Ubuntu Open Week - SABDFL Q+A - Mark Shuttleworth - Thu, Nov 6th, 2008

(10:01:17 AM) jcastro: This 2 hour block will be a Question and Answer with Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu
(10:01:31 AM) sabdfl: alrighty
(10:01:45 AM) jcastro: Question : First, thank you for all you do in Ubuntu.  Intrepid is the best release yet and I will continue to show my support for it.  Now for my question.  The wireless applet is working beautifully now!  How do you see the FCC's move to open up a wireless spectrum affecting Ubuntu?   And do you think it will be a problem implementing it?  Sorry for such a long question.  Cheers
(10:01:47 AM) sabdfl: thanks Jorge, it's a pleasure to be joining the Jorge-and-Jono show!
(10:02:20 AM) sabdfl: much credit for the wireless applet belongs upstream, where NM is developed
(10:02:33 AM) sabdfl: though the Ubuntu team has worked hard to smooth some rough edges, particularly on the new 3G pieces
(10:02:50 AM) sabdfl: i do think regulatory authorities around the world are getting smarter about wireless spectrum management
(10:03:15 AM) sabdfl: i think that's making it easier for wifi / bluetooth / 3g hardware manufacturers to support linux properly - i.e. with free software
(10:03:38 AM) sabdfl: i don't know if there are plans to make the new "TV whitespace" bandwidth usable from PC's and Linux
(10:03:58 AM) sabdfl: but since Linux now supports more devices than any other OS (stats are wonderful ;-)) the future looks bright
(10:04:04 AM) sabdfl: did that answer your Q ok?
(10:04:53 AM) sabdfl: Next!
(10:05:35 AM) sabdfl: jcastro: next?
(10:06:08 AM) sabdfl: gosh, that was easy :-)
(10:06:19 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Ubuntu tends to focus on the latest release, regardles of LTS. Most of the new fixes and features make it into the newest releases without getting many backports. Are there plans to address this perception?
(10:06:51 AM) sabdfl: Looking at Hardy, there have been many, many updates
(10:06:58 AM) sabdfl: most of those related to security or critical issues
(10:07:08 AM) sabdfl: with a few SRU's (stable release updates - new versions)
(10:07:22 AM) sabdfl: we need to be appropriately conservative with the primary repositories
(10:07:30 AM) sabdfl: i believe there's also a good community of backporters
(10:07:50 AM) sabdfl: perhaps jcastro can find me a URL for the backports archive?
(10:08:04 AM) jcastro: It's in the software sources, you just check the box in the preferences
(10:08:07 AM) sabdfl: and then there are hundreds of PPA's, with versions of packages there
(10:08:39 AM) sabdfl: i think backports are very important and if there's something else we can do to assist the community processes around them, the CC and TB would be happy to listen
(10:08:45 AM) sabdfl: jcastro: next?
(10:09:26 AM) jcastro: System->Administration->Software Sources and check the appropriate box for those interested in checking out backports
(10:09:38 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Do you plan to introduce *official* ubuntu HCL (hardware compatibility list), somethinig like ? If so, when we will see it and what hardware you will start certifying (servers/workstations/laptops/controllers)
(10:09:52 AM) sabdfl: there is already such a list!
(10:09:59 AM) sabdfl: let me look for the URL
(10:10:26 AM) sabdfl:
(10:10:31 AM) jcastro:
(10:10:37 AM) sabdfl: the overall view is at
(10:10:55 AM) sabdfl: we can add machines there if the manufacturer approaches us
(10:11:07 AM) sabdfl: and there are many more on the way
(10:11:24 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Organisations like the BBC are releasing custom versions of their iPlayer application for platforms such as the iPhone, nokia phones .etc...  Do Canonical aim to liase with the BBC (and other similar organisations) to bring apps to ubuntu, and to Linux as a whole?
(10:11:25 AM) sabdfl: both servers and laptops / desktops
(10:11:42 AM) sabdfl: the BBC is doing very interesting work with their content
(10:12:00 AM) sabdfl: in 8.10 there is the beginnings of a framework to bring their content directly to FLOSS desktops
(10:12:16 AM) sabdfl: i think that will expand, as they seem very committed to open access
(10:12:28 AM) sabdfl: hopefully, it's also a catalyst for other content providers to get invovled
(10:13:05 AM) sabdfl: there's a positive trend towards drm-free content, since the music industry realised that DRM was mostly a mistake
(10:13:05 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Canoncial is not that big currentlic compared to novell, redhat. Are there plans to get more employees: in general and/or developers(maybe MOTU) ?
(10:13:28 AM) sabdfl: we're growing as fast as we can!
(10:13:35 AM) sabdfl: we have a long hiring list
(10:13:51 AM) sabdfl: is the tip of the iceberg
(10:14:04 AM) sabdfl: but i'm conscious of the need to grow sustainably
(10:14:21 AM) sabdfl: it feels like a delightful place to work and i want to protect and defend that
(10:14:26 AM) sabdfl: since i'm here all the time :-)
(10:14:33 AM) sabdfl: and i think the other team leads feel the same way
(10:14:56 AM) sabdfl: we do like to hire from the community, because we know then that people are committed to the values of free software
(10:15:02 AM) sabdfl: and can work on a global distributed basis
(10:15:29 AM) sabdfl: i think we make a big difference despite being only 7% of the size of Red Hat
(10:15:49 AM) sabdfl: i respect the other companies in the industry for their work, but i do think Canonical is special
(10:15:51 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:15:52 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: What is for you the biggest Challenge and the biggest priority to be met by Ubuntu in each release?
(10:16:15 AM) sabdfl: the biggest challenge is to make sure we deliver the very best free software release that we can
(10:16:40 AM) sabdfl: we want to make sure that amazing work which has been done in the FLOSS ecosystem is available to every ubuntu user on demand, elegantly
(10:16:48 AM) sabdfl: so we have to work hard to keep up with what's going on out there
(10:16:59 AM) sabdfl: we also want to make sure we add value to the hard work of the debian community
(10:17:14 AM) sabdfl: and make it as easy as possible for others to benefit from our efforts
(10:17:36 AM) sabdfl: we also have to make tough decisions with every release, about what gets in and what does not
(10:17:49 AM) sabdfl: those are the challenges
(10:18:10 AM) sabdfl: the upside is we have a fantastic community that shares those goals
(10:18:20 AM) sabdfl: and many hands make slightly lighter if more complex work :-)
(10:18:26 AM) sabdfl: but definitely, more interesting work :-)
(10:18:28 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:18:32 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Ubuntu aims to be one of the user friendliest distributions out there. That, however, increasingly affects the speed of the system, since many services need be started and kept running in the background. Are there plans to increase the systems speed beyond the usual marketing "faster than ever" phrases? Thanks
(10:18:46 AM) sabdfl: it's a good question
(10:19:05 AM) sabdfl: we were all inspired by the work at Intel which demonstrated super-fast boot times on Linux
(10:19:19 AM) sabdfl: now we want to turn that into something that can be maintained and managed
(10:19:39 AM) sabdfl: there is an interesting tradeoff between ease-of-development and resource management
(10:19:48 AM) sabdfl: for example, mono and python make for rapid development
(10:19:54 AM) sabdfl: but do impose a performance overhead
(10:20:06 AM) sabdfl: we also have to try and choose the sweet spot of hardware
(10:20:17 AM) sabdfl: for example, 3D graphics are not around on older PC's
(10:20:34 AM) sabdfl: do we aim to make Ubuntu work on those, or aim to lead the user experience front?
(10:20:52 AM) sabdfl: fortunately, we have parts of the community that specialise in some of those areas, like Xubuntu
(10:21:05 AM) sabdfl: and i feel that allows us to live on the other edge
(10:21:22 AM) sabdfl: when it comes to actual raw performance, i've seen very good numbers from ubuntu
(10:21:43 AM) sabdfl: for example, running virtual machines under KVM, Xen or VMWare, Ubuntu does extremely well
(10:22:02 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Are there any Internships possibilities for International Students/Graduates @ Canonical?? (And specially in the US??)
(10:22:11 AM) sabdfl: if you have specific areas where you think we could re-engineer for lower overhead and better performance, raise them with the TB
(10:22:20 AM) sabdfl: yes, there would be
(10:22:43 AM) sabdfl: write to, especially if you can articulate an area that you think you would be able to make a specific contribution in the time available
(10:22:44 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:22:47 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: in 2005 (at the early ubuntu  times) i remember that the community was discussing to get out a repository tree which is on the constant bleeding edge. (no freeze times ect...) will we see such a constant bleeding edge Version of ubuntu any time ?
(10:23:24 AM) sabdfl: i would like to!
(10:23:43 AM) sabdfl: we used to describe that as "The Grumpy Groundhog", but we haven't implemented it yet
(10:23:56 AM) sabdfl: PPA's have made some of that possible - there are lots of PPA's with daily builds of cool packages
(10:24:09 AM) sabdfl: deb intrepid main
(10:24:16 AM) sabdfl: try that one on for size :-)
(10:24:36 AM) sabdfl: during Jaunty, i think we will make nightly builds of a couple of major floss packages available
(10:24:49 AM) sabdfl: probably kernel, X, oo.o, firefox, and the like
(10:25:08 AM) sabdfl: we haven't worked out all the details (come to UDS in Mountain View in December if you're interested)
(10:25:20 AM) sabdfl: but the idea would be to make it easy for people to test today's code from upstream
(10:25:30 AM) sabdfl: and to make it easy to verify if a bug has been fixed in the latest trunk
(10:25:43 AM) sabdfl: if that experiment goes well, we can build on it
(10:25:45 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:25:47 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Have you had much success with distributing Ubuntu with Dell?
(10:25:59 AM) sabdfl: yes, i think we can say that now :-)
(10:26:16 AM) sabdfl: we have three different programs in place, for different markets
(10:26:31 AM) sabdfl: there's the linux enthusiast program, where you can get one of their current top range of laptops or desktops with linux
(10:26:48 AM) sabdfl: then there's a program in china, which makes Ubuntu an option across most of their range
(10:27:22 AM) sabdfl: and then there are the Vostro and Inspiron Mini netbook ranges, which have special versions of Ubuntu with custom Dell software for specific areas of the user experience
(10:27:40 AM) sabdfl: i would really credit Matt Domsch and John Hull at Dell with their insight into linux engineering
(10:28:08 AM) sabdfl: and mario limonc.... (erk, spelling) is a champion of ubuntu there
(10:28:20 AM) jcastro: mario limonciello
(10:28:36 AM) sabdfl: they clearly see linux users as thought leaders
(10:28:46 AM) sabdfl: and they know that it takes a lot of work to do something like linux well
(10:28:56 AM) sabdfl: and they work very hard at it, so we appreciate the partnership
(10:29:11 AM) sabdfl: (and the machines are selling well too) ;-)
(10:29:13 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:29:16 AM) jcastro: Question: Many people here in south africa dont use ubuntu because they don't have internet access or broadband. IS there any development being made in thi regard?
(10:29:40 AM) sabdfl: the broadband situation in south africa is poor
(10:29:49 AM) sabdfl: the good news is that i hope it will be much improved by 2010
(10:30:27 AM) sabdfl: i do realise that we don't pay enough attention to the case where people don't have broadband
(10:30:47 AM) sabdfl: we ship a lot of updates, and it's hard to know whether we are shipping too many
(10:30:53 AM) sabdfl: for users with broadband, they are valuable
(10:31:08 AM) sabdfl: for users without it, I think it would be useful if we could help them
(10:31:15 AM) sabdfl: to decide which are more important
(10:31:34 AM) sabdfl: the design of apt archives makes it possible to ship them round on dvd
(10:31:39 AM) sabdfl: perhaps we could look into that?
(10:31:40 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:31:43 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: How does ubuntu/canonical plan to work towards a fully free desktop, and are there plans for co-operation with gnewsense?
(10:32:12 AM) sabdfl: there are so many definitions of "fully free"
(10:32:24 AM) sabdfl: i think we have a basically good relationship with gNewSense
(10:32:33 AM) sabdfl: and we are supportive of what they do, it's valuable and important work
(10:32:50 AM) sabdfl: we failed to get real interest in a "radical freedom" version of Ubuntu, called Gobuntu
(10:32:59 AM) sabdfl: i really wanted that to fly, but it didn't
(10:33:19 AM) sabdfl: in a sense, it was making life harder for gNewSense, not easier, so we decided to stop work on it
(10:33:22 AM) sabdfl: c'est la vie
(10:33:39 AM) sabdfl: the area of Ubuntu which has a big freedom wart is that we allow binary drivers
(10:33:59 AM) sabdfl: of course, i'm not aware of any major distro that *disallows* binary drivers, though it would be trivial to do it :-)
(10:34:14 AM) sabdfl: but we are pragmatic, and that causes all of us some discomfort
(10:34:35 AM) sabdfl: we engage with vendors and constantly make the point that we can serve them better if they adopt a more open approach
(10:34:48 AM) sabdfl: and there are some vendors which have come around to that specifically because of ubuntu
(10:35:00 AM) sabdfl: i hope we get some credit for that when it happens :-)
(10:35:20 AM) sabdfl: at this stage there are no plans to try and compete with gNewSense in any way, we'll just support them as best we can
(10:35:21 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:35:24 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: There are over 8 million Ubuntu users right now.  This is 80 times what Mozilla had when they started.  Are there plans for an Ubuntu foundation or similar nonprofit to take over some of Canonical's role?
(10:35:47 AM) sabdfl: we already have the Ubuntu Foundation, which is primarily a fallback vehicle
(10:36:13 AM) sabdfl: in case Canonical doesn't survive for any reason, there are funds in the Foundation to ensure we meet commitments around maintenance for LTS releases and normal releases
(10:36:35 AM) sabdfl: we also keep the governance of the project (Community Council) separate from Canonical, though of course there are big overlaps
(10:37:08 AM) sabdfl: we have a number of non-Canonical folks on the CC, and I would like more on the TB too, though it's tough to find folks with the intense experience and also the time needed to do justice to such an appointment
(10:37:23 AM) sabdfl: i suspect that will get easier as other businesses come to build on Ubuntu as much as Canonical does
(10:37:58 AM) sabdfl: i think it would be unhealthy to setup a Foundation to do the "nice" work while Canonical does the "business" work
(10:38:09 AM) sabdfl: our goal at Canonical is to be "nice and businesslike"
(10:38:30 AM) sabdfl: i don't see a fundamental conflict there - i think it's healthy for Canonical to have to live up to the values of the ubuntu project
(10:38:44 AM) sabdfl: and wouldn't want to see a figleaf in the form of a non-profit in active tension with Canonical
(10:39:02 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:39:36 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Does Canonical ever make "Official Policy Announcements" on contentious issues? Two recent controversies were the hard drive wear issue and the issue with the Intel network cards being bricked. Are there official guidelines on what should be done when Ubuntu can possibly damage hardware?
(10:40:19 AM) sabdfl: yes, we have a process for handling emergencies and screwups
(10:40:29 AM) sabdfl: including making sure that we communicate clearly about what the situation is
(10:40:51 AM) sabdfl: unfortunately we have that because there have been emergencies, and we have in the past occasionally screwed up
(10:40:59 AM) sabdfl: but i think the policies are good
(10:41:19 AM) sabdfl: i don't think such an issue is contentious - if we make a mistake, we need to sort it out, and keep people briefed
(10:41:27 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:41:36 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: I want to see Ubuntu Desktop become more profitable so it stays in focus, any chance of integrating search to the default menus and making money the same way Firefox does?
(10:42:20 AM) sabdfl: yes, that's a possibility. there are ways to introduce services into the desktop and server
(10:42:26 AM) sabdfl: it's important that we be tasteful when we do so
(10:42:51 AM) sabdfl: i hope you find the landscape sysinfo work tasteful, for example
(10:43:02 AM) sabdfl: we can consider the search idea, thanks for the suggestion!
(10:43:03 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:43:05 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: What is a main reason for the major Linux distributions (especially, Ubuntu) to ship Gnome by default? Is there anything other than preferring LGPL (of GTK) over GPL (of QT)? Do you think it's feasible to ask NOKIA to release QT under LGPL to make KDE more attractive to enterprises? What are the other steps that can be done to push KDE ahead to be default desktop?
(10:43:38 AM) sabdfl: good question
(10:43:59 AM) sabdfl: some days, i think it's good we have multiple desktop environments, and at least two major ones
(10:44:03 AM) sabdfl: because it drives innovation
(10:44:14 AM) sabdfl: other days, it drives me nuts, because we have to write software twice
(10:44:20 AM) sabdfl: and get criticised no matter what we do!
(10:44:47 AM) sabdfl: i do think that a big driver of GNOME and Gtk in the *early* days was licensing
(10:44:57 AM) sabdfl: and we don't know what Nokia will do with Qt licensing
(10:45:05 AM) sabdfl: perhaps that will make it easier for converge
(10:45:30 AM) sabdfl: personally, i would like to see a real effort to focus the innovation of the free software community around a common set of libraries
(10:45:45 AM) sabdfl: and i'm delighted that GNOME and KDE are co-hosting their conferences this year
(10:45:58 AM) sabdfl: that can *only* improve dialogue and communication
(10:46:18 AM) sabdfl: we chose GNOME in 2004 because they had a real commitment to release cycles, and a real commitment to usability
(10:46:27 AM) sabdfl: now KDE has adopted similar ideas
(10:46:36 AM) sabdfl: and soon it might be just as effective a counterpart
(10:46:50 AM) sabdfl: hopefully, they find Kubuntu a good way to get their code out there
(10:46:52 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:46:53 AM) jcastro: Question: RE: Bug #1. MS Office is the anchor application in the Windows experience for a lot of people.  OpenOffice and Evolution provide a good analog to Office but lack feature parity and innovation.  What is Canonical doing about inspiring vision in these important packages?
(10:47:30 AM) sabdfl: neither is a big focus for us, i'm afraid
(10:47:40 AM) sabdfl: we do participate in OpenOffice
(10:47:57 AM) sabdfl: i was on the advisory board of OO.o till they dropped it recently
(10:48:09 AM) sabdfl: and we try to champion better processes for collaboration with the community there
(10:48:23 AM) sabdfl: they have definitely improved
(10:48:32 AM) sabdfl: soi'm excited about OO.o 3.0
(10:49:07 AM) sabdfl: as for inspiring vision, i don't know that it would be well received in those upstream communities unless we were also willing to write a lot of code there
(10:49:29 AM) sabdfl: we focus our code on integration, making sure that the pieces work well together, rather than the pieces themselves
(10:49:38 AM) sabdfl: though that is changing with our new desktop experience engineering team
(10:49:58 AM) sabdfl: even there - the emphasis is on how the whole desktop fits together, the whole experience rather than any particular part
(10:50:01 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:50:08 AM) jcastro: Question:1. Many NEW users of Ubuntu aren't used to IRC is there any thoughts of using Jabber or other protocols ? 2. Will we ever see a over the internet sent video or audio conference of UDS or open week with possibility to participate?
(10:50:36 AM) sabdfl: jabber is a wonderful protocol for point-to-point communications
(10:50:39 AM) sabdfl: person to person
(10:50:43 AM) sabdfl: or system to system
(10:50:46 AM) sabdfl: or person to system
(10:50:56 AM) sabdfl: but it's not great, iirc, for group communications
(10:51:06 AM) sabdfl: most of our teamwork is group oriented, hence the preference for IRC
(10:51:24 AM) sabdfl: if you think we could use Jabber effectively, that would be interesting for the TB to hear
(10:51:31 AM) sabdfl: especially if it comes with code and infrastructure!
(10:51:41 AM) sabdfl: w.r.t. video and audio
(10:51:51 AM) sabdfl: we have streamed audio from most UDS's in the past
(10:52:04 AM) sabdfl: we can look into video too
(10:52:23 AM) sabdfl: there is some discussion of video recording this year's UDS, but not streaming real-time video AFAIK
(10:52:37 AM) sabdfl: also, you can participate in UDS via IRC while listening to the streaming audio
(10:52:42 AM) sabdfl: jcastro: is that a fair summary?
(10:53:02 AM) jcastro: yep
(10:53:05 AM) sabdfl: ok
(10:53:06 AM) sabdfl: next!
(10:53:17 AM) jcastro: We also have developer interviews which we put up on youtube and in ogg during UDS
(10:53:18 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Following codeweavers lame duck challenge givaway of crossover office etc, could you ever see a day were that software was incorporated into Ubuntu through a partnership agreement, potentially that could widen the actractability of Ubuntu if it gave users (particularly business users) the opportunity to use the software they're used to even though OpenOffice offers similar features, users are loathe to change
(10:54:27 AM) sabdfl: we would not include non-free apps in Ubuntu, so MS would have to do more than make it easy to use with Linux :-)
(10:54:43 AM) sabdfl: in principle though, i would like people to be able to build solutions on top of ubuntu
(10:54:52 AM) sabdfl: if that means ubuntu+codeweavers+msoffice, that's fine by me
(10:55:04 AM) sabdfl: it's one step closer for that organisation to ubuntu+oo.o
(10:55:12 AM) sabdfl: same goes for Firefox-on-Windows
(10:55:20 AM) sabdfl: slowly slowly catchee monkey :-)
(10:55:35 AM) sabdfl: i know that scott richie goes great work with WINE in Ubuntu
(10:55:48 AM) sabdfl: and hope that CodeWeavers feel's they can easily offer solutions on top of Ubuntu
(10:56:04 AM) sabdfl: the more people feel they can be part of a broad ecosystem the better
(10:56:07 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:56:29 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: do you you have any plans to advertise ubuntu on tv, i still find far to many people dont have a clue what ubuntu or linux is in a business environment or at home it seems to make ubuntu profitable this needs to be addressed.
(10:56:52 AM) sabdfl: the cost of tv advertising might slow down our profitability too, though :-)
(10:57:02 AM) sabdfl: again, i think it's best to grow sustainably
(10:57:27 AM) sabdfl: we focus on building something that works really well for well-informed people, and letting them share their knowledge along with the software
(10:57:48 AM) sabdfl: i would love to see ubuntu, or any free software brand, become widely recognised in the regular world
(10:57:55 AM) sabdfl: and not just at Hogwarts :-)
(10:58:07 AM) sabdfl: i'm grateful to Mozilla for doing that with Firefox!
(10:58:28 AM) sabdfl: so, perhaps in time we'll see TV advertising, but not now
(10:58:31 AM) sabdfl: next?
(10:58:33 AM) jcastro: Question : Re - Open Air : Thank you for your response.  Google is extremely excited about this because it could open up "Free" wifi and with mobile going big, I think this could have a huge impact.  Do you think we should begin researching this to stay ahead?  Maybe this could be a good niche to get in to those areas that don't have internet available.
(10:59:19 AM) sabdfl: yes, i would be interested to see the results of that research
(10:59:38 AM) sabdfl: who is making the devices, what is the bandwidth going to be used for, how will it fit into existing network protocols etc
(10:59:53 AM) sabdfl: it's amazing what has been achieved with the small bit of "unlicensed" spectrum
(11:00:14 AM) sabdfl: when i meet regulators i love to tease them with that - and encourage them to find other opportunities to stimulate that innovation
(11:00:30 AM) sabdfl: the challenge is that spectrum is fragmented differently in every region
(11:00:50 AM) sabdfl: the wifi bandwidth was "unlicensed" because it is the same as microwaves
(11:01:01 AM) sabdfl: so people thought there would be too much interference there to do anything useful
(11:01:09 AM) sabdfl: heh. openness surprises people sometimes :-)
(11:01:15 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:01:17 AM) jcastro: Question: Has your realtionship with Linspire or Freespire inspired or affected you or your work in any way on the last two releases?
(11:01:32 AM) sabdfl: not afaict.
(11:01:35 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:01:37 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: What in your opinion is the biggest challenge to acceptance of the Ubuntu desktop?
(11:02:01 AM) sabdfl: compatibility with ipods
(11:02:11 AM) sabdfl: people can do most everything else they need to do, realistically
(11:02:26 AM) sabdfl: the one thing I hear a lot about is the ability to manage an ipod
(11:02:34 AM) sabdfl: so, patches welcome!
(11:02:36 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:02:42 AM) jcastro: Question: Why is i18n a secondary (or worse) priority project? Will this situation radically change in a short time, for example before Jaunty? We translators got only promises before intrepid, before hardy, but the LP translations database is still slow, undermaintaned and i18n problems in packages are largely ignored - this sucks a lot more than it should.
(11:03:06 AM) sabdfl: yes, it does
(11:03:20 AM) sabdfl: i've personally spent a few weeks / months of my life working on LP translations
(11:03:39 AM) sabdfl: it's important to me that we do well, and there are still lots and lots of areas we can improve
(11:03:50 AM) sabdfl: i know that team works hard, and i think they are making steady progress now
(11:03:57 AM) sabdfl: it's very challenging - HUGE data sets
(11:04:20 AM) sabdfl: i didn't help them by designing it in a complex way to try and make LP work for both distros and upstreams
(11:04:35 AM) sabdfl: but i think they are getting over the hump
(11:04:39 AM) sabdfl: so hope it will improve
(11:04:53 AM) sabdfl: it's crazy to me that we still don't have an efficient bi-directional flow of translations with upstream
(11:04:58 AM) sabdfl: until i sit and look at the challenges
(11:05:05 AM) sabdfl: at which point i realise - it's very difficult :-)
(11:05:15 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:05:17 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Becouse of the economic downturn more companies are looking to cut costs and linux is looking great for that.  What benefits and disadvantages would it be to hire Canonical for a project compaired to offshoring to India or China?
(11:05:23 AM) jcastro: Lots of questions about the economy
(11:05:31 AM) jcastro: So I guee one round-up answer would be best
(11:05:40 AM) sabdfl: this will be a very challenging year, economically, imo
(11:05:49 AM) sabdfl: i don't think there will be many upside surpises
(11:06:00 AM) sabdfl: we just had a lovely one in the US election, though ;-)
(11:06:06 AM) sabdfl: but economically, yes, this will be a tough year
(11:06:33 AM) sabdfl: i think a lot of companies will look to restructure their systems for cost-effectiveness as a result
(11:06:46 AM) sabdfl: ubuntu makes a superb platform for common server tasks, and common desktop tasks
(11:07:27 AM) sabdfl: so, if you have thousands of desktops doing little but the web, and thousands of servers doing basic web app serving, file and print, mail, etc, then you can benefit substantially with a move to ubuntu
(11:07:36 AM) sabdfl: from windows, unix or a more expensive linux
(11:07:56 AM) sabdfl: we offer full commercial support 24x7 from a Canadian call center (Go Montreal)
(11:08:14 AM) sabdfl: and we negotiate so folks only pay for support on the servers / desktops that are in production
(11:08:17 AM) sabdfl: which can result in big saving
(11:08:18 AM) sabdfl: s
(11:08:29 AM) sabdfl: so, i think this will be a good year for ubuntu and canonical
(11:08:30 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:08:32 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Has there been any result from your call to syncronise releases of major distros?
(11:08:45 AM) sabdfl: hmm.... officially, no
(11:09:07 AM) sabdfl: in practice, i'm glad the meme of regular release cadence is gaining ground
(11:09:25 AM) sabdfl: not because it's my idea (it wasn't), but because it's a *good* idea
(11:09:36 AM) sabdfl: and because the more projects do it, the healthier the whole FLOSS ecosystem becomes
(11:09:59 AM) sabdfl: as it happens, i think all the rapid-release distros (Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse) used 2.6.27 in this round
(11:10:18 AM) sabdfl: and as it happens, i think all the LTS releases (Ubuntu LTS, SLES, RHEL) will be in 2010
(11:10:32 AM) sabdfl: so *maybe* we'll get good syncronisation by good fortune
(11:10:46 AM) sabdfl: i would really like to see this embraced by the community as a best practice
(11:10:52 AM) sabdfl: because it works so well
(11:10:54 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:10:58 AM) jcastro: QUESTION (REPEATED): Is the quest for 'free software laptop' still going on? Are there any manufacturers ready to listen?
(11:11:10 AM) sabdfl: yes and no
(11:11:18 AM) sabdfl: there are LOTS of manufacturers working with Linux now
(11:11:29 AM) sabdfl: but afaik none that have made "uber-freedom" the total goal
(11:11:52 AM) sabdfl: i.e. nobody is working with CoreBoot (the old LinuxBIOS) and nobody is pushing for open source firmware either
(11:11:56 AM) sabdfl: which is a pity!
(11:12:12 AM) sabdfl: but i do put the idea on the table often, so perhaps it will stick some day
(11:12:29 AM) sabdfl: the key thing is that we have to be able to deliver a much better end-user experience, otherwise it's not interesting to the manufacturers
(11:12:37 AM) sabdfl: and so far, we haven't been able to make that case
(11:12:38 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:12:41 AM) jcastro: Question: are there any plans to offer a cloud based Ubuntu OS?
(11:12:50 AM) jcastro: There was no escaping this question. :)
(11:13:08 AM) sabdfl: We have Ubuntu JEOS ("Just Enough OS") for people who are working in virtualised environments
(11:13:28 AM) sabdfl: that's now evolved to be useful on EC2, VMWare, Xen and KVM
(11:13:52 AM) sabdfl: i would like to see projects like Eucalyptus gain traction, to standardise the cloud around known API's with free software management
(11:14:01 AM) sabdfl: and we're doing our part to make that happen
(11:14:18 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:14:20 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Re the Ubuntu mobile and UMPC projects, when can we expect to see devices like Ubuntuphones?
(11:14:37 AM) sabdfl: i don't have a good answer for you i'm afraid
(11:14:56 AM) sabdfl: linux is a perfect platform for consumer electronics, and the rate of adoption there is fantastic
(11:15:01 AM) sabdfl: but it's highly fragmented
(11:15:25 AM) sabdfl: there are many different projects / environments / frameworks for "linux on smartphones"
(11:15:44 AM) sabdfl: limo, openmoko, maemo, moblin, android etc
(11:16:19 AM) sabdfl: we have partnered with moblin from Intel because we think they are committed to (a) a great user experience and (b) open processes and governance
(11:16:29 AM) sabdfl: intel has really set the pace with hardware enablement in free software
(11:16:52 AM) sabdfl: they invest a lot in it, and they invest it well - they work like an open source project to a much greater extent than any other manufacturer
(11:17:11 AM) sabdfl: (hmm, maybe Sun would say they pioneered that, i don't know)
(11:17:32 AM) sabdfl: w.r.t. Intel support for graphics, wireless, chipsets etc, they are a leader in the industry
(11:17:49 AM) sabdfl: so i'm hopeful they will bring that same focus and approach to moblin, and so far they seem willing to do that
(11:17:51 AM) sabdfl: BUT
(11:17:55 AM) sabdfl: it's early days yet
(11:18:07 AM) sabdfl: so, i'm very much looking forward to moblin 2
(11:18:19 AM) sabdfl: we will package that up in ubuntu and try to do it justice
(11:18:34 AM) sabdfl: hopefully, it becomes a magnet for more developers and turns into a great community like GNOME or KDE
(11:19:03 AM) sabdfl: a single-vendor solution isn't ideal, but it's not a bad place to start if the goal is a successful open community
(11:19:18 AM) sabdfl: sometimes it takes one focused push from one organisation, even if you want to have a broader ecosystem
(11:19:34 AM) sabdfl: i think the winning ecosystem in Linux on mobiles will need to have participation from multiple hardware vendors
(11:19:40 AM) sabdfl: and multiple operators, and multiple OSV's
(11:19:45 AM) sabdfl: so, early days :-)
(11:19:46 AM) sabdfl: phew
(11:19:50 AM) sabdfl: i'm rambling
(11:19:58 AM) jcastro: Question: Professional as well as independent producers (think youtube demographic) both need for Ubuntu to come with higher-end Multimedia Production tools (then what is available). What can be done by Canonical to encourage/subsidize developers who wish to meet this need by creating a suite of multimedia tools, such as a high end Non-Linear Video Editor (Final Cut or Premiere level of quality). There are currently
(11:20:01 AM) sabdfl: summary - i think moblin is headed in a good direction, and am supporting that
(11:20:05 AM) jcastro:  some projects that attempt to meet this need, but does not meet user expectations in  usability or features.
(11:20:54 AM) sabdfl: is joe jackson around?
(11:21:09 AM) jcastro: doesn't appear to be
(11:21:17 AM) sabdfl: Ubuntu Studio is a lovely project, and the team behind it has a rare combination of style and skills
(11:21:35 AM) sabdfl: i would like to hear their response to this question!
(11:21:46 AM) sabdfl: i do agree that high-end content editing would be a natural place for linux
(11:22:05 AM) sabdfl: i don't know what the state of the art in those fields is, though, or what we could do to improve it
(11:22:05 AM) jcastro: collabora has recently announced a fulltime developer for pitivi, which is a video editor, if that helps answer the question
(11:22:14 AM) sabdfl: i'm open to suggestions!
(11:22:18 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:22:21 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: With much of the world on dialup, is there any focus going towards a debian based package managment system similiar to delta rpm's?
(11:22:31 AM) jcastro: some questions about using p2p for updates like bittorrent, etc.
(11:22:41 AM) jcastro: rolling all those into one. :)
(11:22:43 AM) sabdfl: afaik, there has been some talk about a next-gen .deb format
(11:22:52 AM) sabdfl: but it's not been concentrated
(11:22:58 AM) sabdfl: i may be out of that loop, though
(11:23:19 AM) sabdfl: i would certainly love to see it happen, because the current approach is wasteful on bandwidth
(11:23:28 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:23:31 AM) jcastro: question: What is your favorite Music Artist / Band? Have you had any thoughts of incorporating a Pandora Music Player, from the Music Genome Project, into the Desktop?
(11:23:39 AM) sabdfl: cool idea
(11:23:45 AM) sabdfl: i like that we have magnatunes :-)
(11:24:25 AM) sabdfl: i like Elbow
(11:24:31 AM) sabdfl: "The seldom seen kid"
(11:24:44 AM) sabdfl: and lots of R&B
(11:24:53 AM) sabdfl: i think we could do more with music in the desktop
(11:25:07 AM) sabdfl: i was a bit bummed when Best Buy bought Napster, but that's a different story ;-)
(11:25:08 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:25:12 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: The hardware database mentioned earlier seems limited to certifying whole machines.  It seems like it would be more useful for most of us if we had a listing of individual hardware products that were known to work (or not work), particularly video and wireless cards...
(11:25:17 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: ..  Yet few wireless vendors would see the point in submitting their hardware for certification unless there were already a database to be added to.  Is there a plan to get that sort of certification?
(11:25:47 AM) sabdfl: i think jcastro pointed to the hardware database earlier
(11:26:00 AM) sabdfl: we try to aggregate the information folks send us about their hardware
(11:26:14 AM) sabdfl: it's difficult to do component-level certification
(11:26:21 AM) sabdfl: because often, something breaks at the system level
(11:26:38 AM) sabdfl: we do work with component manufacturers, though, if there is a machine that needs to be enabled
(11:26:40 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:26:43 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Do you agree on the cricitism raised e.g. by Greg Kroah-Hartman in his Linux Plumbers keynote at that Canonical does not contribute enough back to upstream? Do you plan to increase the number of the developers to answer this criticism?
(11:27:27 AM) sabdfl: i think Greg is well-meaning
(11:27:45 AM) sabdfl: and his numbers are accurate enough
(11:28:23 AM) sabdfl: i think the approach he took was appalling
(11:28:44 AM) sabdfl: as it reminded me how easily we take friends and turn them into strangers
(11:29:09 AM) sabdfl: we each care about specific things, and we spend our time and energy on those things
(11:29:19 AM) sabdfl: Greg was saying "the things I care about are the only things that matter"
(11:29:22 AM) sabdfl: well
(11:29:57 AM) sabdfl: they may be the only things that matter to Greg, but they aren't necessarily the things that matter most to me, or to other members of the Canonical team, or to other members of the Ubuntu community
(11:30:44 AM) sabdfl: in ubuntu, we invest a vast amount of energy (time, money, love, attention, reputation) into free software
(11:31:02 AM) sabdfl: we care deeply about making sure that anybody anywhere can get it, use it legally, and use it safely and securely
(11:31:15 AM) sabdfl: our users appreciate it - THEY know that this is a big investment and gift
(11:31:30 AM) sabdfl: i think someone in Greg's presentation asked "who here uses Ubuntu" and half the room put their hands up
(11:32:03 AM) sabdfl: and Tridge spoke wisely when he said "look, I use Ubuntu heavily, I get all the updates free, it makes me productive, and I've never contributed a patch to Ubuntu"
(11:32:22 AM) sabdfl: in other words, the ecosystem is broader, deeper and richer than Greg was making out
(11:32:34 AM) sabdfl: and those relationships are more complex than Greg was making out
(11:33:10 AM) sabdfl: i believe Ubuntu and Canonical are making a very big difference in free software, and that has little to do with how many patches in the kernel have an email address associated with them
(11:33:28 AM) sabdfl: i'm not going to hire lots of people to keep greg happy :-)
(11:33:57 AM) sabdfl: i do continue to hire people to make free software into an amazing experience for me, my friends, my colleagues and peers, and everyone else i meet in a plane, train or on the street :-)
(11:34:16 AM) sabdfl: when we open source launchpad, we will have more than 100 people doing nothing but hack on free software
(11:34:25 AM) sabdfl: i think that's a great contribution for a company of 200 people
(11:34:37 AM) sabdfl: and perhaps some day greg too will feel that way
(11:34:40 AM) sabdfl: next!
(11:34:43 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: why not release updated disc images with new backported drivers and software updates not only for LTS releases? usually, ubuntu have some problems, that you can solve installing an update, but it will be much easier for newbie, inestead of downloading image and updates to download updated images... and,will not it be good for ubuntu not to be so "bleeding-edge"?
(11:35:05 AM) sabdfl: choices, choices, choices :-)
(11:35:36 AM) sabdfl: we have to balance resources, and we've come up with the process of LTS+point-releases, and standard regular releases
(11:35:50 AM) sabdfl: that allows us to keep getting new wonderful code into releases for testing and for use
(11:36:08 AM) sabdfl: and also allows us to meet the needs of people who want something that will stay relatively stable for longer periods
(11:36:15 AM) sabdfl: we could do more if we had more hands ;-)
(11:36:17 AM) sabdfl: next!
(11:36:20 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: There have ben a few articles about Ubuntu getting slower with each new release. With Windows 7 being the first Windows release to be faster than it's predecessor, are there some similar plans for Ubuntu on enhancing it's performance?
(11:36:51 AM) sabdfl: it's easy to improve off a low base ;-)
(11:37:17 AM) sabdfl: i hope we can rise to the challenge of really fast boot times in Jaunty
(11:37:30 AM) sabdfl: i know the Ubuntu team is very interested in the challenge
(11:37:50 AM) sabdfl: as for broader performance, i don't know that we are doing anything that makes the system slow
(11:38:02 AM) sabdfl: though there are more pieces running by default these days than there were a while ago
(11:38:16 AM) sabdfl: let's see when Win7 releases, shall we?
(11:38:18 AM) sabdfl: next!
(11:38:22 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: What's Your opinion about the overcrowded bug tracker? Seems that users are generating reports faster than developers could resolve them, see: and currently, there are almost five times this much open bugs. This causes them to ignore most of the bugs (or just mines? :)) What can be the solution?
(11:39:26 AM) sabdfl: interesting
(11:40:01 AM) sabdfl: we definitely need to figure out how to scale our bug processes
(11:40:14 AM) sabdfl: it's a huge privilege to have so many users
(11:40:24 AM) sabdfl: and a great privilege that many of them will take the time and effort to report bugs
(11:40:39 AM) sabdfl: we can't hire twice as many developers when we get twice as many users, though
(11:40:59 AM) sabdfl: we need to figure out how to involve the community to help triage and isolate the bug cases
(11:41:10 AM) sabdfl: and how to share the load across the whole ecosystem
(11:41:19 AM) sabdfl: some people think "ubuntu shoudl fix every bug that's reported in ubuntu"
(11:41:30 AM) sabdfl: well, we certainly feel some responsibility for every bug
(11:41:47 AM) sabdfl: but we also know that many of the bugs reported in ubuntu also exist in every other distro and upstream
(11:42:01 AM) sabdfl: so we need to get efficient about making sure that the bugs are reported accurately upstream
(11:42:26 AM) sabdfl: we build some plugins for bugzilla and trac under the GPL that make it easier to coordinate the response to those bugs betwen the distro and upstream
(11:42:46 AM) sabdfl: so if you work upstream on a project that uses bugzilla and/or trac, please consider installing those!
(11:43:02 AM) sabdfl:
(11:43:29 AM) sabdfl: not sure where the Trac one went :-)
(11:43:34 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:43:38 AM) jcastro: Question: There are a lot of bugs concerning the audio subsystem in Hardy and Intrepid. The combination of OSS ALSA and PA sound systems seems to have made it painful and confusing to new users. Many audio applications do not work as expected. Are there any plans for Canonical to get involved in these projects and hire audio engineers/developers to manage the Ubuntu Audio Team and attempt and fix these issues?
(11:44:02 AM) sabdfl: good question
(11:44:19 AM) sabdfl: i'm hoping that PulseAudio is The Answer to linux audio issues
(11:44:26 AM) sabdfl: this has been a long, long journey
(11:44:51 AM) sabdfl: i don't have a specific plan or agenda in the audio space though
(11:44:59 AM) sabdfl: if you think we need one, please put something together for the TB
(11:45:10 AM) sabdfl: next!
(11:45:12 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Will it be much longer until launchpad is released open source ?
(11:45:30 AM) sabdfl: it will be done by November 2009
(11:45:42 AM) sabdfl: the team is working through a list of issues already
(11:46:08 AM) sabdfl: license checks, separating out pieces that are not related to the web service, determining the right approach for various issues
(11:46:26 AM) sabdfl: it may happen sooner, but you have a concrete commitment that it will be done by then
(11:46:53 AM) sabdfl: there are still a lot of unanswered questions
(11:47:07 AM) sabdfl: we will see how that release goes, and probably tweak processes after that
(11:47:11 AM) sabdfl: next?
(11:47:13 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Any plans to making Launchpad more social? Perhaps people will accidentally start working on bugs and answering questions, if we integrate a Laconica microblogger and some other features that are considered cool these days?
(11:47:20 AM) sabdfl: :-)
(11:47:27 AM) sabdfl: i would like that
(11:47:32 AM) sabdfl: i did some of the work on the maps feature
(11:47:44 AM) sabdfl: and i know some members of the LP team want more social features
(11:47:54 AM) jcastro: (ed. note - the laconica guy will be at FOSSCamp and there is a strong presence of ubuntu folks on itself)
(11:47:55 AM) sabdfl: after all, open source is a social exercise
(11:48:32 AM) sabdfl: if you have specific social ideas for LP, please hop onto #launchpad and discuss, or send them to kiko
(11:48:37 AM) sabdfl: or beuno, or me
(11:48:39 AM) sabdfl: next!
(11:48:40 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: NVidia's drivers are notoriously misfitting on the Linux desktop, and this is getting very visible with the awesome kernel mode-setting and Fedora's Plymouth graphical boot. What does the Ubuntu team at Canonical do to grow hardware support in cases like NVIdia's?
(11:48:59 AM) sabdfl: remind nvidia about the benefits of open source drivers :-)
(11:49:07 AM) sabdfl: the kernel modesetting work from Intel is fantastic
(11:49:25 AM) sabdfl: i do think nvidia and ati will get that part quickly
(11:49:35 AM) sabdfl: the harder stuff is the deep integration of GL and X
(11:49:43 AM) sabdfl: stuff like GEM will be harder to drive adoption of
(11:50:07 AM) sabdfl: the main focus i think needs to be on driving adoption of the linux desktop in large-scale markets
(11:50:16 AM) sabdfl: because that drives the agenda at hardware manufacturers
(11:50:19 AM) sabdfl: next!
(11:50:25 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Do you have plans on driving out or reducing it to minimum at some point in future?
(11:50:40 AM) sabdfl: driving it out?
(11:50:54 AM) jcastro: This is probably about that prototype X server called wayland
(11:50:58 AM) sabdfl: i think the X guys have made big strides since Keith &co engaged
(11:51:13 AM) sabdfl: and Arjan's work on the fast boot showed that they can still improve a lot
(11:51:27 AM) sabdfl: i don't know enough about alternatives to have a cogent view on them i'm afraid
(11:51:41 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: How successful has getting boxed version of Ubuntu into the USA retailer Best Buy been for Canonical?
(11:51:58 AM) sabdfl: i would hope though that the folks are continuing to make X leaner and meaner
(11:52:08 AM) sabdfl: i don't have any stats on the Best Buy initiative, i'm afraid
(11:52:24 AM) sabdfl: but i'm glad whenever floss shows up in a new channel
(11:52:31 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Will we have a new theme for jaunty?
(11:52:34 AM) sabdfl: there are lots of roads, hopefully they all lead to linux eventually!
(11:52:45 AM) sabdfl: hmm.... maybe!
(11:52:58 AM) sabdfl: we have been hiring, for months, designers and user experience guys
(11:53:03 AM) sabdfl: it has taken much longer than i hoped
(11:53:18 AM) sabdfl: that team will be in place in jan / feb, i imagine
(11:53:34 AM) sabdfl: whether their initial work will make a dramatic visual impact on Jaunty, i don't know
(11:53:45 AM) sabdfl: i know that other work, on the user experience front, will land
(11:53:55 AM) sabdfl: but i'll keep some surprises in store till later ;-)
(11:53:56 AM) sabdfl: next!
(11:53:58 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: Qt 4.5 will ship QGtkStyle by default, which will make it use GTK to provide a native look for Qt application in GNOME. With this, you write applications once, and they look native on both GNOME and KDE. Are there plans for some ubuntu-apps to be written in Qt 4.5?
(11:54:04 AM) jcastro: (one more after this)
(11:54:17 AM) sabdfl: that's very interesting
(11:54:40 AM) sabdfl: it would certainly be a relief to be able to write once and deliver into both kubuntu and ubuntu simultaneously
(11:54:53 AM) sabdfl: i'll have to ask the team themselves what they think of this option, though
(11:55:06 AM) sabdfl: personally, i would like to see a real effort to bring the toolkits together
(11:55:10 AM) sabdfl: as painful as that may sound
(11:55:25 AM) sabdfl: it would make it much more efficient to work in desktop linux
(11:55:27 AM) sabdfl: next!
(11:55:30 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: how robust is the laptop certification process between Canonical and its partners? should customers expect 0% system breakage (in terms of hardware or software)?
(11:56:07 AM) sabdfl: they should expect it, and we strive to deliver it
(11:56:15 AM) sabdfl: see above for how we handle emergencies and screwups :-)
(11:56:16 AM) sabdfl: next!
(11:56:26 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: There have been rumors that you personally aren't quite comfortable with Wine.  Could you make a statement as a lead in to my talk up next? ;)
(11:56:39 AM) sabdfl: i'm perfectly comfortable with WINE
(11:56:43 AM) sabdfl: next!
(11:56:48 AM) jcastro: that's it
(11:56:50 AM) jcastro: we are out of time
(11:56:52 AM) sabdfl: phew
(11:57:01 AM) jcastro: thanks Mark for answering questions, and thanks everyone for getting involved!
(11:57:06 AM) sabdfl: my fingers ache but i'm happy to meet you all!
(11:57:13 AM) sabdfl: thanks for the great questions
(11:57:15 AM) jcastro: over 300 people participated!
(11:57:27 AM) sabdfl: thanks jcastro  for the quick fingerwork :-)
(11:57:35 AM) sabdfl: cheers all

MeetingLogs/openweekintrepid/AskMark (last edited 2008-11-06 19:49:29 by pool-70-16-60-167)