Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #14, for the week of Sept, 10 - 16, 2006. In this issue we cover the release of Edgy Eft Knot 3, the passing of Rob Levin of Freenode, announcement of the next development summit for Ubuntu, changes in Edgy, Ubuntu in the news and much more.
You can always find older Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter issues at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuWeeklyNewsletter
The Edgy Eft Knot 3 CD Released
Tollef Fog Heen announced the release of Knot 3 this week. Third in the 'Knot' alpha releases, Knot 3 brings a host of new features (and bugs!), including upstart by default, GNOME 2.16 and much more. You can read more at the Knot3 release notes.
Rob Levin (lilo) of Freenode passes away
It is with great sadness that we at the Ubuntu Weekly News note the passing of Rob Levin, founder and the main driving force behind Freenode and its umbrella organization, the Peer Directed Projects Center. Freenode has hosted Ubuntu's IRC channels since the beginning of the project. Rob was killed after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle and had been in a coma since the 12th. Condolences can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and an official statement from the Freenode Network Staff can be found at http://freenode.net/news.shtml.
Ubuntu Developer Summit Announced
Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon has announced the next Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) is to be held at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California on November 5th through 10th, 2006. The summit is open to the public, but it is an intense developer-oriented event, and participants should be prepared for hard-core low-level discussions. If you are ready for the challenge, the summit provides a great place to talk to core Ubuntu developers. The summit is not a conference, exhibition or other audience-oriented event, but an opportunity for Ubuntu developers -- who usually collaborate online -- to work together in person on specific tasks. For more details about the summit, check out https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDeveloperSummitMountainView
Get your (Ubuntu) trivia today!
Alexandre Vassalotti has recently opened up #ubuntu-trivia on Freenode. Currently, a themed Ubuntu quiz is scheduled once a week - the next one is on Friday, so be sure to come along and flex your Ubuntu-powered-brain-muscle. The quizzes are written up by quiz masters and a bot takes care of score charting the results. Read more at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuTrivia.
Behind Ubuntu interviews Daniel Holbach
Behind Ubuntu has interviewed Daniel Holbach, one half of the Seb/Daniel GNOME uploading team and a member of the Ubuntu Desktop Team. One of the first of Canonical's hires out of the community, Daniel has also been very active in the MOTU. You can read more about Daniel, his dog and much more at http://behindubuntu.org/interviews/DanielHolbach/
Following in tune from the Ubuntu Counter's quest to gather information about Ubuntu Users, there are now a collection of surveys aiming to do similar -- and more. The Ubuntu surveys are being run on behalf of the Ubuntu Marketing Team by Melissa Draper, the creator of the counter. You can read more about the surveys at http://wiki.ubuntu.com/MarketingTeam/UbuntuSurveys.
Shipit plans announced
Canonical COO Jane Silber has announced the plan for ShipIt, once Edgy has been released. The current plan is to continue to ship Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, due to it being a long supported release, while Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) will be available for download only. Approved LoCo teams can request 6.10, however, and will be sent out a large bundle of CDs to distribute, as well as distributors that can further spread the Ubuntu message. Also, in order to help keep ShipIt running, Jane has announced that anyone wanting to purchase large numbers from ShipIt may do so, at EUR 1.50/CD in a minimum order size of about 100. If you or your company would like to help distribute large quantities of Ubuntu CDs, contact Christina.Armstrong@canonical.com directly.
Changes in Edgy
This last week saw many uploads in Edgy, mostly small changes, rather than the sweeping uploads of such things as GNOME that characterized last week. Some of those changes included:
The recommends support mentioned last week made it to the Kubuntu-meta, Edubuntu-meta and Xubuntu-meta packages this week. Other changes to the meta packages, which define the standard desktop and server for each version of Ubuntu, include the addition of the hardware database client, hwdb-client-kde, to the kubuntu-desktop and of the student-control-panel to the edubuntu-desktop.
Chuck Short has uploaded a new development snapshot of Xen, with a lot of bugfixes and support for a large number of network cards, including via ndiswrapper. Chuck has also been working on installation instructions, which can be found at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/XenOnEdgy.
In preparation for Knot 3, Rodrigo Para Novo uploaded a number of X driver fixes, including xserver-xorg-video-ati 6.6.2, xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse 12.4.0, xserver-xorg-video-amd 18.104.22.168~20060905, and xserver-xorg-video-unichrome 0.2.6.
Stephan Hermann uploaded the latest WINE release, wine 0.9.21, to edgy this week. This new releases brings better OpenGL support, code cleanup and much more. You can read more at http://winehq.org/?announce=1.125.
Users of Adobe's Flash plugin will be pleased to note that it has been updated to flashplugin-nonfree 7.0.68, the latest upstream release, which fixes a number of security bugs.
Another of Adobe's closed source products, Adobe Acrobat Reader, was also updated this week, to version 7.0.8. Users of the Reader are reminded of the security risk of using it. You can read more about it at http://lwn.net/Articles/129729/.
Brandon Holtsclaw uploaded MythTV 0.20, the latest version of MythTV, to the Ubuntu repos this week. This version of MythTV adds a huge number of features, including menus drawn via OpenGL, new codec support and much more. You can read more about the 0.20 release at http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Release_Notes_-_0.20
The printing subsystem got an update this week, with Martin Pitt uploading the latest CUPS release, 1.2.3 and Till Kamppeter syncing the latest gutenprint, 5.0.0 from Debian. Both upgrades should increase the stability and driver coverage of printers in Ubuntu. You can read more about the 1.2.3 release of cups at http://www.cups.org/articles.php?L407 and of the gutenprint 5.0.0 release at http://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?forum_id=596232
A major update to the command-not-found spec landed this week, with command-not-found 0.1.0, which incorporates major work from Zygmunt Krynicki and Michael Vogt. The command-not-found spec can be read on Launchpad at https://features.launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+spec/command-not-found-magic
William Grant has uploaded the 9 separate packages for GNU EDA, an electronics design software, updating it to the 20060906 release. The release notes for the 20060903 release can be read at http://geda.seul.org/devel/20060906/gaf-20060906-relnotes.html
In the mono world, both monodevelop and beagle were updated this week, to versions 0.12 and 0.2.9 respectively. xsp 1.1.17 also found it was into the repositories. New features of monodeveop 0.12 can be read about at http://www.monodevelop.org/Release_notes_for_MonoDevelop_0.12 and for beagle 0.2.9, you can read http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/beagle/0.2/beagle-0.2.9.news
The latest Python 2.5, release candidate 2, was uploaded this week by Michael Vogt. This is hopefully the last release candidate for 2.5, but Edgy is going to remain with 2.4 by default, due to it being so late in the release cycle. People interested in what is new in 2.5 can see the release notes at http://docs.python.org/dev/whatsnew/whatsnew25.html
The latest version of gnome-app-install features better integration of the popularity contest data (http://popcon.ubuntu.com/). It can sort this information and it will also take it into account when calculating the ranking for searches. To help make it really efficient, please enable it on your system! (Go to System->Administration->Software Sources and click on the "Statistics" tab)
Another new feature is the support for translated packages descriptions in apt and its various frontends (aptitude, synaptic, gnome-app-install, update-manager, adept, etc). If there is a translation available for the package description it will be automatically picked up and used. See https://launchpad.net/products/ddtp-ubuntu/+translations for the current translation status. A special thanks to our friends from http://ddtp.debian.net/ for their hard work. There are still many untranslated descriptions, so help is very appreciated!
Daniel Holbach has created a new team for the uploading of Telepathy, a common framework for communicating with IM, IRC, SIP and other communication methods, and they have gotten off to a quick start. Daniel Holbach uploaded libtelepathy 0.0.37 and telepathy-gabble 0.3.5 (Jabber implementation) and Rodrigo Para Novo upload telepathy-inspector 0.3. The Launchpad team can be found at https://launchpad.net/people/telepathy. You can read more about telepathy at http://telepathy.freedesktop.org/wiki/ and see what needs to be done for Telepathy in Ubuntu at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Telepathy/TODO
Ubuntu's artist in chief, Frank Schoep, updated the artwork in edgy-gdm-themes 0.3 and edgy-wallpapers 0.3.
The latest Firefox 2 beta arrived this week, with Firefox 1.99+2.0b2, uploaded by Ian Jackson. Release notes of the second beta can be found on Mozilla at http://www.mozilla.org/projects/bonecho/
The KDE4 packages mentioned last week began arriving in the archive this week. Jonathon Riddell uploaded kdebase 3.80.1, kdepimlibs 3.80.1 and kdelibs 3.80.1, the basis for the rest of KDE4, which is expected over the next few weeks.
Anthony Mercatante uploaded a SVN snapshot of Guidance, kde-guidance 0.6.7svn20060914, which includes new power-management improvements
The latest Amarok, amarok 1.4.3, also landed this week, courtesy of Brandon Holtsclaw, who also became a newly-minted core developer this week. The new version of Amarok also brings libnjb support, which, for the human beings reading this, means support for Creative Nomad devices. Support for the install-mp3 script, which installs the mp3 codec upon demand, was also fixed to work on Edgy and later releases.
Sarah Hobbs has uploaded parts of the 0.82 release of digikam: digikam-doc 0.8.2-r1 and digikamimageplugins-doc 0.8.2-r1
The Kubuntu theme was in flux again this week, with an updated boot splash screen, and a login splash screen update. The desktop wallpaper has been changed and the purple color scheme has been darkened a bit.
Edubuntu's sole essential spec, creation of a default lts.conf has landed this week, with edubuntu-artwork 0.1.0-33. This enables sound, local devices, network swapping and 16 bit color by default.
Not to be outdone by KDE, Jani Monoses, lead Xubuntu developer, uploaded the latest XFCE 4.4, release candidate 1. xfce-mcs-manager 22.214.171.124, xfce-mcs-plugins 126.96.36.199, libxfce4util 188.8.131.52, libxfce4mcs 184.108.40.206, libxfcegui4 220.127.116.11, xfwm4 18.104.22.168svn+r23137 and xfce4-panel 22.214.171.124 all found their way into the archives this week.
In The Press
Reuters takes a very high profile look at Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu:
"Ultimately open source is the platform of the future," Shuttleworth told Reuters. "It's one of those enormous waves that is taking over everything -- like the Internet."
Shuttleworth's "Ubuntu" family of software programmes is based on the Linux open source operating system, which works on the principle that software is free and can be modified at no cost by anyone to suit local and specific needs -- unlike rival Microsoft's proprietary software.
With quirky names for its programmes like 'Hoary Hedgehog' and 'Warty Warthog', Ubuntu -- an African word that means caring for your community and humanity for others -- is meant to be simpler to use than other Linux systems.
PC World magazine last year named Ubuntu as the 26th best product of the year -- ranking it above Apple's iTunes media player which was in 34th spot. Upcoming Read the whole piece at: http://tinyurl.com/oytwh (Reuters.co.uk)
James Derk took Ubuntu for a spin and thinks it might be time to give Linux another shot:
Yes, I know, you expect Linux, the free operating system developed by volunteers all over the world, to be nerdy and hard to use.
And, when compared to Windows, it used to be. But several new distributions of Linux make it painfully easy to get up and running on Linux without spending a dime.
My new favorite of these is Ubuntu, a great product with a catchy name. However, it is an appropriate name for what it is. "Ubuntu" is an African word meaning "humanity to others" and this is one software company that follows that word.
You can find the rest of the article at http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/12964
Budi Putra's CNET Asia blog takes a look at Ubuntu and the challenges faced by the Indonesian Ubuntu community:
Due to expensive Internet access, the Indonesian Ubuntu community has had quite a unique approach to distribute the whole Ubuntu software package in DVDs. So far, free Ubuntu software packages are delivered in CDs globally.
According to Harry Sufehmi, one of Indonesia's Ubuntu activists, the DVDs help people access gigabytes of free software for Ubuntu without the need for Internet access.
Several people have also organized two conferences on Edubuntu (a version of Ubuntu specially made for schools), to the interest of many Indonesian schools.
You can read the whole story at http://asia.cnet.com/reviews/blog/toekangit/0,39056105,61953558,00.htm
Keep up with the happenings in Indonesia via Planet Ubuntu Indonesia: http://planet.ubuntu-id.org/
Adobe uses Ubuntu to test new version of Flash
Adobe has been working on Flash 9 for Linux, and one of the developers has been posting regular updates at his blog at http://blogs.adobe.com/penguin.swf/. A few days ago, sharp eyed observers noticed a familiar colour of brown in a screenshot demoing the new Flash player at http://blogs.adobe.com/penguin.swf/2006/09/flashforward_linux_demo.html. The next day, the secrets of how to take an Ubuntu 6.06.1 CD and add Flash were revealed at http://blogs.adobe.com/penguin.swf/2006/09/customizing_ubuntu_live_cd_606_1.html
Wireless in Ubuntu
Linux.com and Newsforge ran an excerpt from The Official Ubuntu Book, which mostly covered configuring wireless in Ubuntu. The brief introduction to the excerpt states:
- "One of the greatest new features for laptop users in Ubuntu is network-manager. With this shiny new application it is finally easy to connect your Ubuntu system to any wireless network. Where previously you had to jump through hoops to do WPA or 802.1x authentication, network manager makes this completely transparent.
This article is excerpted from the newly published book The Official Ubuntu Book.' Read the excerpt at http://enterprise.linux.com/enterprise/06/09/05/2055232.shtml
Meetings and other similar events
IRC Meetings in #ubuntu-meeting on irc.freenode.net this coming week include:
- Local Community Teams Meeting on Mon, Sept. 18, 14:00 UTC
- Community Council Meeting on Tue, Sept. 19, 12:00 UTC
- Edubuntu Meeting, on Wed, Sept. 20, 12:00 UTC
- Ubuntu Development Team Meeting on Thu, Sept. 21, 15:00 UTC
Ubuntu Chicago Meeting
The group over in Chicago, Illinois, USA, known as Ubuntu Chicago, a local community (LoCo) team, has announced a meeting and informal release party (release party for Edgy). The event is scheduled to take place on October 28, 2006 from 11am to 8pm. The event will be held in the meeting room at the Best Western in Des Plaines, Illinois. Meeting will include presentations, demonstrations, and workshops over a variety of topics. Current team leader and event coordinator, Richard Johnson can be contacted for further details either by email at email@example.com, or IRC (#ubuntu-chicago). More information about the event can be found at http://chi.ubuntu-us.org/?q=node/30 as well. Hope to see you there!
Aside from the already covered Developer Summit in November, there were a few other upcoming events worth noting:
Jordan Mantha has announced a REVU review day on Sept 18th. REVU is a web-based tool used by the MOTU to evaluate new packages for upload to Ubuntu by non-developers. You can read more about the when and where on https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-motu/2006-September/000813.html
Both the GNOME and KDE projects have events happening within the month, so we though we would mention them as well. KDE has Akademy 2006, the annual meeting of KDE developers. This year it is happening in Dublin, Ireland between September 23rd and the 30th. You can read more about Akademy 2006 at http://conference2006.kde.org/. On the GNOME side, the annual Boston GNOME summit is happening this year on October 7th through the 9th. You can read more about the Boston summit at http://live.gnome.org/Boston2006
Additional News Resources
As always you can find more news and announcements at:
- USN-346-2: Fixed linux-restricted-modules-2.6.15 for previous Linux kernel update
- USN-346-1: Linux kernel vulnerabilities
- USN-345-1: mailman vulnerabilities
- USN-344-1: X.org vulnerabilities
Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Updates
The only updates to 6.06 were backports this week.
- gftp 2.0.18-14ubuntu1~dapper1
- darcs 1.0.8-1~dapper1
- clamav 0.88.4-1ubuntu1~dapper1
- libtorrent 0.9.3-1~dapper1
- knetworkmanager 0.1~svn-r575138-0ubuntu2~dapper1
- nmap 4.10-1~dapper1
- rtorrent 0.5.3-1~dapper1
- Open (15318) (+299 over last week)
- Unconfirmed (8111)
- Unassigned (10576)
- All bugs ever reported (54286)
As always, the Bug Squad needs more help. If you want to get started, please see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HelpingWithBugs
This week's funny bug award goes to Bug #60472, in which Paul Sladen reported that "Spacebardoesnotworkafterupgradetoedgy". You can read more about Paul's slightly humourous predicament at https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+source/metacity/+bug/60472.
Shiny new graphs
Carthik Sharma of the Bug Squad has been working on some new graphs to show bug numbers over time. This week he finally went live with his final version, which you can see at http://people.ubuntu-in.org/~carthik/bugstats/
Thank you for reading the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. See you next week!
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