Canonical Voices

Matt Griffin

There’s a lot of great activity going on in the Ubuntu One team these days. Over the coming weeks leading up to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, you will start to see more and more information about new desktop and website features and improvements that will make Ubuntu One a more stable service and a joy to use.

Contacts update

We recently made some changes to the contacts page by grouping your address book in an A-to-Z format. This should make it load faster and be easier to use whether you have 10 contacts or thousands. There are also a few more enhancements to this tool coming soon.

Stay tuned for more news on all of the improvements coming soon to Ubuntu One.

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Matt Griffin

Thank you to the Ubuntu One Music Store beta testers. We’ve received lots of great input so far.

We’re doing a bit of maintenance now so the store will be down for a little while. Sorry for the interruption but we’ll be back soon… hopefully later today.

Follow us on identi.ca and twitter for an update on when we’re live again.

UPDATE:

The Ubuntu One Music Store is now back! Thanks for your patience during the brief interruption.

We’re able to identify the few testers who bought music and received an error message earlier today. The music you purchased will be made available over the next day or so. You’ll be able to go to My Downloads in the music store to receive it.

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Matt Griffin

Hello Lucid Testers!

Many in the Ubuntu community are excited about the Ubuntu One Music Store. The ability to search and buy popular music from within Rhythmbox is right around the corner. Today is the day that we are expanding testing by inviting all Ubuntu Lucid users to take part in the public beta of this new feature.

Testing goal

Our primary goal for this phase of testing is to ensure that the purchase and download experience is flawless. Integrating a cloud service like Ubuntu One with buying music is new for digital music stores. While it brings many benefits to users, it also adds technical complexity that increases the opportunity for problems to occur.

Testers must keep in mind that this is a beta test. We are excited to open this feature up for wider testing, but testers must understand that things will break. If something happens preventing a tester from receiving songs, there may be a delay in fulfilling their purchase. The best thing to do is to tell us about the problem using the channels below so we can resolve it quickly.

How to provide feedback

For those of you who want to test the Ubuntu One Music Store, there are a few ways for you to search for and report issues.

  • Search Launchpad [1] for your issue
  • Report new bugs against the Rhythmbox Ubuntu One Music Store project [2]
  • Chat with all beta testers on IRC: #u1msbeta on freenode

These are the primary places that the store developers will be monitoring so directing questions and issues here will ensure that they will be addressed.

The music selection

During the first few days of this expanded testing, some users may notice gaps in the songs available in the store. We are aware of it and are addressing the issue. It should be resolved very soon.

Our catalog will continue to improve and we will also look for efficient ways that users can provide more feedback about improving the selection of songs available.

How to test the store

All Lucid users around the world are invited to participate in this beta test of the Ubuntu One Music Store. If something unexpected happens, you need to tell us about it. The only way that the store will get better for everyone is if you do your part and speak up.

Some areas to test include…

  • MP3 codec detection
  • Search
  • Browse
  • Preview song samples
  • Add items to your basket
  • Checkout and buy process
  • Download to Ubuntu One
  • Sync to your computer
  • Songs added to your Rhythmbox library
  • Review purchase history in My Downloads

MP3 support

Many have had questions about MP3 support for the store and how their computer would play purchased songs. You do not have to purchase any software or codecs to play the songs on your computer. Additional details on this issue are available on the Ubuntu One Music Store FAQ page [3].

How to install the store

If Rhythmbox on your Lucid installation doesn’t already have the Ubuntu One Music Store option, use Software Center to search for and install the plugin. Enable the plugin by going to Edit > Plugins in Rhythmbox.

FAQ

We already provide a lot of great information about the store on the Ubuntu wiki [3]. This area and the FAQ content will be updated with more information as we get additional feedback from your testing.

Thank you for your help in improving the Ubuntu One Music Store for everyone!

The Ubuntu One Team

[1] https://bugs.launchpad.net/rhythmbox-ubuntuone-music-store
[2] In order for the team to capture the most information about your issue, please file a bug by opening a terminal and typing: ubuntu-bug rhythmbox-ubuntuone-music-store
[3] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuOne/MusicStore ?

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Matt Griffin

Recent fixes and improvements

The Ubuntu One team has been working hard to fix many of the bugs that subscribers have reported as well as add more great features to the service. We will continue to address more bugs for the next few months leading up to the 10.04 release. Here are a few items that we have recently deployed.

- Fixed problems synchronizing Notes from the Tomboy application. More improvements to the website editing interface to come.

- Enhanced the website to provide easier access to support resources.

ubuntu-sso-logo

- Integrated the service with Ubuntu Single Sign On (Ubuntu SSO). Subscribers can continue to use their Launchpad login credentials. Updates to your account settings (email, password, etc.) can be made the the Ubuntu SSO site or at Launchpad.net.

- Easy link to update your login information (name, email, password) from your Ubuntu One account page.

- Various performance improvements to the website interface for Ubuntu One services.

- Preparation for Ubuntu 10.04 features such as the Ubuntu One Music Store, mobile contacts synchronization, and user-defined folders (synchronize any directory in your home folder).

Detailed release notes are available on the Ubuntu Team Wiki.

* Fixed problems synchronizing Notes from the Tomboy application. More improvements to the website editing interface to come.
* Enhanced the website to provide easier access to support resources.
* Integrated with Ubuntu SSO system. Launchpad login information still works and you can still use Launchpad to edit your account settings (email, password, etc.)
* Easy link to update your login information (name, email, password) from your Ubuntu One account page.
* Various performance improvements to the website interface for Ubuntu One services.
* Preparation for the Ubuntu One Music Store public beta (coming very soon), the upcoming mobile contacts synchronization feature, and user-defined folders (sync any directory in your home folder)

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Matt Griffin

Well probably not yet, but the Ubuntu One Music Store is right around the corner.

The team has made great progress since we announced this new Ubuntu feature just a few short months ago at UDSLucid in Dallas. That session was very important for a couple of reasons. It confirmed the community’s interest in having easy access to popular music from within an Ubuntu application. It was also an excellent opportunity to learn some of the community’s concerns and desires. We think we’ve built a music store that everyone will enjoy using at the launch of Ubuntu 10.04 and as it evolves in the future.

There have been some great discussions in blogs and blog comments since bits of the store started appearing in Lucid Lynx Alphas. Now that Lucid Lynx has just passed the Alpha 3 milestone, I thought it was a good time to give everyone a quick update.

The store is currently being thoroughly tested by a small group of users. After we fix some of the initial bugs, we’ll expand testing to a larger group. This should be in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we’ve prepared an FAQ for everyone to learn more about the upcoming music store. Additional information about expanded testing will be posted here so follow this blog or our posts on identi.ca and twitter for more information.

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Joshua Hoover

Notes update

We’re currently experiencing some issues related to our notes service. The main issues are related to creating and editing notes through the website interface.

In order to prevent further frustration, we will temporarily make the notes website interface read-only on Friday morning until the fixes are deployed. This temporary change will not affect notes synchronization through desktop applications like Tomboy. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and we are doing our best to get the bugs coded, tested, and released as soon as possible. You can track our progress by monitoring the following bugs in Launchpad:

Thank you for your patience and support! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here or hop on the #ubuntuone channel on Freenode IRC to chat.

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Matt Griffin

Contribute with Ubuntu One Bug Day

Each day Ubuntu One usually has at least one representative from the team dedicated to addressing subscriber questions, participating in IRC discussions, and responding to bugs. A few months ago, we decided that this would be enhanced by the entire team collaborating for a short period of time on open bugs and subscriber questions. We called it Bug Day.

The goal was to reduce the list of bugs in an undecided state. After a few months, we’ve found this to be very useful in addressing open issues and questions, identifying duplicates, elevating the overall knowledge of the entire team and sharing best practices.

Tuesday is the next Ubuntu One Bug Day, and this time we’re going to try something a little different. We would like invite our subscribers to join us. This will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Ubuntu One service, improve your skills and assist your fellow Ubuntu community members.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuOne/BugDays

Date: Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Time: 1400-1600 UTC
Place: Join us in #ubuntuone on freenode in IRC

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Matt Griffin

The Ubuntu One user community is great. In just a few short months, they’ve made some fantastic contributions extending Ubuntu One support to both KDE and Fedora.

One of the top requests we get is for wider support for users who work in a mixed platform environment (i.e., Ubuntu + Windows/Mac). While we offer the web browser option, we realize that the browser has definite limitations compared to the desktop.

This year at PyCon members of the Ubuntu One development team will focus on helping these users. The principal areas we’ll work on are porting to the Windows equivalent of D-bus, inotify, an installer, and a file manager plugin. If you’re heading to Atlanta in February, and this sounds interesting to you, please join our sprint.

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Joshua Hoover

Bugs and hugs

We’re pleased to be participating in an Ubuntu Bug Day on Thursday 28 January 2010 and hope you will join us as we triage ubuntuone-client bugs.

Ubuntu Bug Day is also known as HugDay. So what exactly is a HugDay?

The HugDay is a special day where the Ubuntu Community comes together with a shared goal of triaging a specific package or set of packages. Working together allows us to share knowledge and give some much needed assistance to the Ubuntu Developers. The term HugDay is a spin on BugDay but every time someone triages a bug, then someone else should hug him/her. Why? This is a very special way for us to tell everyone that we love contributions! And triaging bugs is a really big contribution.

We look forward to working with you on triaging some Ubuntu One bugs and giving numerous digital hugs along the way!

Date: Thursday 28 January 2010
Place: #ubuntu-bugs on freenode IRC

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuBugDay/20100128

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Matt Griffin

Stuart Langridge summarized an important issue recently on FLOSS Weekly when he said that Linux is all about choice… but not the choice between incompatible data silos. Desktopcouch is a key component of the Ubuntu desktop that enables users to break out of the data silos of today, delivering greater portability across applications.

In case you didn’t know it, Ubuntu One relies heavily on Desktopcouch (which uses CouchDB) for storing and synchronizing subscriber data, such as contacts and bookmarks, to their personal cloud. One of the key initiatives for the Ubuntu One team over the next Ubuntu cycle is to provide more developer resources so more applications can utilize the benefits of Desktopcouch and CouchDB. End users will gain greater data portability across applications as well as the built-in synchronization of CouchDB.

Ryan Paul has posted an excellent tutorial at Ars Technica for developers interested in using CouchDB in their applications. He covers the basics of the Ubuntu One architecture, an overview of how CouchDB is different than more traditional databases, provides simple and advanced code examples, and gives great tips for integrating CouchDB into your application. Read through his article and think about how your application can benefit from the power of Desktopcouch and CouchDB.

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Matt Griffin

sil on FLOSS Weekly

FLOSS Weekly

sil (Stuart Langridge) was a guest on FLOSS Weekly yesterday. Stuart told Leo Laporte and Jono Bacon all about the Ubuntu One features, our developer resources, and the plans for Lucid. If you missed TWiT Live, the show (episode 99) will be available very soon. Great job Stuart and thanks TWiT.TV.

UPDATE December 13, 2009: Episode 99 is now available.

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Matt Griffin

KDE support coming along well

Apachelog has excellent news: “Ubuntu One KDE Tech Preview”

It is still a tech preview, but Harald Sitter has done some great work to bring Ubuntu One to KDE. Read his post for sample screencasts and links to project files to test it out for yourself. Fantastic job! Thank you to the KDE community.

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Matt Griffin

Ubuntu One coming to Fedora?

We have great news for the open source community. thomas has been developing an Ubuntu One client for Fedora! This quote says it all.

“I just synced my first test file to the cloud ! Whee !”

Thanks thomas. Great job! Read more about his adventures on this project.

Are you a developer who would like to use Ubuntu One on another platform? We would happy to help. Join our development team in #ubuntuone on freenode or subscribe to the project mailing list and let’s chat about your project. Our support page has more information on these options.

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Matt Griffin

File sync status update

A few Ubuntu One users have reported a bug (#462828) in the desktop client software that could cause files to become unavailable in some circumstances. As a temporary measure, we have updated our server to display a “Capabilities Mismatch” error to prevent files from becoming unavailable to users.

A client software update will be released very soon in the update channel. Manually running Update Manager will update your client to work with the server and fix the root cause. Throughout this period, all files are still available from the Ubuntu One website.

Contact syncing and tomboy syncing services have not been affected by this issue.

UPDATE: A new client is available now for beta PPA users running 9.04 and 9.10. More updates coming soon.

UPDATE: The updated Ubuntu One client software is now available to those running Ubuntu 9.10 and not using the beta PPA. Please run Update Manager to install the new software.

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Matt Griffin

Thank you beta testers

We started the Ubuntu One service beta in early May of this year. It’s been an exciting six months and the entire Ubuntu One Team have been thrilled with the involvement of the Ubuntu community.

After over a thousand helpful bugs, fantastic feature requests, and always appreciated words of encouragement, Ubuntu One is now a much, much better service. Thank you to the entire Ubuntu community for their support. We couldn’t have come this far without you.

What started out as synchronizing only files, has grown to synchronize Tomboy notes as well as contacts. As we expand the Ubuntu One service, we’re excited about continued daily collaboration with the Ubuntu community.

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Matt Griffin

Now that you can synchronize files and folders with Ubuntu One, what’s next? Tomboy notes of course.

We’re happy to announce that Ubuntu One can now synchronize your Tomboy notes across all of your Ubuntu computers. Setup requires a few changes in the Tomboy preferences for each computer. Don’t worry about figuring it out for yourself because we’re happy to provide step-by-step setup instructions in our Ubuntu One Tutorials.

Tomboy Notes sync is available to all Ubuntu One subscribers. If you’re not a Tomboy user, now is a great time to take the application for a spin. Tomboy is one of the many applications included in the standard Ubuntu 9.10 release and is found in the Main Menu under Applications >> Accessories.

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Matt Griffin

There are many great features included in the 9.10 (Karmic) release. Of course the one that we’re excited about is that Ubuntu One is included. Setting up Ubuntu One is now easier than ever.

After your 9.10 install or upgrade is completed, ensure that you are connected to the Internet and launch the Ubuntu One application found in Applications >> Internet. The web browser will open and you will be asked to login to Launchpad. If you don’t already have a Launchpad account, you can create one. Next, select your Ubuntu One plan and add your computer to synchronize with Ubuntu One. Now Ubuntu One will start to automatically synchronize. It’s that easy.

If you already had files, Tomboy notes, and contacts synchronized from another Ubuntu machine, they will be automatically downloaded to your new Ubuntu 9.10 installation into the “Ubuntu One” folder.

All of these steps can be found in the Ubuntu One Tutorials. This area also includes information about how to setup and use the other great features of Ubuntu One.

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Matt Griffin

Ubuntu One support options

Now that we’re getting close to the 9.10 release, we thought it would be a good idea to review the technical and account support options that are available to all Ubuntu One subscribers. These options were selected because they fit closely with how software is often developed for Ubuntu, and, since the Ubuntu One development team uses these tools every day, it should provide a high degree of transparency to all subscribers as we receive suggestions, fix problems, and develop new features.

Launchpad
Launchpad is our primary tool to log bugs, diagnose issues, and track development. Anyone with a Launchpad login (available to everyone) can post bugs which the team reads daily and promptly addresses.

Since Launchpad is very transparent, anyone can read the bugs and help out with resolving issues. We encourage this type of community involvement that is a core aspect of Ubuntu. Launchpad users can also subscribe to bugs so they will be notified at each stage of the resolution.

Answers
Launchpad Answers
is a tool that enables subscribers to post more general questions about the Ubuntu One project. Team members answer these questions, but this is also an area where the Ubuntu community often steps in to provide assistance.

Ubuntu Forums
Ubuntu Forums
is similar to Launchpad Answers where subscribers can post questions about Ubuntu One features. Forums has a very active community of Ubuntu users that are frequently willing to help with issues and participate in lively discussion.

IRC
IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a wonderful chat tool that Ubuntu One subscribers (or anyone) can use to communicate directly with the Ubuntu One development team. Interested individuals can find us in the #ubuntuone channel on freenode. The team is mostly based in England and the Americas, so you’re likely to reach us during normal business hours for these regions.

Account Support Form
Sometimes subscribers have questions about important account topics like credit card payments. Subscribers can go to their Account page to find the Account Assistance form to submit these types of questions directly to the team.

We hope these support resources meet the needs of all Ubuntu One subscribers and would like to hear your opinion. Anyone is welcome to join us in IRC and give us their thoughts.

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Matt Griffin

What’s new with Ubuntu One

The Ubuntu One beta is going very well. We have appreciated every bug, IRC message, Launchpad Answers question, and Ubuntu Forums post about the service since the beta launch in early May. This community feedback has been extremely important to the decisions we make and have made in developing the service.

With the release of the Ubuntu 9.10 Beta last week which features Ubuntu One as a default option, we thought we’d share a few more recent updates.

More storage
Ubuntu One offers two subscription plan options: 2 free GB for everyone’s essential storage needs and a $10 USD plan with more capacity. We’re happy to announce that we have increased the size of the paid plan from 10 GB to an incredible 50 GB. Ubuntu One paid subscribers can now backup, sync, and share more of their music, photos, and movies.

Expanded services
Ubuntu One started with files and folders. Now we’re expanding the service to synchronize more desktop applications that people use each day. In Ubuntu 9.10, Ubuntu One will backup and synchronize Tomboy notes, Firefox bookmarks, and Evolution contacts.

Easy setup
Ubuntu 9.10 is the first Ubuntu release with Ubuntu One pre-installed. It now only takes a few clicks to enable automatic file synchronization for your Ubuntu computer or computers.

Subscribe now to try out all of these features and more.

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