Ubuntu Weekly News #21
corey.burger at ubuntu.com
Thu Nov 16 08:22:54 GMT 2006
Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 21 for the week of Oct
29 - Nov 11th, 2006. After a long absence, we are back. In this issue
we cover teh Ubuntu Develop summit in Mountain View, the opening of
Feisty, spec lifecycle, new teams, and much more.
You can always find older Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter issues at::
== In This Issue ==
* Ubuntu Developer Summit Mountain View
* gNewSense announced
* KDE 4 packages available
* New teams
* Forging Feisty
* Changes in Feisty
* In the Press
* Edgy reviews
* Security and Updates to 6.10 and 6.06
* Bug stats
== General Community News ==
=== Ubuntu Developer Summit Mountain View ===
The Ubuntu Developer Summit in Mountain View, California wrapped up on
the 11th of November. It was a busy week of talking, meeting up with
people, drinking and dancing (just ask Jono Bacon about the "bottle
dance"). As with previous development summits, this one covers the
next release and all the various goals people have for it. One thing
was clear, community matters. This was shown in all the community
related specs discussed at the summit. There is a detailed section
below covering the process for sheparding specs from idea to release
Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier of Linux.com covered the summit quite
extensively, in two separate reports. You can read them at
=== gNewSense announced ===
A new Ubuntu derivative was launched, supported by the Free Software
Foundation, called gNewSense. It will be a distribution entirely free
of non-free software but otherwise very similar to Ubuntu.
You can read more at http://www.fsf.org/news/gnewsense
=== New KDE 4 Packages available ===
A second developers release of KDE 4 was made available and packages
of the core modules are available for Kubuntu Edgy. This version can
be run successfully in a full session.
=== Several new teams announced ===
These past two weeks were busy with new and revived teams, either
local community or development based.
==== Ubuntu Latvia team revived ====
Danko Alexeyev announced the revival of the Ubuntu Latvia team, with a
meeting at a local university. You can read more about their success
==== Ubuntu Burning team announced ====
No, this is a team for representing Ubuntu at Burning Man, rather to
work on the burning infrastructure in Ubuntu. Announced by Mario
Đanić, the team will focus on the all the upcoming changes in this
field in Linux. The Luanhcpad team can be found at
https://launchpad.net/people/ubuntu-burning and you can read the full
announce at https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2006-November/022265.html
==== Ubuntu Backup team announced ====
And finally, Sivan Greenberg, author of the HUBackup tool has
announced a new team to work on integrating backup and data
preservation more deeply into the desktop. Like all good teams, they
have a Launchpad team, which can be found at
https://launchpad.net/people/ubuntu-backup. You can read the full
announce at https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2006-November/022284.html.
=== Behind Ubuntu: Raphaël Pinson ===
The latest Behind Ubuntu interview is out, and this time it is Raphaël
Pinson, one of the many Kubuntu developers. He is also one of the
developers of Ichthux, a derivative of Kubuntu aimed at Christians.
Learn about how many hours a week Raphaël spends on Ubuntu and much
more at http://behindubuntu.org/interviews/RaphaelPinson/
== Forging Feisty ==
The Ubuntu Developer Summit provides developers and contributors with
a unique opportunity to collaborate and work together. This month,
Ubuntu participants from around the globe gathered at the Googleplex
in Mountain View, California to set goals and make decisions that will
shape Feisty Fawn. The meeting facilitated coordination between the
disparate sub-teams that make up the core of Ubuntu's most dedicated
The bread and butter of a nascent Ubuntu feature is the
"Specification" or "spec", in developer shorthand. A spec is a written
suggestion of what a new Ubuntu feature should be like.
Specs have always driven the Ubuntu development cycle, and as such,
they need to be prioritized according to the amount of developer time
available. At a casual glance, the spec lists () for Ubuntu is long,
largely because anybody can create a specification. However, only
certain people have the authoirty to determine which specs are worthy
of discussion at a meeting like the Ubuntu Developer Summit in
Mountain View, and fewer still can approve a spec for official
inclusion in Ubuntu. Since the spec list reflects the direction of
Ubuntu development, it provides useful insight into the community's
goals for upcoming releases.
So, how do specs go from an idea to a plan? Most approved specs go
through a three step implementation process. After they are created,
specs are usually proposed at a meeting for discussion. In the Ubuntu
world, spec discussions take place at biannual Ubuntu Developer
Summits, like the recent one held in Mountain View. If a spec is
accepted for evaluation at a meeting, the first phase is dicussion.
Topics are scheduled for a BOF (Birds of a Feather) session. These
usually include the registrant of the spec (the progenitor of the
bright idea), an assignee, a drafter (responsible for writing the spec
on the Ubuntu Wiki), and an approver. For this Ubuntu Summit, there
were about 10 rooms available for people to gather and discuss specs.
These discussions are usually where developers hash out implementation
details, gather information, research upstream issues, and generally
discuss the nature of the proposed features. After this, there is a
session in which the drafter gathers the notes from the discussion,
fleshes out the implementation section of the spec, and refines use
cases. A "use case" is a software engineering term that defines the
feature from the perspective of a user. This helps developers
visualize potential requirements for the feature.
After drafting, a team of editors reviews the spec. The editors check
to ensure that the spec is well written, comprehensible, and in
conformance with the quality guidelines expected by Ubuntu. So, why go
through all the trouble to document the process in excruciating
detail? Although a majority of Ubuntu developers are present at the
summit, not all are able to attend. Even an excelelnt spec may not be
implemented due to lack of developer resources. By outlining potential
features in detail, a volunteer developer can cultivate an
understanding of what needs to be done to get the feature finished.
This transparency allows people to build upon well documented ideas,
and possibly collaborate with others to get the features they want
into Ubuntu. This is why the spec editors help refine the specs to
make them as good as possible.
After the editors are satisfied with their creation, it finally enters
the "Pending Approval" stage. From here, senior Ubuntu developers have
the final say and can choose to grace a spec with the coveted
"Approved" definition, with a matching priority. From here most specs
will be implemented. Some get finished, some might be deferred to
another release, and some might be split into several smaller specs.
Some might languish around for a few releases, it all really depends
on available resources and time until release.
As the Ubuntu community continues to grow, the number of specs will
continue to increase as well. This is why expanding the Ubuntu
developer community continues to be an important part of the Ubuntu
== Changes In Feisty ==
The floodgates for the new Feisty opened this week, with a lot of
predictable changes. After the toolchain (glibc, compilers, etc.) went
throught their rebuild process, the first new package was Ben Collins'
2.6.19 kernel, one of many uploads of the new .19 kernel of the
following two weeks.
As can be counted on for every release, the latest GNOME development
release, 2.17, has started to appear. Held up by the UDS, the upload,
by Sebastian and Daniel, has trickled in over the last two weeks,
rather than in a single few days. Packages included epiphany-browser
2.17.2, gnome-utils 2.17.0, metacity 1:2.17.2, gtkhtml3.8 3.13.2,
file-roller 2.17.2, gnome-vfs2 2.16.2, deskbar-applet 2.17.2, vino
2.17.2, gnome-icon-theme 18.104.22.168, gnome-themes 2.17.2, gnome-games
1:2.17.2 (including two new games, sudoku and chess),
gnome-system-monitor 22.214.171.124, eel2 2.16.1, and totem 2.17.2. You can
read more about GNOME 21.67 at
Barely slowed down by the Edgy release, the Telepathy team continued
to push the latest and greatest of this communication framework into
Ubuntu. Riccardo Setti, uploaded a quite respectable total, including
telepathy-gabble 0.4.4, telepathy-stream-engine 0.3.12, farsight
0.1.10, libtelepathy 0.0.39. Daniel Holbach put one of the final
pieces in place for a complete Telepathy stack, that of the UI, with
the upload of the Telepathy branch of gossip, gossip-telepathy
0.18+cvs20061110. The regular, Jabber-only branch of gossip also had a
new release, with gossip 09.19.
As usual, the XFCE people are not far behind those in the GNOME camp
in uploading packages. These past two weeks it was all Gauvain
Pocentek, who uploaded various pieces of the the latest XFCE 4.4 RC2.
Pakcages included libxfce4mcs 126.96.36.199, libxfce4util 188.8.131.52, thunar
0.5.0, xfce-mcs-manager 184.108.40.206, libxfcegui4 220.127.116.11,
xfce-mcs-plugins 18.104.22.168, xfce4-panel 22.214.171.124, xfdesktop4
126.96.36.199svn+r23785, xfce4-utils 188.8.131.52, xfprint4 184.108.40.206, xfwm4
220.127.116.11svn+r23785, exo 0.3.1.12 and 4.3.90svn+r23773.
And for the Kubuntu crowd, a refreshed kubuntu-default-settings has
been uploaded to Feisty, and by popular demand the /.hidden menu
structure has been reverted to the default KDE way, which shows the
root (that's /) filesystem. Support for the feature is still in
Kubuntu but now off by default. Amarok also gets support for
Microsoft's "Plays for Sure(tm)" devices via libmtp.
The latest CUPS, 1.2.5 was among the first major parts of the desktop
to hit. Uploaded by Martin Pitt, this is mostly a bug fixing release
on the 1.2 series of CUPS.
In the "I have used $app since 1980 and I ain't changing category",
Martin Pitt uploaded mutt 1.5.13 and Colin Watson uploaded vim
Those of you who run Ubuntu on clusters were not left in the dark,
with Fabio Di Nitto uploading openais 0.80.1, ocfs2-tools 1.2.2 and
redhat-cluster-suite 2.20061106. In related news Andrew Mitchell
uploaded libvirt 0.1.8, a Red Hat tool for interfacing with Xen &
other virtualization systems.
=== Kubuntu gets a hand from upstream ===
New this release cycle, Celeste "seele" Paul (blog at
http://http://weblog.obso1337.org/) of KDE useability fame will be
joining the Kubuntu ranks to make sure it is as easy to use as it is
to look at and install. Also Sebastian "sebas" Kügler (blog at
http://vizzzion.org) from KDE marketing fame will be lending a helpful
hand making sure the Kubuntu cheerleaders have much to show off. And
lets not forget the artwork, those great guys from the KDE4 Oxygen
Team, Kenneth "kwwii" Wimer and Nuno Pinheiro will share the Artist in
Chief title for the Kubuntu Feisty cycle.
== In The Press ==
This week we have a roundup of the post launch news of Ubuntu 6.10.
But first: http://xkcd.com/c178.html
Mark Shuttleworth was interviewed by The Register on Oracle's fork of
Red Hat and on Novell's controversial deal with Microsoft. You can
read more ahttp://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/11/10/shuttleworth_oracle/
Leslie Hawthorn, our gracious hostess (of the Ubuntu Developer Summit)
from Google has put the video of Mark Shuttleworth's presentation (see
the video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2728972720932273543&q=type%3Agoogle+engEDU)
to interested Googlers about Ubuntu, and sent a note of thanks to
those in attendance, looks like we behaved ourselves *gasp*. You can
read this shocking revelation at
Our benevolent dictator was recently interviewed by News.com regarding
the profitability of Linux and the path Ubuntu is taking as opposed to
the path taken by other distributions. Certifications got some
discussion -- especially in regard to Sparc, and for good measure the
age-old user interface debate also got a mention. The full story can
be found at http://tinyurl.com/ydlmhu
October 26-27th saw the fruition of the 2006 Free Software and Open
Source Symposium on the York University campus in Toronto, Ontario.
There were workshops galore and the speaker line-up was impressive,
with representatives from companies and organisations such as Mozilla,
IBM, Apple, Novell, Creative Commons and more. Ubuntu Canada's Dave
Sullivan was on hand, with ubuntu cds. Additionally, each attendee
received an Ubuntu cd in their conference bag. Recordings of the
speeches have been made available at
=== Ubuntu 6.10 reviews from around the web ===
Well, we had a release. As was to be expected, people reviewed it. As
we are somewhat popular, lots of people chimed in . Here is small
sampling of reviews we have seen.
Review: Ubuntu Edgy is nice, but not so edgy : "I was surprised to
find that Gnucash is not installed by default in Edgy, since the 2.0
release came out in July"
What Really Happened To Ubuntu's Edgy Artwork?
Edgy pushed me over the edge : "To be honest, I am not entirely
unhappy with having to run Breezy, even if I do still have a little
envy for those able to enjoy the bells and whistles of Edgy Eft."
"But, after my recent experience with Edgy I am more than happy to
stick with something a little less cutting edge and flashy. At least
Ubuntu 6.10 "Edgy Eft" released : "Ubuntu 6.10, which includes the
freshly released Firefox 2.0, sports the new Tangerine theme, designed
to improve visual integration of the browser by making it better
conform to Ubuntu's style. Other visual improvements are featured as
well, including a new USplash startup screen that will provide better
support for a wider range of resolutions."
EXE HOME: UBUNTU 6.10 REVIEW : "Ubuntu is the first Linux distro I've
used and I have no plans to go anywhere else. It rivals Windows in
ease of use, and comes with a lot of features packed. I couldn't ask
for anything else."
Edgy upgrade pains and fixes : "For now, perhaps the best thing to do
with the Edgy Eft release is not upgrade your Ubuntu system. There are
simply too many problems to justify the move, at this point. Once the
fixes are in -- or at least well-documented ways to avoid the most
common problems are published -- then, and only then, will making a
move to Edgy Eft be a wise idea."
Upgrading to Ubuntu Edgy Eft a "Nightmare" :
Scott James Remnant, one of Ubuntu's lead evelopers, has post two blog
posts about various upgrading issues. You can read them at
Linux Forums: Ubuntu 6.10 Review: "This is probably my biggest
disappointment: there are no 3D effects in Ubuntu 6.10. Of course, if
you have a look on the Internet, you'll see that installing and
setting them up for Edgy Eft is not hard at all, but considering how
much attention 3D effects are catching at the moment and the efforts
made by other distributions to integrate them by default, this seems
like a slap in the face. Were they considered trivial and
uninteresting? Why were they not on the agenda?" also "By default
Ubuntu won't play your multimedia files if they are encoded in an ugly
format. The reason for that is explained on their website and you'll
find a lot of information" "There are no graphical tools for accessing
Bluetooth devices but hcitool is installed by default so you can do
that from the command line." "I found the applet and configuration
tool for the network better in Mandriva 2007"
Upgrade to Ubuntu Edgy (6.10) - and a look back on the switch :
"Ubuntu/Linux has better support for my hardware (cardreaders [usb2]
are a lot faster, than with Windows, my Bluetooth adapter has more
functionality, and less trouble than with Windows, etc.)"
Ubuntu on the Desktop - My Experiences : "Contrary to some people's
experiences, the upgrade went very smoothly." "I have to say I didn't
notice much of a difference, except that after that first reboot, it
took a while for my Bluetooth mouse to be seen and start working, and
the first login seemed to take an age."
A Diehard SUSE User Tries Ubuntu 6.10 : "Other programs that aren't
loaded by default include XMMS, inkscape, or Bluefish. I use all of
these on a regular basis, but loading them through Synaptic is fairly
The Trouble with Ubuntu: "My printer and scanner still need resolving
under Ubuntu. This is mainly the manufacturer's fault (very few cater
for this rogue GNU/Linux) but if it wants to be like OS X in simple
driverless plug 'n' play, my non-obscure devices have to be catered
== Updates and security releases for 6.06 and 6.10 ==
=== Security Updates ===
* USN-380-1 Avahi vulnerability - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-380-1
* USN-379-1 texinfo vulnerability - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-379-1
* USN-376-2 imlib2 regression - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-376-2
* USN-378-1 RPM vulnerability - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-378-1
* USN-377-1 NVIDIA vulnerability - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-377-1
* USN-376-1 imlib2 vulnerabilities - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-376-1
* USN-375-1 PHP vulnerability - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-375-1
* USN-374-1 wvWare vulnerability - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-374-1
* USN-373-1 mutt vulnerabilities - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-373-1
* USN-372-1 ImageMagick vulnerability - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-372-1
* USN-371-1 Ruby vulnerability - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-371-1
* USN-370-1 screen vulnerability - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-370-1
* USN-369-2 PostgreSQL vulnerabilities - http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-369-2
=== Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Updates ===
The only updates were new language packs, pulling from Rosetta.
=== Ubuntu 6.10 Updates ===
There were no updates to 6.10 for the past two weeks.
== Bug Stats ==
* Open (19313) +1337 over two weeks ago
* Unconfirmed (10180) +921 over two weeks ago
* Unassigned (14534) +1298 over two weeks ago
* All bugs ever reported (64699) +2135 over two weeks ago
As always, the Bug Squad needs more help. If you want to get started,
please see [WWW] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HelpingWithBugs
Check out the bug statistics: [WWW]
== Additional Ubuntu News ==
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== Conclusion ==
Thank you for reading the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. See you next week!
== Credits ==
The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:
* Corey Burger
* Ryan Paul
* Jorge O. Castro
* Brandon Holtsclaw
* Melissa Draper
* Jenda Vančura
* And all those who make Ubuntu rock
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