check back on this blog and see for yourself. Strange? A coincidence? I’ll let you decide.
 – Its often very easy to tell how viable an alternative is to its Microsoft counterpart by the amount of challenges, incorrect information or merely abuse. Ubuntu news/releases always provoke a massive amount of anti-Linux posts. Comp.os.linux.advocacy is a good example, where one “user” there crawls the Ubuntu forums and re-prints any complaints he finds in an attempt to “prove” Ubuntu is not fit for purpose.
and as a late addition here are some theme concepts:
Goblin – email@example.com