As it is mentioned in OMG! Ubuntu, Jon McCann – a GNOME pioneer, indicated that the future of GNOME can be turned in to an OS. He said,

The future of GNOME is as a Linux based OS. It is harmful to pretend that you are writing the OS core to work on any number of different kernels, user space subsystem combinations, and core libraries. That said, there may be value in defining an application development platform or SDK that exposes higher level, more consistent, and coherent API. But that is a separate issue from how we write core GNOME components like the System Settings.

It is free software and people are free to port GNOME to any other architecture or try to exchange kernels or whatever. But that is silly for us to worry about.

Kernels just aren’t that interesting. Linux isn’t an OS. Now it is our job to try to build one – finally. Let’s do it.

I think the time has come for GNOME to embrace Linux a bit more boldly.

Countdown Banner for Natty & Oneiric

Like the all previous releases, Ubuntu officially published the countdown banner for Natty Narwhal (11.04). For using the official countdown banners for Natty on your website, head to the countdown page to grab the embed code and paste the code into your website. Take a look at the banners below.


Well… if you are not satisfied with the official banners, you can also use the ‘unofficial’ banners created by Valentin. Grab the code from Valentin’s website to show the banner on your website. Take a look at the Valentin’s banner.

And if you are way too advance, want to showoff the countdown banner for Oneiric Ocelot (11.10), which has not started to form at all, then you are just in luck! Valentin also designed some banners for Oneiric Ocelet too. Take a look at the banners below and grab the code for your website!

R.I.P Shipit

Finally Shipit, Canonical‘s free CD delivering process has been declared to be discontinued for the individual request. It’s been a long time (since 2005) that Canonical used to put the operating system into the hands of developers and end users. The service stops with Ubuntu 11.04 later this month. Once the code (currently in beta) is finished, end users will no longer be able apply for a free CD via Canonical’s web site.

So why did Canonical take this decision? According to Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Manager:

… a few reasons. Firstly, CD distribution is not really as effective as it used to be, and it is expensive. These days, particularly with the availability of low cost hi-speed Internet growing across the world, more and more people are simply downloading the ISO images and burning them to a CD or installing from a USB stick. Canonical felt like it would make better sense to reduce the investment in snail-mail CD distribution and focus it more on LoCo Teams and use those savings to invest in other areas of the project.

What’ll be the next move to reach the end users? It seems that Canonical is now planning a free online trial for Ubuntu by utilizing the cloud which marketing manager Gerry Carr promised would be a “great first step for Windows users in particular” to wet their toes on the Linux desktop.

But, don’t be disheartened, Canonical has not abandoned the project completely. The Approved LoCo team will still get the CDs from Canonical. As Jono Bacon mentioned:

… we will continue to provide Approved LoCo teams with CDs that they can use for this advocacy work. As before, we encourage these CDs to be shared and re-used …

I got my first Ubuntu CD with this program and I am a proud Ubuntu user still now for that great project. To be frankly, I ordered the CD (EdgyEft, if I could remember correctly) just out of curiosity, because it was free. But I fell in love with Ubuntu so much that, now I download it via torrent. My personal experiences tell me that, lots of people just take the advantages of the ShipIt project, get the CD and actually do nothing with that CD. A huge loss of money actually. But nevertheless, ShipIt gave lots of bumps to increase the popularity of Ubuntu. I personally think, this project should be available exclusively for the Africa and the South Asia, where the term “broadband” is still a fairy tale for the majority computer users! People there still rely on the ShipIt for collect the latest release of Ubuntu. So abandoning ShipIt could be a sudden blow to them. On the other hand, now it is a great opportunity for the LoCo teams to get more active and earn the respect from Canonical to be eligible to get the CDs for distributing. So we can expect more activities from those LoCo teams particularly.

So… Goodbye ShipIt… Thanks a lot for introducing me a wonderful world of Ubuntu. I am missing you … already!

Can’t we get an easier & handy software installation process in Ubuntu?

After eying the title of this post, you must be astonished –  why on earth I am saying that Ubuntu needs an ‘easier‘ and ‘handy‘ software installation process! Software Installation in Ubuntu is already a breeze. All one have to do is just heading to the Ubuntu Software Center, find/choose what software one needs and then hit the install button. Or one can download the .deb package and double click it to install the program. The installed program is ready for one in no time. Anyone have to admit that it is really pretty easy, even easier than Windows (where you have to click lots of ‘Next’ buttons during the installation process).

This whole procedure is easy if the computer is connected to the internet. What if the computer is in offline? You’re probably wondering who doesn’t have internet now a days! Actually there are a lots of them. Such as in my country Bangladesh, internet is not available to the majority of the computer users. Even though the minority gets the benefit of internet, they don’t have blazing fast speed. An average home user gets 10 kbps to 15 kbps download speed. Which is quite a low speed for downloading. And obviously majority users are using Windows. As there is a scarcity of internet and proper download speed, people download  necessary software installer from some online computers and then use that downloaded installer to several other offline computers to install the program.

Now compare the scenario with an Ubuntu installed offline PC. Probably the easiest way to install a software in an offline Ubuntu computer is using the Keryx. It can keep track of the source ppa and dependencies, which is quite awesome. But still not easy enough to handle for a newbie. How? Well… firstly, using a third party software to install programs is a bit ‘scary‘. Secondly, if any one wants to share the downloaded file with others then it will be a problem. Suppose I have an offline Ubuntu computer and I want to install some program. So I take my flash drive (which have Keryx inside it) and connect it to a computer which has the internet connection. Then I download the desired program with the Keryx, and install it in my offline computer. It is easy. But what if I want to install that same downloaded program to another offline Ubuntu PC? There are sure chances that the dependencies in the second PC will be conflicted. Because it downloads the dependencies according to the first PC, so the second PC will suffer from dependency issues. And that is a nightmare for an average computer user. So as a result, previously mentioned “download with one computer and install in several different computers” theory does not work here smoothly.

To be frankly, the average users don’t give a damn about the dependencies. They don’t want to search the web to find out which libraries (and which versions) are required to install a specific program. They need the system to be ‘just worked’. I’ve seen many users who are very much afraid to use Ubuntu as they don’t have internet connection in there home. And they don’t want to jumble themselves with the dependency hell.

My point is to find out that whether it is possible to implement a more easier and handy software installation process for the offline computers (like MacOSX may be). All the dependencies will be packed in a single package for a certain program. (Please don’t be confused with the projects like portable linux apps. I am talking about a complete software installation.) The user just need to download that file and drag-n-drop that file (like MacOSX) to some places (may be in the Application lens) or double click the file (like the .deb files) for installation. Or may be we can figure out a smarter way to accomplish this. Thus it would be much more handy for the newbie users as well as the offline users.

I am not sure if I made my point clear. In recent days, Ubuntu emphasis on the looks-n-feels for the users. I think it is also important to simplify the software installation process for the newcomers as well as for all the offline users. To my view it is one of the important bottle neck. May be it is a dumb idea. Some of you may point your finger to the security issues. But I didn’t find any simpler idea than this for helping the offline users. Any thought on this? Any other idea?

It’s time for FireFoxFour!

Just installed the long awaited Firefox 4. Right now I am writing this post from FF4. I am a huge fan of FF for the last few years (from FF2 more precisely). With new look-n-feel and cool features, FF4 will sure rock your browsing experience.


To download Firefox go here. Ubuntu users can install FF4 via PPA. It has not been added to the Ubuntu official repository (yet), but why keep your Ubuntu awaiting! You can install FF4 in Lucid and Maverick following the process below:

  1. Go to Applications > Ubuntu Software Center from the top panel.
  2. Head to Edit > Software Sources and click the ‘Other Software’ tab.
  3. Press ‘Add’ button and then paste the following line into the relevant field to add the PPA. [code]ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable[/code]
  4. After adding the PPA you will be prompted to update your sources.
  5. Once the update is done you can head to System > Administration > Update Manager to perform an upgrade.
  6. Thus FF4 will be installed in the system.

You can do the above processes via the Terminal easily and quickly. For this:

  1. From the top panel go to Applications > Terminal.
  2. In the terminal just enter the following command and give your password when asked. This will add the PPA to your Ubuntu repository. [code]sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable[/code]
  3. Now run the following command in the terminal
    [code]sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade[/code]

So your Ubuntu is all set with FireFoxFour! To see what’s new in Firefox 4, check out the following video:

And there is a Firefox4 Twitter party going on HERE. You can  join there and celebrate the party with other Firefox users! Happy FFFing!!

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable

Reaching Out to Japan

It’s been nearly a week that Japan was almost annihilated in a catastrophic tsunami. While Japan is trying to overcome damages and casualties after the heart-breaking catastrophe, the Ubuntu Community has set up a website for users to send a message of support to the Japanese Ubuntu LoCo team as well as the people of Japan. You can add your name and show your support for the Japanese at that website.

Though the sentiment and well wishes are great comforts after such a calamity, in times such as these, it will be very palpable if you can help and reach those affected people financially by bringing the most immediate benefit for them. Google has more details on how you can help financially.

Lucid Lynx: Mockup

Well… Everybody in the Ubuntu world is pretty much excited about the new design of upcoming Lucid Lynx. Lots of discussion is going on. Some says the new design is pretty Macish, some are in opposition of putting the maximize-minimize-close buttons in the left corner, some says the button chronology should be in a way so that the close button should be in the either corners, and so on. Lots of propositions are taking places. So why shouldn’t I propose something? Who knows, may be Canonical will find something important from my design! (If they dare to choose mine 😀 )

Here goes my (insane!) proposal. Look at the following window of  newly designed Lucid Lynx.

I’ve just put the maximize-minimize-close buttons at the bottom! Well, Mac has their button at the upper left and Windows has in the upper right. So by following on of the architecture implies that Ubuntu doesn’t have anything of its own! Here goes the identity of Ubuntu. Again in case of usability, when we scroll the window, it is always in the direction of top to bottom. So When we reach at the bottom, we move our cursor again to the top to close (or maximize or minimize) the window. Isn’t it be easier to perform those tasks by not moving the cursor to a 180 degree opposite direction? I think so. And it would be a pretty easy method to perform those tasks. Though it needs some practice.

At the upper left corner a logo of the program can be placed, and the title can be placed at the centre of  title bar. May be a click on the logo will show a text menu of maximize-minimize-close-move-etc.

So what do you think? Don’t hesitate to tell me, How insane is this design! 😉

Are you an open source user? Then you are a pirate!

I’ve just read an interesting article in the Guardian, which states that a US lobby group is trying to get the US government to consider open source as the equivalent to piracy. That means, to that well suited “moron” group, the open source free community is actually a large group of pirates!

Countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India is asked to be considered for the “Special 301 watchlist” by International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), because they use open source software. So what on earth is “Special 301“? According to Guardian’s Bobbie Johnson it is:

a report that examines the ‘adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights’ around the planet – effectively the list of countries that the US government considers enemies of capitalism. It often gets wheeled out as a form of trading pressure – often around pharmaceuticals and counterfeited goods – to try and force governments to change their behaviours.

Continue reading Are you an open source user? Then you are a pirate!