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Ubuntu Weekly News #12

Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter - Issue #12

Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter - Issue #12 for the week of August 27 - September 2, 2006

You can always find this and other Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issues at:

In This Issue

Welcome to this weeks issue of the Weekly news. The main news this week in the Ubuntu world has been the release of a milestone image and call for testing—you can read about that below. We also have a roundup of news from the Google Summer-of-Code student projects and sneak preview news of another little project, 'upstart', by Ubuntu Developer Scott James Remnant and designed to change the way that a Unix/Linux boots for the first time in 30 years.

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 note-taking program and F-Spot photo manager), a new Kubuntu theme, and much more. You can read more at [ the Knot-2 page on] 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]. First, lets start by looking at the Ubuntu-specific projects.

Ubuntu projects

The Ubuntu specific projects covered a variety of different topics.

Samba GUI by Camille Percy

Ubuntu Welcome Centre by Parag M. Baxi

Panel Switcher and Session Backup (originally Applications to Improve Ubuntu) by Peter Moberg

GLaunchpad/Consiel : GNOME Launchpad front-end by Lionel Dricot-

Google Calendar Desklet by Teresa Thomas

Creation of a offline package updater/installer for Ubuntu by Baishampayan Ghose

Ubiquity Migration Assistant by Evan Dandrea

Incremental Updates for Debian Packages by Felix Feyertag

Network Authentication by Andrew Mitchell

Kubuntu projects

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

KDE formatting tool by Mickael Minarie

Kubuntu OEM Redistribution Tools by Anirudh Ramesh

KControl/KDE-guidance module for Wine by Yuriy Kozlov

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."

Edubuntu projects

3 Edubuntu-specific projects were accepted.

Willow package and configuration GUI by Travis Watkins

Spec changed to creation of new filter, due to quality of code of Willow

pyeducation/pyq -A testing/quizzing system for Edubuntu by Ryan Rousseau

Safety Boat by Anselmo Lacerda Silveira de Melo

Accessibility projects

As part of the general effort to improve accessiblity in Ubuntu, Henrik Omma led two students to create two new tools.

OnBoard - On-screen keyboard targeted at tablets by Chris Jones

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

Bazaar projects

Bazaar, a distributed revision control system, also had 2 projects for Summer of Code

Olive - Graphical User Interface for Bazaar-NG version control system (bzr-gui) by Szilveszter Farkas

Submit bzr merge requests by email by Hermann Kraus -

Security Updates

There were no security updates this week

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Updates 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 issue, before they are released to the general -updates archive. If you are able, please help us test this update. You can find more information at FIXME (location of wiki page that talks about how to test dapper-proposed)


The backports team has been busy thins week, and the following apps where backported to 6.06 this week: 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 kopete 4:3.5.4+kopete0.12.2-0ubuntu1~dapper1 debootstrap ilibtunepimp 0.4.2-3ubuntu3~dapper1 mod-cband 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

What a week it was in the world of things edgy.

Anyone using DBUS has to thank Sebastian Droege, Michael Biebl, Sjoerd Simons, Anthony Baxter, Daniel Stone, David Zeuthen, Michel Daenzer, Daniel Silverstone, Kevin Ottens, Daniel Holbach, and they are just the ones I know about this week. There were 56 bugs squashed in the work undertaken here. Why is this so important? DBUS is what makes GNOME work, it is the underlying engine that allows one part of gnome communicate with others. This reviewer is seriously impressed with the size of the task undertaken. Giuseppe Borzi brought in keyTouch editor 2, which should make people's lives easier with this program to configure the extra function keys of the keyboard. Matthias Klose added a Java runtime environment using GIJ, a Java runtime environment with GCJ, and a web browser plugin to execute Java (tm) applets. Daniel T Chen has brought in quodlibet, an audio library manager and player for GTK+, and has closed some of the delta between Ubuntu and Debian. Some of this work depended on the work of Bastian Kleineidam. Lucas Nussbaum working on sqlrelay is 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 a new version of freeradius, a high-performance and highly configurable RADIUS server. Gauvain Pocentek and Mike O'Connor brought edgy a new version of stardict, an international dictionary written in GTK+ 2.x that improves our fuzzy pattern matching abilities.

Bug Stats

  • 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:


Source: 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, Ubuntu has more than 70,000 developers under its umbrella and is the most popular Linux OS distribution.

More at:,289142,sid1_gci1213545,00.html

Engadget and Slashdot reported on the Janus Project, a custom built

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 everydays. 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 peoples the collaborate simultaneously on the same projects.

In the office environment, you may start with a draft that everyone nearly agrees on. The lawyers take the draft away and 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 them all together and integrate the three changes. This is the stage where the programmers win, the automatic revision control tools take over and attempt to detect each change and splice it into the final copy.

With everyone online it would be great to have those same features available but without having to be programmers. The answer to that "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 several of the Weekly News editors 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 colour. There's no restrictions about two people updating the same paragraph at the same time, you can start editing a sentence even the previous person is continuing to type words. As soon as each character is typed, the 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 or summits. With a dozen developers seated around a table is possible for everyone to see, read, update and improve the same specification document. The ultimate added advantage is that anyone not at the conference can just as easily log-on with Gobby and start collaborating, 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!

Additional News Resources

As always you can find more news and announcements at:



Thank you for reading the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. See you next week!


The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Corey Burger
  • Paul O'Malley
  • Jenda Vancura
  • Paul Sladen
  • John Little
  • Eldo Varghese
  • And many others


This document is maintained by the Ubuntu Marketing Team. Please feel free to contact us regarding any concerns or suggestions by either sending an email to ubuntu-marketing at or by using any of the other methods on the [ Ubuntu Marketing Team Contact Information Page]

UbuntuWeeklyNewsletter/Issue12 (last edited 2008-08-06 17:00:53 by localhost)