Ubuntu Traffic #08 -- 2004-10-15

Benj. Mako Hill mako at canonical.com
Tue Oct 26 00:13:59 CDT 2004

                       Ubuntu Traffic #8 For 2004/10/15

                             By Benjamin Mako Hill

Table Of Contents

  • Standard Format
  • Text Format
  • XML Source
  • Introduction
  • Mailing List Stats For This Week
  • Threads Covered

    1. 2004/10/                (551 posts) The Artwork
    2. 2004/10/07� -� 2004/10/10 (11 posts)  Accessibility Team Kickoff
    3. 2004/10/08              (8 posts)   Flash in Ubuntu
    4. 2004/10/11� -� 2004/10/12 (18 posts)  Firefox Downgrade
    5. 2004/10/12              (0 posts)   Community Council Meeting (Sort Of)
    6. 2004/10/13� -� 2004/10/15 (31 posts)  Warthog Final Todo List
    7. 2004/10/13� -� 2004/10/14 (5 posts)   Documentation Team
    8. 2004/10/                (1 post)    4.10 Release Candidate Announced


Welcome to the eighth edition of Ubuntu Traffic. This issue covers the week of
October 9 - 15 in 2004. Ubuntu Traffic summarizes the most important mailing
list and IRC discussions involving the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution.

You can sign up for any of the lists summarized here at http://lists.ubuntu.com
. Please join in!

Another week and another marked increase in the traffic created -- in fact, in
the size of the community!

The big news this week was "the artwork" -- a phrase that will sense shivers of
recognition (and perhaps more) through some in the community. Normally, I will
only summarize threads or topics that log no activity after the Friday on which
the traffic is dated. I'm making a special exception this week for "the
artwork" since there's been a lot of information, and misinformation, spread
around and people clearly want "the answers." I've done my best to piece
together the goings on to the best of my ability in the first section here. As
always, I don't try to pretend I'm unbiased but I to represent all sides to the
best of my ability.

But before we get to that, bits and pieces that didn't get a full story but are
worth mentioning include:

  • Justin Kelley asked on the ubuntu-users list if there was a place to be
    uploading Ubuntu flavored wallpapers and such and if there was plans for an
    art.ubuntulinux.org. Jeff Waugh said, "I'd suggest using art.gnome.org and
    www.gnome-look.org for now. There may be something cooler for Ubuntu users
    on the way."
  • Josh Kress suggested that there should be a kind of "promotion guide" for
    Ubuntu at conferences and such and perhaps even a promotion team. I think
    this is a great idea! Interested parties should continue this conversation
    on IRC and the lists!

Mailing List Stats For This Week

We looked at 2101 posts in 8849K.

There were 420 different contributors. 255 posted more than once. 200 posted
last week too.

The top posters of the week were:

  • 153 posts in 564K by Matt Zimmerman
  • 67 posts in 263K by volvoguy
  • 56 posts in 193K by Oliver Grawert
  • 38 posts in 129K by Brett Kirksey
  • 36 posts in 143K by Colin Watson
  • Full Stats


1. The Artwork
2004/10/ (551 posts) Subject: "too many to list"
People: Tyler Willingham,� Benjamin Roe,� Brett Kirksey,� Robert Brimhall,� The
Pink Chick,� Ryan Thiessen,� Mark Shuttleworth,� Jeff Waugh,� Scott James Remnant,� 
Colin Watson,� Henrik Nilsen Omma,� Marius Van Deventer,� Benjamin Mako Hill

Initial Reaction

In a little over a week, Ubuntu-users saw over 500 messages on the topic of
artwork in Ubuntu. This tries to act as a summary of what happened from
beginning to now.

With the release candidate, Ubuntu developers unveiled new artwork that had
been created for Ubuntu by a professional design studio. The artwork included
images of three South Africans in a variety of different pictures and poses and
without a whole lot of clothing on -- but still well within the realms of what
could be show publicly in any major Western city. There were three images that
were introduced (I've mirrored this from a links posted in the mailing list
discussion to keep them from disappearing over time):

  • A GDM login screen (http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/4.10RC-images/
  • A GNOME splash image (http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/4.10RC-images/
  • A calendar background (http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/4.10RC-images/

The first message posted to the User was from Tyler Willingham:

    I have been using Ubuntu for a while now, and have been extremely impressed
    with it's well thought-out design and feel.

    I have been using the system since the preview release, and have been happy
    with it so far. However, I recently updated the system and saw changes to
    the default theme which leave me a little bit uncomfortable. I was going to
    setup my in-law's computer with this, and they, like me, are conservative
    and seek out those things that choose modest attire. I was surprised to see
    the new default theme which does not hold to these ideals. I know I can
    change the theme, but I am uncomfortable with the idea that this is the
    first thing I am presented with. There are many others, I would imagine,
    who would seem to agree with me.

    Basically, I was wondering if there is a chance that there be a bit more
    conservative theme by default for the first release?

Many people replied to this with support for Tyler's' position. In particular,
many people suggested that they had installed Ubuntu at their schools,
Universities, churches, and workplaces and they were very worried that it would
now be inappropriate in that setting with the default artwork. Many people
didn't have a problem with the images on their own machines but they disliked
the idea of them being default. Benjamin Roe said:

    The default settings are important - it's what a lot of people will use.
    Changing the splash screen is non-trivial in GNOME. Having to tell every
    newbie Linux user to run gconf-editor or go download and install gTweakui
    is a bad idea. Having to explain to every new user why they have something
    from a Calvin Klein advert on the screen while logging in will get old

    The splash screen and login pictures are unprofessional and unnecessary.
    I'm a liberal European, I have no problem with the human form, I'm not
    being prudish. But if the first thing anyone sees when they evaluate Ubuntu
    is a bunch of goofy looking semi-naked people laughing, that's going to be
    a problem. Every review will start with a discussion on the default theme
    and how they couldn't use it in their work/school/church environment. Every
    online discussion after release will degenerate into discussions like this
    one. Not exactly good press.

    No other distro or OS I have seen uses photos like that as the default and
    with good reason.

Other people objected based on the basis that they thought that it would be
offensive in some cultures. Brett Kirksey said: "Whether you or I like it or
not, there are entire cultures that believe women should remain covered almost
entirely (ever been to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc.?). That is probably where you
will find a big problem."

Not everyone agreed with this sentiment of course. Quite a few replied to say
things along the lines of this comment by Robert Brimhall: "I see no problems
with the background. The theme is called "Human." ;)" In the same vein, The
Pink Chick said, "It is jut a picture of three people, two woman, one man,
smiling on each other. Look at the ubuntu sign: three humans taken each others
hands. I admit, the wallpaper shows their bodies upper parts naked, but the
womens have their arms crossed, so you can't see a shadow of their breasts.
Should this be enough to be offended? Not for me. Maybe it is a bit naive but
it is completely harmless and friendly."

Early on, there was some confusion about the default desktop images which
caused a bit of traffic on the list. The desktop image linked above was never
meant to the default. It was the calendar image which, in the preview release,
had been accidentally marked as the default. For people that installed the
preview release and then upgraded to the release candidate, the background
automatically became the default although this was not the behavior that most
people, including all people who installed from the release candidate or the
forthcoming release, would see. However, this did not resolve issues people had
with the GDM and splash screens which were in fact the new default in the
release candidate.

Meanwhile, several people set up the discussion as what they saw as the first
major test of the Ubuntu community. Ryan Thiessen said:

    As a distribution that bills itself as a community project, I think it's
    fair to say that this will be the first major test of what that actually
    means. Will the questions of the community go unanswered, or will there be
    a discussion or debate or at least an post explaining the reasons why
    Ubuntu Warty RC1 is shipping with this artwork? I realize that much of the
    effort today has been correctly focused on the release of RC1, and I don't
    mean to be a nag... but when an issue comes up like this the community
    concerns really ought to be addressed in some way.

Additionally, a howto for changing the splash screen, and all the rest, was
posted to the wiki.

Discussion Continues: Reaction From Mark Shuttleworth

Mark Shuttleworth replied to Ryan's message posted above saying:

    Ryan's hit the nail on the head by asking for community discussion - that's
    exactly what this list is for, and so far I think we've seen a very healthy
    discussion on the topic.

    The background to the theme is the idea of "spirit of humanity". Most
    people think of computers as machinery, but today they are far more a tool
    of sharing and communication. My computer is how I keep in touch with my
    family and friends, as much as the place I do my work. It's not a cold,
    plastic thing, it's my connection to the world of the people I care about.
    We were looking for visual ways to communicate that and realised that there
    was no way to do it without showing people. Diverse people, of different
    shapes and sizes, being people. Our logo emphasizes the idea of people of
    different ethnic backgrounds working and playing together, so we tried to
    work that into it. Now, visually, it's very hard to put people into
    computer art. You should SEE some of the early mockups. Nonetheless, we
    pursued this idea with professional artists and designers, and the images
    you see today are the first in a series that attempt to encapsulate the
    theme of warmth, human-ness, diversity, sharing, caring and nature.

    The models are representative of diverse people (they are, as it happens,
    from three different parts of Africa).

    I'm aware the images might be controversial. So is any work of art. This
    forum is where that controversy can be explored and where we can ultimately
    take a view on whether this theme is something that should stay part of
    Ubuntu in future releases.

    The Calendar image is exactly that - it will be updated every month with a
    new image. You are able to stick with an image from a particular month that
    you like, or leave it on the Calendar mode to get a new image every month.
    None of the images would be unacceptable on a 60 foot billboard in any
    major western city.

    One thing that needs to be clear is that the Calendar image is not the
    default desktop, it worked out that way unexpectedly for those of you who
    had installed a previous release and then upgraded. My sincere apologies if
    that caught anyone off guards, especially if it came at an awkward moment.
    For new users the default desktop is the image with the Ubuntu logo on it.

    It would be great to see community-contributed themes that also capture the
    ideas we are trying to communicate. There may be a much, much better way of
    doing so. I'm a little nervous to call for contributions for the Calendar
    image :-), but go ahead and publish themes that YOU think communicate the
    "spirit of humanity" clearly and warmly. We'll host a repository of those
    themes in due course, or support one of the excellent repositories that
    already exist, to create a forum for that artwork. I know there's great
    talent amongst our community because I've already seen a few contributed
    themes that were excellent, and may even be of sufficient quality to be
    considered for a future Ubuntu release.

Not everyone was completely happy and satisfied with this answer including a
number of the developers employed by Mark to work on Ubuntu. Jeff Waugh said:
"'playful, happy toddlers' might communicate this concept more soundly. 'adults
with their kit off' says too many other things, confusing the message." 
Additionally, Scott James Remnant replied saying, "To be honest, I really
wouldn't want to be seen with any kind of pictures of children on a desktop in
the UK right now; the media's only just finished it's last paedophile

Elsewhere, in a different thread, Ubuntu hacker and Community Council member
Colin Watson articulated what was a particular concern of mine saying:

    I think this is the main thing that's got to me about the whole artwork
    mess: it's created huge divisions in a newly-born community for no good
    reason. Regardless of the merits or demerits of the artwork itself, I
    advocate a change from the current default simply due to the divisive
    nature of the reactions to it and the need for a new community to have a
    stable base that they can trust.

    It hasn't been too bad. There have been some off-colour posts here and
    there, but mostly we've been able to ask posters to be nice, and get on
    with things. It's a bummer to have controversy like this so early on, but
    we'll get over it - the discussion probably won't die down until the
    community meeting in a couple of days though. ;-)

Alternatives and Solutions

As this continued, people upset at an apparent lack of progress started a
discussion on remastering Ubuntu CDs to remove the artwork in question. Of
course, people have every technical and legal right to create such derivatives
although it would, in my opinion, be unfortunate to see such fracture in the
community over something that is apparently non-central to the technical goals
of the distribution as artwork.

The situation seemed to be aggravated when at the some point, the default login
screen image was uploaded to the website. Many people assumed that this meant
that the all of the artwork was here to stay -- which was not a forgone
conclusion at all.

Additionally, people started to come up and suggest potential solutions. There
were a couple suggestion for some pseudo universal gesture like a pair of open
hands, etc? A long line of feet? The tops of many heads? Someone else suggested
that children playing in a ring could be used instead of this image.

Other creative solutions were offered. Henrik Nilsen Omma threw up a darked
mockup fo the screen that he thought would "tone down" the login screen image

    Many people have made it very clear that they see real deployment issues
    with Ubuntu if it uses it's present artwork, whether they object to it
    personally or not. I think we have established the various viewpoints quite
    clearly now, but I wonder if we can start looking at possible solutions?

    It is also clear that the Ubuntu team invested a great deal of effort in
    this artwork, and most will agree that it is professionally done. They want
    to focus on real people and have arranged a photo-shoot and have had the
    graphics professionally prepared. They seem to be committed to it and happy
    with it as they have posted the GDM screen on their web page. That
    particular graphic is esp. symbolic since it directly explains the meaning
    of the logo.

    My guess is that most people object to the splash and wallpaper images, as
    they contain suggestions of nudity. Would it be possible to work out a
    partial solution that most people could be happy with?

    An example:

     1. Revert the splash screen to the original plain design with a simple
     2. Use the simple brown wallpaper with the logo (which I think is the
        default now)
     3. Tone down the GDM screen, while keeping the basic imagery of the

Reactions were split on both Henrik's process and his example image.

Another suggestion was from Marius Van Deventer saying: "During install-time
(or possibly on first boot) A user can be prompted to specify whether the
machine is in a corporate environment or not." Limaunion suggested that there
be an official on-line poll set up on the Ubuntu website.

Community Meeting

On October 16th, Mark Shuttleworth announced a community meeting to discuss the
artwork saying:

    The discussion on this list, and in the web forums and IRC channel
    regarding the artwork in the 4.10 (Warty Warthog) Release Candidate has
    been vigorous and largely well-informed. I'd like to thank everybody who's
    posted their views. There have been contributions from a wide variety of
    opinions, and from both the developers of Ubuntu and end users.

    Having read the mails and web discussions (all of them) I think it's worth
    calling for a community meeting on IRC to discuss this further and reach a
    decision. I do love the expression "this is my decision and I won't
    hesitate to take the wrong one". In this case it might even be true, so if
    this is an important issue for you please try to participate:

    #ubuntu on irc.freenode.net (thanks to the good people at Freenode) 14:00

    I will put together a summary on the wiki of the arguments I've observed
    thus far, so we can avoid a rehash of old ground.

    By all means continue the debate and discussion in these lists/forums till
    the decision is taken. I will try to keep up with everything that is said
    here, and I expect the developers will continue to listen and contribute
    too. We've not quite heard from everybody yet on the subject but I suspect
    we are getting to the end of the novel arguments.

I've written up a summary of the meeting here that you can check out if you
want details. It is here:

  • Summary: http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/
  • Full Log: http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/

Questions that should be addressed at the meeting included the following list/

      □ Is the existence of the artwork a problem even if it is not the
          ☆ Should it be on the CD?
          ☆ Should it be in the archive?
      □ General Questions for Future Reference
          ☆ Can we have default images that depict people at all?
              ○ If so, do we have to observe the most conservative possible
              ○ What about an image of a woman in a business suit, would that
                be inappropriate for an Eastern audience?
          ☆ How do cultural issues affect derivatives? For example, are all the
            official derivatives required to observe the same global cultural
            sensitivities? Could an official derivative for a specific country
            use images and language that are appropriate in that country even
            if they may be inappropriate in another country?
      □ RC Artwork
          ☆ Login screen
              ○ can this be the default login, if a plain version is available?
              ○ should the plain version be the default?
          ☆ Calendar images
              ○ Should these be on the CD, or in the archive, or separate?
          ☆ Splash screen
              ○ Should this be installed if you also install calendar desktops?
          ☆ Are there any other elements of Ubuntu RC that might cause cultural
              ○ country naming
              ○ artwork, colors, translations
              ○ bouncing cow

Please read the summary for the outcomes and the general reactions and
consensus to each of these.


Mark Shuttleworth posted the following summary on the outcome and decision that
he made coming out of the community meeting. He said:

    We had an extensive open discussion on Monday about the artwork for the
    final release of 4.10 (The Warty Warthog). I think it's fair to say we had
    representatives from across the community present and participating, as
    well as many of the core developers.

    Based on the meeting I've asked for the following to be done in time for
    the final release of Warty:

      □ the default login screen will contain no imagery
      □ the "circle of friends" login screen will be available as an option
        after installation on new machines
      □ the gnomesplash will revert to that of the preview release, with the
        Ubuntu logo
      □ the default desktop will remain the "ubuntu" desktop which has the
        chocolate colour and ubuntu logo
      □ the calendar will not be installed by default, this is now a separate
        ubuntu-calendar package
          ☆ the calendar requires network access for monthly updated wallpapers
            in any event

    All of these changes have now been made and should be available to you when
    you next update the packages on an installed Ubuntu system.

    The art theme of ubuntu is one way in which we would like to distinguish
    the distribution, but it's clear that will need to be a derivative work or
    separate layer of packages rather than part of the default.

    In the pantheon of ideas about which it could be asked "which dumbnut
    dreamed this up?" the idea of strong human imagery in Ubuntu would appear
    to feature prominently, and the dumbnut in question would be me. I'll have
    to shoulder any blame for the original idea and it's execution, so please
    direct any such feedback at me rather than other Ubuntu developers, and
    thanks to all of you who helped to straighten me out.

Basically everyone seemed to upbeat about this conclusion and about the fact
that Mark and the Canonical seemed to weigh the feelings of members the
community heavily in making the decision.

I'm personally quite happy to see the way that things worked out. Like many
people, I like the artwork and enjoy it. For me, the biggest issue was the
potential it had osplit parts of the community very early on and I'm hugely
happy about the way that things worked out in the end. Thanks to everyone who
helped keep the discussion civil and constructive and to everyone that took the
time to consider other people's positions -- even if they didn't ultimately
agree with them. I think this is a great model that we as a community can
follow and it's a successful story of our first real conflict.


2. Accessibility Team Kickoff
2004/10/07� -� 2004/10/10 (11 posts) Subject: "Accessibility Team"
People: Henrik Nilsen Omma,� Jeff Waugh

Henrik Nilsen Omma followed up to a conversation had at the last community
council meeting about potential creation of a team to deal with accessibility
issues in Ubuntu saying:

    Reading Mako's summary of the Community Council Meeting, I see that my name
    was mentioned in connection with a possible accessibility team. This is
    clearly something that I'm interested in and would like to help get going.
    (for those who don't know me, I have a neck injury, which means that I do
    all my typing with a mouth-stick and use a 'Head-mouse') The main feature I
    need from an operating system is 'sticky-keys', which means that when you
    press Shift, Ctrl, or Alt, it stays down until the next key is pressed. I
    clearly know about my own requirements, but I should also look into access
    for the blind, etc.

    I've installed several sounder-CD versions, and not had any problems with
    the install process. I'll test early versions of the new graphical
    installer too, to make sure it's possible to navigate the whole thing
    without a mouse or Shift/Alt/Ctrl.

    I also easily found the features I needed in Gnome, and they seem to work
    well. Both Gnome and KDE seem to cater quite well these days. I'll do some
    more testing with non-gnome apps though, because that's often where the
    problems arise. In the past I've often had to download Dan Linder's
    AccessX, which seems to work on all of X, and disable the built in DE

    Another key issue is having support for some rather obscure hardware, such
    as braille-readers or special mouse and keyboard set-ups. I for instance
    use a special serial mouse that has issues with some operating systems.

    Anyway, enough of the details. How do we proceed? I guess I should contact
    Sivan Green, who also seems interested, and start setting up a wiki page.

Jeff Waugh followed up to Henrik encouraging him and saying:

    Yes please, get a wiki page going, think about some accessibility goals for
    our next release (beyond those already documented on the Hoary Hedgehog
    page), and throw out some ideas on ubuntu-devel... At the next community
    council meeting, we can get a team together officially!

    I'm very interested in helping with this, and have a bunch of people in
    Sydney keen to work on an Accessible Ubuntu derivative (mostly because some
    of the a11y requirements will be inconvenient for users who do not need
    them). We're planning to work on some of these goals at the regular Debian
    codefests held by the local LUG.

Henrik followed up with a long and very constructive email to the list on
accessibility issues and laying out some food for thought for Hoary Hedgehog.
It looks like the accessibility is on a solid footing to make some great
progress in the near future.


3. Flash in Ubuntu
2004/10/08 (8 posts) Subject: "GPL'd Flash Library"
People: Tim Schmidt,� Martin Alderson

Tim Schmidt posted a message encouraging Ubuntu to include an incomplete GPLed
version of Flash in Ubuntu:

    I'd like to see the GPL'd flash library at http://www.swift-tools.net/Flash
    / included in Ubuntu (possibly Hoary). Since the origional posting a few
    good points have come up, so here's the use cases:

    First, I'd like to say something about the utility of a free, but only
    partially working flash plugin. Even though it doesn't fully implement all
    versions of Flash, there are many reasons that people can't use
    Macromedia's flash, I'll try to outline those below. Also, by including the
    partially implemented flash library (for which there is no better free
    solution) we'll be encouraging users to report bugs, and increasing
    awareness of it with developers. In short, if we include the library with
    Hoary, it might be complete by the release after Hoary.

      □ Having a flash interpreter on the install CD would make life easier for
        people with no (or slow -- dialup) internet connections
      □ Macromedia's flash interpreter is useless on a LiveCD (since we can't
        re-distribute it).
      □ Supporting even just a couple versions of Flash is better than none.
      □ Users of arch's other than x86 have a tough time even getting
        Macromedia's flash working (Macromedia only makes Flash Player
        available for x86 (32bit only), MacOSX, Solaris, and Windows)
      □ It's not too hard to install Flash player from Firefox, but that's a
        per-user install and so needs to be repeated, cannot be automated, and
        wastes space. Having one globally set up during the distribution
        install would be better.
      □ Supporting a free implementation of Flash fits well within Ubuntu
        philosophy: http://www.ubuntulinux.org/ubuntu/philosophy/

    Enough reasons? Anyone have more? Can we at least get a package in

Off the bat, I think that a package in Universe sounds extremely reasonable
(that's what universe is there for after all, right?). Other people agreed with
Tim's reasoning but not everybody did. Martin Alderson replied saying, "Don't
agree sadly. I can't see the point of a highly broken flash player, when the
whole point of flash is that it just works. Not only that, as soon as you hit a
flash object in Firefox 1.0PR and above it will install flash player for you,
the fully working version." Martin followed up later with a point-by-point
rebuttal of Tim's point. The two agreed to disagree.


4. Firefox Downgrade
2004/10/11� -� 2004/10/12 (18 posts) Subject: "Ubuntu Downgrade to Firefox 0.9.3"
People: John D'Agostino,� Thom May

John D'Agostino asked, "Just wondering why firefox has been downgraded from
1.0PR back to 0.9.3?" Quite a number of other people noticed this as well. Thom
May replied:

    Several reasons:

    We weren't happy with the stability that both we as developers and the user
    community were seeing with 1.0PR - there have been a large number of bugs
    filed about stability problems since 1.0PR was uploaded. We need to be able
    to support our releases in the long term, and this would significantly
    effect our ability to do this.

    The lack of localisation for 1.0PR was also a large concern - rolling back
    to 0.9.3 allows us to support most major languages.

    We realise that this is a significant step which is why we've been trying
    to fix problems rather than do this, but we've now run out of time with no
    apparent resolution in sight.


5. Community Council Meeting (Sort Of)
2004/10/12 (0 posts) Subject: "[irc only]"
People: Benjamin Mako Hill

The agenda for the scheduled community council meeting was empty, the release
the Warty Release candidate was planned the next day and at least one CC member
(I'm sad to say it was me) was missing for the bulk of the meeting. As a
result, the meeting was changed into more of a release issues meeting than a
pure CC meeting. A summary of the meeting is included here:

    Full Log Available: http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/

    Angenda: There was no agenda set for this meeting.

    Miscellaneous Business

    Sivan Green was interested in talking about the newly brainstormed
    Documentation and Accessibility teams but, due to the business of the
    upcoming release, this was postponed until the next meeting.

    That said, Mark Shuttleworth noted that he did not see mention of Enrico
    Zini in the webpages on the wiki that Sivan had put together and wanted to
    make sure that Enrico stayed in the loop on this.

    The work then moved on to non-Community Council discussion of the release
    candidate due the next day.

    Release Status Work

    Matt Zimmerman announced that things looked on track and in good shape for
    the Warty Warthog release candidate scheduled to be pushed out the next

    The one major qualification was that there was still at least one major bug
    in the Live CD and even if a fix was on time, there would be no time to
    debug the Live CD.

    In regard to the main release, Mark Shuttleworth asked, "would we like the
    RC to be good enough to be a release if we get no new major reports?" Matt
    Zimmerman replied that he would very much like this but that we should wait
    to see what initial reactions are to the release candidate are before there
    is any more talk about making the RC the final release.

    Colin Watson pointed out that, "the installation manual is still very raw;
    I've made a fair effort at branding it, but it's very recent and few people
    have looked at it." Consensus was that this should be fine because the
    installation manual is not shipped on the CD itself.

    The major remaining issue was the new artwork which had to get in but was
    being worked on by Jeff Waugh and others.

    USB keyboard also seemed to be a sticking point but those problems were
    particularly difficult to debug and required a lot of back and forth
    between the developer (Herbert Xu in this case) and the user. They may not
    be within scope for an on-time Warty release.

    Matt added that, "another bug currently marked RC is the lack of a local
    copy of the default browser start page," but that he didn't feel
    "particularly RC about that one today."

    Mark Shuttleworth then pointed people to the release process wiki page (
    http://wiki.ubuntu.com/WartyWarthog_2fReleaseProcess) .

    In terms of the process and the decisions about the release, Mark added,
    "let's let the tech board decide when it's ready to go, CC just needs to
    agree the process."

    The process that was decided upon called for a release that got a solid 8
    hours of testing after quick announcements on both the ubuntu-users and
    ubuntu-devel mailing lists.

    Much of the rest of the discussion was the specifics of what the hardware
    and the bandwidth could and could not do in terms of serving out many
    copies of the ISO when it is released and what sort of arrangement and
    strategy needed to be worked out with the mirrors.


6. Warthog Final Todo List
2004/10/13� -� 2004/10/15 (31 posts) Subject: "Warty final todo list"
People: Matt Zimmerman

After the release candidate was released, Matt Zimmerman posted his summary of
the that need to happen before the final release in a week:

    With the release candidate safely out the door, we have a few remaining
    critical fixes to make for the final release. Here's the current todo list
    with assignees:

    apache2         security: CAN-2004-0885 (Thom)
    tiff            security: https://bugzilla.ubuntu.com/show_bug.cgi?id=2344 (Fabio)
    gzip            https://bugzilla.ubuntu.com/1854 (Me)
    portmap         https://bugzilla.ubuntu.com/505 (Fabio)
    hal             Need to revert a change with unwanted side effects (Martin Pitt)
    initrd-tools    https://bugzilla.ubuntu.com/show_bug.cgi?id=2341 (Thom)

    gzip and portmap have patches in Bugzilla, and packages here (source,
    amd64, powerpc and i386):

    deb http://people.ubuntu.com/~mdz/warty-rc-fixes/$(ARCH) /
    deb-src http://people.ubuntu.com/~mdz/warty-rc-fixes/source /

    Please give them as much testing as you can.

    The only code affected in gzip is the handling of signals, which happens to
    be something which happens a lot when installing packages with apt and
    dpkg. It would be ideal if someone could perform some large system upgrades
    using this gzip. This bug is important to fix because it can break various
    packaging operations on multiprocessor machines, including our own server

    portmap needs to be changed to listen only on the loopback interface by
    default, in order to comply with the security policy. It does NOT, as
    previously thought, reject connections by default unless enabled in
    hosts.allow. See notes in Bugzilla.

    tiff and apache2 will be updated using security patches prepared by the
    upstream maintainers, but they deserve extra testing as well before they go
    into the archive.

    Martin has a fixed package in hand for hal, which should be quite safe, as
    it is merely reverting an earlier change to fix a regression in a
    last-minute update and bring the package closer to a known-good state.

    In initrd-tools, it has been proposed that we should reverse the order of
    loading the fan and thermal modules, as this avoids severe problems
    (overheating) on some HP laptops. This should be relatively low-risk; since
    debian-installer has always used the opposite order, so this configuration
    has already received significant testing.

    Also, Fabio has proposed One Last XFree86 Update(tm) to fix a few bugs. I
    have serious reservations about this, but there is room for discussion.
    Fabio, please publish the diff so that we have context for it.

    All in all, I think that Warty remains on schedule and on target, and the
    release candidate is of excellent quality. We have only a short distance
    left to cover. Thanks as always to the Ubuntu development team for their
    release efforts, and to the community for their strong support.


7. Documentation Team
2004/10/13� -� 2004/10/14 (5 posts) Subject: "Documentation Meeting"
People: John Hornbeck

John Hornbeck announced a documentation meeting for Friday, October 15 saying,
"There will be a documentation meeting this Friday at 1400UTC in #
ubuntu-meeting on the Freenode server. Please if you are interested in working
with docs on Ubuntu be there. If you cannot make it but are interested please
email me and I will see what I can do."

Enrico Zini posted the summary of the meeting. It was very complete -- too long
to posted in full here. You can check it out here:

  • Summary: http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/docteam-summary-20041015.html
  • Full Log: http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/


8. 4.10 Release Candidate Announced
2004/10/ (1 post) Subject: "Announcing Ubuntu 4.10 (Release Candidate)"
People: Benjamin Mako Hill

On Wednesday, Benjamin Mako Hill announced the Ubuntu release candidate for
4.10 or "The Warty Warthog." It shares some text with the preview release
announcement but I've included it all here anyway:

    The warm-hearted Warthogs of the Warty Warthog Team are proud to present
    the very first release candidate of Ubuntu!

    Ubuntu is a new Linux distribution that brings together the extraordinary
    breadth of Debian with a fast and easy install, regular releases (every six
    months), a tight selection of excellent packages installed by default and a
    commitment to security updates with 18 months of security and technical
    support for every release.

    Less than a month ago, Ubuntu entered the Linux world with a preview
    release of its 4.10 distribution. The last month has seen extensive work by
    the Ubuntu community of testers, translators, contributors and coders. The
    result of this hard work can be seen in today's release:

        Ubuntu 4.10 RC -- Codenamed "The Warty Warthog Release" (warty)

    This release candidate contains a snapshot of Ubuntu that the Warty team
    thinks is ready to release. We believe this release is potentially the
    final Warty release, and are calling it a Release Candidate to encourage
    very widespread testing.

    If you've heard all about Ubuntu and just want to get the install CD or
    test the Live CD, you can download it here:


    If you want a shrinkwrapped CD you can register to have the final release
    sent to you at no cost when Warty Warthog is released. To receive a
    complimentary copy of the Warty Warthog release on CD -- or a handful to
    give to your friends, your school or LUG, register online at:


    For more information, you can turn to any of the following resources:

    Ubuntu Website: http://www.ubuntulinux.org

        The website contains some basic background on Ubuntu, an overview of
        the project, information on how to get it, and some documentation for
        the software.

    Ubuntu Wiki: http://wiki.ubuntulinux.org

        The wiki is a shared web space used by the Ubuntu community to develop
        new ideas for Ubuntu. Anybody is welcome to edit and add to the wiki.
        You log in to start editing by clicking on UserPreferences in the top
        right hand corner of the page.

    Ubuntu IRC Channel: #ubuntu and on irc.freenode.net

        The Ubuntu IRC channel is your best place to start for help and
        discussion about Ubuntu and the Warty Warthog release. We aim to keep
        the signal-to-noise ratio as high as possible on that channel, and on
        all community forums.

    Ubuntu Mailing Lists:

        Ubuntu mailing lists are the heart of our community. In addition to the
        announcement list, and lists for users and developers of Ubuntu, there
        are now Ubuntu mailing lists in German, French, Spanish as well as
        lists devoted to Ubuntu security, news, translators, and the inevitable
        lighthearted chitchat list ("the Sounder"). To get more information or
        subscribe, visit: http://lists.ubuntu.com

    Warty Warthog's features include:

      □ Simple and FAST Installation

        Ubuntu comes on one single CD, with thousands of extra packages
        available online. The install is optimised for speed and simplicity.
        Ubuntu has excellent support for laptops (both x86 based and Powerbook
        / iBook PPC based), and can also be setup in a minimalist server

      □ GNOME 2.8

        Ubuntu was the first distribution to ship Gnome 2.8, on the day of its
        release. Ubuntu is a great way to try out Gnome 2.8 if you have not
        already tasted it's speed and simplicity!

      □ Firefox 0.9 (with security patches)

      □ First class productivity software

        Evolution 2.0 and OpenOffice.org 1.1.2

      □ XFree86 4.3 with improved hardware support

        We also worked hard to detect as much hardware as possible, simplifying
        the X install considerably.

    Warty can be installed in a minimalist mode for servers, or in full desktop
    mode. It works well on laptops and desktops. Warty is secure by design - a
    key goal was to ensure that Warty was as safe from attack over the Internet
    as possible after a default install. We hope the Warty Warthog and future
    releases of Ubuntu will help secure the doors and cough windows of your
    network infrastructure at home, and in the office.

    Benjamin Mako Hill and the Ubuntu Team







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