This project aims to make Screencasts to help people learn how to use Ubuntu.
Some people learn better by watching and sometimes a picture (in this case motion pictures) says more than a thousand words. By letting people watch (and upload their own) demonstrations, knowledge can be easily transfered among people.
At first the screencasts will be made for beginners, teaching how to install, configure and use Ubuntu in a easy and friendly way.
We have several things in mind, but before making any screencast we need to test and decide several things:
1 - Test and decide which application are going to use, we already have some options, so we need to test them all and decide which one fits better, still our choices are:
As far as I know Istanbul is broken in Dapper at the moment, and Xvidcap's GUI (Gvidcap) doesn't build. I have personally used PyVNC2SWF (which can also do MPEG), but this also doesn't work in Dapper. I got it going from a basic debootstrapped Breezy installation (in chroot) and this was fine, since X11VNC is, by definition, networked, so by setting the DISPLAY variable in the Breezy chroot it worked fine (including the GUI). -- Warbo
Istanbul is working fine for me, both the version in DD's repositories but as well the latest version (0.2.1 when writing this). - TomasGustavsson
2 - Decide which codec to use, our current choices are Theora, Flash, xvid and mpeg. But so far ogg is our best choice, but first we need to find tools to edit and record videos in this format
3 - Make a website that can handle the downloads and uploads of screencast, and also find a host.
4 - Find a tool to edit the screencasts, if we pick Theora as our choice, the only editor found so far is: Cinelerra
Editing can be done in a different format (of a higher quality, even YUV if we have to) then converted to Theora with VLC, ffmpeg2theora, etc. (also I hear Blender makes a decent video editor, and I have found mailing lists discussing Theora in LiVES)-- Warbo
I can only say that after some minor tinkering Cinelerra is up to the task and can handle Ogg Theora without problems and I think that path is easier then convert between different formats. - TomasGustavsson
- Provide screenshots with commentaries (from the video screencasts) as an option for people with slow internet connection and/or ancient computer hardware.
Try to use default settings, programs and themes. Personally I have a heavily customised setup (GNOME with E16, ChBg, Adesklets, Gkrellm, etc.), and any screencast of it would confuse new users (who these are aimed at). Obviously demos about changing themes would be different, but they should at least start off with the defaults. This goes for packages as well; do not record a screencast about compiling software if you already have build-essential, linux-headers, etc. installed. The actions recorded must be the same as those the user needs to make. -- Warbo
Off course, this is something that we have discussed quite a bit and this will be something that we will take with to the soon to come Guidelines page which will cover how the screencasts are going to be done. Thanks for the input Warbo - TomasGustavsson