[Ubuntu-ZW] Ubuntu-Africa

O. Sinclair o.sinclair at gmail.com
Wed Aug 5 13:25:08 UTC 2015

Interesting input and thoughts. I am a KDE user myself so for me Kubuntu
has stayed "on track" despite some controversy of late and a renewed
interface (Plasma5) that has got "spots" at the moment.

I have tried other distros (OpenSuse, Manjaro eg) but I tend to get
irritated that they lack the "ecosystem" that (X)ubuntu has.

Sadly in a way though I agree with you on Windows7 being something of a
linuxkiller. It works well, is delivered on almost any computer you buy
(legal license) and if you dont want MS Office you can get Libreoffice
and Thunderbird. Home and dry, so to speak.

I use Linux both for professional and "political" reasons myself -
professionally the stuff I do is way better done with linux.
"Politically" I hate being shoved into a corner where I must have
account si and so to do anything (hate that on Android phones too but
really have no option, I have to know the system to be able to work). As
you can see I use gmail account for this list...

I have never been a very active member of our community so I am really
the last person to cheer others on but I still think the website could
be updated and if could create a google+ or facebook group?

As for the offical LoCo team thing I must admit I thought Zimbabwe were


On 05/08/2015 11:24, Kalpesh Thaker wrote:
> Ok, i've had a quick read through.... i believe i can summarise in one
> quote why IRC never worked for us a Zim LoCo:
> "[19:03:54] <otenh> Guys u are going too fast for me to keep up"
> lol
> anyway, i gather from some of the comments, that this is basically what
> we tried to do in 2008, when the LoCo was first launched in Zim. in summary:
> - to try and gather momentum in promoting Ubuntu,
> - figuring out who was interested in the initiative
> - try and push Ubuntu into the corporate space, and use case studies as
> examples of how successful ubuntu can be in that scenario
> - promote ubuntu as a great "free" alternative to proprietary OS's
> thats just a basic run through of the objectives that we set out when
> the LoCo was first launched. and i find similar patterns in the IRC
> minutes of the Ubuntu-africa initiative.
> Now, i'd like to share some insight into the main reason why the LoCo
> fell over, and why i feel that trying to revive the LoCo in any form
> (specifically in Zimbabwe) may not work going forward. I may be a little
> outspoken, but i'll try and be objective with everything.
> - While the LoCo team promoted Ubuntu primarily, as the years progressed
> (2010-present) we noticed a trend of new distro's popping up that built
> on the concept of Ubuntu as an OS and often improved the overall end
> user experience. Distro's such as Mint, Debian, openSUSE, now became
> serious competition for Ubuntu as an OS.
> - We first realised this around 2010 (i think) at the last ICT show we
> did which was hosted at the showgrounds in Harare, where we had various
> people come along to say that Mint was overall a better experience for
> end users. At that point in time, alot of us were die hard
> Ubuntu/Kubuntu users, and were not exposed to the other distro's much.
> Out of curiosity, after the ICT show, some of us went home and tried out
> Mint, and in the end most of us concurred that after using Mint for a
> while, that it was honestly a better alternative to the end user than
> Ubuntu.
> - Faced with this new reality, we honestly felt that Ubuntu as a
> platform was NOT something we felt we could promote objectively or
> honestly, because clearly better alternatives were now available. Well
> seasoned linux users who were team members felt that Ubuntu just wasnt
> good enough to focus on solely in Zimbabwe, and this created divisions
> within the team.
> - Distrowatch.com backed up this feeling too, where Mint became the top
> ranked distro (and still is at #1).
> [19:07:56] ACCEPTED: Official Membership is a good way to highlight and
> thank the people who are doing good work for Ubuntu as a whole (inetpro)
> As a LoCo team, we did serious research into becoming an "official"
> LoCo. frankly, the requirements were crazy for Zimbabwe standards, and
> no matter how much work we did, we would not be able to reach "official"
> status due to the limited resources we had. We ran primarily on
> donations (in which LoCo team members donated 90% of everything
> themselves). Sponsorship from companies etc brought us into a world of
> politics, and instead of supporting us and the cause overall, sponsors
> would often dictate the direction the team went in... and how we could
> do things. i wont elaborate on this anymore...but there were always
> strings attached to everything. Alot of people used the exposure of the
> LoCo team as a platform to launch their own businesses and when that
> happened, the team was left high and dry.
> Anyway, for the 5 years of hard work and effort that the team put, and
> all the money and resources donated by team members, when we approached
> the committee thats in charge of LoCo team approval, we were told that
> our input had not reached their requirements (not having an IRC channel
> was on of them). This being Zimbabwe, clearly a unique place with its
> own environmental challenges.. as a LoCo in such trying times we managed
> to do some amazing things. But Canonical and the Ubuntu community could
> not waive certain requirements that would've given the LoCo team
> resources to promote THEIR product due their own standards and ideals
> from being active in countries where the world works properly.
> As we move into 2015, i believe canonical are trying to push their OS
> onto mobile devices etc, so that is what i believe is the main factor in
> reviving LoCo teams again. I personally feel Ubuntu as an OS lost the
> meaning of 'Ubuntu' a long time ago, and now is just really another
> irrelevant linux distro on the desktop side of things being run by a
> corporate that needs to meet revenue targets.
> The problems i see going forward are that people have too much of a
> choice nowdays. whether its an OS for a PC or a mobile, there is far too
> much competition. a troublefree experience and a good app ecosystem
> often determines how long a person STAYS on a OS. 
> Ubuntu at the moment, i dont think fairs very well with more established
> alternatives that are available out there.  With Windows 10 now being a
> free upgrade, trying to convince people today to move to Ubuntu will be
> a HUGE challenge. I have it on good authority that a cracked version of
> windows 7, when using the official windows 10 upgrade system, still
> activates as a genuine copy of windows 10. 
> The mobile space is a similar.. the big 3, Windows, IOS and Android....
> we've all used these OS's, and i seriously wonder why anyone would move
> from something that is so tried and trusted to Ubuntu which is really
> still an infant?
> Ubuntu users in general are now a serious minority...and there are good
> reasons for it. I still have dual screen issues every now with my
> Kubuntu desktop (trusty). i still have to go in and modify config files
> manually to get certain things to work... and i've often spent alot of
> time 'trawling' through the ubuntu forums. i can do this, and i dont
> mind doing this... because this is how i learn about Linux as an OS..
> however for your average joe. when things break, dont work as expected,
> or if the user doesnt know how to do something.. the machine gets
> formatted and replaced with windows.
> This is the reality, and we had seen this within the LoCo team for
> years. the argument of Ubuntu being free software is no longer relevant,
> as there are better free alternatives out there. for mobiles,
> cyanogenmod is a very popular distro that has a huge community of users
> which has a very robust dev and forum environment.
> While im all for "getting the band back together", i just dont think its
> realistic at this point in time. with easily availble (and cheap)
> chinese devices, which come preloaded with an OS.. it will be extremely
> difficult to get the Ubuntu momentum going. 
> Another interesting fact, as an example, try and use a search engine to
> find out how to install whatsapp on Ubuntu phone and touch,
> now read through it and imagine your non technical family trying to do
> this without your help. interesting right?
> Anyway, Orion.. these are my thoughts on the topic... it may have turned
> into a rant, but i've tried to provide some context into why i dont
> think this would work. on another note, IRC is not a good idea to meet
> locally.... trust me, you'll get better response via email communication
> on this mailing list. so maybe consider using this mailing list for
> local communication on this topic, then draw up your own minutes that
> can be used when meeting on IRC with the ubuntu-africa meetings?
> cheers for now,
> kalpesh
> On Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 9:40 AM, Kalpesh Thaker <luminary06 at gmail.com
> <mailto:luminary06 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     Hi Orion,
>     thanks for that i'll have a look at the minutes and revert asap.
>     kalpesh
>     On Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 9:28 AM, O. Sinclair <o.sinclair at gmail.com
>     <mailto:o.sinclair at gmail.com>> wrote:
>         Hi all,
>         for those who did not attend here are minutes:
>         it was my first IRC meeting so a bit "confusing" but interesting.
>         on the sidelines of it we discussed what Zimbabwe LoCo can do to
>         "reboot".
>         my suggestion is an irc meet of our own. Main agenda basically
>         (read the
>         minutes):
>         1 make Zimbabwe Ubuntu more visible on various social media
>         2. update local website
>         3. any other issues
>         Does this sound like a way forward, is there enough interest
>         still in
>         the community?
>         Kind regards,
>         Sinclair
>         On 27/07/2015 07:55, craig wrote:
>         > Morning all ,
>         >
>         > Just a reminder for the  Ubuntu-Africa IRC   #ubuntu-africa 
>         meeting on
>         > Wed 29th July at 8.30pm.
>         >
>         >
>         > Regards
>         >
>         > Craig
>         >
>         >

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