Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'desktop'

Mark Murphy

Retail Stores in China

On Wednesday in Beijing, Canonical and Dell announced the start of an exciting retail program to sell machines pre-loaded with Ubuntu, initially rolling out to 220 retail stores in China.

The stores will feature Ubuntu on a range of Dell computers, and will carry branded marketing collateral in-store, trained staff positioning the benefits and advantages of Ubuntu to consumers and will be supported by a retail team of Ubuntu merchandisers, set up to support the stores. The work was carried out by the Canonical teams based in Beijing and Shanghai, working with Dell China.

For the consumer, Ubuntu is now an easy choice, with a clean, crisp elegant interface, an exceptional browsing experience and a fully-integrated software center for great applications and games (both free and paid for). It also includes leading services such as the Ubuntu music store and the Ubuntu One cloud storage service built-in.

With an actively growing base of over 20 million users this represents another significant endorsement from one of the world’s major PC vendors.

 

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John Pugh

Things are really ramping up with submissions into the Ubuntu Software Center. With a app per day being submitted, the packaging team is getting busy keeping up with the cool applications arriving!

TRAUMA is likely the most interesting new submission. Very unique. You are in the mind of a traumatized young woman as she has just been in a car accident. You experience her dreams in a interactive way.

Check out the trailer:

Buy TRAUMA from the Ubuntu Software Center.

Books and Magazines

We also added some magazines to the mix. Several recent issues of Ubuntu User magazine by Linux New Media are available on the Software Center. You can find the most recent issues up through Ubuntu User issue #9 which has a section dedicated to Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity. Keep your eyes peeled for book titles about Linux and Ubuntu arriving soon.

Photobomb

Another really interesting title recently released is called Photobomb. It’s described as a “Easy and Social Image Editor”. It’s like a mashup tool for your images. Pretty slick and at $2.99 it’s a cinch to check out. Go buy it and provide some feedback today.

We have some very cool submissions pending the packaging process in the queue. Thanks to all of our interested developers out there we have officially backed up the packaging team! Don’t worry though…we’ll soon work through that backlog and have a lot of new and interesting titles showing up regularly in the software center.

Check them out, provide some feeback, and even submit more!
To submit a new application go to https://myapps.developer.ubuntu.com

And one last thing – keep your eye out for the updated developer.ubuntu.com website coming in early October!

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John Pugh

Things are really ramping up with submissions into the Ubuntu Software Center. With a app per day being submitted, the packaging team is getting busy keeping up with the cool applications arriving!

TRAUMA is likely the most interesting new submission. Very unique. You are in the mind of a traumatized young woman as she has just been in a car accident. You experience her dreams in a interactive way.

Check out the trailer:

Buy TRAUMA from the Ubuntu Software Center.

Books and Magazines

We also added some magazines to the mix. Several recent issues of Ubuntu User magazine by Linux New Media are available on the Software Center. You can find the most recent issues up through Ubuntu User issue #9 which has a section dedicated to Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity. Keep your eyes peeled for book titles about Linux and Ubuntu arriving soon.

Photobomb

Another really interesting title recently released is called Photobomb. It’s described as a “Easy and Social Image Editor”. It’s like a mashup tool for your images. Pretty slick and at $2.99 it’s a cinch to check out. Go buy it and provide some feedback today.

We have some very cool submissions pending the packaging process in the queue. Thanks to all of our interested developers out there we have officially backed up the packaging team! Don’t worry though…we’ll soon work through that backlog and have a lot of new and interesting titles showing up regularly in the software center.

Check them out, provide some feeback, and even submit more!
To submit a new application go to https://myapps.developer.ubuntu.com

And one last thing – keep your eye out for the updated developer.ubuntu.com website coming in early October!

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John Pugh

Unigine Corp has made their Oil Rush game available in the Ubuntu Software Center for pre-order. Oil Rush is a Naval Strategy game and is currently in beta.

According to the press release from Unigine, Oil Rush is a real-time naval strategy game based on group control. In Oil Rush players build up defenses and upgrade oil platforms. Players progress through the game by capturing enemy platforms and oil rigs.

Oil Rush is powered by Unigine Engine, a multi-platform real-time 3D engine which unleashes the ultimate power for creating interactive virtual worlds.

Unigine Corp is a international company focused on top-notch real-time 3D technologies with its development studio located in Tomsk, Russia. For more than 6 years, the company delivers Unigine engine, a real-time 3D solution, that allows software developers to create not only games, but also interactive visualization, simulation and virtual reality systems.

Pick up your copy of Oil Rush from the Ubuntu Software Center today!

If you want your game or application included in the Ubuntu Software Center, visit the Ubuntu Developer Portal and submit your application today!

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Sonia Ouarti

Crunch time on the Enterprise Desktop

Remember when Windows was the best desktop OS for business users?

Seems like a while ago. The rise of browser-based apps, an increasingly mobile workforce and the ever-present threat of malware mean few CIOs would choose Windows if it was launched today.

 

Yet many believe there’s no viable alternative.

We, of course, think there is. Ubuntu is an elegant, feature-rich OS already running on millions of workplace desktops around the world, with more organisations switching every day.

So we’ve looked into the subject and written a new e-book: Crunch time on the Enterprise Desktop. It’s a great, short introduction to why there’s never been a better time to include Ubuntu in your desktop strategy.

 

Download it now to discover:

* Seven trends changing your desktop strategy
* Eight reasons why Ubuntu is a great business choice
* The Canonical customers and what they’ve achieved
* How to get started with Ubuntu in your organisation

 

Migrating to Ubuntu already helps enterprises save millions – read the ebook to learn how.

And don’t be shy to share your views on the subject and the ebook: leave a comment below and let us know if it was useful for you or if you have more questions.

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jono

So here we are in the thick of the Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot development cycle, and I am really excited about the progress that is being made. I thought it could be interesting to show off some of the work that is going on with a quick screenshot tour.

This cycle has been very much focused on integrating GNOME3 into Ubuntu and focusing on fit and finish both at a software and design level on Unity and it’s components. The goal with Ubuntu 11.10 is to build on the accomplishments in Ubuntu 11.04 and to continue refining the experience.

Before, I start, remember, there are a few caveats here:

  • Ubuntu 11.10 is not finished. There are still plenty of bugs, quirks and other oddities that need fixing.
  • What you see here may well change.
  • I have smudged out some personal bits, but it should be pretty clear which bits are smudged out.

Oh, and click on the images below to see them full-size.

So let’s get started with what the typical desktop looks like right now in 11.10:

Here you can see a few changes:

  • The Ubuntu button is now on the launcher (user testing told us most people look there to launch applications).
  • There has been some small changes to the indicators in the top right part of the screen.
  • Here you can see I have a number of apps open, and see the concertina effect on the Launcher.
  • Note how there are no longer Apps / Files places on the Launcher.

So, if you click that Ubuntu button on the Launcher you see the new Dash:

Here the dash opens up in this really nice translucent way, and the launcher and panel look nice and translucent too. The translucency is actually tweaked based upon your wallpaper, so it shades it smartly.

You can see at the bottom of the dash are a series of little icons. This is now where you find your different lenses (Apps, Files, a new Music one, Gwibber etc) and this makes it much nicer to see the different types of lens, instead of having to find them on the launcher.

Let’s take a look at the Apps lens:

(I know some icons are missing in this screenshot, that is a bug)

Here you can see the lens works in a similar way as the apps lens in 11.04, but we have this new Filter Results feature (which is open in this screenshot). Here you can select different categories and those categories will only be shown in the icon view on the left. You can also search by rating which is useful for apps that are shown available to download.

Different lenses have different types of filters. As an example, here is the Gwibber lens:

As you can see this provides different methods of displaying different types of content.

One other cool element of the dash is that it uses an active blur. This means it really blurs what is behind it, so for example, it will blur a video as it plays behind it in the movie player:

Let’s now look at loading apps. Here is GEdit in it’s maximized state:

As you can see, Unity provides a lot of workable space and the shell just wraps around the app in the most minimal way possible to give you as much space as possible for the app. You can also see that when maximized the window buttons and menus are not shown; they only appear if you hover the window title with the mouse. This actually makes the desktop feel much nicer and less cluttered.

Here you can also see that the toolbar buttons have been styled with the dark theme to carry this theme throughout the desktop. This is a subtle but really nice change. As an example, here is Thunderbird with the same style applied:

In the GEdit example the icons are not monochrome but the Thunderbird ones are. We are not expecting an icon refresh in Ubuntu 11.10, but I suspect in the future we will see more icons tuned for the darker toolbars. Here is the compose window:

An app that has had quite a refresh has been Gwibber:

Gwibber is now much faster, much sleeker to use, and just a far more pleasant social networking experience. It also looks wonderfully consistent with the dark theme.

Another app that has been re-jigged is the Ubuntu Software Center:

The new Ubuntu Software Center feels faster, is more interesting to look at and explore, and feels far more integrated into the system.

I am also delighted to see the wonderful work that has gone into the GNOME Control Center in GNOME3 also brings the same consistent look, feel, and ease of use:

The whole configuration experience feels slicker and easier, and here is one of the panels:

Let’s now talk indicators:

Lots of great work and stability improvements has been performed here such as adding settings links that are relevant to each indicator, improved power and me indicators and other improvements.

Finally, a wonderful new feature added is the refreshed Alt-Tab switcher:

I absolutely love how this works, and I love how it shares the look and feel of the wider desktop. Here you can hit Alt-Tab and then use the arrow keys to move around to select the app you want to see. If there are more apps open than space in the switcher, they concertina just like in the launcher — it looks really cool.

If you have multiple windows open for an app (e.g. Firefox), you can find the icon and press the down arrow to show the multiple windows:

…and that pretty much wraps up the screenshot tour. I hope you enjoyed having a leaf through some of the features you can expect to see in Ubuntu 11.10.

I am really excited for the release, and I particularly enjoy how integrated, unified, consistent and slick the entire system feels. I also love the fact that the design, colouring, and structure is noticeably Ubuntu. So, all in all, I am really looking forward to Ubuntu 11.10 and the opportunity it has to put Free Software in the hands of more and more people. Thanks to everyone in the community who has contributed to it so far!

Beta 1 will be here on the 1st September, so get ready to test it my friends!

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John Pugh

We’ve recently added a few titles to the Ubuntu Software Center and have been hard at work on getting more diverse applications landed there. BEEP! by Big Fat Alien and Heileen from Hanako Games have recently landed in the Software Center.

BEEP!

BEEP! by Big Fat Alien allows the player to take control of a “precision robot vehicle” to explore a diverse system of planets and uncover their terrible fate. BEEP! has been a rather popular download since it hit the Ubuntu Software Center.

Kiaran of Big Fat Alien wrote up a stellar blog post about the Software Center and his experience in submitting an application using the MyApps portal currently in beta.

Check out the trailer.

Now fire up the Ubuntu Software Center and buy it today!

Heileen

The Ubuntu Software Center’s newest addition is Heileen from Hanako Games. This is a anime adventure game where you guide a young woman through her adventures in exploring the New World. You must solve puzzles and explore the surroundings in order to proceed through the game.

This game does not have a trailer, but you can view screenshots at the Hanako Games website.

Now fire up the Ubuntu Software Center and buy it today!

As always…if you want to list your paid application in the Software Center please contact John Pugh at john dot pugh at canonical dot com!

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John Pugh

The Ubuntu Software Center welcomes it’s newest title, SpaceChem! A top rated, highly acclaimed game is now ready for you to purchase and play through the Ubuntu Software Center.

SpaceChem is an obscenely addictive, design-based puzzle game about building machines and fighting monsters in the name of science! Take on the role of a Reactor Engineer working for SpaceChem, the leading chemical synthesizer for frontier colonies. Construct elaborate factories to transform raw materials into valuable chemical products! Streamline your designs to meet production quotas and survive encounters with the sinister threats that plague SpaceChem.

This is one game that I have not been able to play yet so please post your reviews!!!

Check out the trailer below:

Now go purchase the game! I must go play this game now.

Join the ranks of the fast growing population of paid applications on the Ubuntu Software Center. Contact john dot pugh at canonical dot com for more information!

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John Pugh

Chronic Logic’s award winning game, Bridge Construction Set, is officially for sale in the Ubuntu Software Center. In Bridge Construction Set you build a bridge that hopefully does not break, however having a train plunge into the depths below may be fun for some!

You must use your physics knowledge to build a bridge then test your skills by running a test vehicle over the bridge. If it makes it across you know you have constructed a good bridge. With 40 unique levels one can build suspension bridges, draw bridges, and others with many different types of materials. Bridge Construction Set allows you to test your creation with 15 different test vehicles.

Check out the Bridge Construction Set trailer:

Now go buy it from the Software Center today!

Have a game or application you want to host on Ubuntu? Head over to the Developer pages to see how to add your creation! Contact John Pugh (john dot pugh at canonical dot com) for details on selling your application on the Ubuntu Software Center.

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John Pugh

The newest addition to the Ubuntu Software Center is Puzzle Moppet from Garnet Games. The poor little Moppet is lost and all alone in the wilderness. How are you going to help it get out? This interesting game requires you to solve puzzles to help Moppet find it’s way. Puzzle Moppet is a challenging 3D puzzle game featuring a diminutive and apparently mute creature who is lost in a mysterious floating landscape.

With brain melting puzzles you have to guide the Moppet through the vast and eternal void of space, navigating ice blocks, exploding blocks, balloons, elevators and more. Test your brain with over 30 true 3D puzzles ranging from the delightfully docile to the devilishly devious.

The sun blooms as the clouds slowly roll by, a rising sea breeze howls softly as it roams the void. Immerse yourself in the lonely tranquillity of this mysterious other world.

Do you have what it takes to save the Moppet?

Check out the trailer:

Now go buy and install Puzzle Moppet on your Ubuntu desktop!

Save The Moppet!

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jono

On Thursday 28th April 2011 we released Ubuntu 11.04, the Natty Narwhal. It was a big release for us. It was the first desktop release that shipped Unity; our new desktop interface designed to bridge the chasm to get Ubuntu and the Free Software it encompasses to the masses.

Unity in this release was very much a first cut. I am hugely proud of the accomplishments of the Desktop Experience Team, Design Team, and Ubuntu Platform Team in delivering Unity in 11.04, but we all acknowledge that there is lots to be done. Quality has to come first and foremost in the Ubuntu experience, and Mark Shuttleworth affirmed that fit and finish is going to be a key goal for Ubuntu 11.10, the Oneiric Ocelot.

In Search Of Quality

As part of this focus on quality, the Canonical Design and Desktop Experience teams are committing their time to fixing some of the design and software bugs that have been reported since the Natty release. As is usual with software teams, bugs have been identified and assigned to respective developers and these bugs will be merged into future Unity releases.

In addition to this, serious bugfixes (such as crashers) are being released as Stable Release Updates for Natty. Currently the first Unity stable release update release is currently in the proposed archive and should be released to 11.04 users over the next few weeks. The team are also focusing on a second SRU update that will resolve further issues. Of course, these bug fixes will also make it into Ubuntu 11.10 too. These stable release updates will ensure that current and future Ubuntu 11.04 users will get an even more stable experience and the Ubuntu 11.10 release will set off on the right foot when it comes to stability.

Of course, there are many software bugs open for Unity (software defects, problems, and oddities), but there are also design bugs open too. Unity was not just a first cut of a software release, but also a first cut of a design delivered in a desktop edition of Ubuntu. As such, since 11.04 there have been lots of design problems and bugs reported too. We are really keen to ensure these issues are also resolved as the Unity design continues to mature and evolve.

John Lea, fearless designer on the Design Team, has worked with the team to process these design bug reports, work with the team on proposed solutions, and get these solutions signed-off. As such, we now have this list of design bugs that are focal points for being resolved in 11.10. Some of these bugs are assigned to Canonical developers, but not all are.

To help with this work, Jason Smith from the Desktop Experience team has been going into these design bugs and providing instructions on what needs to be done to fix them. This is hugely helpful for community volunteers to fix these bugs and help improve Unity.

How You Can Help

So let’s get to the heart of the matter.


This really has nothing to do with this post, but…well, I just love ducks, and they are clearly the badasses of the waterfowl world.

Quality is something we can all improve. Whether you are interested in writing documentation, programming, testing, translating…there is a way in which you can help improve the quality of Unity in 11.10. Canonical is certainly investing in this, but we are an Open Source community and such the wider community we can all help.

If you are a developer and know some C++, you can make Ubuntu better for millions of people. A few hours of your time working on some of these bugs could bring great quality of experience to Unity and Ubuntu and help us to take Free Software to even more users as a stable, secure, feature-packed, and well-designed platform.

To get started, take a look at Jorge’s first post about Unity contributor plans in 11.10 – this post explains where to find the bugs, how to get started, where to find help and more. Jorge will be posting every week with new opportunities and bugs to work on and showcasing the great work of our community.

With the Desktop Experience team working on some bugs and also new features, and the community working to help bring an even higher-grade of quality and fix more bugs, together we can deliver a rocking 11.10 release!

I will be talking more in later posts about other ways of helping, such as documentation, translations and testing. I look forward to see the Unity contributor family growing, and don’t forget to come and join us in #ayatana on freenode.

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Steve George

We added Family Farm to the Software Center last week and I took a few hours (of non-work time!) to have a look at it. Summary is that it’s a fun simulation game for the whole family where your job is to build up your farm.

You start with a small farm and two workers, who carry out all the tasks on the farm. For each season there’s various things you need to accomplish from looking after the animals, clearing land, planting, fishing and harvesting. At the end of the season you sell all your produce and see if you’ve accomplished the goals that were set at the start.

You also have to keep the workers happy by feeding them and making your farm look pretty – all of which costs money. As you progress through the game the number of workers, size of your farm and number of goals you have to achieve increases.

This trailer is a good overview:

Hammerware have done a great job of making the game easy to pick-up and the stories element quickly draws you into trying to improve the farm! If you’re looking for a fun simulation game, or something that the whole family can enjoy together then check out Family Farm.

Family Farm is available through the Ubuntu Software Center, just follow this link. As the game uses 3D Ubuntu users should check if their video drivers are compatible and test first with the demo. If you buy it please review it for the developers in the Software Center, and leave a comment below I’d love to hear what you thought.

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John Bernard

Next week, Canonical will present an executive briefing on developments in Ubuntu Desktop, Cloud and Server. Christopher Kenyon, Canonical EVP, will be sharing developments in Ubuntu, including:

  • Introducing Ubuntu 11.04 with critically acclaimed interfaces and developer APIs
  • How phone manufacturers are delivering converged devices like the Motorola Atrix with Ubuntu
  • What Ubuntu Core means for the home, automotive and device industry
  • Ubuntu Cloud – why an open cloud matching Amazon Web Services APIs is changing the industry

The Ubuntu Showcase will take place at Room 201A (2nd Floor), in the Taipei International Convention Center on May 31st, from 3:00 – 4:30.

Agenda :

  • 3:00 – Welcome and demos
  • 3:30 – Executive briefing
  • 4:00 – Demos and refreshments

Key members of the Canonical team will also be on hand to answer questions.

Please contact john.bernard@canonical.com now to secure your place.

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Steve George

Looking for some arcade fun and action? Well then head over to the Ubuntu Software Center and grab a copy of Steel Storm: Burning Retribution?

It’s a fantastic top-down arcade shooter where you battle against numerous invading aliens in a hovercraft. The Kot-in-action team just released the new episode called Burning Retribution, and it’s available in the Software Center now for 9.99 USD – that’s 10% off the normal price.

The new episode has 25 campaign missions as you fight to defend your planet against alien invaders. With more destructive weapons, more bosses, a new sound track and more things to blow up – in other words a whole pile of carnage and fun! If that’s not enough there’s an online mode and you can also create your own missions with a collaborative mission editor.

Here’s the teaser video:

There’s a hands-on review on OMG Ubuntu and don’t forget to add your own review in the Software Center for every Ubuntu user to see. So, hurry on over to the Software Center where you can buy it for 10% off the normal price for the next week!

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John Bernard

Canonical can give details of more machines coming online from Lenovo in the Chinese consumer market.

There are now over 30 Lenovo ThinkPads certified with Ubuntu, with many of these being completed in the first half of 2011. The great work with Lenovo continues. .

Click here to access the link for the latest certified hardware.

The ThinkPads, pre-installed with Ubuntu 10.10 on Intel and AMD processors are available to purchase today in China. The model list includes the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 14, the latest consumer and small business-oriented ThinkPad from Lenovo.

Having hardware certified through Canonical provides consumers and corporate user the assurance of a high-quality, user-friendly, maintainable operating system on every device. The key benefits of combining Ubuntu with Lenovo Thinkpads is the hassle free operation and a fast reliable performance.

See Lenovo’s link for Linux certified hardware online here. You can currently purchase a device in China from a Lenovo store directly or online from 360buy.com.

Contact oem@canonical.com to find out more about certifying and pre-installing devices with Ubuntu.

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Inayaili León

A fresh new look for Ubuntu.com

Natty Narwhal isn’t the only thing new today in Ubuntu. Along with it, and as you may have already noticed, we have updated some areas of the Ubuntu website, including a fresh new homepage.

What’s new?

This overhaul of the website focuses on improving and refining the experience for users who are new to Ubuntu and who we want to entice and convert. We have taken a better look at how Ubuntu’s most important features and characteristics were (or weren’t, in some cases) being shown, and whether visitors’ most important questions were being answered.

Several things have changed. Firstly, rather than having separate sections for Desktop and Netbook (and as a consequence of the move towards Unity), we have created a single section called, simply, Ubuntu. We have also added a direct link from the main navigation area to a new Download section, making the different download options more visible.

Under the new Ubuntu section, Ubuntu’s features are given the spotlight. Rather than having a long list of screengrabs as before, various tabs take you through a more detailed tour of the most exciting and useful features.

The Web browsing features page
The Web browsing features page

In the new What’s new? section you can see what has changed from previous versions of Ubuntu.

Interactive tooltips in the What’s new? page
Interactive tooltips in the What’s new? page

The new homepage is cleaner, more focused and it shows off some of Ubuntu’s features from the outset. The new design also solves one of the biggest performance issues the previous version suffered from: very large file sizes, which rendered the page too slow to load.

Ubuntu website’s new homepage
Ubuntu website’s new homepage

These larger updates to the site started earlier this year. In March, the Business section (which was previously divided in two sections, Server and Cloud) underwent a major restructuring. The main objective was to make it easier for businesses to find out about all that Ubuntu, and Canonical, have to offer them.

The new Business section
The new Business section

Why the change?

These updates didn’t just pop up from nowhere. Last December, we carried out intensive user research to see how the website was performing. During these sessions, we interviewed users of different platforms and with different backgrounds. We analysed their paths through the websites, we heard their questions, took note of their concerns and observed their “awe moments”.

The findings from our analysis showed that although users found Ubuntu compelling, they were having difficulty finding answers to their questions on the Ubuntu website, and some of the most interesting features didn’t have the prominence they deserved.

The findings analysis phase
The findings analysis phase

This happened not only for end users, but also for business users, hence the update of both sections.

Whilst the overhaul is visible in both the design and structure of the website, we have also been trying to (slowly) improve what’s hidden behind the scenes.

We (as Canonical’s Design and Web Team) are conscious of the fact that both the markup and the code behind the website can be greatly improved. Our ultimate goal is to make the code that powers Ubuntu’s website as good as Ubuntu itself. We want it to be indicative of our standards.

This will make the website more easy to maintain and it will reflect on how accessible it is (which is a consideration that we’re striving to keep present throughout the entire process, not only in the coding phases of the project).

Steps in the right direction

To create these new pages, we have compartmentalised the new code so that we could experiment with creating better code. Our goal is for the new code to be more accessible, more flexible, more modular, less convoluted, less redundant, more performant and more robust. Our markup can be cleaner and more semantic.

One of our main concerns regarding the current website’s design and code is its lack of accessibility at some points. For this matter, we spoke directly with the Ubuntu Accessibility team to register their worries and suggestions. The main items that transpired from this session were:

  • Some colour combinations don’t provide enough contrast between background and foreground
  • Text should be easier to resize, using relative units (such as ems) rather than absolute ones (like pixels)
  • The copy should be clear and concise
  • Some of the text is too small
  • There are visibility issues in links and navigation

This chat was helpful as it helped to consolidate the issues we were aware of, surface other problems and most importantly provide us with a real world view of how these can disrupt users.

We have begun addressing some of these in the new designs and will continue to do so in the coming months.

What the future holds

You can expect more and better updates to ubuntu.com within the next few months.

The main focus of our work will be making the website more accessible and easier to navigate by following current web standards and bringing it up to the Ubuntu and Canonical standard of quality; the code should be easier to manage, the content easier to update, and the message clear.

We’re confident we’re heading in the right direction. We’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and comments.

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Gerry Carr

One of the benefits of the direction that’s been taken with the next release of Ubuntu is that there is no longer a need for a separate netbook edition. The introduction of the new shell for Ubuntu means that we have a user interface that works equally well whatever the form factor of the PC. And the underlying technology works on a range of architectures including those common in netbook, notebooks, desktops or whatever you choose to run it on. Hence the need for a separate version for netbooks is removed.

To be clear, this is the opposite of us withdrawing from the netbook market. In fact looking at the download figures on ubuntu.com interest in netbooks is not only thriving but booming. It’s us recognising that the market has moved on and celebrating that separate images are no longer a requirement as the much anticipated convergence of devices moves closer.

A return to the Ubuntu name

Which actually got us thinking about our naming conventions in totality. ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition’ arose in 2005 as a response to the launch of Ubuntu Server Edition and our desire to distinguish between the two. But desktops are no longer the pre-eminent client platform. And actually naming the the ‘edition’ after any target technology is going to have us chasing the trend. Also we were tying ourselves to some ungainly product titles – Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition for instance. User feedback also told us that people thought the edition was not for them as they had a laptop and spent time looking for a ‘Laptop Edition’.

So we are going back to our roots. From 11.04 the core product that you run on your PC will be simply, Ubuntu. Therefore the next release will be Ubuntu 11.04 and you can run that, my friend, on anything you like from a netbook to a notebook to a desktop. Ubuntu Server will be maintained as a separate product of course and named simply, Ubuntu Server 11.04.

We think this will make things simpler. When we mean Ubuntu for notebooks we will say just that rather than the more confusing, ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition for notebooks’. We are retaining the concept of ‘remixes’ for community projects and the naming convention therein. And we would love to hear what you think.

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Nick Barcet

In the spring of 2010, members of the Ubuntu development team worked with Dell to build and test OpenManage 6.3 for Ubuntu. Several of our engineers took several weeks working with Dell Linux engineers to build out a process for ensuring:
- all of the dependencies were met,
- helped get the Dell Linux team up to speed on the Ubuntu packaging policy,
- provided assistance during the build process,
- and reviewed the packages when they were built.
This effort resulted in the release in late July 2010 of Dell OpenManage 6.3 for Ubuntu.

Since last summer, The Dell Linux team continues to work on improvements to OpenManage and subsequently released both a 64 bit and 32 bit version of the Dell OpenManage 6.4 release for Ubuntu in mid January 2011. For more information on this release see Prudhvi Tella’s blog entry.If you are using Dell Poweredge Servers, you can find the latest deb from Dell’s Community Linux repository using these instructions .

Finally, if you are using Dell Poweredge Servers and Ubuntu, please reach out to your Dell sales representative and insist on receiving proper support for Ubuntu with Dell OpenManage. Customer feedback directly to the manufacturer is the best way to get Ubuntu properly represented.

Published on behalf on John Pugh, Software Partner Manager

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Mark Murphy

The well-earned accolade that it ‘just works’ is one of the reasons that Ubuntu has been propelled to the position of the most widely shipped and installed Linux desktop. Behind that accolade are an army of community and professional developers working closely towards the goal of offering a superb quality desktop experience.

For many planners and users in the corporate enterprise the mark of quality is that products are fully tested and then certified. Only when fully backed and supported by Canonical would they consider use within their companies. You can find the growing list of these certified devices at

http://webapps.ubuntu.com/certification

Over the past few years Canonical has been working closely with a number of PC vendors to evaluate, test and certify a range of products in the desktop arena. More recently we’ve been closely collaborating with HP to certify a wide range of desktop products. Today we have published a representative range of 11 certified desktop models, with more to come over the next few weeks and months. You can see the current list here

http://webapps.ubuntu.com/certification/make/HP/desktops/

Starting with these 11 desktop models is a great step and I would like to thank the team at HP for their cooperation, at the same time calling out the work of our unsung heroes in Victor Palau’s Canonical certification team.

Mark Murphy, Global Alliances Director

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jono

I remember when I first got involved in Linux and Free Software, the Linux desktop was a pretty ugly place. Much of the reason for this was that getting a graphical display running was in itself a bit of a luxury, and one earned with lots of config file hacking and poking. When you did manage to get it up and running it looked a little like this:

Today things are really quite different. I was thinking about this sheer change in desktop quality, and felt an incredible urge to share the reasons why I love my desktop and love the integration. All of this is based on a default Ubuntu 10.04 Maverick Meerkat installation with Unity enabled as the desktop. You can switch on Unity with:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unity

…and then at the login screen select Ubuntu Netbook from the list of available sessions. Rock and roll!

Unity

I am really digging Unity. While still quite new and still maturing, I find it’s current form really sleek and easy to use. I like the design and the structure of how I get at my apps, my data, and control what is going on on my desktop:

One element of Unity that I really enjoy is the theme and the new Ubuntu font. It really gives the desktop a subtle sheen, and the dark theme makes it look slick and sexy.

One key feature of Unity that is going to become an increasingly big deal is the Places API:

Unity provides a consistent user interface for displaying different types of content (such as files and applications), but this extendable. Neil Patel who is one of the lead Unity hackers has already created an example of this work which plugs YouTube in, and it is great to see this kind of content embedded into the experience. I can’t wait to see how application authors will use this technology to provide better access to content, all using this consistent user interface.

As many of you know, Unity will be switched on by default in Ubuntu 11.04, and the performance and accessibility issues are currently being tended to. For more details see this blog post.

Microblogging

Microblogging has become all the craze over the last few years, and Twitter, Facebook, identi.ca, and others have all made the micro-blogging experience simple and useful. I love the micro-blogging support built right into my desktop, firstly with Gwibber:

Gwibber is an awesome micro-blogging tool. It provides simple and quick access to see all of my accounts together, helps me see a standard set of searches that I care about, and lets me tweet once and have the message go to all of my accounts.

In addition to this I love how I can tweet right from my desktop with the Me Menu:

This is how it should be: when the thought or inspiration takes me, I always have a quick interface for tweeting, irrespective of what I am doing, because it is built into the shell of the desktop. Rock and roll!

Indicators

Speaking of indicators, I use the indicators all the time. In particular, I find the Messaging Menu really useful:

It is incredibly handy having all the things that need my attention to appear in the same place, all neatly packed into that menu, and when it lights up I know I need to check it.

In addition to this, the recent addition of the Sound Menu enhancements are awesome:

Like many, I put music on during the day when I work, and typically the only things I need to with it are use the transport controls (e.g. to fast forward, replay, or pause a song), or more often than not, see which artist/album is currently playing if I have it on shuffle. No longer do I need to keep showing the Rhythmbox window to do this; it is right there in my sound menu. Really handy. :-)

Rhythmbox

Speaking of Rhythmbox, I love it to bits:

Rhythmbox lets me manage my music collection easily, and has lots of nice features to really enjoy the music I listen to.

Sure, we are moving to Banshee in 11.04, but I love that too – I think we have such great choice in the media player world. One thing I really love about Rhythmbox is that I can enable the DAAP plugin and I can control and listen to my songs via my Playstation 3 and hear my tunes on our home theater system. Much better than laptop speakers, and a doddle to do this. :-)

Evolution

Like many of you, email is at the center of my life, and I find Evolution serves me really well:

A lot of people talk a lot of smack about Evolution, but I think the Evo team have done a great job. I get a lot of mail, and Evolution helps me set up filters to prioritize how I see, respond to, and manage my mail. What’s more, it integrates nicely into my desktop, and integrates perfectly in the Messaging Menu.

Empathy

Instant messaging is a common thing I use my desktop for, and again this is all perfectly handled with Empathy:

I love how Empathy brings all my messaging accounts together and provides the same interface for interacting with my friends. It looks beautiful, works smoothly, and is a pleasurable experience.

Getting More Software

I have also been delighted to see how the experience of getting more software has been refined with the Ubuntu Software Center:

We have always had this incredible catalog of software available for Ubuntu, but now it is finally becoming more accessible for new users. This will also becomes infinitely more useful when ratings and reviews land in the Ubuntu 10.10 release – this will help all the really great software bubble to the surface!

In Conclusion

In addition to my Ubuntu machines, I have a Windows 7 machine that powers my home studio. When I compare and contrast my Ubuntu installation with Windows 7, it feels like Ubuntu is much better attuned to what most users want – awesome web browsing, email, communications, media playback and production, and a consistent, attractive experience.

I think we should all be hugely proud of how far we have come with the Linux desktop, and I am intensely proud of how slick and integrated Ubuntu is, and the impact the design team has had on the experience. I would love to hear why others love their desktops too, do share!

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