Here are my rough notes from DebConf 10. Nothing should
taken as a direct quote of the speaker who is supposedly
associated with the talk as my own thoughts are interwoven
with their points, the person switches around between they
and I and we all the time… I made them for my own
reference and publish them in the hope you might find them
interesting but they must not be relied on. Happy hacking
(Hmm, Advogato doesn’t process MarkDown. That
<h1>2010-08-01 Sunday - DebConf Day 1</h1>
<h2>Intro to DebianDay</h2>
Free software means we control out computers. Interaction
part of what it means to be human. We make and use tools,
that’s also essential to humans. More and more we
through our tools. And as computers become more important,
they effect democracy.
Free software has the potential for anyone to contribute.
But having a libre license isn’t enough; OpenOffice
example is veyr largeplex, C++, and the freedom is not
accessible. Free software is just the beginning of the idea
that we should own our tools.
We need to change how we think about computer literacy.
Debian people work together to build a fully free OS, but we
continue to talk about USING a computer, and not IMPROVING a
We want read/write tools.
When we teach anyone about computing, we ought to teach
programming and customisation. Programming itself is
typically designed by and for engineers. That’s useful
needed. Like reading and writing, we have specialists and
even writing systems for writing fast, but we also have
vernacular language for everyone.
The big next step is to make programming something
can and wants to do.
Other ways to contribute are submitting bug reports,
documentation, organising things like DebConf.
Deebian is a great example of democracy for developers,
international community, run on a constituion (DFSG).
So.. Should Debian be the OS for computer literacy for
everyone? OON, Debian is for technically skilled people who
want a level of control over their computer that only free
software can provide. OTOH, Debian wants to be accessible to
How can that happen? If Debian wants bug reports from
newbies, can te ‘technical wall’ be overcome?
A: Telecomm companies are corrosive to networks. I have
mobile, I have an N810 with Wifi that Iuse for VoIP, its
Maemo is Debian based I think…
Promoting Free Software in Government - Andy Oram, Editor
<h2>OReilly - praxagora.com/andyo/</h2>
The government of Massachusetts 2003-2007 used
USG spends 13billion on software licenses. Half what is
spent on guided missiles.
Network effects! Gov choices effect a lot of people.
Proprietary vendors know this, FSB can get a lot of benefit
from these network effects.
Whitehouse.gov adopted Drupal, 1/2 of us hear this.
US Government staff associate “free software”
downloads of dubious origins. “open source” is
understand and trust.
Ration arguments against: Inertia and fear of change,
costs and time sinks, government managers are risk averse,
and proprietary vendors will say anything they can.
More sophisticated arguments: Access for all. Vendor
independence. Archiving. Customising for special government
needs; USG was banned from setting cookies, which meant it
couldnt use YouTube; when USG posts a video, youTube will
not post a cookie to the user. Security; libre can be just
Cloud computing becomes a problem especially with DMCA
restricting opening proprietary media formats. Libre formats
Passionate arguments are crucial, even if the rationale
air tight, because unexpected problems will come up
Its great to have backing from the top, ideological
Via Libre Foundation in Peru, CISL in Brasil, helped
influence their governments. You need a lot of training
infrastructure to do this right.
In Peru, 1996, there was a practical problem from
inconsistent proprietary software used to do taxation which
meant the tax law was applied differently in different
areas. In 2001 Villanueva had a bill, passed because of a
huge media campaign on citizen rights.
So practical and ideological arguments combined are key.
Managers to implement the vision. understand how to
with developer community. Get managerial credit, like
OpenSourceForAmerica.org is an award that managers in
federal USG can work to win.
The new ‘challenge’ approach: USG announced
an app content,
publishes open data sets in programmable formats. Healthcare
datasets in the USA and Brasil have done this.
forge.mil was made with CollabNet, and DoD sees the need
flexibility in the field and thus libre software wins on
libre, not on cost.
The procurement process is a “waterfall”
model, like when
the gov builds a guided missile, but the
approach can overturn this. Must put good dataon the web in
an open format. Must have a bit promotpeople know the oty is
there. Sustaining the prject is another challenge, since
politicians like the big splash annoucement but incremental
improvements are hard to get press on. Community pressure
can keep things going, an NGO non-profit custodian.
MA OpenOffice? There was initial interest but needed a
specific reason. Kriss and Quinn ad a patent on the Office
2003 format. They did a thorough evaluation of all depts. A
few people could keep MS office for Macros and advanced
features. Most people can use OOo and ODF.
Conversion was demonstrated to save money when an auditor
was brought in unusually to check and they agreed that it
MS saw that OOo lacked accessibilty features for the
impaired. MS got a coalition of visoin impaired people to
protest OpenOffice. They didnt see they could ADD the
features because its libre software.
This shows knowing the strengths and weakensses is
K&Q could have preempted this objection.
It went pretty well. Eventually the state de-funded the
project. K&Q left, and the IT dept said MS OOXML is an
OOXML was created in direct response to the
of ODF. The standardisation process was a travesty, but it
proved the argument that open formats has in
In 2005, Munich was prodded by the End Of Lifefor Windows
in 2004. They did a cost analysis that showed switching
costs were higher than license upgrade costs over 5 years,
but they still chose libre software for strategic reaosns.
They really looked DEEP, below software to the
They got high up backing, and did a 5 year cycle with 3
years for planning.
An article of this talk will be in the “Journal of
Information Technology and Politics”
- emphais strategic goals
- optain budget holders support
- hire mangaers with deep insight into libre software
- develop PASSION to ride out rough tpathces
Q: In Albany NY, “Open Government” is seen as
the web. they dont think about libre software users. would a
Archving - can the government open its own data in 50
Peru drive was driven by passion for freedom and
interestingly MS tried to push on rational arguments for
practicalities and failed.
<h2>Freedom in Education Panel</h2>
Matt: “Freedom is taken, not given.”
learning requires no teaching.” Not ask what should
learn, but what kind of things should we be in contact with
in order to learn. Open Education Resources are about that.
Michelle: Library perspetive.
?: USG can make 15 year contracts with Microsoft. That is
decided at a managerial level. High shcool teachers tying to
teach students were using online collaborative tools more
and more; rogue teachers would get youtube unblocked (its
totally blocked in NYC schools) and use it to teach with.
Paul XXX has a book “Pedagogical Freedom” and
conference in Palastine later this year that will talk about
this a lot.
?: school management software, bedina (?)
Michelle: There were many insittuionally purcahsed iPads
a recent Librarian conference. DRM and eBooks are awful for
libraries, so seeing them is sad. being really supportive of
tiny movements to free software and ‘spreading the
great, instead of condeming people for uneducaed decisions.
Matt: Educators often share many values of free soffware,
and focusing on the educational benefits of software freedom
is key. they have other things they are trying to do WITH
software, that are more important than the software.
Q: Isnt their reason for using iPads, ‘ease of
Matt: Maybe. its a legitimate concern, But a lot of teachers
dont choose their software, theit IT dept does.
Q: Mkaing changing habits easy is good
Matt: Yes. With shcool computers, you cant install anything,
access anything, and they dont work.
Q: The read-write loop in the FS community is great; when
kids say “it would be great if” or “it
sucks that” then
teachers can tell them they CAN interact with the people who
make it and make it happen, thats really great.
Phil H: We tend to assume poeple have heard of the idea
free software. in the UK a school found kids swapping libre
software and tried to stop it, published a county wide
leaflet about it, and when FS people contacted them nicely,
they emailed mozilla and asked them to stop because it made
it hard to tell kids they cant share :)
Michelle: Librarians want to avoid DMCA Cease &
letters. Publiciing that libre software is available and
legal to copy is needed.
Q: SO much emphaiss is put into makin things like windows
that are GUI and ‘just flow’ and LaTeX helps
participate by being very highly scriptable.
Q: Firefox Wiki has a great page on how to open it up and
hack on it. Drumbeat is trying to get people into school to
show they can hack on it.
Q: Apple is pushing hard into education, iTunes U for
<h2>John Sullivan on the FSF</h2>
FSF does a lot of positive things and some negative when
they are really needed.
FSF Mission is more relevant as software controls more
more of daily live. Software in medicla devices,
software has bugs. Logically it ought ot be libre for people
to imrpove as their life depends on it. on the way the
cabbie said that GPS companies are bribed by MacDonalds and
so on to route people near their businesses in addition to
the ads on their maps.
The freedoms for code are fundemental. If you cant
communicate technical information if you learn it, what is
left of free speech? FSF focuses on these ethical
ramifications, rather than ‘free software works
crashes less, less malware’ - and those things are a
CONSEQUENCE of freedom. They are also secdonary, sometimes
libre software costs more or crashses more. We should still
use it because its an issue of freedom and ethics.
We promote use, documentaiton and development; especially
the GNU project.
We have the Free Software Definition, a good set of tests
for any program.
We have a bunch of active campaigns right now:
“Working Together For Free Software” is a new
Historically FSF was focused on hackers who could directly
contribute; this campaign is for non-hackers
Whitehouse has moved to free software, especially the
website, and publicsed this with reasons aligned with the
FSF, wehave profiles of people involved in things lke that.
Instructions for people installing and using free software
for the first time. The FSF hasnt done this before because a
lot of people do it alrady; mozilla does it for FF,
openoffice does it for itself.
We measure success in terms of how many people support
agree with the idea of software freedom. Not how many people
run GNU/Linux. Not everyone who supports press freedom run
newspapers. If they believe software freedom is important
they will go to the trouble to use it, if their values are
only on convenience and price they will swing back and forth
between free and proprietary software. Also we’re
internship positions and doing travel funding for women to
attend libre conferences.
GNU Project is a huge 27 year project, going strong. FSF
handles the copyrights for GNU programmers. GNU Advisory
Committee is a project to take GNU in new directions, like
network services that make desktops obsolete. We also want
to expand participation, modelling on the Debian community;
people contribute to the overall project, not just their
own, whereas GNU has program-maintainer silos.
Defective by Design is a recent high profile campaign,
with CivicActions since 2006. It shows one kind of tactic,
our campaigns have various approaches. This is about DRM.
Apple dropped DRM for music but now DRM all their
applications on the iPHone and iPad. Amazon’s Kindle
there is no mention of DRM on the page. Governments should
require full disclosure of their products, and so we publish
logos to label products as “defective by
design.” This is
the most negative style campaign.
End Software Patents is a very different campaign;
alliances with many proprietary software companies who are
also harmed by software idea patents and who we otherwise
PlayOGG is making inroads with YouTube.
Free BIOS: We are moving to all our servers to this.
FSF Jobs page: We support people working on free software
Donations: We run mostly on individual donations rather
Q: Why isn’t Debian on the recommended disros list?
A: 2 reasons: It distributes non-free software in main,
mainly in the kernel. The linux-libre project removes
proprietary parts. The thing we are looking for is a
commitment to shipping only free software; its okay if it
happens but is treated like a bug. This relates to the
second thing, recommending proprietary software. Debian does
provide easy access to non-free software, easier than the
FSF is comfortable with. The core of Debian is about free
software, the DFSG.
gNewSense is moving to Debian from Ubuntu to support MIPS
which some libre laptop hardware uses.
Beyond Sharing: Open Source Design, by Mushon Zer-Aviv -
I used to develop for the web using Flash. I became
disappointed when it didn’t support writing in Hebrew.
israeli and in 2003 I initiated a petition “The Right
Languages” against Macromedia for not supporting Right
Left languages, and it was about what the web could be.
Israelis and Palestinians could join together with their
shared culture. It took 7 years for Flash to support RTL
languages. A friend siad, you’re asking the wrong
Its not about how long will it take for Adobe to support us,
its about, why can’t we support ourselves? I
didn’t have a
good answer for this, and I turned to free software.
I’ve since started the “shiftspace”
free sofware project.
I’m a lecturer at Parson’s and teach web design
I’m working on “Collaborative Futures”
there, a FLOSSManuals
You can go straight to a solution from a problem. Or, you
want wander towards it. When many people are fixing their
problems, they find they walk over the same area. They can
group together and solve the problem “once and for
Why publish free software? Its easy to do. Others can
me to get it working in a final state.
Why open the design process? Its hard. “It works
for me.” is
a common attitude.
Designers using libre software is a chick and egg
am using Mac OS X on my Apple laptop, not Debian, I am one
of the chickens. They don’t use it, so they
don’t wan tto
make it better, so it doesn’t improve, and they
it. What makes coding and writing in a collaborative fashion
is the GRANUALAR ARCHITECTURE - for coding and writing
That allows for varied contribution: Accessible
contribution, I can fix a missing comma in a wiki. History
and moderation create transparency.
Stuart Hall’s 1980 idea of encoding/decoding of
from one mind to mouth to ear to another mind. My thoughs, a
rich framework of knowledge, being encoding into speech, is
an encoding process.
Finding a shared language is the initial step in design;
graphic, colour, layout, animation, interaction. Coding
without a shared language is impossible. Setting standards
for collaboration is essential. But standards is in many
ways at odds with innovation, and a good standard allows for
innovatoin around it.
For me free culture is more about FORKING than verbatim
WordPress’s backing company hired HappyCog to
admin area for 2.5, they are one of the best high end web
design firms in the world, and the wordpress community took
it forward in 2.7 - screenshots to compare. 2.7 is way way
more friendly and advanced than 2.5
There was a questionaire for WordPress icons, we did a
student project for the 2.7 icons.
Other examples: Grids are a decades old concept in
design, the swiss school, and its come to web design
recently. the-golden-grid, 960 gridsystem, blueprint.css -
Apple is the worst for freedom, but the UI guidelines are
how to fix this?
Free as in price is nice but no way near enough.
We can’t expect or force the use of bad tools as an
ideological statement. The two things go together, we need
the best tools and a free software idea to keep with it once
it is good enough to work productively with.
We want to focus on our strengths, networking in a
and collaboration. Instead of cpoying photoshop, which is
trying to beat adobe at its best game, include features
about how to collaborate. we know more about this.
There is some success in web design, mainly with the more
Granualrity is key. My students USE CODE because its
and SIMPLER to make granualr buildling blcoks. Having
designers use VERSION CONTROL SYSTEMS is key towards
becoming a hacker - Designers should be hackers, not
neccessarily developers. This leads to:
Putting all MASTER files online, and using GIT and things
like a libre DropBox.
Finally, language. Conducting a networked user research,
we have collaborative tools to do this. Having module,
extensible design languages, that support inheritance so
they can be used as building blocks, and DOCUMENTING the
designlanguages. That’s to encode the designs.
Collaborative decoding; some designers are taional , UX
reearch, tehchnical aspects of design, and design best
practices - likein typography, a blue text underlined means
I’ve been interested in Scaling Subjectivity.
sometimes this is framed as “Leadership or
Openness” - funny
apple mouse vs openoffice mouse slide… - and I think
can do BOTH.
Okay, my slides are up at github.com/mushon/osd-
Q: Inkscape community has designers involved in the UI
A: I have been following Inkscape, its an inspiring example.
I’m trying it every now and then, its very inferior to
proprietary compeittion. I think they are fightig the wrong
fight, adding graphic features in the paradigm of
proprietary illustration programs - playing to win a frame
they havent set. I think they should focus on collaboration
features. Adobe Illustrator has stalled development
recently. Strategically we can address it from a different
Q: OpenClipArt.org is a side project of Inksacpe
Is that where you see the collaboration aspect?
<h2>FLOSSManuals.com - Andy Oram</h2>
FLOSS Manuals has pioneered the “book sprint”
Ive tried promoting this idea at ORelly, and these
in 5 days make 75-150 page books. A 2nd sprint pushed the
CiviCRM book to 300 pages. Its great to do something
creative like writing in a lan party setting.
A: Getting an ISBN is very cheap and easy, and then you can
get your book on Amazon. Lulu.com and similar PoD places are
<h1>2010-08-02 Monday - DebConf Day 2</h1>
<h2>Stefano Zacchiroli - upsilon.cc/zack</h2>
Debian started 16th August 1993, a GNU/Linux that was
competitive with proprietary OS, good quality, easy to
install, built collaboratively by experts, and free as in
freedom. There were not many other distros.
Today it was 30,000 packages. 120
‘derivative’ distros, 11
releases, 900 packagers and 120 maintainers, and 1000sutors.
We have the largest number of ports in mainstream distros,
and we have 2 non—linux based ports coming. There are
of distros today.
Other distros release more often, have more uusers,
more, more credit and more press… is Debian BETTER?
are you contributing? and is Debian still relevant 17 years
Yes, I think so.
Q: because the derivatives ARE our users. And we release
times a day!
Phil H: Debian does what I want. 1000 people think it
what they want enough to work on it. Even if the rest of the
world changes, we’ll still be working on it.
Stanford: We wanted someone we wouldn’t consume,
could directly contribute to.
Q: I can directly contribute to this.
MTZ: What is Debian? An OS people use directly. A
for developers to use ot make things. A project, an
activity, that people do. In each it does very well.
Q: Unlike other distros, its mainability.
regenerative system adminstraiton.” Thats under rated.
So yes, all of that.
Why is Debian better?
Quality: Package maintainers are EXPERTS. No packages are
2nd class, all packages are equal. This is shown in
responses of big gov users: “We chose Debian because
packages don’t Fail To Build From Sources.”
“We chose X
[Debian bsaed distro] because we trust Debian package.]
Lots of technical qualities.
But a more profound philosophical reason is its firm
principles: devs and users bound by the social contract.
Promoting “the culture of free softare” in 1993.
I like to think of Debain as free from the bottom up. We
free the software we distribute, including the firmware in
the kernel, and free in our infrastrcuture. no non-free web
srevices for users, and no non-free services for developers.
“Do-ocracy” in S220.127.116.11 of the constitution;
devloper can make any techincal ornontechnicaldecisoins with
regard to their own work.
“Democracy” - S2, Each decisoin in the
project is voted.
This means reputation follows wok, no benevolent
no oligarchy, yes a cabal ;) but its close to a true
So we want Debian to Live Long And Prosper. To do this we
must fix problems when they arise. #1 problem is perceived
as “man power” - why other do things better. is
the case? Sure, we could use more people everywhere. But we
can also use better the man power we already have.
NMUs are a good way to collaborate, and to release in a
the other thing is that, with computers, a single
individual can do WONDERS. other volunteering areas dont
have that advantage.
Reduce inertia: consensus != unanimity. “talk is
me the NMUs.” Debian has both, but do-ocracy comes
democracy. “be bold. what can’t you undo?
More manpower can be helped by having an attractive
community. folk lore is yo uneed a thick skin here.
distrowatch.omc says discussion here can be
every time you are grumpy, fail to ack the good, pinpoint
bad, fail to give creit, fail to thank people, insult
someone… you kill a “lurking” potential
skin != strong hackig skills, it means losig manpower.
Some don’t want new users, more bug reports, we
full down expert DDs from day 1. free software is
participatory, and involvement grows in small steps. The
“universal operating system” has users
everywhere, of every
Some derivatives have 10x as many users as us. In an
world. every derivative contributor would also contribute to
Debian, and every Debian patch goes upstream to original
projects. So lets reach out to our derivatives. We have a
‘derivatives front desk’ to do this.
Welcomging non-DD project members. The ‘best
software, translatoins, graphic, music, etc. we can REWARD
Q: DDs come from users. Also derivs with 10x the users of
debian. they become devs of their deriv, and then become
A: We have a flow of DDs from Ubuntu users. I dont think we
should as a goal offload users to derivs. We have a
responsibility to have direct users.
1030 Davis GPLv3
<h2>Bradey Kuhn on GPLv3</h2>
I can’t represent SFC, FSF, GNOME, SFLC although I
do work for them and stand on their baords.
People hate change. Most people run stable disros. I
switched back to Debian last year, blogged about this, and I
originally switched because Debian stable was too old. I
prefer to run stable whenever I can. I was at a USENIX
conference talking to Miguel de Icaza, and he said
running woody, you’re living in the past!” ;)
So, no one should be FORCED to upgrade anything. an
is a trade off between bugs fixed and new features, and
stability and familiarity. when you are sick of the bugs.
licenses are like this; we find bugs and fix them. we
of useful new features, we add them. The tough part is that
legal codes have so much ‘weight.’ And thanks to
others, copyright is a powerful and frightening tool.
copyleft turns that weapon around to free people instead of
So what bugs do GPLv2 have?
Distributos can REFUSE online distrobution of source.
v2, they can do this, put the binaries on the web and force
you to write in. v2 talks about a software
“medium” - that
doesnt men the network. and they want a reasonable fee for
posting you a CD. some distributors do this to just annoy
people. they make improvements, they sell the binaries, and
you can only get the source if you buy the download and then
pay for a source CD.
In v3 S6b and S6d discuss network distribution. 6b takes
care of the silly ‘online binaries, written
offer’ thing. 6d
makes ‘side by side’ more explicit. so
that’s 2 bugs closed.
v2 is naieve about patents. most copmanies with patents
agggressively enforce them, even if they PRETEND they dont.
patent shake downs happen a lot in back rooms and never get
any publicity. we have industry wide initiatives but some
only want “kernel and c library safty only” or
really bad ones”. RMS has a nice essay, “Patent
not enough” on that. patents kill the commercial side
libre software. v2 has ‘magical sectoin 7’; the
license is only IMPLICIT. RMS saw getting a patent judgement
USA-centric. lawyers say “the language does
the termination cluase is nasty. the 60 day automatic
forgiveness if no one complains, and 30 days after the first
complaint from a copyright hoder, is something free software
busiensses ought to be running to.
compatibility. permissoin to combine 2 works under
licenses. Apache 2.0 is a great license but not GPLv2
compatible. v3 works hard to approach universal compatiblity
with permissive licenses. Artistic 2.0, Apache 2.0, and
others are v3 compatible.
exceptions are tricky to do. v2 has no exceptoins for
we all did them anyway, they were clunky. GCC had a bunch of
different ones. in v3, exceptoins are read as a text of the
license. it allows “license hacking”. and if you
by making it more restrictive, then v3 allows users to set
it aside. Eg, the pacifist licenses. Under GPLv3, if the
exception is like that, users can rewrite it to be good.
it ignores embedded software. this was the center of v3
controvery. an EARLY draft ws very highlighted, and the
final draft is very watered down. DRM provisoins is onlhy
for ‘consumer products’ and it ONLY says the
vendor mst tell
you how to jailbreak the device. but the vendor can void
your warantee immediately. you can be boted off their
network; if you modify the softwar to make trouble on their
network, they can boot you off. Google’s distribution
Dream and Nexus One HAVE NO Gplv3, but they are v3
compliant. Because Nexus One shows you that Google CAN
comply with GPLv3 in the USA and Europe, the regulators
don’t have a problem with alowing firmware mods. The
which is totally locked down got jailbroken immediatley
“Mobile Exception” - its possible but no
evne if i was forced to choose between GPLv2 and
GPLV3+MobileException, I’d chose the later.
LGPLv3; there is no reason not to switch. That its GPLv2
incmpatible is fixable with dual GPLv2+LGPLv3-or-later
licensing. This is a ‘soft’ way to begin GPLv3
Getting away from LGPL2.1 is important.
and there is no web services clause. this was meant to be
the main text, and Google was the main force saying they
would fork EVERY GPL project if we did that. so its in the
AGPLv3. the basic premise is that if someone can
legitimately use it, they must have acess to source. yes,
AGPL need a little more care, i have yacto-reader which is a
debian package that’s AGPL compliant in a debian
that complies by default.
Thanks debian because you and downstreams have DEFAULTED
GPLv3-or-later for all GPLv2-or-later stuff.
Q: Afferro based on publiv performance?
A: No it uses the right to modfy to put this requiremnt to
distribute source to network users.
Dave: If the exception DOESNT be too restrictive, can it
also be removed?
A: Yes you can always pare back
Dave: How do we write a new exception - for fonts
A: Speak to me :)
Q: if you have 2 programs, one GPL+exceptoin and one GPL,
they are not compatible.
BDale: adding an exception makes 2 licenses, is the view of
our legal team.
Q: Me and fontana identica streams talk about
A: I have 4 bugs for GPLv3, so GPLv4 will start when its
Dave: why wasn’t there a GPL2.5 in 2002?
A: RMS wanted to do GPL2.2 in 2002,and it would have
in the clause. we urged him not to do this and do the GPLv3
<h2>Michael Bank firstname.lastname@example.org on GNU/HURD</h2>
It works, on some hwardware and in qemu.
<marcus> Jeroen: you are a Hurd developer. Being insane
part of the public image.
Good recent summary on the H blog.
Thomas Bushnell <bsg> and others including RMS did
design. HURD isn’t akernel, its a userspce system that
a microkernel. Mach was chosen, although Thomsa didn’t
it thatmuch. Ronald McGrath worked on it with him. RMS
didn’t code on the core.
Samuel Thibault showed up and fixed just about
imeplemtned TLS, ported GNU Mach to Xen and implemtned PAE,
fixed many crashes, ported Xorg, run GSoC projects, and
pushed the design concepts.
Thomas Schwinge pushed the GNU infrastrcutre side,
new committers approved and migrated to git.
1700 Davis Ubuntu
<h2>Mark Shuttleworth - Unity</h2>
Unity is a culmination of several year’s work.
been an explosion of interest in GNU/Linux on netbooks.
Hardware vendors want want simplied UIs. I’m now not
and I work on parts I like, including Unity’s design.
design team push this; aytana is the umbrella project for
Unity originates from considering the UI of game
computers as devices you use for a limited range of tasks.
Bigger icons (because touch UI was seen as a future path).
The categories are from the typical GNOME applicatoins menu.
Places also mapped from GNOME. But we just present the
pieces they are interested in. Its been picked up in a few
places, JoliCloud and others. For the next revision, we want
to relax it a bit; Places became an item in the categories
Starting quickly was a real priority. It would be for
boot preinstalls, so people can become familiar with a free
alternative. But no Add/Remove, nothing for interacting with
files in the traditoinal way. So we did more work on a
“dash”, a full screen place for dealing with
lots of files.
This was done and went into Maverick a month ago.
In the design process we embraced our constraints;
maximising vertical picxel space, using maximised windows,
and building for touch as future devices will be have that
Our sources of inspiration: console games have no
constraints, nothing is “mission critical”
unlike GNOME and
Linux kernel which must not break. we have a light theme for
style and feeling, the idea of light coming through the
screen, and use alot of OpenGL and accelerated hwardware. We
want search for everything with GNOME Do and Google.
We’ve decided to adopt a “global menu”,
for fsater access on
small screens and verticla space savings. We build a DBUS
protocol and plugins for GTK and QT to export a
menu, so a program feeds it to be rendered by Unity. XUL and
OpenOffice don’t use GTK or QT so that work is yet to
This has been published as a freedesktop.org standard.
done a lot of work for 10.10 Ubuntu release to standardise
menus across applications. We also have a GNOME Panel applet
that makes testing this feature very easy on regular GNOME
We also have menu indicators. GNOME is murky, KDE is
cleaner. left or right click, respond to move movements,
anything could be done in a custom way. Now everything in
the top right is one consistent menu. this benefits
Ayatana has a goal for ‘persisntent awreness’
with fewer and
“Bamf” is a new API for knowing what
windows are there.
Summary: Design discussion is on ayatana list, hosted on
launchpad.net, and shipping in Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition.
Q: Chrome cross over?
A: Google started with Ubuntu and moved to Gentoo Portage.
There hasn’t been any cross over in terms of UI
A: Apple create desire, we don’t
Q: I think we’re in a positoin to be BETTER THAN APPLE
within 2 years.