My Ubuntu Week – Week ending 17th August 2013

Start the car, it is all over

ubuntuedgeThere are only 3 days to go now to raise the $32 million required to fund the Ubuntu Edge project.

The total at the moment is sitting at a mere $11 million. In sporting terms the project needs snookers, a 6 from each ball in the final over or multiple 3 pointers with just seconds remaining.

In order to go ahead the Ubuntu Edge now needs a real investor to come in and see the full potential of the project.

Let us not get too downbeat about it all though. There are some real positives.

For instance the Ubuntu Edge campaign has smashed all previous crowdfunding records and that means there is a real interest in Ubuntu and Linux.

The profile of Ubuntu and Linux has been raised and some real big players became interested in the project such as Bloomberg.

Unity gets a makeover

I Love Ubuntu ( gave us a sneak preview of the new features of Unity 8 that is available in Ubuntu 13.10 such as expanders and application previews.

Opening now Unity 8, navigating to its Home Scope and typing a term in the search area (like for example ubuntu), populates the view with matched results, including online search results (such as Wikipedia, news, music, etc).

Firefox or Chromium for Ubuntu 13.10?

Anyone expecting a change of direction for Ubuntu 13.10 with regards to browser choice will be disappointed because Firefox will remain as the default browser.

This article posted on Reddit explains the decision.

I’d like to talk about the Chromium issues raised. It was rightly pointed out that there have been issues keeping up with Chromium changes. The big issue was with Web Apps integration and some changing APIs. Since we’ve introduced Web Apps changes like this have always caused us some grief. Web Apps have always been an interim step until we were able to get a more self contained web apps container. That work is planned for 13.10 and progressing well[1]. This should be done for 13.10 and very much refined for 14.04.

Personally I prefer Chromium to Firefox but installing Chrome/Chromium isn’t difficult and I have even shown how to install Chrome/Chromium on this very blog.

What motivates Mark Shuttleworth?

Actually the story I am linking to this time actually explains why Mark Shuttleworth continues to invest money into Canonical and Ubuntu.

The article starts off by stating that when Mark Shuttleworth founded Canonical he was in it for just two years yet it is 2013 and still the money keeps pouring in.

Mark Shuttleworth seems to acknowledge the imminent death of the desktop but believes that the mobile market combined with the desktop is the way forward for personal computing.

“I think the desktop on its own will die,” Shuttleworth said, explaining that it must be paired with mobile success to embrace the shifting nature of personal computing.

I am not yet sure whether the desktop market will ever really die. Consider what the desktop market means? I am typing this article on a laptop. It will never be reasonable to expect me to type this article on a tablet. Using an on-screen keyboard for typing an article would never work and whilst there are attachable keyboards they don’t really work as well as a laptop.

You only have to look at the success of devices such as  the Raspberry PI to see that there is a real market for small computers but at the end of the day the important feature is the screen.

At the moment I am writing this article and I am sat with my wife in our living room. She is watching a program about “One Direction” on television, I am on this laptop and my wife is using a tablet.

If I wanted to use a Ubuntu Edge or a similar device for home computing I will need a screen to see the output and a phone screen isn’t suitable so I will need to dock the Ubuntu Edge in some way.  The obvious solution is to use my television as an output device but if I did that then my wife wouldn’t be able to watch god awful television.

I could of course have a dedicated monitor in another room but that is taking me back to the past when I used to have a desktop computer and I would hide away and the only conversation I would have with my wife is whether I would like another cup of coffee. It doesn’t really feel like the future.

I could of course have a portable screen similar to a tablet but then why not just have a tablet?

The only real solution is to have a foldable screen and keyboard. Wait a minute isn’t that a laptop? The real difference of course could be that the laptop could be powered by the phone and the phone’s operating system. Now that is I guess a real interesting concept.

As for the success of Canonical I wouldn’t lose too much sleep. The server and business side is actually profitable. It is the desktop market that causes the company to lose money.

To read the full Mark Shuttleworth interview click here.

And Finally….

This blog is now a couple of months old, feel free to check out any of the previous articles:

Thankyou for reading





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