Reviewing all things Xubuntu

Vincent mailinglists at
Wed Sep 17 12:27:53 UTC 2008

On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 8:32 AM, Cody A.W. Somerville <
cody-somerville at> wrote:

> Hello Everyone,
> Originally, this e-mail was supposed to just be a quick note about an issue
> with the Xubuntu website but it grew into something I've been meaning to
> write - a general review of all things Xubuntu.
> == Website ==
>  Someone pointed out that the Xubuntu Website's "Get Xubuntu" page only
> showed 7.10 and 6.06. I of course quickly fixed the page but I'm not sure
> how it got that way since I'm almost positive that we updated it for both
> 8.04 and 8.04.1

Yep, we did.

> (And on the "revisions" tab for the page, the commit message for the
> current revision says something about fixing a 8.04 link).
>  Just so everyone has all the fact, I should note that Canonical sysadmins
> do and have upgraded our Drupal install a few times to keep it at a version
> which they can support. Big thanks to them for doing so for us as they've
> given us a *lot* of lee-way when it has came to our website. However, this
> may have caused this issue and although I can't imagine a possible scenario
> where it would (its much more likely one of us made a mistake) but it would
> be hard to rule out.  So, no need to go on a big manhunt to figure out who
> or what happened to the page. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up and
> to ask folks to take a look over the website to see if any other pages have
> reverted to older versions or if there are any problems in general.

I did, in fact, notice some oddities the other day (I mentioned it in
#xubuntu-devel but it was quiet for the time I was there). All of a sudden
there was another sidebar on the left with the menu and a login form, and a
login form was also added to the right sidebar. Just as I was writing a
bugreport they disappeared again after a refresh.

However, the front page still says "links inline" at the bottom and I can't
find out how to remove it.

>  On the topic of the website, I'd like to do something with it soon. I'm
> sure a number of you remember me mentioning that I intended to hire a firm
> to give us a new theme. I have been unfortunately too busy to follow up with
> that but (thanks to this unusual reminder) I'm going to follow up with that
> this week - In fact, I'll go write an e-mail right now.

Cool :)

> == Artwork (and a bit of marketing) ==
>  I'd also like to give a big fat thank you to someone most of us probably
> haven't heard of (yet): Pasi Lallinaho (knome on irc). Pasi has agreed to
> help Jmak with our artwork efforts and seems very interested in helping
> actualize my vision of a strong art community forming around Xubuntu. Thus
> far (apologizes Pasi if you don't like drafts being pointed at but frankly I
> think you're doing such a stunning job an am anxious to see more) Pasi has
> started working on a countdown banner for the Intrepid release, draft can be
> found here: (
> I'm sure
> your opinion is similar to mine - absolutely awesome work, eh? :) I'm super
> excited for a Xubuntu countdown thingie!!

Amazing :)

> I'd also like to give Jmak a huge hug and thanks too. I saw this on IRC
> this evening:
> <J-n> well, since i've got ya here, and talkin... mind if i ask you in what
>> situations would you recomend xfce over kde or gnome?
> <favro> I'd recommend xubuntu over ubuntu just on the wallpaper...
> Anyhow, Art folks: Whats the status on artwork for the distro? Have I
> forgotten to upload anything? Anything need tweaking/updating? etc. etc.
> == Development ==
> Feature Freeze has came and past. Unfortunately we didn't get any of our
> big ticket items in and we aren't going to get Xfce 4.6 in time (they've
> pushed their final release date forward). I can't say I'm super disappointed
> though because although our big ticket items (such as samba browsing in
> Thunar) probably won't make Intrepid, chances are they *will* make Jaunty
> because some awesome work has been done towards getting us there.
> So, what now? Well, we're allowed to live a little on the wild side because
> we just released a long term support release (hardy) - one might say this
> release should be the most wild, out there version and each version until
> the next LTS becomes more reserved and stabilized. No, I'm not saying lets
> throw in all our junk but I'm certainly interested in hearing from
> individual hackers/contributors/Xubuntu developers on which big-tickets
> features we *could* _possibly_ ship. Considering our resources (Three
> Xubuntu developers (two w/ upload privileges and one with FFe granting
> powers), our handful of resident hackers, and our Xfce4 friends), I think if
> we pick the one most likely to be successful balanced with which one we
> think will be most enjoyed then we'd be able to get it in shape and in the
> archive in time. What do other people think? Should I do some digging around
> and write up a more detail sitrep (situation report) regarding this
> possibility?
> == Testing & Bug Triage ==
> With the above being said, I'd like us all to get excited about making
> Intrepid as bug free and polished as possible. Lets organize a bug/testing
> day where we all burn the latest image, report all the bugs we find, try and
> confirm as many existing bugs we can (I'm sure there are a number of bugs on
> Xubuntu packages that might not even be valid anymore), and close as many
> bugs as possible by either proving its already fixed (ie. finding a
> changelog entry or xfce4 dev that says the bug is fixed in 4.4.2) or by
> uploading the fixes as we work. If we did this right, it could be a lot of
> fun and very productive. I'm going to write another e-mail very soon
> elaborating on this and with some potential plans. I'm hoping we can get as
> many of our testers, developers, hackers, and upstream xfce4 friends
> together to really crack the whip on making Xubuntu 8.10 an absolutely
> stunning release.
> In the mean time, please download and burn the dailies! Report bugs (always
> make sure to search for an existing report! <grins>) and try to
> confirm/reproduce existing bug reports. I'd also love to see some e-mails
> sent to this list about people's adventures testing and their results as
> they work through our developed tests. (Speaking of our tests, it would be
> wonderful if someone were to take some initiative to spruce them up and make
> them easier to find!).

I'll see if I can put it on my USB drive, but haven't had much luck with
8.10 yet. I'll have to report it as a bug, but I fear it won't be fixed
before 8.10 is releases (something similar happened for 8.04...).

> If anyone is interested in leading our QA/Testing efforts, please give me a
> shout!! :)
> == Documentation (And a sad farewell) ==
> No work has been done on the documentation yet but I spoke with Jim the
> other day and he said he plans to get the work done very soon (not sure
> exactly what he has planned). Sadly, he has confided that this will be his
> last release as he has found he just has too much on his plate at the time
> being to juggle everything effectively. I was exceedingly saddened to get
> this horrible news. As I'm sure most of us know, Jim has been a key member
> of our community with me often referring to him as my right hand man :(
> We'll miss Jim and we certainly wish him the best of luck! Hopefully he'll
> be able to come back soon.

Thank you, Jim, for all the work you've done so far, and good luck with
whatever it is you're going to do :)

> Please give Jim and hand. If you're interested in documentation for
> Xubuntu, get in touch with Jim or myself and we can help you get started.
> Jim: Do you have any recommendations on individuals who might be able to
> step in and help you with Documentation for Intrepid and help fill your big
> shoes for Jaunty? :)
> == My Alpha 5 experience ==
> The first bug is our usplash is currently using the Ubuntu theme. I had
> uploaded a package the other day thinking it should fix the issue but it
> didn't (although I may know why). I'll look into this further and get this
> resolved ASAP. (Thanks to numerous other people for reporting this before
> me).

Ah, and here I was thinking it was because of my running it from my USB

> Michael reported that when he boots the livecd, he gets a login prompt. For
> me, I just get auto-logged in as expected. Anybody else experiencing what
> Michael is? For those interested, Michael was running x86_64 while I was
> just running good ol' x86.
> I found that xscreensaver was installed in addition to gnome-screensaver
> for Alpha 5. I haven't tracked down how its getting pulled in yet but I'll
> do that after writing this e-mail.
> We need to update the default preferred applications. It seems to me like
> maybe a sync has caused the default preferred applications to binaries that
> are only in Debian and not Ubuntu. Will fix ASAP.
> When I was testing, my wireless didn't work because I have to use a wired
> connection to download stuff using jockey (the restricted driver manager).
> However, when I open Firefox it took me to the old Xubuntu page. I spoke
> with Asac and said that was because I was offline. We need to get an eye on
> this because I think Matthew East plans to remove that alternative system
> for the old Ubuntu homepages. So when testing, see what happens when you
> open the default homepage while offline - it'll probably break once Matthew
> does upload those changes and we'll naturally need to fix it. Furthermore,
> we'll also want to look at getting our own neat homepage similar to
> (can someone whip something up? then I'll
> get it hosted like Ubuntu's and the ubufox extension updated).
> I also noticed that help now opens in Midori; an unintended side affect of
> shipping midori (for those who don't remember, our plan was just to include
> midori on the cd during development for testing and fooling around with). It
> seems very very fast and probably is more than enough browser to be the help
> viewer. Alternatively, we can see this as bug (if this is occurring because
> midori is now the default browser somehow system wide, then its a bug
> regardless) or we can say neat and ship midori with the actual release.
> Although shipping two web browsers is a little silly (and the maintainer of
> Midori assures me Midori isn't ready yet to be a default browser), I can't
> say I'd object to the idea of doing it.

I don't know... I thought Yelp was also a good idea because it allowed us to
use cleaner formatting for the documentation; if that is the case, I'd
prefer that.

> Regardless of your opinion on this, we do have a decision to make because
> we won't want to ship yelp if we decide to use midori for browsing the help.
> I haven't spoken with Jim about using Midori, but I know he was looking for
> us to use yelp for ghelp link support. Guh, this paragraph is getting messy
> and incoherent - time to move forward!
> == Meetings ==
> We've gotten slack about meetings :( I know I've accidentally missed the
> last two and sadly they don't seem to take place w/o me (and are often very
> quiet even if I am there unless we make a lot of noise several days ahead of
> time and almost run a full advertising campaign :P). I've been doing some
> reading recently about how to hold meetings more effectively and I'd like to
> see if we can do just that.
> The next meeting is October 4th as regularly scheduled. I'd like to have
> something sooner considering we missed the last two. Can someone champion
> this and get 'er done?
> == Xfce 4.6 ==
> Xfce 4.6 alpha "pinkie" has been released. Please join me in giving a big
> round of applause and several loud cheers on this accomplishment.

Hooray for the Xfce team :)

> We'll soon get this alpha into our PPA for individuals interested in
> testing. I think it is pretty evident we'll provide the PPA to users who
> wish to use xfce 4.6 in Intrepid (and possibly hardy).
> == Recap ==
> 1. Everyone please take a quick look over the Xubuntu website looking for
> oddities and mistakes. You can report them on launchpad under the Xubuntu
> website product. If you find anything big, please ping the members of the
> Xubuntu website team in addition to filing the bugs.
> 2. Pasi Lallinaho (knome) is helping with artwork and is currently working
> on a countdown banner for Intrepid.
> 3. What work is left to be done for artwork in Intrepid? Anything that can
> be uploaded?
> 4. Feature freeze has came and gone but is there one feature we can all
> focus on and get into Intrepid notwithstanding?
> 5. We will be planning a bug/testing/developer day where we'll get testers,
> hackers, developers, and upstream together to really crack the whip on
> making Intrepid awesome. (OPPORTUNITY TO VOLUNTEER)
> 6. Please help test the daily builds and be sure to share your results via
> bug reports on Launchpad and narratives to this mailing list. (OPPORTUNITY
> 7. Anyone want to help lead our QA/Testing efforts? (OPPORTUNITY TO
> 8. No work on Documentation yet but Jim reports he'll start soon. Jim also
> reports this will be his last release as a contributor due to time
> constraints. We will be sad to see him go. Volunteers needed. (OPPORTUNITY
> 9. There are few hot, outstanding bugs in Intrepid that we'll hopefully fix
> very soon.
> 10. Can someone organize a meeting before the next normally scheduled
> October 4th meeting? (OPPORTUNITY TO VOLUNTEER)
> == Conclusion ==
> Wow! Almost another entire release cycle complete! It seems like it just
> started the other day! Naturally, energy levels are starting to get low.
> Lets all get revitalized and excited about making Intrepid rock! Lets all
> put in that little bit of extra effort, really pull together as a team, and
> deliver a solid product - even more so than we usually do! It takes a
> special group of people to be able to pull off a distribution as massive as
> Xubuntu so make sure to pat yourselves and your fellow xubuntu-er. You guys
> all totally rock my world :)
> So, our primary focus and goal for the rest of this release cycle is
> polish. Jot down ideas, brainstorm with other team members, dig up and dust
> off those older bug reports!
> 1. Polish, polish, polish
> 2. Lets try and squeeze one bigger ticket item in if we can.
> 3. Lets see if can make the upgrade from Hardy as smooth as possible.
> If you have any ideas on how we can do these three things or how we can
> really energize ourselves as a team: shout it, blog it, skype it, type it,
> scream it, voip it, wiki it, do it! Our numbers may be small but we're
> certainly mighty! :)
> == Post-Conclusion: Ubuntu Developer Summit ==
> Last but not least... UDS sponsorship. We have a new process for getting
> sponsored this year as announced by Jono on his blog (
> I'm hoping to get some of our Xfce4
> developers sponsored to UDS (or at least FOSSCamp - both which are hosted at
> the Googleplex this year) so this is one UDS (and/or FOSSCamp) you probably
> don't want to miss. Has anyone already decided they're going? Whose
> interested in going? Who would like to be sponsored and which of you have
> already applied?
> I'm hoping we can get a good Xubuntu turn out this year so start thinking
> about it!
> Cheers,


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