WORK IN PROGRESS
Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue No. 16 for the week of September, 24 - 30, 2006.
You can always find older Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter issues at:: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuWeeklyNewsletter
Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) Beta Release
The beta releases of Kubuntu 6.10 and Ubuntu 6.10 were made this week.
Kubuntu features stylish new artwork, improved power management and better accessibility. See:
Ubuntu features Firefox 2 beta and adds Tomboy and F-spot. Artwork hasn't been neglected either. See:
Report by Jonathan Riddell.
"Even though I was not able to attend the whole Akademy this year (due to the Kubuntu beta release) the conference, e.V. meeting and BoF sessions I did make it to were exciting and showed great promise for KDE 4.
Firstly, thanks to Canonical for making Kubuntu a Gold sponsor of Akademy, it was lovely to have large Kubuntu banners all over the lecture theatres as well as a hacker lab full of Kubuntu machines.
KDE 4 has been a long time coming, but with the presentations at the weekend we got to see the multimedia layer Phonon in action and the hardware layer Solid at work. In the KDE 4 build environment we saw a full KDE 4 session being run - a first for many people. There's still plenty of work to be done; the Plasma desktop still has no screenshots and the Telepathy project Decibel is behind schedule, but with the first developers' preview now out and packages available in Kubuntu Edgy, development should now accelarate.
We were pleased to have a number of speakers from other communities including Gnome's John Palmieri, who convinced us that it's not just KDE who are happy to have competition, Keith Packard, who wrote some special code to ensure his laptop worked with the university's projector and showed other wonders of hotswap pluggyness that will be coming into X soon, and Jin Yoon, who showed us the open platform used on his Ricoh printers.
The Akademy Awards were given to the author of Krita, a painting application that now rivals the free and proprietary competition; the poor soul who converted all of KDE from autotools to the CMake build system and the Mandriva coder who has made more KDE 3 to KDE 4 commits than anyone else.
Unfortunately, Mark Shuttleworth had to cancel his visit after Canonical One needed repairs, but I managed to hold a successful Kubuntu BoF on my own showing what we had done in Edgy and working out how to get those changes further upstream. The SuSE developers were especially interested in Ubuntu's thinkpad-keys daemon.
KDE e.V. is KDE's legal body, and in a day long meeting we went over the usual administrative matters that projects the size of KDE have to. We also chose the location of Akademy 2007 of which I will be one of the organisers, details to be announced soon.
Ubuntu Poster Competition Yields Results
The image will yet be edited a bit (especially the white text), but is a sure winner now. HanZo will be getting 5 free prints. There will be a total of 500 prints, available by email order from JendaVancura approximately for production costs. To read more about the competition, please read this forum thread: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=248546
Universe Version Freeze
Daniel Holbach tells us that the Universe Freeze is now in effect. This means that no new upstream versions will be synced and no new packages will be admitted entrance to the Universe repository. All is not lost for those certain emergencies though, as you can always file a UVF exception; the process for this is explained here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU/Processes/UVF . For an exception, please make sure you attach all the necessary information and in cases of NEW packages have it reviewed and approved on REVU beforehand! Universe Freeze is in accordance with the Edgy release schedule which can be found at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/EdgyReleaseSchedule
Welcome to another round of Launchpad updates covering changes included in this week's rollout. This cycle was mainly focused on polishing of existing features, although a number of new features that are under development were brought closer to deployment.
Bug watch enhancements
The new features deployed in this rollout make bug watches a bit more convenient to work with: it is now possible to specify a remote bug tracker for a specific upstream product; when adding new bug watches to distribution bugs, the bugtracker and product name will be prefilled if there is information linking the package to an upstream product.
The prefilling also works for upstream products that are officially using Launchpad as a bug tracker. For instance, if you visit the page for the bazaar source package in Ubuntu:
notice a bug which is an upstream matter, when marking it as upstream you will notice that the name "bazaar" is already filled in. This small improvement is the first in a number of enhancements planned for upstream bug forwarding.
Bug information can now also be synchronized from archived debian bugs; this is the reason why a number of bug watches were updated at once this week (and you may have received some bugmail letting you know!).
The CVE report pages were reformatted and optimized; you can see the general CVE status for Ubuntu at:
This listing displays CVEs related to bugs, and their current status. There are now also CVE reports for upstream products -- but no products have CVEs linked to their bugs yet!
Other bug tracking improvements
Handling of binary package names as input in the Package: field was improved in the bug-filing and bug-changing page. Oh, and the 'Untriaged' status was renamed to 'Undecided'; this avoids confusing the concepts of "status triage" and "importance definition". Time to update your bookmarks!
Distribution and package management enhancements
On the distribution management front, this rollout included new formatting for mirror listings; the number of official mirrors for Ubuntu is growing rapidly, and we aim to make this information authoritative for the distribution in the coming weeks:
This rollout meant deployment of the optimization and code improvement work done in the London sprint. Visible results of this deployment are significantly faster publisher runs (with no-op runs taking negligible time, and the faster 'real' runs taking around 7 minutes). Package builds are now issued to saner sets of architectures, taking into account package-specific architecture restrictions. With respect to upload processing, failed uploads now trigger email notifications to the person uploading as well; uploads to frozen releases go straight to the pending-approval queue, and superseding backport uploads behave as expected.
The Soyuz team also invested long hours into an acceptance testing system which was used to verify the changes done over this period prior to rollout. The test system successfully pointed out regressions and allowed fixes to be verified before deployment.
A script for automatically retrying failed builds was implemented, and the queue tool was updated to include pocket information and behave correctly in a few corner cases (read the detailed changelog for the details).
Branches in the Bazaar
One interesting Launchpad feature for upstream products is the tracking of series and releases. Each release represents an actual new tarball release of upstream; a series represents a line of tarball releases that were spawned from the same long-term code branch.
Product series can now have Bazaar branches linked to them, this branch ideally containing the coding work done for that specific series. The product can select which series is its main development ("trunk", or "HEAD" in CVS terms) series, containing new feature work being implemented. This allows Launchpad to more closely model the coding work done on an upstream product, which will in turn make it easier to use Bazaar to manage the codebase for a product, and in particular, derivations of that codebase.
On the translations front, improvements to the automatic package imports were deployed; they reduce the amount of manual nursing required for imports of packages with unusual directory layouts. Language pack generation was optimized, as were the pages that report translation status for languages in specific distribution releases. A number of additional performance improvements are in queue and will be deployed as part of the next rollout.
In the ticket tracker, subscriptions of support contacts were modified to be implicit. This means that new support contacts are automatically notified of all existing ticket modifications.
The calendaring feature in Launchpad was temporarily disabled; we found it was too buggy to be useful, and have chosen to now focus on features which are priorities for this period.
Full announcement and changelog at https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/launchpad-users/2006-October/000667.html
In The Press
Ubuntu isn't quite yet synonymous with Linux, but it is increasingly referenced in the tech press whenever the subject of Linux is raised. Check out this recent comment by Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz:
"We're not anti-vendor. We're not here to bash anybody. Every single business we're in must be multi-platform if it's going to be successful. When I'm selling the hardware we're talking about, I'm going to be thrilled to talk to the Linux community about running Ubuntu on Niagara. When I'm talking about Solaris I'm going to be thrilled to talk to you about HP and Dell. They are no longer competitors in my mind. They are now channel partners."
There's more at http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3634846
Malcolm Yates, Canonical's ISV and partner manager has been interviewed by Information Week on the topic of Ubuntu's growing relationships with Independent Software Vendors and Original Equipment Manufacturers:
I think the next few months will see us involved more and more with enterprises looking at using Ubuntu to deliver business solutions. Previously, we have seen Ubuntu deployed in organizations where it it was hidden, but now with full and extended support, we are getting calls, to move to Ubuntu as a major Linux platform.
You can read the whole thing at http://www.itnews.com.au/newsstory.aspx?CIaNID=37538&r=hstory
Ubuntu Member Melissa Drapper was recently interviewed by Australia's LA Updates. You can listen to it at: http://www.localfoss.org/taxonomy/term/20
In his speech to the Labour Party conference in Britain last week, Bill Clinton talked about the importance of the spirit of ubuntu. The resulting BBC News article featured a stylish thong from our very own Cafepress Ubuntu shop. The article can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5388182.stm
And a few weeks back, the newsletter of DistroWatch mentioned the Ubuntu Marketing Team, and more specifically, the Ubuntu Surveys. You can read the newsletter, including the non-Ubuntu bits, at http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20060918
Meetings and other similar events
Community Council Meeting 2006-10-03 17:00 GMT
October 8 Linux Info Tag in Dresden Dresden, Saxony/Germany
Feature Of The Week - Bip
Bip, an IRC proxy, keeps you connected to IRC, stores logs, and can even produce a backlog which displays upon connection from your IRC client to the server. You can install Bip on a server that stays connected, and connect as many clients as you wish while using the same nickname. So, once you setup Bip, you connect to it like you would any ordinary server, while using your IP, port, and a custom password (which bip can generate and encrypt) - Bip will do the rest.
For instance, Bip is setup on server 192.168.1.3, using the default Bip port of 7778, and using the username 'Bip', password 'biprocks', and network 'freenode'. I would set my client up to connect to the server and port, and in the "Password" section for the connection on my IRC client, I would enter Bip:biprocks:freenode. Now, I am connected from my localhost to my Bip server, which means I can reboot my localhost and never loose connection to IRC, meaning I won't miss a thing. People on IRC won't even know I rebooted!
Help: #bip on irc.oftc.net for the official support channel. Also, feel free to contact RichardJohnson on IRC as nixternal for more help. You can find him on Freenode and OFTC regularly.
Additional News Resources
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Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Updates
- Accepted amarok 2:1.4.3-0ubuntu8~dapper1
- Accepted konversation 1.0-0ubuntu5~dapper1
- Accepted ktorrent 2.0.2-0ubuntu1~dapper1
- Accepted libvisual-plugins 0.4.0.dfsg.1-1ubuntu1~dapper1
- Accepted cpio 2.6-10ubuntu0.1
- Open (15684) (+124 over last week)
- Unconfirmed (8228)
- Unassigned (11028)
- All bugs ever reported (56546)
Thank you for reading the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. See you next week!
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