Archive for June, 2008

Gerry Carr

Ubuntu MID Edition 8.04 achieves its first public release

We are delighted to be able to welcome Ubuntu Mobile Internet Device (MID) Edition 8.04 to the world as a full developers’ release. It is based on the Ubuntu Desktop Edition, and it is now available for download.  The Ubuntu MID Edition 8.04 has been built by the Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded community that is sponsored by Canonical and in co-operation with Intel Moblin.org community to take advantage of the Intel(R) Atom Processor, the chipset that is underpinning the Mobile Internet Device (MID) category.  Ubuntu MID Edition will always be an Open Source distribution and is freely available.

What’s in Ubuntu MID?

In some cases we took some applications and modified them to fit better on MID screens and to be finger friendly for touch screens. In others we have included Moblin technologies. A notable feature of Ubuntu MID is a specifically-designed MID browser based on Gecko, that has zoom capabilities that optimize the browsing experience for users, critical for a device primarily designed for Web access.  It also contains applications for email, calendaring, document reading,contacts and a media player as part of the default install. All the applications are freely redistributable.

What and where are the MID images?

There are two installable images, and one runnable KVM image.

Probably the easiest way experience Ubuntu MID Edition is through the KVM image. This a great way to become familiar with the product in readiness for the hardware to be released in the near future by a range of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in most markets.

One for the McCaslin platform targeting a Samsung Q1U. The Q1 was used as a development platform while we were waiting for Menlow hardware to become more widely available.

One is for the Menlow platform (Intel(R) Atom Processor) built for the Intel Crown Beach development station. It should be noted that this is not for direct install on any OEM device. While it can be adapted for Menlow platforms, this requires substantial modifications and is not recommended for end users.  If you flash this to an OEM device it’s likely it would not boot.

Who will use it?

We believe that Ubuntu MID will be used by a range of people and companies.  The most typical case will be purchasers of a MID device who use it as the installed OS with the shipped applications. Users might install additional applications which will be created within the Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded community and in Moblin.org

Developers may want to hack their favorite application from Ubuntu Desktop Edition onto Ubuntu MID to match screen size and touchscreen requirements so that they and other owners can use it. Developers are encouraged to share and have their work reviewed within the UM&E and Moblin.org communities.

Finally, OEM’s and ODM’s will base their devices upon Ubuntu MID using it as the operating system that gets them to market fastest. These manufacturers  will typically make changes such as adding drivers and applications or modifying the UI to suit their anticipated user needs. These are and will be done in co-operation with Canonical’s custom engineering teams based in Taiwan and Lexington, MA.

Ubuntu MID will start to follow the normal Ubuntu 6 monthly release cycle with the next version at 8.10.  The Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded community is small right now but growing and includes individuals and some organizations, and always welcomes new participants and partners. This release marks the start of a way for new users to experience Ubuntu and Open Source software and as the hardware becomes commonplace it will become a very exciting place to get users experiencing applications from our communities.
For more information please see: http://www.ubuntu.com/products/mobile and to learn how to get involved as a developer go to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MobileAndEmbedded/.

Enjoy the Ubuntu MID!

David Mandala – Project Manager of the Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded Group

Matthew Nuzum

MySQL is using Bazaar and Launchpad for their source code

Now this is exciting news: MySQL is now using Bazaar and Launchpad for their source code! Both the main MySQL server code and the code for many ancilliary projects have been converted to Bazaar, and are published on Launchpad.

Bazaar is a distributed version control system that Just Works and adapts to the workflows you want to use. Bazaar is a GNU project, and Canonical provides commercial support and custom development.

Launchpad is a next generation project hosting and collaboration system, and we’re delighted that MySQL has chosen to host Bazaar branches of their code on Launchpad. This means that anyone can now publish their own branches of MySQL, with work in progress, fixes, enhancements, or my personal favorite – crazy experimental features! This makes it much easier to collaborate with other developers both inside and outside of MySQL.

MySQL has a very large code base, and a long history going back at least 8 years. Since early 2005, I’ve been working on getting the MySQL source code converted to a Free version control system that would work well for hundreds of developers working across dozens of countries, and it’s such a great feeling to see the results available to the public! In 2006, we started looking at Bazaar, and in recent months many engineers have worked hard to do conversions of all the different releases of MySQL. The Bazaar development team was able to add features to Bazaar specifically to enable the best possible history conversion with no data loss(per-file comments), and work with the Launchpad team to add features to make it much easier to host projects of this size. We’re already seeing a strong development community forming, with a variety of experimental branches showing up. I was also very pleased to see how easy it was for MySQL developers to write plugins to Bazaar to integrate with their custom continuous integration and bugtracking systems.

As Kaj said on his blog, a lot of different version control systems were evaluated carefully. It’s a great vote of confidence to have MySQL choosing Bazaar for their commercial-grade version control system, and choosing Canonical to provide professional support and custom development for Bazaar. I expect that as more and more people start using Bazaar and the tools around it, we’ll see a corresponding increase in development happening both on further optimizing the core system and the GUI tools that make it possible to work with a large code base like MySQL. Finally, Giuseppe Maxia has a great post with more technical details about getting started working with MySQL using Bazaar and Launchpad. Go try it out and let us know what you think!

Elliot Murphy

Gerry Carr

Changes to Gobuntu

The Gobuntu development team would like to announce that after 8.04 release of Gobuntu, the project will aim to merge many of the Gobuntu changes into mainline Ubuntu, such as our “Free Software Only” installer option which only installs software considered free by the Free Software Foundation’s definition of software freedom. This installer option now obviates the need for a separate derivative project, and in the interest of reducing the workload of Ubuntu core developers, the Gobuntu project will instead focus on merging as many changes as possible into mainline Ubuntu.

The Ubuntu community and Canonical remain deeply committed to driving the development and adoption of free software. Thus, we will work with interested downstream projects (e.g. gNewsense) to ensure that we make their development efforts as easy and streamlined as practically possible. The Ubuntu project has encouraged a culture of working with and producing derivative distributions, and we will be discussing how we may best serve the needs of these projects with the project leaders in the coming weeks.

As always, the primary focus of the Ubuntu community, Canonical, and our derivative and downstream projects remains the success of free, Open Source software. We hope that by providing every Ubuntu user with the ability to install a completely free system using the standard Ubuntu installer we will move closer to a world of freedom, choice, and personal liberty with the hardware you own.

Jono Bacon – Community Manager