Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'linux'


Desktop Linux gains market share

As per PC World, Desktop Linux gains market share of more than 1 percent.

After dipping to 0.97 percent in July, Linux rose to 1.07 percent in August, 1.11 percent in September, 1.19 percent in October, and 1.31 percent in November, Net Applications reports, followed by the new high of 1.41 percent last month.

W3Counter, for instance, puts non-Android Linux at 1.64 percent in December.

Wikimedia’s Traffic Analysis Report for last October pegged Linux at 3.48 percent, while news site The H-online which also reported on the new Net Applications data–noted that Linux users now account for 25.36 percent of its own traffic.

Our own stats shows 34 percent of users coming to Cityblogger are using Linux. I am glad people are finally realising the benefits of Linux on the Desktop.

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Yesterday Canonical announced the first UI concept for the Ubuntu TV. Together with the announcement, the first code drop was released, so we could read and understand better the technologies used, and how this will behave on an ARM environment, mostly at a Pandaboard (that we already have OpenGL ES 2 and video decode working).

Getting Ubuntu TV to work

If are still using Oneiric, you can just follow the guide presented at, where you’ll find all needed steps to try Ubuntu TV at your machine.

As it’s quite close with Unity 2D (similar code base), and also based on Qt, I decided to follow the steps described at wiki page and see if it should work correctly.

First issue we found with Qt, was that it wasn’t rendering at full screen when using with latest PowerVR SGX drivers, so any application you wanted to use with Qt Opengl would just show itself on a small part of the screen. Luckily TI (Nicolas Dechesne and Xavier Boudet) quickly provided me a new release of the driver, fixing this issue (version that should be around later today at the Linaro Overlay), so I could continue my journey :-)

Next problem was that Qt was enabling brokenTexSubImage and brokenFBOReadBack for the SGX drivers based on the old versions available for Beagle, and seems this is not needed anymore with the current version available at Pandaboard (still to be reviewed with TI, so a proper solution can be forwarded to Qt).

Code removed, patch applied and package built (after many hours), and I was finally able to successfully open the Ubuntu TV interface at my Panda :-)

UI Navigation on a Pandaboard, with Qt and OpenGL ES2.0

Running Ubuntu TV is quite simple if you’re already running the Unity 2D interface. All you need to do is to make sure you kill all unity-2d components and that you’re running metacity without composite enabled. Other than that you just run ”unity-2d-shell -opengl” and voilà ;-)

Here’s a video of the current interface running on my Panda:

As you can see from the video, I didn’t actually play any video, and that’s because currently we’re lacking a generic texture handler for OpenGL ES with Gstreamer at Qtmobility (there’s only one available, but specifically for Meego). Once that’s fixed, the video playback should behave similarly as with XBMC (but with less hacks, as it’s a native GST backend).

Next steps, enabling proper video decode

Looking at what would be needed to finally be able to play the videos, and to make it something useful at your Pandaboard, the first thing is that we need to improve Qtmobility to have a more generic (but unfortunately still specific to Omap) way handle texture streaming with Gstreamer and OpenGL ES. Rob Clark added a similar functionality at XBMC, creating support for ”eglImage”, so we just need to port the work and make sure it works properly with Qtmobility.

Once that’s ported, the video should be streamed as a texture at the video surface, making it also work transparently with QML (the way it’s done with Ubuntu TV).

If you know Qt and Gstreamer, and also want to help getting it to work properly on your panda, here follows a few resources:

As soon video decoding is working properly, a new blog post should be around explaining the details and how to reproduce it at your own Panda with Ubuntu LEB :-)


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Michael Hall

By now you should have heard that Canonical is branching out from the desktop and has begun work on getting Ubuntu on TVs.   Lost in all the discussion of OEM partnerships and content distribution agreements is a more exciting (from my perspective) topic: Ubuntu TV shows why Unity was the right choice for Canonical to make.

The Unity Platform

Ubuntu TV doesn’t just look like Unity, it is Unity.  A somewhat different configuration, visually, from the desktop version, but fundamentally the same.  Unity isn’t just a top panel and side launcher, it is a set of technologies and APIs: Indicators, Lenses, Quick Lists, DBus menus, etc.  All of those components will be the same in Ubuntu TV as they are on the desktop, even if their presentation to the user is slightly different.  When you see Unity on tablets and phones it will be the same story.

The Developer Story

Having the same platform means that Ubuntu offers developers a single development target, whether they are writing an application for the desktop, TVs, tablets or phones.  There is only one notifications API, only one search API, only one cloud syncing API.  Nobody currently offers that kind of unified development platform across all form factors, not Microsoft, not Google, not Apple.

If you are writing the next Angry Birds or TweetDeck, would you want to target a platform that only exists on one or two form factors, or one that will allow your application to run on all of them without having to be ported or rewritten?

The Consumer Story

Anybody with multiple devices has found an application for one that isn’t available for another.  How many times have we wanted the functionality offered by one of our desktop apps available to us when we’re on the go?  How many games do you have on your phone that you’d like to have on your laptop too?  With Ubuntu powered devices you will have what you want where you want it.  Combine that with Ubuntu One and your data will flow seamlessly between them as well.

A farewell to Gnome 2

None of this would have been possible with Gnome 2.  It was a great platform for it’s time, when there was a clear distinction between computers and other devices.  Computers had medium-sized screens, a keyboard and a mouse.  They didn’t have touchscreens, they didn’t change aspect ratio when turned sideways.  Devices lacked the ability to install third party applications, the mostly lacked network connectivity, and they had very limited storage and processing capabilities.

But now laptops and desktops have touch screens, phones have multi-core, multi-GHz processors.  TVs and automobiles are both getting smarter and gaining more and more of the features of both computers and devices.  And everything is connected to the Internet.  We need a platform for this post-2010 computing landscape, something that can be equally at home with a touch screen as it is with a mouse, with a 4 inch and a 42 inch display.

Unity is that platform.

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If you want to test drive your own private cloud, try Ubuntu Cloud Live. It’s a 600 MB image, just download, burn to USB drive, boot your system with it and you have a cloud setup.

Download the image from here:

Note: This is a 64-bit mage.

Recommended to have atleast a 4GB pen drive.

Use the ‘dd’ command to copy the image over to your USB drive. For example, if your USB drive is connected to /dev/sdb,  then run `dd if=ubuntu-11.10-cloud-live-amd64.img of=/dev/sdb`. WARNING: THIS COMMAND WILL ERASE ALL DATA PREVIOUSLY STORED ON THE TARGET DEVICE. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT DEVICE WHEN FLASHING.

Have fun :)

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Ubuntu 11.10, code named Oneiric Ocelot,  is now available. It has loads of new functions, which puts other operating systems to shame! Here are a few cool features of this new release.

Touch support

The new Unity interface works well with mouse, keyboard and even touch. The dash allows you to quickly search for files, music, applications and everything in your computer. The launcher allows you to quickly launch your commonly used applications. The ‘must-have’ feature for music lovers is the Music Lens, which allows you to browse and find your music on your computer quickly and easily. You can sort music in folders by author, album or song wise. Similarly any new lenses or filters can be developed to have a multidimensional view of your data.

Mozilla Thunderbird is now the default email application, which happens to also be my favourite. Thunderbird supports all email standards and can manage thousands of emails in a breeze. It also has very good filters to quickly search through your emails.

Firefox 7 is the default browser. Firefox has seen vast improvements over its earlier versions and is now faster and has a much lower memory footprint. For people who prefer other browsers such as Chrome/Chromium, they can easily install those from the Ubuntu Software Centre. Skype, Flash, Acrobat and other popular applications can also be installed from there too.

The Ubuntu Software Centre is your place to install new applications, both free and paid for. With this release it also has application ratings, which makes it easy for you to decide which application to install. The Software Centre has a large collection of applications from education, games, science to development tools and more.

Ubuntu goes social

Ubuntu’s best kept secret is social networking. The Empathy IM client allows you to chat with your Facebook friends as well as integrates the usual suspects such as Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live (MSN), Jabber, ICQ and many others. The Gwibber social networking client collates all of your social messages from Facebook and Twitter. This is integrated with your desktop, so you can see your updates. You can also post your own updates straight from Gwibber.

With Shotwell, you can easily manage your photos, crop them, edit them and publish them on Flickr, Picasa or Facebook. OpenShot Video Editor makes it easy to edit, clip and resize your videos. It supports many effects and file formats. 3D has attracted the attention of OpenShot developers and they have enabled the functionality to add 3D animated titles to your videos.

Data backup

Data back up is also a key feature in Ubuntu 11.10, and you realise how important it is when you don’t back up and lose data! To make your backup activity easy, Ubuntu bundles Ubuntu One which can automatically backup all the files to the cloud. If you need external backup, you have Déjà Dup, which means you can backup to external media.

Ubuntu One gives you 5GB of free online storage, it can synchronise your data between Ubuntu PCs as well as Windows. It also has clients for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android so you can access your files on the go. Ubuntu One mobile client also gives you an option to backup your photos automatically. For example if you take a photo on your mobile, it would get backed up automatically to the cloud. It also allows you to stream your music to your mobile device. If you have tons of music and don’t want to carry all of it with you, you can keep it on Ubuntu One and stream it to your mobile phone when you want to listen to them.


This article was first published on Digit.

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Michael Hall

(Update 1: There seems to be some confusion about what I’m saying in this post, so let me be absolutely clear from the start: I am not questioning or criticizing Distrowatch’s data.  Their data is, as far as I know, 100% accurate.  What I’m questioning is whether or not this data is a measure of the “popularity” of any given distro, as so many news stories are claiming it is.)

(Update 2: If anybody else wants to run a story about this post, please contact me before making it sound like my blog article is somehow an official Canonical response.  I’m more than happy to have a conversation with you for the sake of accuracy.)

It seems that the tech blogs both inside and outside the Linux sphere have picked up on a graph supposedly showing a decline in the popularity of Ubuntu based on statistics from Distrowatch.  I’m not going to point out all of the flaws in these reports, or the basis of the graph in general, that has been done already here and here (especially in their comment threads).

Instead I want to take a step back for a moment and examine what the statistics are actually counting, and what that actually means for both Ubuntu and LinuxMint.

Hits per day

The numbers themselves come from the number of page views per day on Distrowatch’s page for each distro.  So if you go to you’ve added to the count for Arch.  Now the first thing this tells us is that the statistic is in no way tied to the actual number of users a distro has, just the number of people looking at that distro’s page on Distrowatch.  Now there are three possible reasons why a user might visit one of these pages:

  1. Curiosity about a distro
  2. Following a link from somewhere else
  3. Attempting to boost the hits-per-day count for a distro

I’m going to disregard #3, because I don’t believe that anybody involved with Mint is doing anything underhanded to boost these numbers.  But an examination of the other two will shed some light on what exactly is happening.

Follow that link

Even though a Distrowatch ranking isn’t connected to number of users, it’s still exciting to see your distro rise in the list, and it’s natural to want to tell people about it.  Mint does it, Ubuntu does it, lots of distros do it.  There’s nothing wrong with this, and if enough people are reading your announcement to impact the ranking, then it most likely deserves to be impacted.

But something all together different happens when 3rd party sources start sending people to your distrowatch page because of your rank.  When the Register and PC World run articles about you being on top, their readers will naturally visit your Distrowatch page, further increasing your rank, which will in turn prompt more stories about it, sending more people to your page, etc.

While I have no doubt that Mint deserves the top spot (more on that below), I think the amount of its increase has been affected by this positive feedback loop.  This cyclic reaction will likely continue for a few weeks until people finally get bored with the story, at which point I expect Mint’s numbers to fall back down into the 2500-3000 range, comfortably at #1, but well below the 7728 it’s at as I’m writing this.

The Buzz

All of which brings us back to the first reason for visiting a distrowatch page: Curiosity.  Distrowatch is a great resource for finding out about a distro, and it’s how a lot of young distros get attention.  When Qimo got a mention there, we saw a huge traffic increase, and we also rose pretty sharply in the ranking (nowhere near #1, but still something I was proud of).

But there comes a point, when a distro has become established, where the vast majority of those curious people will be going directly to the distro’s own website, rather than Distrowatch.  Nobody would deny that Red Hat is one of the most used Linux distros, but it currently ranks at #42 on Distowatch.  Suse ranks at #64.  Even the free-as-in-beer CentOS, which we all know is widely used, is only at #9.  As a general rule then, we can assume that as a distro becomes more established and gains more market and mind-share, fewer people will be going to Distrowatch to learn about it.

So what does that leave us?  I like to call it “Young Buzz”, a large amount of excitement about a relatively new (in terms of mindshare) distro.  This is something that absolutely describes LinuxMint.  As the seemingly anti-Unity distro of choice, it has been getting a lot of talk and attention and, while I disagree with the anti-Unity sentiment, Mint is certainly deserving of attention.  Its user base is growing rapidly and I hope its community is too.  They are doing some interesting work with both Gnome-Shell and the Mate, the Gnome 2 fork.  Every other distro will be keeping an eye on them, seeing what gains traction and what doesn’t, and I expect some of that to make its way upstream and into other distros as well.

What does it all mean?

Is LinutMint more popular that Ubuntu?  No, not by any measure I have seen.  Will it become more popular than Ubuntu?  I don’t know, but my gut says not anytime soon.  But Mint certainly has the most momentum, at least for the moment, and will continue to grow at a faster rate for at least the near future.

But they aren’t the first to be in the position, PCLinuxOS had much the same buzz a few years ago, but wasn’t able to maintain it.  The challenge for Mint is to keep this momentum going, and to do that they’re going to need a strong, open, supporting community that gives new users somewhere to belong in the way the Ubuntu community does.

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Michael Hall

If you’ve been doing anything with Ubuntu lately, chances are you’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about Juju.  If you’re attending UDS, then there’s also a good chance that you’ve been to one or more sessions about Juju.  But do you know it?

The building blocks for Juju are it’s “charms”, which detail exactly how to deploy and configure services in the Cloud.  Writing charms is how you harness the awesome power of Juju.  Tomorrow (Friday) there will be a 2 hour session all about writing charms, everything from what they do and how they work, to helping you get started writing your own.  Questions will be answers, minds will be inspired, things will be made, so don’t miss out.

(Photo courtesy of

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Here is a short video about Canonical’s cloud offering. This was recorded at Intel Cloud Summit 2011.

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Ubuntu 11.10 is here, The 64-bit version offers multi-arch support, so you can install 32-bit applications and libraries on 64-bit systems.

Ubuntu 11.10 Torrent Links Direct Downloads
Ubuntu Desktop 64-Bit Edition Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Desktop 32-Bit Edition Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Server Edition 64-Bit Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Server Edition 32-Bit Torrent Main Server

Other Links:

CD images + Alternative CD.

Ubuntu Core – Just 34 MB ISO of pure Ubuntu.

Have fun :)


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Preparing for UDS P

With the release of Oneiric Ocelot just around the corner and the archives firmly in freeze mode, my main focus has turned to preparing topics for UDS P which is taking place in Orlando at the end of this month. As you might know by reading my blog one of my main roles within the team is co-ordinating testing of SRU kernels by Hardware Certification. The next cycle of development is going to take on a strong flavor of SRU testing. Personally I’ll be hosting two sessions at UDS,

The first one is titled ‘Improving automated certification testing of Kernel SRUs‘ and is based around increasing the overall scope and coverage of the test suite used when testing the SRU kernels. Recently I took the time to document the test suite we use during SRU testing, and if you read through it you can see that it’s really quite basic and hasn’t been especially good at picking up regressions so far. I’m quite excited at the prospect of doing this and my definition of success here will be a test suite that starts detecting real problems early. Linked at the bottom of the blueprint are some notes that were brainstormed together on the #ubuntu-kernel channel on FreeNode last week which will form a foundation for the discussion. If you’re interested in ensuring that kernel updates don’t break your system and will be at UDS P then feel free to subscribe to the blueprint (of course you’re free to send your feedback via this blog as well).

The second topic is titled ‘Image creation and publishing for kernel SRU testing‘ and has a less broadly interesting premise but will be important for us nonetheless. At the moment we use quite a complicated lab infrastructure to install all the necessary pieces for SRU testing over the network and it prevents us from easily allowing external parties to perform the same testing themselves. If we can easily automated the creation of images which include everything required for testing then we can get rid of this barrier. If the subject matter interests you then, again, either subscribe or leave feedback here.

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Ubuntu on CNN/CNBC

Ubuntu has received coverage on CNBC TV18 and CNN-IBN.

Ubuntu review

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In June this year, Eclipse, a popular IDE, published the results of a global survey of its community, which aims to show how people are using Eclipse and other open source software (OSS), and participating in open source communities. The purpose was to create a  profile of how open source developers interact with the community. Incidentally, the Eclipse developer survey had the fourth highest number of respondents from India.

The results showed that 28 percent of developers use Linux as their primary developer workstation and Ubuntu was the most popular among them. Linux was also the most popular deployment platform with almost 42 percent deploying their applications on Linux.

The findings support the fact that Ubuntu is being increasingly used by many developers in the high tech industry. It is also popular amongst the mobile developer community. The android SDK, for example, can be easily installed on Ubuntu. Web developers also find Ubuntu very powerful as it has all the tools that they need to develop and test applications using the latest web development standards such as HTML5.

Being open source in nature means developers  get access to millions of lines of code, which can be used in any developer’s application.  However, the licensing of the application needs to be checked, as some of them may require the application to be open source  as well. Developers can also look at the source code to understand some of the applications.

So what makes Ubuntu popular among developers?

Easy to get developer tools

With Ubuntu it’s easy to get development tools, IDEs, debuggers, libraries, sources and more.  The Ubuntu Software Center or apt-get, offers a whole range of developer applications and tools with ease. Apt-get also works very well in resolving dependencies, for example if Eclipse is installed, it will install all the Java libraries, plugins and documentation required by the application automatically.

Powerful editors

Ubuntu has powerful editors which are developer friendly, offer code beautifications and syntax highlighting and code to make it easy for for developers to  read t their code. Ubuntu has easy to use editors apart from Vi and Emacs for hardcore developers.

Easy scripting

Linux has powerful scripting capabilities such as Bash, this makes it easy to automate tasks. It is very useful for  developers, because it helps save a lot of time by writing simple scripts for repetitive tasks.

Ubuntu has built-in virtualisation

Ubuntu has KVM built-in and VirtualBox, VMWare can be installed with ease. Virtualisation is a developer’s friend because it allows them to test their application on different versions of different operating systems on their workstations.

Easy integration with revision control 

Ubuntu has easy integration with code version control systems such as CVS, sub-version and Bazaar.

Ubuntu is secure and stable

Ubuntu is secure and doesn’t suffer from virus problems, this protects the developer from security worries, so they can focus on developing. Once  Ubuntu is installed, it just works.

Ubuntu is free

Users don’t need to pay any license fees for using Ubuntu, and  all the development tools on Ubuntu are also free.  These include popular ones such as Java, GCC, Python, Perl and Ruby. This saves a lot of money for the organisation. The savings are even more evident when there are lots of developers.

Eclipse a popular IDE, today is very actively developed with over 1,000 active developers, 170 companies and 200 open source projects. What started as a Java IDE, it has now become a full fledged development platform with plugins for several popular languages such as Perl, Python, C, C++ and many others.

This article was first published on Digit.

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Nice video created by Linux Foundation to celebrate 20 years of Linux.

20 Years of Linux

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After KDE announced that they will support Wayland in 2012, Google Crome browser will also support Wayland, which means you could run Google Crome directly on Wayland without X? Sounds like fun.

2012 looks exciting if the world doesn’t come to an end :)

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Linux in 20 years

Image by Linux Foundation

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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! 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!


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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During my interview with Hindu Business Line, they also took a video about Ubuntu.

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Steve George

Raspberry Pi is a project to spark exploration, innovation and to create a new generation of programmers by putting a computer into the hands of every British child. That was the passionate vision presented by David Braben of Frontier Development at Develop in a talked labelled “Giving something back”. There are some interesting parallels with the vision One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) had. The radical difference is that with the effects of Moores Law since the OLPC project the Raspberry Pi vision is for a device that costs 15 GBP – that makes it realistic to put one into the hands of every child in the UK!

They showed an alpha last year which got lots of attention – watch it and then we’ll continue:

Raspberry Pi: Elite writer David Braben’s 15 computer

The starting point for this endeavour is that children aren’t excited by Computer Science in the UK any more and that this has meant a radical drop in the number of University applications. There’s a shortage of precise figures, said David, but it could be as much as a 51% drop since the mid-90’s. He cites a lot of reasons for this, from changes in life-style, curriculum and the mass-media. His conclusion is that a key shortage is a computing environment for kids that encourages programming – a BBC B for a newer generation. The team aims to create a small (phone sized) computer, powered by an ARM chip, which you can plug a TV/keyboard into and a software load with educational software on it. The long-term mission being to provide these free to groups of children with appropriate content, along with management capabilities for teachers.

The bottom line for me is that encouraging experimentation, exploration and creation is a good thing in and of itself. If you want to create programmers they have to start along the journey of realising that you can create as well as consume in the digital world. When I was in school computers were all the rage from an educational perspective and certainly while we mostly played games we also created small programs. Like many others I spent long hours typing out program listings that came in magazines, and learnt rudimentary concepts in BASIC. While I personally took an indirect path into computers I do think these experiences were formative in accepting what was possible and sparking an inherent interest.

Raspberry Pi running Ubuntu

Creating a complete computing environment for children and teachers is a hugely ambitious goal. You have to solve hardware, software, content and distribution problems along the way. At the moment the Raspberry Pi team is focusing on the hardware, with an initial developer version due this year. I see the software stack as being a critical portion – you’ll be glad to know that Ubuntu is the OS! It has to be said that although I got into computing with BASIC and a manual I don’t think that’s going to cut it for kids these days: it certainly wouldn’t have cut it for me if there’d been anything like the Net! Moreover, I think we have to accept that the Web is the platform and that the elements of sharing, socialising and interacting are all part of what makes up computing now. So any software stack has to look forward and encompass new elements even when trying to be simple. That said I think the software and languages we have today are a lot stronger and more compelling: whether that’s languages like Python or some of the OLPC environment! Of course, it’s easy for a technical audience to focus on the technology stack but this changes all the time, what’s more important is the content and education contacts.

Clearly, the content will need to address childrens needs at different ages, and working with the education sector so that it fits their needs and understanding is going to be very important. David noted that managing groups of machines was a key need for educators who aren’t technicians. I was struck by the passion and willingness to get involved throughout the room – if that passion can be harnessed it will hold the project in good stead. I’ve love to see Raspberry Pi develop into a full charity with funding from the industry and efforts to work with the education sector.

If you’re like to find out more about Raspberry Pi, and perhaps sign-up for one of their dev boards, then see their site. What do you think about this initiative and on a more general level how can we help get kids involved in experimenting with technology?

Tagged: Free Software, Linux, Ubuntu

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Every well seasoned tester knows the advantages and disadvantages that manual/semi-manual and automatic tests have when compared to each other. A manual test is easy to create, just a few simple words and you have your test. Automatic tests allow you to (almost) fire and forget about them with your only concern being the PASS/FAIL at the end. A semi-manual test is a funny hybrid of the two, usually only used in a situation where a fully automated test is almost physically impossible (e.g. verifying screenshots and tests involving peripherals). Manual tests are not good in situations where the same test must be run many times across a large number of configurations. This is exactly what we have in hardware certification, where we must run tests across ~100 systems on a very regular basis. To this end we’ve been taking the opportunity this development cycle to update some of our older tests to be more automated.

One of the tests that I updated was one which would cycle through available resolutions on the system (using the xrandr tool) and request the tester to verify that they all looked okay with no graphical corruption. This is the sort of test that is fine when someone is running the tests on a one-off basis, it’s not so good when one tester needs to supervise 50+ systems during a certification run. One of the main problems is that it causes too much context switching, with the tester constantly needing to keep an eye on all the systems to see if they’ve reached this test yet. Obviously, it being a graphical test, it’s difficult to do fully automated verification so a compromise needed to be reached. The solution I came up with was to integrate screen capture into the test and then upload these screens in a tgz file as an attachment with the test submission. Everything going well, the tester can sit down at their own computer and go through the screens and confirm they’re okay. In fact the person verifying the screens doesn’t even need to be in the lab! The task can be distributed amongst any number of people, anywhere in the world.

Another test that looked like a prime candidate for automation was one for testing the functioning of the wireless card before and after suspending the system. Previously the test case was:

– Disconnect the wireless interface.
– Reconnect and ensure you’re online.
– Suspend the system.
– Repeat the first two steps

This was all specified to be done manually. I am currently updating this test to use nmcli to make sure a connection can be made, then disconnect and reconnect just as would happen if the tester did the steps manually using nm-applet. The one thing I haven’t got down pat yet is connecting to a wireless network where a connection didn’t exist before. This step may be optional as it could be expected that the tester will do this manually at some point during the setup of the tests and we can trust a connection to be available already. This will mean this test has gone from manual to fully automated and hopefully should shave potentially some significant number of minutes off the whole test run!

Saving time on our existing tests will allow us to introduce new tests where appropriate, so we’re able to provide even more thorough certification testing.

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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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