Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter - Issue #12
Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter - Issue #12 for the week of August 27 - September 2, 2006
Welcome to this weeks issue of the Ubuntu weekly news. In this edition, read about the release of a milestone image and call for testing, a roundup of news from the Google Summer of Code student projects and a sneak preview news of another project, 'upstart', by Ubuntu Developer Scott James Remnant, designed to change the way that a Unix/Linux boots for the first time in 30 years.
You can always find this and other Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issues at: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuWeeklyNewsletter
In This Issue
- Edgy Eft Knot 2 released
- More news on upstart
- Google Summer of Code final results
- Security updates
- Ubuntu 6.06 LTS updates
- 6.06 backports
- New apps in Edgy
- Bug stats
- In the press
- Feature of the week - Gobby
- UWN via RSS
Edgy Eft Knot-2 released
Knot-2, the latest development release of Edgy Eft (which will become Ubuntu 6.10), has been released. This release brings the addition of several new desktop applications (for example, Tomboy, a note-taking program and F-Spot, a photo manager), a new Kubuntu theme, and much more. You can read more at the Knot-2 page on Ubuntu.com or download Knot-2.
Upstart reaches a new milestone
Upstart, Ubuntu's new event-based service management daemon, has reached the point where it can replace the sysvinit package. Steady progress is being made by the author, Scott James Remnant, working towards the goal of replacing the legacy sysvinit as the default system init for Edgy. You can read more, including what and how to test, on Scott's blog, where he also talks about various event types and how to get involved in development. Upstart has even gained a logo, created by Alexandre Vassalotti, as seen on Scott's blog.
Google Summer of Code finishes for another year
Google's Summer of Code projects were handed in on August 21 and we can now see the final results. As previously reported, Ubuntu started with 22 projects, which can be seen at Google's page of Ubuntu projects. Please note that this list was compiled through the diligent research of several members of the Ubuntu marketing team and thus might not be completely correct. If we have missed anything, we apologize in advance.
First, lets start by looking at the Ubuntu-specific projects.
The Ubuntu specific projects covered a variety of different topics, including a session backup tool and a migration assistant.
Samba GUI by Camille Percy
- Status - 0.1 released
Project page - http://socg2006.googlepages.com/ubuntu-config-samba
Ubuntu Welcome Centre by Parag M. Baxi
- Status - Released
Project page - http://code.google.com/p/ubuntu-welcome-center/
Panel Switcher and Session Backup (originally Applications to Improve Ubuntu) by Peter Moberg
- Status - Both tools released
Blog - http://blog.nurd.se/hype/
GLaunchpad/Consiel : GNOME Launchpad front-end by Lionel Dricot-
- Status - Released
Blog and Project page - http://ploum.frimouvy.org/?115-conseil-001-in-the-middle-of-the-boxes
Google Calendar Desklet by Teresa Thomas
- Status - Some coding work done, unknown if released
Project page - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/EsyncPlugins
Creation of a offline package updater/installer for Ubuntu by Baishampayan Ghose
- Status - Unknown, design started
Project page - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/OfflineUpdateSpec
Blog - http://g33k.wordpress.com/
Ubiquity Migration Assistant by Evan Dandrea
- Status - Released and uploaded to the archives as migration-assistant
Project Page - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MigrationAssistance
Incremental Updates for Debian Packages by Felix Feyertag
- Status - Incomplete
Project Page - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/apt-sync
Network Authentication by Andrew Mitchell
- Status - Unknown, apparently finished
There were 4 Kubuntu specific projects. Jonathon Riddell, the lead developer of Kubuntu, has created a status page on the Ubuntu wiki
LVM support in Kubuntu installer by Armindo Manuel Sampaio da Silva
- Status - Released
KDE formatting tool by Mickael Minarie
- Status - Released and uploaded to the archives as kmformat
Project Page - http://www.micoulou.info/kformat/
Kubuntu OEM Redistribution Tools by Anirudh Ramesh
- Status - Released
Project Page - http://muse.19inch.net/~abattoir/oem-config/
KControl/KDE-guidance module for Wine by Yuriy Kozlov
- Status - In KDE SVN, under guidance module
Project page - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KDEGuidanceWineSpec
Yuriy Kozlov says: "The project is a configuration module goes in system settings to provide easy and logical access to configuration for running windows programs with wine it has all the features of winecfg and a bit more and is a bit more friendly. It's basically done, but i need to get a patch into wine for one of the settings to work right. Wine devs wanted my patch to change a bit more than i intended, so once that gets in i need to change that part of my module a little as well. Currently it's all in guidance in KDE svn."
3 Edubuntu-specific projects were accepted, including the addition of a much needed content filter.
Willow (a content filter) package and configuration GUI by Travis Watkins
- Status - Released and in the Edgy universe repo as willow-ng
Project Page - http://www.realistanew.com/category/projects/willowng/
Spec changed to creation of new filter, due to quality of code of Willow
pyeducation/pyq -A testing/quizsystem for Edubuntu by Ryan Rousseau
- Status - Released
Project Page - http://sourceforge.net/projects/py-education/
Safety Boat by Anselmo Lacerda Silveira de Melo
- Status - Unknown
As part of the general effort to improve accessibility in Ubuntu, Henrik Omma led two students to create two new tools.
OnBoard - On-screen keyboard targeted at tablets by Chris Jones
- Status - Released
Project page - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Accessibility/Projects/onBoard
Chris Jones says: "[The package is] reasonably feature complete and i'm getting quite a lot of positive feedback from users. Heno [Henrik Nilsen Omma], my SoC mentor and one of the Ubuntu-a11y team is hoping to get it in main for edgy and hopefully on the CD too. (...) It's an on-screen keyboard meant to be a simpler alternative to the current gnome on-screen keyboard. It concentrates on point-and-click based users, leaving GOK to handle switching scanning users."
XGL-based screen magnifier by Sven Jaborek
- Status - Unknown, apparently not released
Project Page - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Accessibility/Specs/compiz-mag
Bazaar, a distributed revision control system, also had 2 projects for Summer of Code, under the general umbrella of the Ubuntu project.
Olive - Graphical User Interface for Bazaar-NG version control system (bzr-gui) by Szilveszter Farkas
- Status - Released and uploaded to the Ubuntu archives as olive
Project page - http://bazaar-vcs.org/Olive
Blog - http://phanatic.hu/
Submit bzr merge requests by email by Hermann Kraus -
- Status - Unknown, apparently released
Project Page - http://bazaar-vcs.org/SubmitByMail
There were no security updates this week
Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Updates
OpenOffice.org 2.0.3 has been uploaded to dapper-proposed, the testing archive for updates to Ubuntu 6.06. Using the -proposed archive helps ensure new updates are free of serious bugs, such as the X.org issue, before they are released to the general -updates archive. If you are able, please help us test this update.
The backports team has been busy this week, and the following apps where backported to 6.06:
checkinstall 1.6.0-2ubuntu1~dapper1 config-manager 0.3-3~dapper bluefish 1.0.5-2~dapper1 amarok 2:1.4.2-0ubuntu2~dapper1 kboincspy 0.9.1-3~dapper1 seahorse 0.9.3-0ubuntu5~dapper1 konversation 1.0-0ubuntu1~dapper1 scribus-ng 22.214.171.124.dfsg-1~dapper1 kopete 4:3.5.4+kopete0.12.2-0ubuntu1~dapper1 debootstrap 0.3.3.0ubuntu3~dapper1 ilibtunepimp 0.4.2-3ubuntu3~dapper1 mod-cband 0.9.7.4-1~dapper1 libvisual 0.4.0-1~dapper1 xmoto 0.1.16-3~dapper1 xchat 2.6.6-0ubuntu1~dapper1 taglib 1.4-4~dapper1 squirrelmail 2:1.4.8-1~dapper1 spamassassin 3.1.3-1ubuntu1~dapper1 powersave 0.12.20-1ubuntu1~dapper1 phpmyadmin 4:2.8.1-1~dapper1 kpowersave 0.6.2-2ubuntu1~dapper1 gxine 0.5.7-1ubuntu4~dapper1 cacti 0.8.6h-3~dapper1
New Apps In Edgy
This week brought much D-Bus love to edgy. (For those who don't know, D-Bus is an "interprocess communication" tool. In laymans terms, it allows apps to talk to one another). A whole host of people, including Sebastian Droege, Michael Biebl, Sjoerd Simons, Anthony Baxter, Daniel Stone, DavidZeuthen, Michel Daenzer, Daniel Silverstone, Kevin Ottens, Daniel Holbach, helped close 56 bugs by working on dbus 0.92.
Giuseppe Borzi brought in keytouch-editor 2.2.1 , which should make people's lives easier with this program to configure the extra function keys of the keyboard.
Lucas Nussbaum working on sqlrelay 0.37.1, bringing some egdy goodness to those who indulge in database connection pooling, proxying and load balancing.
Jeremie Corbier, Stephen Gran and Mark Hymers brought us freeradius 1.1.3, a high-performance and highly configurable RADIUS server. This is a mostly bug fix version.
Brandon Hale uploaded Beagle 0.2.8 this week, which fixed an indexing issue amongst a whole slew of other bugs.
Szilveszter Farkas uploaded nanoweb 2.2.8, a small webserver written in PHP, which adds a spamcatcher module and fixes some bugs.
Brandon Holtsclaw uploaded konversation 1.0, the 1.0 release of the KDE IRC client.
- Open (14687) (+209 over last week)
- Unconfirmed (7809)
- Unassigned (9939)
- All bugs ever reported (52355)
In The Press
The xkcd webcomic takes an amusing look at the sudo command:
SearchOpenSource.com takes a look at Ubuntu's success and future prospects:
The message from end users is consistent: Ubuntu has the chops to continue on its successful path toward wider adoption in the enterprise. Driving those accolades are factors like ease of installation on the desktop as well as the spirited community that has sprung up around the operating system. Today, according to Web sites like DistroWatch.com, Ubuntu has more than 70,000 developers under its umbrella and is the most popular Linux OS distribution.
Feature Of The Week - Gobby
Have you ever tried working on the same documents with many people? You may have discovered how difficult it is. You may have seen this happen in company or charity offices around the world.
Computer programmers, like those who work on Ubuntu, encounter similiar challenges every day. The Ubuntu developers are spread out across several continents, time-zones and countries, so collaboration can be difficult. Developers try to manage collaboration with "revision control" or "version control" tools. Revision control systems allow people to collaborate simultaneously on the same projects.
In an office environment, you may start with a draft document that everyone nearly agrees on. The lawyers take the draft away to add a disclaimer, Kelly from accounts improves one of the graphs, Sam in press-relations spices up some of the language... When the three teams meet again at the end of the day, there are now three copies, all slightly different. The next step might be to appoint one person to stitch the copies back together and integrate the three sets of changes. This is the stage where the programmers win, the automatic revision control tools take over, attempt to detect each change and to splice the change accurately into the final copy.
With so many people online throught the internet, it would be great to have those same features available ...but without having to be programmers. A solution to that is "Gobby", which you can easily install from the Add/Remove programs menu.
After starting up Gobby and connecting to a central server (or having other people connect to your own machine) you can share editing of a document. You can see in the screenshot above, that several of the Weekly News editors are working together; can you guess what the document is? Changes are easy to follow in real-time, with text from each connected user appearing in a different background colour. There's no restrictions about two people updating the same paragraph at the same time, you can start editing a sentence even while another person is continuing to type words. As soon as each character is typed, that letter immediately flashes up on everyone else's screen.
Real-time editing is a real beauty to work with, so much so, that Gobby is now frequently used at Ubuntu conferences and summits. With a dozen developers seated around a table, it is possible for everyone to see, read, update and improve the same specification document. The ultimate added advantage of Gobby is that anyone not at the conference can also just as easily connect, log-on with Gobby and start collaborating. Joining in with the editing, regardless of where in the world that Ubuntero may be.
Gobby is fun, fast, colourful and genuinely useful. Check it out with a quick visit to Synaptic, Adept or the Add/Remove programs menu and start typing with you friends, colleagues or family!
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Thank you for reading the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. See you next week!
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