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Updated: 2017-11-18T16:43:21Z

 



WordPress.comWhat’s the difference between platform and apps?

2011-12-01T13:37:30Z

I’ve been observing the expansion of this idea of “Ubuntu App Development”.  David Planella just wrote about what the Canonical Community team is doing to build that area. Recently, Daniel Holbach asked if the Ubuntu Packaging Guide should be renamed to … Continue reading (image)

I’ve been observing the expansion of this idea of “Ubuntu App Development”.  David Planella just wrote about what the Canonical Community team is doing to build that area. Recently, Daniel Holbach asked if the Ubuntu Packaging Guide should be renamed to the Ubuntu Platform Development Guide (or something similar) since it deals more with working with packages within Ubuntu instead of on top of it.

So here’s my issues and questions. How do we distinguish between apps that we have in the Ubuntu archives (for which the current Packaging Guide would apply) from the apps that people ship on top of Ubuntu (delivered in PPAs, Canonical Partner repos, etc. for which developer.ubuntu.com is maybe the primary entry point)?

I’m personal uncomfortable with the “Platform” language being applied to things like Firefox or Inkscape or the thousands of other desktop and end-user applications. “Platform” to me means libraries and kernels and things like X.org,  awk and curl.

My feeling is Ubuntu is becoming a mix of Debian, where we try to put the entire FLOSS universe in our software repositories, and iOS where we have a fairly clear distinction between Platform and Apps. It’s a bit confusing


Tagged: community, packaging (image) (image)



Non-Free Tools in a Free Software Community

2011-11-25T03:20:54Z

I was reading Bradley Kuhn’s post over at Planet Gnome about feeling a lot of social pressure from within open-source communities to use proprietary communication tools such as Facebook, Google +, and Skype. Normally I don’t agree much with Kuhn’s … Continue reading (image)

I was reading Bradley Kuhn’s post over at Planet Gnome about feeling a lot of social pressure from within open-source communities to use proprietary communication tools such as Facebook, Google +, and Skype. Normally I don’t agree much with Kuhn’s positions when it comes to open source software. I’m much more of a pragmatist and don’t see any inherent philosophical or ethic issues with proprietary software.

That said, I think Kuhn is making a pretty good point and I think it is one that the Ubuntu community ought to think about. We went through this before with Launchpad (I wrote a post back in 2007 about that) when it was not Free. These days I do see quite a bit of communication done via Google +, Skype, and less on the stalwarts of  open-source communication, IRC and mailing lists.

So my question I guess is, why? Why are these tools being used? Are they being used in place of IRC/mailing lists or in addition to?


(image) (image)



A different type of Git book

2011-07-28T21:46:17Z

I thought maybe Planet Ubuntu readers might find this interesting. Former Ubuntu/Edubuntu developer and all-around good guy Pete Savage is writing a book on Git called Git In the Trenches (gitt for short). Of course there are many books on … Continue reading →I thought maybe Planet Ubuntu readers might find this interesting. Former Ubuntu/Edubuntu developer and all-around good guy Pete Savage is writing a book on Git called Git In the Trenches (gitt for short). Cover Of course there are many books on version control and Git in particular. Stackoverflow has some suggestions. So why do we need another one? Well, as you probably know, different books will appeal to different people just like different distros, desktop environments, web browsers, etc.What is interesting about Pete’s book is the style/method he’s using. Instead of a “just the facts” quick reference or a long tome on version control theory, Pete is using his experience in novel-writing (Emblem Divide) to teach git through realistic scenarios that let people associate knowledge with experience. In Git In the Trenches Pete takes the reader though the experiences of a group of software developers at a fictional company. Each chapter represents a week at the company and is broken up into “bite size” days. Each chapter includes an “After Hours” section where Pete allows readers who are more interested in the guts of git to dig a bit deeper. As of now Pete’s up to 8 chapters (weeks) and about 300 pages. I think it is an exciting project and I know he’d appreciate feedback from Ubuntu Planet readers. If you want to have a look, Pete’s got the LaTeX source on github. Enjoy! Tagged: books, cbx33, git [...]



Running GNOME apps in Kubuntu

2011-06-30T05:45:10Z

These days there is a lot of discussion going on surrounding the future of Ubuntu and GNOME with respect to desktop user interface or “desktop experience”. For me personally I find a lot of good in both Canonical’s Unity and … Continue reading (image)

These days there is a lot of discussion going on surrounding the future of Ubuntu and GNOME with respect to desktop user interface or “desktop experience”. For me personally I find a lot of good in both Canonical’s Unity and GNOME’s gnome-shell. There is, however, enough issues, both technical and political, that I have been more of a mind to try other desktop environments.

Every since KDE 4 first came out I have periodically tried it out. One of the biggest issues when I do that is that there are quite a few GNOME/GTK applications that I like and I have a hard time switching desktop environment and day-to-day applications all at once. Of course we Linux users have been able to run GNOME applications in KDE, and vice versa, for a long time but it hasn’t always been that pretty. Well, when I tried Kubuntu 11.04 on my netbook after some promoting from Scott Kitterman I was pleasantly surprised to see that my usual set of applications when I’m in Ubuntu, Firefox, Pidgin, and Xchat, worked just fine in Kubuntu complete with very native feeling (because it is) indicator support. One of the things that always turned me off about KDE was that it had a somewhat monolithic feel that seems to be melting from what I’m seeing. What I realized in my last Kubuntu adventure was that I could run KDE’s plasma desktop as a desktop but could freely go between GNOME and KDE applications without a significant difference. That may sound trivial to you, but it is pretty significant to me.

Kubuntu seems first-rate to me. I takes many of the best parts of Ubuntu like ease of installation, lots of packages, good hardware support and combines it with one of the most developer friendly and user empowering desktops I’ve ever seen.

I have two wishlist items for Kubuntu:

  1. I found it pretty hard to get KDE to look like an Ubuntu GNOME desktop. There are a ton of options, etc. but it’s hard for me to get a good theme and get everything looking like my other desktop. I love the look of GNOME.
  2. While there has been some real improvements in terms of CPU usage, KDE still takes a fair amount more RAM than GNOME/Unity on my netbook. On my Acer Aspire One with 1 GB of RAM, KDE runs at least 100MB more RAM, a 10% increase. As flexible as KDE seems to be, it seems like it ought to be possible to make a more streamlined desktop. I would love to hear suggestions!

Tagged: kubuntu (image) (image)



Amazon S3 for static web hosting?

2011-06-15T06:14:16Z

I’ve got a new domain where I would like to create a professional landing page. Nothing too fancy and no blog. I am getting rid of my dreamhost account because frankly I just don’t use it enough to be worth … Continue reading (image)

I’ve got a new domain where I would like to create a professional landing page. Nothing too fancy and no blog. I am getting rid of my dreamhost account because frankly I just don’t use it enough to be worth the cost. So I was looking around trying to figure out a cheap alternative.  Well, I can get a web host for something like $50/year, which is nice. However, I got to thinking, “do I really need all this?”. I don’t need all the e-commerce stuff, I don’t need domain registration (I’ve already got one), email, or a thousand different PHP apps. All I want is to cheaply host my files and a static website. I then came across news that Amazon S3 could be used host static websites! I found a good review of the cost and how to make S3 do the hosting. If it actually works I could probably host my landing site for < $0.50/month.

My lazyweb question for all of you is, have you tried hosting a static website from Amazon S3? If so, what did you think of it?


(image) (image)



Daily Journal 10.04.1 released

2011-04-21T21:04:06Z

I’m happy to share with you all that Rick Spencer and I were able to throw together a new release of Daily Journal yesterday. Daily Journal is a journal application for Ubuntu that keeps one page per day. The focus … Continue reading →I’m happy to share with you all that Rick Spencer and I were able to throw together a new release of Daily Journal yesterday. Daily Journal is a journal application for Ubuntu that keeps one page per day. The focus is on letting you take your notes. There is no file management, formatting, or other complexity imposed. If you have a Ubuntuone account, your diary will be automatically synchronized across your computers. The big change for the 10.04.1 release was that we switched the note navigation from a simple list of dates to a calendar that can be navigated. Daily Journal 11.04.1 The Daily Journal source is: bzr branch lp:daily-journal You can download Daily Journal from Rick’s PPA:  ppa:rick-rickspencer3/ppa And of course, if you find any bugs feel free to file them and get in touch with Rick or I if you have any questions or want to help out. Tagged: daily journal [...]



Evolution of my netbook UI

2010-11-28T04:19:33Z

I’ve used an Acer Aspire One D250 (Intel N270, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard drive) for my every-day machine, in fact basically my only machine, for over a year now. Needless to say, a productive netbook UI is important to me. … Continue reading (image)

I’ve used an Acer Aspire One D250 (Intel N270, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard drive) for my every-day machine, in fact basically my only machine, for over a year now. Needless to say, a productive netbook UI is important to me. I want to maximize the usable screen space while also minimizing RAM and especially CPU usage.

Here are the desktop UIs I’ve tried so far:

  1. Ubuntu Netbook Edition with the “legacy” netbook UI. I really got used to using maximus to keep most windows maximized and the window picker applet to easily switch between windows and close windows.
  2. Ubuntu Netbook Edition with the Unity interface on 10.10. I like the window management and it looks slick. The problems I’ve had are general performance, stability, and the screen real estate taken up by the launcher/side bar.
  3. Ubuntu Desktop Edition with compiz. This is my latest netbook method. I take the normal Ubuntu GNOME desktop, remove some of the applets (indicator-session for instance), and use a trick I read about to remove the window decorations on maximized windows.

I came up with the last idea after reading that Unity was moving to using compiz. I had always assumed that compiz would use more RAM and CPU than metacity or Unity. In fact, compiz is actually really snappy on my Aspire One. The only thing that I find problematic about my current setup is that due to not having any windows directions I have no button to close windows. I use the Alt-F4 keyboard shortcut, but it’s a little awkward.

So how about you? What kind of Ubuntu interface do you use on your netbook? Do you just use Unity? Something more like my setup? I’m really curious about Kubuntu, but it’s a real CPU hog at this point. I haven’t figured out how to fix that yet.


Tagged: netbook (image) (image)



Edubuntu makeover

2010-09-30T14:55:01Z

I haven’t been involved with Edubuntu development for a year now. While I miss the work and especially the great people, I’ve come to see that the project is in great hands (better than mine for sure). Edubuntu made some … Continue reading →I haven’t been involved with Edubuntu development for a year now. While I miss the work and especially the great people, I’ve come to see that the project is in great hands (better than mine for sure). Edubuntu made some really important strides in 10.04 with the enhancements made to the DVD installer and live system. One of the neat things that has happened a little more recently was a complete revamping of the edubuntu.org website. The work was done by Edubuntu community members Jonathan Carter and Stéphane Graber. Besides being very slick and in-line with the main Ubuntu website, the new edubuntu.org is much more community oriented. There are social network badges on the right side to link users to Edubuntu resources on Facebook, YouTube, Identi.ca, Twitter. On the left side there is a widget with the latest Edububtu project status updates on Identi.ca. Overall, I think the new site is much more social and connected to its users. I think it will make the website quite a bit more useful to users and for those wanting to learn more about Edubuntu. From what I hear there might be some more content coming. I’m excited to see what’s next. Tagged: edubuntu [...]



from the crimsun files

2010-09-08T19:44:56Z

Going through my “scratch” note I found the following quote: C is beautiful. C++ makes me weep. Java stabs me in the gut. Python pours me wine. That is all.(image)

Going through my “scratch” note I found the following quote:

C is beautiful. C++ makes me weep. Java stabs me in the gut. Python pours me wine.

That is all.

(image)


(image) (image)



Fool me thrice …

2010-09-02T02:35:04Z

I’ve now tried to do upgrades from 10.04 to Maverick Meerkat three times and each time I’ve reverted to 10.04 within a day. There was a fair amount of general instability, and for instance, in the last case OpenOffice.org Writer … Continue reading →I’ve now tried to do upgrades from 10.04 to Maverick Meerkat three times and each time I’ve reverted to 10.04 within a day. There was a fair amount of general instability, and for instance, in the last case OpenOffice.org Writer crashed any time I tried to save any files. Normally I’ve upgrade to the development release somewhere between Alpha3 and Beta. I’m not sure if it’s that 10.04 has just been such an exceptional release or if Maverick is still a bit rough around the edges, thoughts? For the first time I’m even contemplating not upgrading this go-round. However, there are some things I’m looking forward to in Ubuntu 10.10. First off, I’m a netbook-bound computer user so I’m really intrigued about what the Canonical team is doing with Unity. I was a big fan of the previous netbook UI (using netbook-launcher, maximus, and friends) and have my doubts about Unity. I’ve tried the Dx team PPA to use Unity on 10.04. It seems slick, but quite resource intensive and a bit incomplete. I’m concerned about the amount of screen real estate used up by the new sidebar. On my netbook it makes web browsing (which is a huge part of my day) more difficult. Ultimately I wonder if Unity is going to be too slick for it’s own good, at least in the short run. However, if anybody can pull it off, Neil Patel and co. are the guys to do it. I’m also looking forward to the indicator work. So far I haven’t found indicators to be all that useful. Sure, they look pretty, and I can swipe across them, but I don’t use the Messaging Menu very often except to start apps (which I can easy do in other ways) and I never use the Me Menu (the one where you can set your status). However, adding networking and time menus might help make the whole thing a bit more useful. Thoughts? Lastly, I’m eager to so what Ken VanDine has down with libgwibber. This is a library (with vala, python, and C# bindings) that provides microblogging services and GTK widgets. I would love to use it to create a simple, Vala-based Twitter client. [...]