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Ubuntu Is Hyper-Active At OSCON 379

ruphus13 writes "Ubuntu and Canonical have been very active at OSCON this year. They showcased a new distro, announced improvements to their code-hosting platform, and made Mark Shuttleworth available for a couple of talks and panel sessions. Quoting: 'Ubuntu Netbook Remix, a complete distribution designed to run on Atom-based Netbook PCs. The main difference that sets it apart from its big brother Hardy Heron is the Ubuntu Mobile Edition (UME) Launcher, a user interface created specifically for use on the teensy screens and keyboards of today's popular ultra-portable computers.' Canonical also announced Version 2.0 of Launchpad, their code-hosting platform. Enhancements include 'a planned API that'll allow third-party applications to authenticate, query and modify data in the massive Launchpad database, without a user needing to manually access the system via a browser.' Mark Shuttleworth went on to state that Linux's market share will grow when it has better eye-candy than Apple's."
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Ubuntu Is Hyper-Active At OSCON

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  • If its shiny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gat0r30y ( 957941 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:43PM (#24311433) Homepage Journal
    they will come...
    I think Shuttleworth might be on to something there.
    • Re:If its shiny (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:46PM (#24311485)

      And yet I still haven't "upgraded" to Vista.

      Funny how that works.

      • Re:If its shiny (Score:4, Interesting)

        by E IS mC(Square) ( 721736 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:49PM (#24311557) Journal
        Shiny, and fast, and cheap, and useful.

        Ubuntu (and many other popular distros) have been trying to get there. Last missing part was "Shiny" - Compiz and other similar eye-candies may get them there.
        • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @07:27PM (#24312555) Homepage Journal

          Shiny, and fast, and cheap, and useful.

          And compatible.

          Ubuntu (and many other popular distros) have been trying to get there. Last missing part was "Shiny" - Compiz and other similar eye-candies may get them there.

          Are you sure that was the last missing part? There's still a problem with getting manufacturers of PC components designed for home use to work wholeheartedly with the Ubuntu community. I don't see penguin logos on boxes, and not everybody has a working printer and enough paper to print out a distribution's hardware compatibility list and carry it into a local computer store.

          • Yes, I am sure that was the last part missing. But by that, I did not mean they have already achieved the others.

            To repharse what I said earlier - They have found the last missing part - the bling. Now they have to work on all of them and get to a reasonably satisfactory level.
          • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @08:24PM (#24313089)

            Are you sure that was the last missing part? There's still a problem with getting manufacturers of PC components designed for home use to work wholeheartedly with the Ubuntu community.

            Sure, but 98% of the things I plug into my Linux box work 100% fine and are up fast. The last time I plugged in a simple flash drive into a Vista box, it took at least a minute trying to find the driver and eventually worked. Then there are all kinds of other things that Vista needs a driver for but they work out-of-the-box for Linux. Just about anything except for ATI/nVidia cards with work 100% out-of-the-box.

            I don't see penguin logos on boxes, and not everybody has a working printer and enough paper to print out a distribution's hardware compatibility list and carry it into a local computer store.

            But with Ubuntu you don't need that just about everything will work without any configuration. And the things that don't either are A) specialty devices that most of the time the programs for using them are Windows-only or B) Major computer components that are mostly built-in when you buy a computer (Wi-Fi cards, Graphics cards, Sound cards, etc.). But as for buying just about anything you can be 99% sure it will work on the newest Ubuntu, and if not, than download the alpha/beta of the next one and most of the time it will work.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Yfrwlf ( 998822 )
              But with Ubuntu you don't need that just about everything will work without any configuration.

              You're right to some degree there, however the parent's point about penguins on the boxes is a huge problem. For Linux to be "easy", it has to have hardware which tells consumers that it's Linux-compatible. But the thing in the way of solving that is Tux's catch22: "Linux won't get support until it gets widely used, but it won't see wide use until it gets support." The problem is being solved, it's just sl
              • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @09:47PM (#24313735)

                You're right to some degree there, however the parent's point about penguins on the boxes is a huge problem. For Linux to be "easy", it has to have hardware which tells consumers that it's Linux-compatible.

                Because most of the people read the boxes for Windows support? Not anymore. It has been accepted that, whether there is a nice Windows logo on there or not, it will work with Windows unless it says "For Mac" or is made by Apple. Linux will be the same, no need for fancy logos, etc. Though I do try to buy things that have Linux on the system requirements (such as flash drives, all will work with Linux I know, but I would rather buy the one that specifically mentions it, vote with your wallet)

                But the thing in the way of solving that is Tux's catch22: "Linux won't get support until it gets widely used, but it won't see wide use until it gets support." The problem is being solved, it's just slow. Even the supposed thing with ATI/AMD releasing their new graphics cards, the Radeon HD 48x0's, that would have Tux on the box never happened. Disappointing. However, since driver installation is still insane on Linux, it's not too surprising that manufacturers don't support it better. If they had a kernel module or API which OEMs could use for quick driver installation so you wouldn't have to compile or reinstall your driver for every kernel upgrade you went through, and could also provide an install package that could register itself with the most common package managers out there by using a universally accepted packaging API, then I think you'll start seeing that happening more.

                But the thing is, if they would just release the specs for the hardware, even under a NDA, someone could write a kernel driver for it, include it with the main kernel and all would be good. And there are a lot of people that are willing to do it. And I honestly don't want to do what I have to do with Windows and that is install some driver, which installs some proprietary application to do something that should be done with a generic driver for things such as printers, USB drives, etc. And it is really bad if you lose the CD that comes with it and then have unusable hardware... So, in the way, free reversed engineered drivers are slow, but they are better than the super-proprietary, niche drivers that the manufacturers want to give us for No-Good-Reason (TM).

                Anything that helps adoption by helping easy installation is a good thing, and will increase Linux's adoption, and that's all I want to see happen. Users still will have the choice to use binary blobs or not, but they will have a lot more choices when Linux adoption becomes greater.)

                Linux does not need an easy install to be used. If you have *ever* had to reinstall XP, it is a headache, compare that to Ubuntu's install. Ubuntu generally gives you good defaults with few hard choices rather than Window's installer (like how is a novice user supposed to know which to format the disks as, FAT or NTFS?). DOS wasn't good. But it was pre-installed so that's what everyone used. Windows wasn't great either, but it was the only thing you could get for a long time. When/if Dell starts actually promoting the systems they have with Ubuntu on them, I expect the marketshare to rise. Seriously, Dell and the OSS community would have a lot to gain if Dell didn't hide the Ubuntu systems in a dark corner of their website.

        • Compiz and other similar eye-candies may get them there.

          OT post here, but I was really disappointed at the quality of Compiz in Kubuntu 8.04. After having seen Beryl with 7.04, I had expected that merging Beryl back into Compiz would produce the best of both worlds. Instead, the result was a klunky effect that looked like someone's homework done only to meet minimum requirements.

          For example, the desktop cube is still there with Compiz-fusion, but unlike Beryl, it doesn't have that "springy" feel when I ro

      • Re:If its shiny (Score:5, Insightful)

        by smussman ( 1160103 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:52PM (#24311581)
        I think it's because an OS should have the shiny UI, *and* reliability/good hardware support.

        I think Vista is a pretty good reason why trying for just the one doesn't work.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by JohnBailey ( 1092697 )

        And yet I still haven't "upgraded" to Vista.

        Funny how that works.

        Shiny... not slimy..

    • by Stanistani ( 808333 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:46PM (#24311487) Homepage Journal

      Microsoft's response will be to add autoinjectors loaded with Ritalin to their base operating system installs.

    • Marketing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <[enderandrew] [at] []> on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:58PM (#24311655) Homepage Journal

      I have people telling me they want Apple computers, and they have never seen the UI of OS X.

      They want Apple computers because of marketing and hype. They are becoming trendy status symbols. (Put the flame-throwers away, I'm not commenting on quality here). Linux doesn't have a marketing department. That is why Linux won't take a sizable chunk out of the desktop market.

      People draw comparisons to Firefox and its adoption, but Firefox grew when it adopted a marketing campaign. People seem to forget that.

      • Dude, free shiny stuff markets itself to stoned teenagers - I think thats a market with explosive growth potential.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They want Apple computers because of marketing and hype. They are becoming trendy status symbols. (Put the flame-throwers away, I'm not commenting on quality here). Linux doesn't have a marketing department.

        [No flames from me.] They want Macs because of the marketing and hype combined with geeks like me who say "If you've got the money and you don't want any problems, you should get a Mac." That's quite the combination.

        Ubuntu has a marketing department. Ubuntu is also very good. But you still cannot just to

        • Re:Marketing (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Nate B. ( 2907 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @07:38PM (#24312683) Homepage Journal

          I think the "problem" is a bit deeper than most people will care to admit. Apple is a common word and the name of a computer company with 30+ years of history behind it. Mention ipod or iphone and even non-techies can identify the company behind it.

          Ubuntu sounds multicultural and foreign. No offense, but most people will readily identify Apple and remain cautious about Ubuntu. That may not be what anyone here wants to read, but I don't think the Free Software desktop can go head-on with Apple with the Ubuntu name leading the way and expect the Free Software desktop to be anything but roadkill in Apple's wake, no matter how shiny it is.

          The grandparent has swerved into the truth, Apple is an exclusive brand that is hot now and has been hot for several years. Likewise, Linux and F/OSS is its own exclusive brand that appeals to a different group of people. I don't fault Mr. Shuttleworth for trying to improve the Free Desktop as I think it's a worthy goal. I just think it's a fool's game to try to out-Apple Apple.

      • Re:Marketing (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @07:10PM (#24312419) Homepage

        People draw comparisons to Firefox and its adoption, but Firefox grew when it adopted a marketing campaign. People seem to forget that.

        Linux doesn't, but Ubuntu does. But it's also important that Apple also delivers, even if you subtract some for obvious hype and willingness to overlook Apple tend to deliver products that work well. I've seen several that could give Apple a run for the money on style, but then they tend to fail on other points. And the far more useful, yet ugly products. Honestly, there's not that many running in the "fashionable yet usable" category.

        Think for example of clothes - you can get very stylish clothes but they're often awkward to wear, horrible to wash and neither robust nor very practical. Or you can have clothes that are very practical, comfortable, durable, easy to wash and utterly unstylish. Want to look classy 365 days a year? There's not actually that many you'd want to wear. What I'm saying it that you better be good to be fashionable, for a durable product at least.

        I don't think Linux is good enough to be fashionable just yet. Yes, it's a good workhorse but a workhorse is no show horse. The most important thing Linux could do right now is to let Macs have their day to break the MS dominance and get as many cross-platform (Win/Mac/Linux) standards in place as at all possible. Oh yeah and RMS/hippies moving to servers/techies aren't exactly a great start for a fashion statement.

        If I wanted to try a fashion image, I'd try the "choice" image. Show different people, one working in a terminal, one working in KDE, one working in Gnome, working in different applications etc. which all say "I use Linux" and then go "What do you want Linux to be for you?". Would have an ounce of truth yet the implied lie that Linux can be everything you want it to be, sounds like a good commercial to me.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Almahtar ( 991773 )

          the implied lie that Linux can be everything you want it to be

          I don't know that it's such a lie.

          I just bought a macbook pro and immediately dual booted it with Ubuntu because OSX can't do what I want it to do, but with a bit of configuration Ubuntu can look as flashy as OSX yet still give me what I want.

          Spaces can do a lot, but it isn't as flexible as compiz-fusion. Finder just plain doesn't support sftp, and OSX apps don't either, not in the sense that gnome/kde apps do.

          As is I get the usability of OSX with the technical advancement that only gnome and kde hav

      • You're forgetting one key thing, Apple is Apple whereas there are lots of companies that are "Linux". When someone sees an ad for RedHat or Ubuntu, they are seeing an add for that particular company as well as an ad for "Linux". But then they see an ad for a diff company and the waters get muddied a little. When I turn on the tv and see the Mac and PC guys, I know who they are. I know there is one Mac and one PC (well, it's actually Windows and there is more than one... XP, Vista, etc., but you get my point
      • but Firefox grew when it adopted a marketing campaign. People seem to forget that.

        Ummm... What marketing campaign? Most people either used Firefox because either A) It was preinstalled on the computer they have (by a geek, or by work, etc) B) They didn't want IE C) Some guy who they thought knew a lot about computers told them to D) A guy on some forum is always raving about how great Firefox is.

        I don't know of a single person who has installed Firefox because of the marketing campaign it has. Sure, it is great and I wish that more OSS projects had it, but as for it really giving r

      • Right now Apple is the only company that makes the "whole stack" the computer, the OS, the applications and now even the retail store.

        This means Apple gets ALL the money. But also means that Apple can test everything and see that it works together and does not need to waste time and money supporting every possible combination of components.

        It's more than just marking Apple has a unique product. No one else sell you a system that thy built top to bottom. Well OK Sun can but they don't go after home users.

    • Not only does the OS have to be prettier than osx ... but they've got to make some sort of electronic status symbol to rival apple's ipod / macbook.

      I'd get one just to show that I WASN'T using apple (or m$)..
    • You have turned Mark Shuttleworth's sensible idea into an offensive idea.

      He is merely saying that Linux needs more work on the user interfaces, so that it can compete with Apple's well-designed products.

      Users are sensible to demand that software make things easy for them. Why should every user do more work because programmers wanted to same themselves some work?
    • Re:If its shiny (Score:5, Interesting)

      A Friend of mine recently tried Ubuntu Hardy. He wasn't too fond of Vista, and couldn't get his hands on a copy of XP. He's quite familiar with computers, but I would not describe him as technically minded. Expecting a short and brutal install process followed by a hasty retreat back to Windows, I was frankly blown away by what followed.

      Firstly, he installed it, via the Windows installer, without undue hassle and was initially very impressed. He ended up having problems with wireless network card drivers, but before then he discovered the compiz window/eye-candy manager and the whole cube desktop thing, as well as dual monitor and window tiling features. He even ended up compiling an add on for compiz from source, and this someone who to my knowledge has never even written a Hello World program (though he has edited game ini files and the like).

      He has seen Macs, and though he's impressed, the price is off putting. Anyway he is now using Vista, and has found its visual effects fairly pleasing. But, he still wants to go back to Ubuntu, due in no small part to the compiz cube, which he considers superior. In fact, even his girlfriend actually prefers Ubuntu. This last remark, while somewhat sexist, is in this particular case a justified testament to the wide appeal of Hardy.

      In short, I remain shocked, bewildered and pleasantly bemused by this state of affairs. Desktop Linux is here right now. No actually, it's over here []. It is not an exaggeration to state that Aunt Tillie can use and actually enjoy Ubuntu Hardy, as though as it might be for us to accept it.

      I personally thought that with Microsoft's Vista difficulties, Apple and OSX would be in the ascendant. Right now however, I foresee the migration of a sizeable fraction of home desktop users to Ubuntu in the short term. You would be surprised just how fast Ubuntu can spread once people see those wobbling windows and desktop cubes.

      Remember how you though that Bittorrent would be too complicated from the average desktop user? Yeah.

      • by Smauler ( 915644 )

        As an alternative experience, I tried to install Ubuntu the other night and got as far as partitioning. Turns out it doesn't see "fakeraid" partitions. I was lucky I knew a little about my partitions etc or I might have tried to continue the install, which I'm sure would have completely wiped my Windows partition. Anyway, I did a little research, got a little drunk, got to this page [] and gave up. I'll give it another go when I've got a bit of time on my hands.

        Desktop installation of operating systems is

        • Re:If its shiny (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @07:50PM (#24312793)
          I would have to completely disagree. Right after my son's 2nd birthday, I was in one of these kinds of discussions, and decided to do a little experiment. So, I formatted my son's hard drive, gave him an Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) disk, and told him to go install his computer. He did it with no problems. Now if a two year old who cannot read yet can install the OS, I think that it is unfair to say that it is not properly ready for the masses.

          As an aside, I followed up with having him try to install WindowsXP. He was unsuccessful. I attribute this to the fact that WindowsXP required reading to get through the install.
  • Yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:45PM (#24311465) Journal

    Wake me up when I can actually install it on my HP laptop and have the drivers actually work. I'm pretty disillusioned with Hardy Heron on this one. Ubuntu's supporters have got as bad as Microsoft's "Just wait until the next version, then it'll work..."

    • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Interesting)

      by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:50PM (#24311561)

      As much as I love ubuntu, I have to agree with you. The 8.04 just wasn't "done" when it was released. Although I didn't have any driver problems, Pulseaudio has caused nothing but headaches for people, and their including a beta release of a browser (firefox 3) in a LTS OS is a strange thing. I've read the arguments for and against that one, but still, if they kept it in beta a few weeks till firefox 3 was released, they could have fixed lots of other issues as well. Its opensource, its not like there are huge marketing campains with millions spent on advertising that would be wasted by delaying the release..

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by s.bots ( 1099921 )
        The inclusion of a beta in a LTS makes far more sense than including a browser that will soon be outdated and unsupported. Firefox 3 will exit beta long before Ubuntu releases another LTS. Definitely agree with the rest of the comment though, 8.04 could've used some more time.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Same here. I've been using Linux (Debian then Mandrake then Ubuntu) as my main desktop for eight years. I installed 8.04 and *everything* broke. That was enough incentive to switch to OS X - I was struggling without Photoshop and Dreamweaver anyway and the task of getting Ubuntu working again compared to splashing out now I actually have a salary - it just wasn't worth it.
      • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Informative)

        by FoolsGold ( 1139759 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @06:43PM (#24312139)

        It's probably useful to note that now, whenever you go to download Ubuntu 8.04 from the official site, you're actually downloading the refreshed ISO known as 8.04.1. This ISO has all the updates up to the beginning of July, which means it also has the final release of Firefox 3, a much better working PulseAudio and many other fixes out-of-the-box. From this point of view, the LTS is now much more polished if someone uses the refreshed ISO.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Locutus ( 9039 )

          but if you ordered a CD from them, what will you get? Is it the original or updated image?

          Nice to know they are updating the images for the LTS products.


      • including a horribly unstable browser (firefox 3) in a LTS OS is a strange thing

        There, fixed it for you.

      • We run ltsp thin terminals at work. Started off with Debian and ltsp 4.2. When 6.06lts (dapper) we switched and enjoyed the ubuntu goodness. (Dual-heads from an agp and a pci video card, thin client attached printers, snazzy desktop, Jammin 125s for the sales floor). It had its flaws (zombie connections being a biggie) but running 10 clients off of a quad p3-700 was super sweet. We waited eagerly for the next LTS release and installed with utmost haste to a quad xeon 900. Slicker interface (check), zo

    • by kesuki ( 321456 )

      you think linux not working on a laptop is bad! my 'dads' pc ran and loaded 7.10 fine, no issues. but 8.04 despite upgrading fine SIMPLY WON'T INSTALL.

      this on a commodity desktop system with popular motherboard and part sets!

      and on my system at home 8.04 ubuntu won't work at all, it hangs on trying to load gnome, i can get gnome to work in fail safe mode, but it wont' do that automatically! i switched to KDE via meta package and Kubuntu ran no issues.

      I'm starting to worry about the future of ubuntu/kubuntu.

      • I think the whole 'just use 1 CD' as the installer might be limiting them

        I think you can fit a very feature-rich desktop in 700mb. It's not like Windows or Mac OS come with even a tenth of the functionality provided in a standard Ubuntu install. Most certainly, the media size is not the limiting factor in terms of hardware support.

        The fact that your dad's PC can't install 8.04 either means it is marginally unstable, or perhaps Ubuntu 8.04 just plain sucks. I'm leaning towards the latter, in the last year or so, they seem to be obsessed with promotion and whiz-bang rather than

    • by Narpak ( 961733 )
      Thankfully Ubuntu release a new version every 6 months; so the improvements come available often.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Wake me up when I can actually install it on my HP laptop

      Wake me up when you've stopped being dumb enough to by a laptop which isn't supported. Presumably you don't simply run to walmart and buy the cheapest POS laptop you can find? That means you do some research. Since Linux is KNOWN not to support all the latest hardware, especially in laptops, it was pretty dumb to buy a laptop which didn't work, if you intended to install linux.

      Yeah, I'm probably going to get modded troll for this, but honestly this i

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DrgnDancer ( 137700 )

        The point being that this whole conversation is supposed to revolve around "It just works". Personally, I got Hardy Heron working on my HP laptop. I had to do some serious internet searches and play fun games with NDISwrapper and some alpha quality sound system, but I got it working. I also install and configure Linux workstations for a living. If its possible to make something work in Linux, chances are I can make it work. If I handed that CD to my wife, and said, "hey babe, install this and make work

  • by Tragek ( 772040 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:47PM (#24311507) Journal

    At least, not in the markets where linux is competing against it. It's ease of use, and the "it-just-works" factor.

    • by seanonymous ( 964897 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:49PM (#24311549)
      Eye candy? Yeah, let me know when my mom can walk into the Ubuntu store and have someone walk her through sending photos.
      • by spazdor ( 902907 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:53PM (#24311603)

        This thread is the correct one.

        Apple has the die-hard users it does because it functions perfectly for their needs and doesn't make them do any work.

        When you don't have to present too many diverse options and functions, it's pretty easy to make the results look sleek. If Apple even tried to provide as much at-a-glance information in their UI that Linux users have gotten used to, they'd have something as messy as the Vista dockwharfpier.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Nightspirit ( 846159 )

        I'm not a big Apple fan, but that is the one thing they definitely did right. Plus their Apple stores have 1-on-1 training for quite cheap.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by kesuki ( 321456 ) [] []

        for something like that they might actually reply, they(the community) never reply to MY problems with ubuntu.

    • There's just one caveat - "it-just-works" required the whole company to take on a single ideology of "there is no step two". Steve Jobs can pull that at his own company. Can Shuttleworth start a similar movement and implement it?
  • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) * on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:50PM (#24311563)
    Vista has better "eye candy" than XP, even arguably better than OSX, but many people aren't switching because it's not just about "candy." It's about user experience, in which animation and soothing visuals play only a part. Simplicity is more important than prettiness, and the ability of the user to know somewhat intuitively what a button will do goes a lot farther than 3D visual effects.
  • I gave gutsy a try (this was before hardy was out), and was able to run compiz at full tilt on my gimpy macbook's gma gpu.

    The problems I had with the system in comparison to mac were:

    no graphical sudo out of the box

    no incorporation of a global menubar in gnome, eating massive amounts of valuable vertical real estate and subjecting you to those annoying "palettes" many websites use to try to prevent you viewing source.

    terrible opengl performance. I can run vlc and mplayer using opengl out on osx, try this o

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      no graphical sudo out of the box

      $ gksudo $COMMAND
      Installed by default.

    • by TeacherOfHeroes ( 892498 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @06:32PM (#24312011)

      Actually, if you're looking for a global menubar for GNOME, there is one, it's just not an official part of GNOME. []

      Install some deb files, add the applet to a panel, and you're done. Menus will automatically reappear in their own windows if you remove it later.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mjwx ( 966435 )
      I ran Ubuntu 7.10 on my old Benq A33 (Cel 1.6, 1 GB of RAM, Intel 915 GMA) and it could run Compiz at full fine (OK I concede that it would slowdown a little when I had Totem (video), Firefox and open office write open at the same time, but it would run any two of those apps without a problem). I don't see why you didn't get Sudo popups, I was asked to elevate privileges whenever it was needed (installing updates, changing network settings, etc...) but that may be an oddity with your Mac.

      Whilst I know th
  • Not eye candy. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by heteromonomer ( 698504 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @05:52PM (#24311587)
    I disagree with that last statement of the article. It's not the eye candy that's the clincher. It's the user-friendliness, tightness and seamlessness of integration, consistency across the interface and hardware compatibility.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      That's probably be true for most Slashdot readers. But a lot of regular consumers are won over by slick visuals -- just look at the number of people willing to take a performance hit for the sake of displaying Aero Glass on Vista. Also, Apple's draw isn't only due to smart marketing and a good UI; people marvel at their products in the stores, and new Apple users are always proud to show off how impressive their new device looks (both the hardware and software.) Eye candy is important to a lot of people whe
  • I love Expose' on the Mac, but that's not what keeps me from investing a lot of time in Linux, lately - and I go as far back as '94: it's ease of software installation.

    When Linux, any distro, has a software installation mechanism that's as easy as the Mac's, I'll give it another try. Yes, apt-get is good, but it's not yet in the Mac's "drag-and-drop" league.

  • On a 64-bit Hardy boot at the moment that I installed at release. In love with the idea of 64-bit, like three years of support, but besides that, shininess does rank high in why I might switch from several years of Debian testing 32-bit boot even though the parent has its own good qualities.

  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @06:06PM (#24311751)
    What I like about Ubuntu is that as a whole, the community takes the biggest problem with a given platform from an end user standpoint, and then provides an open solution that sticks to the common design rules of the software it compliments. The software doesn't stick out, is modular, sticks to standards (or provides a defacto method that tries to emulate already existing standards), and it seems like it could be drop-in software that would work in any distribution.

    It's kind of the antithesis of YaST, for example, which seems like you couldn't separate one part from the other, and it also seems like if you use any other tool to mess with the files YaST has touched, then YaST will either have a problem or ignore it and pretend it never existed. (I'm not sure if this has changed, the last time I used SuSE was version 9)

    As a user of Ubuntu, it gives me security by making me feel like if the distribution ever became anything users didn't want, they could easily take these parts and fork. Also as a user, it makes me feel like they are trying to develop software that works for the end user primarily and not as a advantage that only this distribution can have to attract users and keep them. One reason why I use OSS is because I don't feel like my data is tied to anything, and I can always use it. Ubuntu makes me feel that way about the software as well. It really is closely rooted to Debian in that way and really I feel it ties Debian together with some sealant in the cracks and some polish as well. Good job everyone and thanks!
  • My comment to Mark Shuttleworth would be that getting the basics tied down, like consistently functioning audio, are little more important than eye-candy.
    • by Tweenk ( 1274968 )

      Check out the bug comments for this issue in Launchpad. Complex problems can't be solved by flinging personal accusations, and it is a complex problem.

  • by jrothwell97 ( 968062 ) <jonathan@not[ ] ['ros' in gap]> on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @06:27PM (#24311945) Homepage Journal

    I'm using ume-launcher (the Netbook Remix launcher) on my Eee PC 701 right now, and it really isn't bad at all. It's still quite buggy though:

    • Clutter has a few problems, I think
    • It's impossible to edit the menus (I think it reads off the Debian menus file)
    • Sometimes it works after resuming from a suspend to RAM, sometimes it doesn't
    • Sometimes it works after switching back to tty7 from a text terminal, sometimes it doesn't

    Apart from that, it's very efficient, and either way it pwns Asus's default Eee launcher: it's prettier, less resource-intensive and more space-efficient.

  • by radarsat1 ( 786772 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @06:40PM (#24312099) Homepage

    Forget the UI, it's usable and that's what matters. What Ubuntu needs now is support from other players in the software market.

    Honestly, I'm pretty well convinced at this point that Ubuntu is "ready". I know tons of people that would switch to it if they could. The crux of the problem is that the major applications these people depend on (or at least, are used to using) don't run on it. What Ubuntu needs more than anything is to make deals with the major players in various software markets (graphics, video, gaming, CAD, simulation, RAD languages, etc) to port their applications. I don't know how this could happen, but I'm pretty sure it's necessary for us to see major adoption.

    While there obviously are some amazing and great tools that come with Ubuntu, it needs to be possible for someone to use those few applications they need. Companies need to start offering Ubuntu versions of their products. If that happens, it's game, set, match. And I actually think this would be possible: considering how disheartened many people feel about Vista, convincing them to port to another platform in order to reduce their dependency on MS might not be so difficult anymore. People seem to be finally seeing the pattern than dependence on a moving target like Windows can come back to bite them.

    I think a few deals in this direction might actually have the potential to push Ubuntu into the mass market.

  • by mtjo ( 1080513 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @06:52PM (#24312243)
    At least, not in the markets where linux is competing against it. It's ease of use, and the "it-just-works" factor. This was my experience trying out the live cd of Kbuntu 8.04. Everything worked. Audio, wireless, etc. The KDE 4 UI definately has the wow factor going on, at least for me. I am not an everyday user of Linux, but one of my test boxes has PCLinuxOS installed. I chose it because it worked pretty much out of the box and had a nice UI. Kbuntu 8.04 blows it away. I don't go for the eye candy as I didn't upgrade to XP until I couldn't run IE7 and upgraded from 2000, but I am rather infatuated with the KDE 4 look.
  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @07:02PM (#24312343) Homepage

    When Apple introduces eye-candy, they use it sparingly themselves, and make a great API and developer tools so developers can also use it in their apps.

    Linux eye-candy seems to hit a dead end, where all it gets used for is for the original project that developed it to see how many different flashy effects they can make.

    The Linux projects need to realize that it is not about the flashy eye-candy itself--it's about providing more capabilities to application developers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slimjim8094 ( 941042 )

      I'm pretty sure the Linux (you really mean Compiz) plugin architecture is a hella more flexible. It's basically, here's a texture and have fun morphing it, give it back when you're done.

      So you could install a program to do, well, anything at all. If I understand it right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Technically if a user has enabled the D-Bus Compiz plugin any application can connect to the D-Bus desktop-integration system and start telling the eye-candy what to do. Nobody really writes code for that mostly because it doesn't come standard and no fall-back exists when the user doesn't have Compiz installed.

  • by nostriluu ( 138310 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @07:18PM (#24312491) Homepage

    The typical engineering geek response is that it's "shiny," "pretty," and just skin deep. But in reality what it is, is consistency, a carefully considered experience that starts with design first - not colours and gradiants, but design elements and human factors - and fit the features to that. Read some Raskin, for example, to understand.

    Until the software developers starts respecting designers and stops being a bunch of alpha monkeys talking about what they decided to code up that day for themselves, Apple will continue to lead in this area. And I'm not even an Apple fanboy, but it is the truth.

  • by cuby ( 832037 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @07:29PM (#24312591)
    I use ubuntu daily in at least 3 different computers since 6.10.
    7.10 was very solid, this one... Is not.
    Just look at this massive thread at ubuntuforuns: []

    I'll not list all the bugs that I've found because I'm tired of it... And yes, there are people that don't have or didn't notice them (yet).
    I'm not abandoning this distro because I like its philosophy. I'm willing to continue my little contribution, but with releases like this, it seems more like a UbuVista or BugBuntu and no eye candy will hide it.
  • by krkhan ( 1071096 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @08:16PM (#24313035) Homepage
    When Shuttleworth is saying that Linux Desktop still needs eye-candy polish to compete with Apple, he's probably referring to Ubuntu per se. A properly configured Compiz Fusion and Emerald (with stuff like shadows and plugins like Group and Tab, Expo) coupled with Screenlets and Avant Window Navigator/Kiba-Dock and proper themes looks almost as good as a Mac if not better. Obviously though, all that stuff is not easy to configure for newcomers, so what *Ubuntu* needs to do in terms of eye-candy is to streamline the process of its configuration.

    Linux Desktop in general is *not* trailing behind any other OS, and in fact, it may be leading in terms of special effects. Distributions such as Ubuntu just haven't made it accessible to general public yet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      "If not better"!? I'm running my Linux partition right now as opposed to my OS X partition to play Portal, and I have to tell you, once I've configured this thing for a more Mac-like UI (What!? I *like* Cairo-Dock!) it looks much better than the Mac and has better usability. I honestly just keep the OS X partition around for multimedia features (when you need to rip to an iPod, watch DVDs legally or play several bits of audio at once, OSX works best), and might quite gladly migrate to Gentoo Linux with a

  • Well I guess that makes Fedora ritalin.

  • by FoxconnGuy ( 997669 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @09:30PM (#24313607) Homepage

    And a regular user of Ubuntu daily.

    The reason that Ubuntu can be popular is not about Ubuntu, it's about Vista.

    Microsoft has a fundamental problem since Ballmer is on: Strategy is more important than technology.

    Yes, strategy can be a great weapon. Just like medication can heal your disease. But it also can be poisonous if you overdose.

    As I knew, the root of Linux is not about defeating other OS. It is about creating a better OS, thereafter, a better world. It is Microsoft's problem to create a better OS. If Microsoft does, Linux can also be improved since there are better designs.

  • OSCON keynote video (Score:5, Informative)

    by LingNoi ( 1066278 ) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @12:23AM (#24314729)

    Here is the only video of OSCON 2008 [] I could find.

    It's a shame really since I myself would never be able to go to the US to one so I wished they'd put more stuff up.

    If anyone finds any more videos please reply.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban