Ubuntu Traffic #16 -- 2004/12/10

Benj. Mako Hill mako at canonical.com
Sat Jan 8 11:41:43 CST 2005


Ubuntu Traffic is a newsletter summarizing the goings-on in the Ubuntu
community -- focusing on IRC and mailing list activity.

I'm catching up on Ubuntu Traffic after the conference in Mataró. This
issues covers the first week of the conference.  It is attached to
this mail and online here:


Thanks again to everyone who pointed things out to me and to
jorge at whiprush.org who is now helping traffic to cover some forum
related news. Please keep it up!


Benjamin Mako Hill
mako at canonical.com
-------------- next part --------------
                       Ubuntu Traffic #16 For 2004/12/10

                             By Benjamin Mako Hill

Table Of Contents

  • Standard Format
  • Text Format
  • XML Source
  • Introduction
  • Threads Covered

    1.  2004/12/05Â -Â 2004/12/10 (0 posts)  Ubuntu Conference Mega-Story
    2.  2004/11/29Â -Â 2004/12/09 (44 posts) Supporting Non-Free Software
    3.  2004/12/03Â -Â 2004/12/08 (13 posts) Kernel Security Update Woes
    4.  2004/12/04Â -Â 2004/12/07 (35 posts) GNOME Panel Structure in Hoary
    5.  2004/12/04Â -Â 2004/12/09 (18 posts) Editors in the Default Install
    6.  2004/12/04Â -Â 2004/12/07 (8 posts)  Debug GNOME Packages
    7.  2004/12/05Â -Â 2004/12/14 (56 posts) KDE In Ubuntu - KUBUNTU!
    8.  2004/12/06              (0 posts)  Hoary Goals Summary BOF
    9.  2004/12/07Â -Â 2004/12/09 (17 posts) More on CD Creation
    10. 2004/12/09              (0 posts)  Documentation Team BOF
    11. 2004/12/10              (0 posts)  Ubuntu Marketing BOF
    12. 2004/12/06Â -Â 2004/12/09 (3 posts)  The Open CD
    13. 2004/12/04Â -Â 2004/12/10 (0 posts)  Ubuntu Security Notifications


Welcome to the sixteenth edition of Ubuntu Traffic. This issue covers the week
of December 4, 2004 - December 10, 2004. Ubuntu Traffic summarizes the most
important mailing list and IRC discussions involving the Ubuntu GNU/Linux

Ubuntu Traffic can be found on the web at http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/
ubuntu-traffic/. You can also receive in text form over email by signing up for
the Ubuntu News mailing list at http://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/
ubuntu-news. There is now an RSS feed for traffic available as well! You can
find information on turning that on at the Ubuntu Hompage (http://
people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/ubuntu-traffic/) .

You can sign up for any of the mailing lists summarized here at http://
lists.ubuntu.com. You can also join the IRC discussion summarized here in #
ubuntu and other channels on the Freenode network: irc.freenode.net. Please
join in and maybe you will be featured in the next traffic!

Writing this traffic was a little bit of a handful. For the last five days of
the week, all of the Canonical Team and many of the volunteers had descended
upon Mataró, Catalonia, Spain for the long-awaited Ubuntu conference. There
were over a dozens BOFs in this week alone and each of them seems worthy of
full notes in the text of traffic. For reasons of space, I've highlighted a few
BOFs which I thought were the most essential and then covered the rest of them
in a big conference mega-story. Please click through to read the notes on the
wiki where they are available for all topics you are interseted in.

First, the following bits and pieces didn't get a full story but are worth

  • Ubuntu Traffic will now be covering the Ubuntu Forums (http://
    www.ubuntuforums.org) , there is a set of guidelines (http://
    ubuntuforums.org/faq.php) that should be read before contributing to those
    forums. Additionally, the "Ubuntu Forums Hangout" can be found on
    irc.freenode.net in the #ubuntuforums channel.
  • Michael Banck uploaded some new multisync packages for hoary. They area
    available when you add this line to your sources.list: deb http://
    people.debian.org/~mbanck/ubuntu-hoary/ ./
  • Chua Wen Kiat announced one of the most fantastic documentation projects
    for Ubuntu! It's the Unofficial Ubuntu Starter Guide but I suspect it may
    become very official very soon. Great work! You can get it here: http://
  • Louise McCance-Price asked on the ubuntu-users list what people were up to
    saying, "just to let you know that there is a news page that's all about
    what the community is up to: http://www.ubuntulinux.org/communitywork/
    Please update this page with projects/initiatives that you have/are
    undertaking, so everyone can read what's happening all over the world in
    sharing Ubuntu.
  • Matt Zimmerman said, "cupsys-driver-gimpprint has been a proposed addition
    to the desktop seed for some time now. It seems to include many drivers
    which users find that they need: "install cupsys-driver-gimpprint" seems to
    be the answer to many printing FAQs." Jeff Waugh and others gave this move
    the nod.
  • Santiago Erquicia posted to the -devel list to say, "The original idea of
    not having a firewall was that there were no open ports by default and if
    anyone wanted to install apache, for example, he/she had the necessary
    expertise to protect the system. Now, with gnome-user-share, we are going
    to end up with apache installed (by default?) but usually this is going to
    be used by "normal people" without knowledge for protecting the system. How
    is this going to done?"

    Jeff Waugh replied to say, "we may not have gnome-user-share installed by
    default, and if we did, we may not have apache running or listening. Either
    way, nothing will listen by default, as per policy."

  • Chris Halls, with James Troup and others helping, put up a great page for
    doing Ubuntu development. It's currently available here: http://
  • Thully complained about the appearance of openoffice.org. Nathan Howell
    responded suggesting that he install the openoffice.org-gtk-gnome package
    and perhaps also the openoffice.org-evolution and openoffice.org-gnomevfs
    packages. Jeff Waugh replied that all of these packages had been moved into
    the Desktop Seed.


1. Ubuntu Conference Mega-Story
2004/12/05Â -Â 2004/12/10 (0 posts) Subject: "[too many to keep track of]"

As I mentioned in the introduction, I've highlighted a few BOfs which I thought
were the most essential and put them in full stories below. The rest are
described here. Please read the notes on the wiki where they are available if
you're interested (the links are in there).

Software Selection BOF

Lead by:
    Matt Zimmerman and Jeff Waugh
    Discussion of the process of how we select software, why, and how it could
    be better.

Network Magic BOF

Lead by:
    Thom May
    How are we going to have network automatically handled so that things Just
    Work most of the time? One option is Network Manager and another option is

Unified Hardware Detection BOF

Lead by:
    Matt Zimmerman
    Status of Hardware detection was discussed around issues involving the Live
    CD, the installer, and the normal distribution.

Laptop Support And Power Management BOF

Lead by:
    Thom May
    The goals for laptop support in HoaryHedgehog were reviewed and the issues
    remaining to make this happen were broken down and discussed.

Package Management Tools BOF

Lead by:
    Jeff Waugh

    Described a host of package management tools planned for hoary including:

      â–¡ upgrade-notifier
      â–¡ update-manager
      â–¡ gnome-app-install
      â–¡ gnome-software-properties
      â–¡ other stuff!

Package Maintenance Workshop

Lead by:
    Benjamin Mako Hill and Matt Zimmerman
    A crash course in learning to make and modify Debian and Ubuntu packages
    for people who are new to the process.

Language Packs BOF

Lead by:
    Martin Pitt
    One of the major Hoary goals is to bring in an idea of language supports to
    better support many different languages. Exactly how we are going to do
    this was detailed and brainstormed at this BOF.

Welcome To Python Workshop

Lead by:
    Sivan Green and Paul Sladen
    A introduction to Python workshop/mini-course for folks that are not
    familiar with the language. Python is very important to Ubuntu so this was
    a great offering!

Draining The Linux Audio Swamp BOF

Lead by:
    Jeff Waugh
    Audio is a mess in Ubuntu and in Linux in general right now. What's the
    best way for Ubuntu to go at the moment to do audio in the right way?

Women In Ubuntu BOF

Lead by:
    Erinn Clark and Benjamin Mako Hill
    The vast majority of Ubuntu developers are currently men. Erinn Clark
    shared some of her experience with the Debian-women project and we
    discussed the way that Ubuntu might be able to act in order to make sure it
    is open and inclusive to women as well as men.

Other BOFs

There were a handful of other BOFs that did not have notes available at the
time I wrote this. I've done my best to list those here. This list includes:

  • HardwareCompatibilityListAndDatabase
  • Non-LatinInput
  • USplashBOF
  • Zope3ComponentArchitecture
  • ConfigurationOnlyPackagingChanges
  • PackagingInfrastructureImprovements
  • Kubuntu (KDE in Ubuntu)

There was also a PGP Keysigning party organized by Benjamin Mako Hill and lots
of Cambridge Standard Five-Card Mao, largely overseen by Daniel Silverstone,
but their meetings did not produce notes.


2. Supporting Non-Free Software
2004/11/29Â -Â 2004/12/09 (44 posts) Subject: "Idea for expanded support of some
non-free software"
People: Thully, Jeff Waugh

Thully posted a message to the ubuntu-devel list saying:

    are some non-free software applications and file formats for which no
    viable free alternative exists, or the free alternative is severely
    crippled. Also, there is a lot of software that is free - but has patent or
    other legal issues. Some examples are:

      â–¡ Flash - no good free player, but used on many web sites - non-free in
      â–¡ MP3 support - patent issues - decoder in universe, encoder on
        third-party archives
      â–¡ DVD support - CSS issues - all players in main archive, but DeCSS in
        third-party archive

    Currently, this software is available only in universe/multiverse (at the
    best) or third-party archives (in the worst case). I feel that some of the
    above packages should be supported more than they are currently - as I had
    some problems with Flash etc and there seems to be no interest in fixing
    the issues since the packages are "non-free, thus unsupported".

Jeff Waugh replied to state, "Where non-free software is legally
redistributable, it may b packaged and distributed through our unsupported
multiverse repository. However, much of the software you've mentioned is not
legally redistributable, however much we paper over the basic issue of it being
non-free and unsupportable. :-)" Elsewhere Jeff reminded people that, "Spending
time supporting proprietary software would detract from our ability to provide
a great supportable and Free OS for everyone, which is our main objective"


3. Kernel Security Update Woes
2004/12/03Â -Â 2004/12/08 (13 posts) Subject: "Kernel security update would break
People: Martin Pitt, Oliver Grawert, Matt Zimmerman

Martin Pitt posted to say:

    We currently have a dilemma regarding a Warty security update of the

    There is a public vulnerability which affects the Warty kernel. We have a
    patch and could upload it any time, but this patch changes the ABI
    (Application Binary Interface). This should actually be unacceptable for a
    security update, but it is required to close the hole.

    An ABI change has the following consequences:

      â–¡ This would render d-i unbuildable on a security-patched Warty. However,
        according to Colin we can neglect that.
      â–¡ It breaks compatibility with user-installed modules, which is the
        actual headache.

    There are two possibilities of handling the module issue:

     1. Ignore the ABI change and hope that most of the user installed modules
        continue to work (but if they don't, this could cause a mess).
     2. Bump the version number, which renders all user-added modules
        unloadable. They have to be recompiled against the new kernel to work

Oliver Grawert suggested that, "I think the name should get changed, but a real
big preinst/debconf warning for this package should show up (probably with a
siren and a blinking desktop). to make sure the user notices the change, keep
the upcoming support low and make the user feel ubuntu cares for him/her if
such odd things happen (also a little explanation why all that happens would be

Matt Zimmerman replied saying:

    This might be reasonable if the kernel packages already used debconf in
    preinst, but that would be far too big a change to introduce in a security
    update. We have had some breakage forced upon us by the nature of the bug,
    but we should try to keep it to a minimum.

    This would be great to have implemented in linux-meta in Hoary, though.

Of course, somebody will need to work on this. Perhaps a good job for folks not
yet actively involved in the project.


4. GNOME Panel Structure in Hoary
2004/12/04Â -Â 2004/12/07 (35 posts) Subject: "Proposed panel menu structure for
People: Jeff Waugh

Jeff Waugh sent a message describing, in depth, a series of changes that he
wanted to make to the GNOME menu structure in particular saying:

    The panel menu structure changes you see in warty were made late in the
    release process, so we didn't have much time to spend designing it for
    acceptance upstream, or optimal GNOME integration. What follows is a design
    that I hope will be acceptable upstream with minor modifications, and solve
    the challenges we've set for ourselves in Ubuntu. It was mostly fleshed out
    at the Oxford conference, so there's nothing particularly new here.

    It's important to keep in mind that these changes are "long term temporary"
    in nature. That is, in the not too distant future, all of this stuff will
    change significantly upstream, so our goal here is to make sure what we do
    in the meantime is good, not perfect. :-)

    The first major change in this proposal is the "Places" menu, which
    replaces the top chunk of warty's Computer menu. Here we give users fast,
    top-level access to their most commonly used folders, and attached storage

    Next we have a dynamic list of the attached storage devices, as listed in
    the Disks (aka computer:///) window. When you insert a USB stick or CD, you
    will see them listed here. The 'Network' item stays the same (it opens the
    network:/// window).

    Finally, we have a 'System' menu. Suggestions welcome for a better name, as
    'System' is remarkably generic. Another option is shifting this to an icon
    only menu at the top left (like the Apple menu in OS X). I'm not convinced
    it's important enough for that, however, but we could include some funkier
    stuff to make it so (longer discussion). Anyway, this menu covers global
    functions, such as desktop preferences and system configuration, help and
    support oriented functions, and logging out.

Lots more details and examples are included in Jeff's email to the ubuntu-devel
list that started the thread. Many additional details were hashed out on the


5. Editors in the Default Install
2004/12/04Â -Â 2004/12/09 (18 posts) Subject: "Slimming down default install?"
People: Martin Alderson, Matt Zimmerman, Colin Watson

Martin Alderson posted to say that:

    I notice that emacs, vim and pico/nano are installed by default. Surely the
    point of Ubuntu is to offer a flexible, feature complete 'base' and work on
    top of it. I highly commend you for having only one web browser, one office
    suite, one video player, one audio player - not the 4 of each that most
    other distros ship with.

    I would suggest keeping pico (because it's the smallest) and get rid of
    emacs and vim. Those two take up around 20MB in my estimation, which is a
    lot of space that could be used for something else.

    Anyone who uses emacs and vim anyway will have the knowledge to do sudo
    apt-get install vim and have it installed?

Matt Zimmerman replied to say:

    In this instance, they are there for different use cases:

      â–¡ nano is present to provide a basic text editing facility for recovery
        and diagnostic use, which anyone can easily learn and use
      â–¡ vim is there for traditional UNIX reasons, to provide vi
      â–¡ emacs is a programmer's editor

    I think a case could be made for removing emacs from the default desktop
    install, but not the other two (which are part of base).

Responding to concerns that this was leading to bloat that would compromise the
one-CD nature of Ubuntu, Colin Watson replied saying, "We have no intention of
making Ubuntu require multiple CDs. We may start doing a DVD with all of main
or something like that, but the single CD will remain an option. If we start to
hit size limits, then we'll just have to work out what to leave out."


6. Debug GNOME Packages
2004/12/04Â -Â 2004/12/07 (8 posts) Subject: "-dbg packages for major Gnome
People: Jerry Haltom, Michael Banck, Sebastien Bacher, Jeff Waugh

Jerry Haltom asked on the devel list, "It would perhaps be very useful to
create -dbg packages for the common large Gnome applications: such as
Evolution, Nautilus, Gnome-Panel, etc. I tend to have these guys crash out on
me fairly regularly, but every time I do, I had forgotten to rebuild my
"nostrip" version, so I can never catch where. It's a bit tedious to track
upgrades to all these applications, rebuilding them on my own. I would bet we'd
get some more useful debug information from bug-buddy crashes if installing
symbols was easier."

In response, Michael Banck suggested:

    You could perhaps also just ship GNOME packages built with debugging
    symbols during the development process (like God^WRMS intended) and then
    rebuild the final packages for the release without them.

    Or have an autobuilt hoary-debug archive users can ping higher than hoary.
    Again, just for GNOME packages.

Sebastien Bacher replied saying that, "I've already thought about that, but
debugging packages are huge to download and devel branch change a lot ... not
sure than people would be happy to get such big upgrade only for debugging
purpose." He also thought the second suggestion made a lot of sense. Jeff Waugh
replied to say, "dbg packages in normal hoary would be great. If something is
breaking, you can just pull down the appropriate dpkg package and go. :-)"


7. KDE In Ubuntu - KUBUNTU!
2004/12/05Â -Â 2004/12/14 (56 posts) Subject: "Ubuntu KDE"
People: Henry Keultjes, Emil Oppeln-Bronikowski, Chris Halls

One of the big threads on the list this week was about a KDE version of Ubuntu.
KDE is already in Universe in Ubuntu but the distribution has a strong focus on
GNOME and cannot support both projects.

Henry Keultjes asked on ubuntu-users: "Anyone interested in putting an
UbuntuPPC version without Gnome and with KDE together for use here in the USA?"

Emil Oppeln-Bronikowski announced that he would like to help, "but not as a
fork(); from Ubuntu, because Ubuntu devs are outstanding and understanding
people. I could help with polishing KDE for Ubuntu." Chris Halls replied

    Perfect. Andreas & I are now fully fledged Ubuntu developers and we making
    uploads to the Ubuntu archive. The archive structure WRT main/universe for
    Kubuntu may change in the future as the 'derivative distribution'
    infrastructure is finalised, but our KDE packages are not a fork as you
    perhaps imply. There are no Ubuntu KDE packages as such - the non-ubuntu
    packages that you see in universe are simply (unsupported) automatic
    imports from Debian.

    As a guide, those KDE packages with an ubuntu version suffix are the
    beginnings of Kubuntu. We may be able to change that suffix to Kubuntu.
    Elmo says the archive infrastructure can cope but I'll ask around a bit
    more first.

    If you'd like to start tweaking the 3.3.2 packages please go ahead. Andreas
    & I will be busy for a while just getting everything uploaded.

More discussions about the project to build a KDE version of Ubuntu, called
Kubuntu, went on in Mataró. There's not a lot to report yet but it's being
driven by Chris Halls and Andreas Mueller who are both new Ubuntu developers
and have experience with KDE work in Debian.


8. Hoary Goals Summary BOF
2004/12/06 (0 posts) Subject: "Hoary Goals Summary BOF"

BOF Notes: htttp://www.ubuntulinux.org/wiki/HoaryGoalsSummary

Matt Zimmerman and Jeff Waugh ran a BOF on the goals for Hoary. The notes that
they left the BOF with included a short of hit list:

Primary Goals:

  • need to test BzipPackages on something in Desktop -- Thom May
  • need to fast-track extracting desktop files, etc. from packages
  • bugs found in Update Manager
      â–¡ needs further integration with gnome-app-install and Synaptic
      â–¡ get rid of Changes tab
  • BOF for Essential Python to go through the standard library to decide what
    would be good in python-base
  • Kill Colin Watson so we can remove Perl from Essential over his dead body

Secondary Goals:

  • Python udeb would be complicated, Keyboard Layout Selector should probably
    be written in C
  • Jeff Waugh to flesh out GDM Enhancements and talk to Mark about what he
  • update Network Manager foo after BOF tomorrow
  • have a Multimedia BOF to discuss video playback
  • Scott James Remnant to whip people to make USplash happen
  • Daniel Stone to fix GDM starting to make sure DELAYLOGIN=no
  • Scott James Remnant to look at udevd/udevsend to replace hotplug
  • ask Mark for G5 for porting
  • BOF for Graphical Installer, not going to happen for hoary
  • Handle kobject for Mac IO BUS patch to someone useful
      â–¡ module-init-tools needs support
      â–¡ hotplug needs support
      â–¡ udev needs support
      â–¡ grepmap needs support
  • CD-upgrade stuff to packaging tools BOF
  • Find someone to enable AutoRun
  • Encryption for USB keys, but not home directories just yet
  • Matt Zimmerman to do bounty for SMART
  • Jeff Waugh, Matt Zimmerman and Chris Halls to talk about OpenOffice 2.0

The updated list of Hoary Goals is online here: http://www.ubuntulinux.org/wiki

It's where you should look for update to date information on the goals and how
things are going with them.


9. More on CD Creation
2004/12/07Â -Â 2004/12/09 (17 posts) Subject: "Creating audio CDs in Hoary."
People: Lex Hilder, Jeff Waugh

Lex Hilder posted a message to the devel list saying,

    I'm sure I'm not Robinson Crusoe in wanting a GUI solution for creating and
    copying audio CDs in Ubuntu. What are the plans for supporting this in
    Hoary [if not Hoary, Hoary+1,2, etc].

    As I see it there are 3 main options:

     1. Do nothing.
     2. Include k3b in desktop seed.
     3. Include a gtk/gnome app that will create audio CDs.

Jeff Waugh replied to say, "With regards to point 3 (which is really the only
viable option), it would be great if we had Coaster packages to test now that
it is in more active development. It will probably won't make it into the
Desktop seed for Hoary, but at least we could try it from universe and test it
for future use."


10. Documentation Team BOF
2004/12/09 (0 posts) Subject: "Documentation Team BOF"

BOF Notes:

  • http://www.ubuntulinux.org/wiki/DocumentationTeamBOF
  • http://www.ubuntulinux.org/wiki/HoaryDocumentationGoals

These two BOFs, led by Enrico Zini, Benjamin Mako Hill, Sivan Green and others
each covered a lot of ground and they ran into each other. If your interested
in catching up with what the documentation team is doing, these are good places
to start. For those that just want to see the documentation goals, those

We have a couple major ideas that are goals include:

  • The Ubuntu Quick Start Guide (in a Nutshell) (the pocket book) - The basic
    install overview - overview of applications - how to join the community -
    something around ~6000 words + loads of pictures and screenshots

    This should be done by week 23 (two weeks before the preview freeze).

  • The About Ubuntu page should be threshed out and such (this is a small

      â–¡ Bringing unofficial documentation into the fold and to start
        relationships with these people.
          ☆ evaluate and audit different pieces of documentation
          ☆ bring both people and docs into the Ubuntu fold

Secondary goals include:

  • Man pages with issues with corrections and such
  • Corrections made to existing documentation, etc
  • Improve work between the GNOME and Ubuntu doc teams


11. Ubuntu Marketing BOF
2004/12/10 (0 posts) Subject: "Ubuntu Marketing BOF"

BOF Notes: http://www.ubuntulinux.org/wiki/UbuntuMarketing

Benjamin Mako Hill and Jeff Waugh led a super-BOF where we covered a ton of
different ideas for how we can more effectively market Ubuntu. Check the notes
for all the great details. There were many ideas but we voted on these and
selected five top items that may have budgets available and will be able to do
good things. These include:

 1. Country Teams & Shipit ++ lead by Matthias Urlichs and assisted by Benjamin
    Mako Hill.
 2. Formal community recognition lead by Benjamin Mako Hill
 3. A Help desk - ticket system & searchable database lead by Stuart Bishop and
    Jeff Bailey
 4. Ubuntu server edition lead by Jeff Bailey
 5. Conference Kit - Promotional materials/merchandise lead by Jane Silber

Lots more of the good info is available on the website.


12. The Open CD
2004/12/06Â -Â 2004/12/09 (3 posts) Subject: "Ubuntu marketing: TheOpenCD 2.0"
People: Henrik Nilsen Omma

It's not a purely Ubuntu issue but a version of the Open CD were shipped on the
Ubuntu Live CD. Open CD developer and Ubuntu developer Henrik Nilsen Omma said:

    As some of you may be aware, The Open CD and Ubuntu are entering into an
    extensive collaboration these days. The Ubuntu Live CD contains a small
    selection of Windows-FOSS presented in a browser based on The Open CD. The
    next major release of TheOpenCD, scheduled for this week, will contain a
    brief introduction to Ubuntu Linux (the target audience for this disc is
    average Windows users).

    A preview can be found here: http://theopencd.sunsite.dk/preview/

    Please take it for a spin and let me know if you find any errors (spelling,
    factual, broken links, etc.) Thanks. (Either use this email or stop by our
    forums at: http://theopencd.sunsite.dk/forum/ ) And once the ISO is ready
    you might want to pass it around to your Windows-based friends to introduce
    them to both FOSS generally and Ubuntu specifically.


13. Ubuntu Security Notifications
2004/12/04Â -Â 2004/12/10 (0 posts) Subject: "[n/a]"

There were no Ubuntu Security Notifications posted this week.







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