Even though Ubuntu 13.10’s release is behind us, we always find ways to keep busy. Here are the highlights of the past four weeks.
In the last few weeks we’ve worked on:
- Ubuntu Resources alpha release: we’ve launched our first mobile-first project, currently in alpha
- Canonical website: Graham, Anthony and Karl have explored how we can keep using our style guide for the upcoming canonical.com redesign
- Juju GUI: a few of us have been to San Francisco for some intensive Juju work, bundles are now live and the masthead has been updated
- discourse.ubuntu.com: we’ve helped to add some Ubuntu style
- Community Appreciation Day: yesterday we’ve marked the occasion with a takeover on the frontpage of www.ubuntu.com
And we’re currently working on:
- Ubuntu Resources: we’re iterating on the current alpha release, improving the design and adding new features
- Canonical website: we’re currently exploring design directions and finalising the content for the site
- Juju GUI: we’re refining the bundle experience and interactions for the 14.04 release
- Fenchurch: we’ve been improving deployment scripts and asset deployment
- Live chat trial: we’ve been helping the sales team to test a live chat feature on www.ubuntu.com
We also welcomed a new member of the team: Felipe is the new Lead User Experience. And we’ve learned about Karl’s cage fighting past.
Team lunch to welcome Felipe and Karl
Have you got any questions or suggestions for us? Would you like to hear about any of these projects and tasks in more detail? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Priced at $230 which is back to netbook prices: ASUS 1015E-DS03 10.1-Inch Laptop ( Black )
I reviewed the reviews for a friend, here is what I found:
It’s the cheapest (new) laptop you can buy (at the time it was actually $208)! I’ve heard a lot of good reviews about the keyboard itself, that it’s more like a full-size keyboard than a netbook keyboard. The trackpad apparently sucks. The wireless chipset is Broadcom (bah humbug!), which may have had some issues when it first came out. They appear to have been resolved via some Ubuntu updates. It does use an old low-end Intel chip that debuted in Q2 2011 . It is 64 bit capable, and it appears to ship with 64 bit Ubuntu 12.04. It is a dual-core chip.
There are some reports that the default partitioning scheme is wasteful.. Possibly a 100GB NTFS partition for no reason that I could find.
If you have bought one let me know in the comments how it’s working out for you! And of course leave a review on Amazon as well. There are 68 reviews there and counting..
The Forgotten War
Star Wars fans have been intrigued by recently discovered EditDroid footage from Return of the Jedi. In the video you will see unreleased (alternate) takes of the scene between Luke and Yoda on Dagobah. Until now this lost footage was never seen by the public… in fact, we didn’t even know it was lost! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz56q4t6fek&feature=youtu.be)
This has been a major find for the Star Wars community. However, in our own galaxy, there has also been missing visual data that many of us didn’t even know existed.
The Read[sic] Planet
In 1975 NASA successfully photographed the surface of Mars *from the surface* for the first time. What we might not have known was that the high-resolution photographic data were released into the public domain in 1995. Unfortunately, the raw data remained unread due to a lack of resources to develop software that could extract the images…
So, an indie software company, Cartesian Theatre, created the forensic recovery software to extract the Mars mission data because, well, it needed to. Enter the Avaneya: Viking Lander Remastered DVD(VLR).
Cartesian’s main project, Avaneya (pronounced ‘av-an-EH-uh’), is a cerebral science fiction game that takes place on Mars in a region called Arcadia Planitia. In order to represent the Martian surface accurately, the designers and artists needed to recovery the Viking mission data, which contains the high-resolution images of the neighbouring region, Utopia Planitia. The Viking lander was the only one to visit the area of interest pertaining to Avaneya. Thus, the creation of VLR.
The VLR software was also designed to work especially with Ubuntu and is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Moreover, the Avaneya game will also be software libre and developed for the Ubuntu gaming experience.
When asked about the reason for starting the Avaneya project, the creators said, “the game we wanted to play doesn’t exist and we knew there was no point on waiting for the industry do it for us, so we knew we’d have to build it ourselves.” This approach should be encouraging for the Ubuntu community. We need not complain if we aren’t going to take action ourselves. I have been personally involved with Avaneya, so I have started to understand a bit about the development process. This is also a good exercise for us to do. Get to know developers and founders before throwing stones.
Cartesian Theatre has taken huge risks to maintain ethical computing and be innovative. It is difficult to stand up against “the industry” standards, and if we aren’t going to conform to these standards, then we ought to create better ones. We need these types of developments if we are going to make it to Mars.
If you like the Avaneya project, then consider donating to the project and/or join the mailing list. You can also purchase the VLR software ($15), which will help fund the project.
Jedi Mind TricksThe whole story of Avaneya is about learning from Earth’s mistakes, and rebooting humanity. Much of our current society has turned into a “consumption only” culture. We can do better. That’s why the VLR software is of interest; instead of releasing a bunch of images for the public to consume, we can be involved in the recovery process and also look at the source code. We should be encouraged to understand (if not contribute) to the processes of the things that we consume. This goes for film, software, and society. So, instead of being told what we are looking for, we can create what we really want. This is Ubuntu.
This is the beginning of a series of articles about the challenges of growing an organization. I’m writing them to share some principles that I’ve derived from my own experience, as well as many valuable discussions with friends and colleagues, about helping companies grow from being quite small (say, 1-50 employees) to medium-sized (100-500).
There are many different ways to categorize companies by size, and not everyone agrees with me that different organizations tend to face certain similar problems as they grow, based on the number of employees. In any case, hopefully we can all agree that human systems are mind-bogglingly complex entities, and any two organizations will have many important differences—such as their culture and market situation—which influence their growth and development.
For this reason, I believe there are few if any hard and fast rules, and organizational design patterns can be difficult to translate from one organization to another. One organization’s solution can be another’s problem. Even when there is a perfect fit, the process of organization change is a feat unto itself, one about which many books have been written.
Even so, I think there is much to be learned by comparing different organizations, and much inspiration to be found in their successes and failures. Two organizations merit specific mention here, as sources of inspiration for me: Canonical, where I worked as Ubuntu CTO from near inception to when it reached nearly 500 people, and Heroku, where I currently serve as VP Engineering as it grows beyond 100 people.
Several of them share a common form:
- What it means – a short conceptual overview
- Why it’s important – an explanation of why this particular change is important at this juncture
- Old status quo – what things looked like when the organization was smaller
- New status quo – what things should look like for the next stage of growth
- Behaviors that help – practical suggestions for how to work toward the new status quo
- Obstacles that hold us back – anti-patterns that prevent progress
Table of contents:
- Part 1: Alignment
- Part 2: From implicit to explicit
- Part 3: Making and keeping commitments
- Part 4: From individual achievement to teamwork
- Part 5: Roles and Responsibilities
- Part 6: Management
This is part 6 in a series on organizational design and growth.
“The change from a business that the owner-entrepreneur can run with “helpers” to a business that requires management is a sweeping change. [...] One can compare the two kinds of business to two different kinds of organism: the insect, which is held together by a tough, hard skin, and the vertebrate animal, which has a skeleton. Land animals that are supported by a hard skin cannot grow beyond a few inches in size. To be larger, animals must have a skeleton. Yet the skeleton has not evolved out of the hard skin of the insect; for it is a different organ with different antecedents. Similarly, management becomes necessary when an organization reaches a certain size and complexity. But management, while it replaces the “hard-skin” structure of the owner-entrepreneur, is not its successor. It is, rather, its replacement.”
Peter DruckerWhat it means
Management is the art of enabling people to cooperate in achieving shared goals. I’ve written elsewhere about what management is not. Management is a multifaceted discipline which is centered on people and the environment in which they work.Why it’s important
In very small organizations, management can be comparatively easy, and happen somewhat automatically, especially between people who have worked together before. But as organizations grow, management becomes a first-class concern, requiring dedicated practice and a higher degree of skill. Without due attention to management, coordination becomes excessively difficult, working systems are outgrown and become strained, and much of the important work described in this series just won’t happen. Management is part of the infrastructure of the organization, and specifically the part which enables it to adapt and change as it grows.Old Status Quo
People generally “just do stuff”, meaning there is little conscious understanding of the system in which people are working. If explicit managers exist, their jobs are poorly understood. Managers themselves may be confused or uncertain about what their purpose is, particularly if they are in such a role for the first time. The organization itself has probably developed more through accretion than deliberate design.New Status Quo
People work within systems which help coordinate their work. These systems are consciously designed, explicitly communicated, and changed as often as necessary. Managers guide and coordinate the development and continuous improvement of these systems. The role of managers in the organization is broadly understood, and managers receive the training, support and coaching they need to be successful.Behaviors that help
- It can be helpful to bring more experienced managers into the organization at this stage, especially if there isn’t much management experience in house.
- Show everyone in the organization (including managers themselves) what managers do and why it matters.
- Consider very carefully whether someone should become a manager.
- If someone does take on a management role, treat this as a completely new job, which requires handing off their existing responsibilities and learning a new discipline. Don’t treat it as just an extension of their work. Write a new job description and discuss it up front.
- Management misbeliefs
- Granting “promotions” to management roles as rewards for performance
- Many people, when they experience what management work is like, don’t enjoy it and aren’t motivated by it. It can be hard to predict when this will be the case, and people can feel “trapped” in a management role that they don’t want. Make sure there are mechanisms to gracefully transition out of roles that don’t fit for the people holding them.
I previously reviewed some books on HTML5 and CSS3, but that was back in 2011. This is a brand new book on HTML5. It doesn’t cover CSS3, but it covers the HTML specification in greater detail than the other two books.
HTML5 Unleashed is part of the same series as my book, Ubuntu Unleashed 2014 (which is brand spanking new as well…just saying…). I’m stating that right up front so that everyone knows that I have a potential conflict of interest. Read my review with that in mind. I’m trying to be unbiased, and I have no direct financial or editorial interest in HTML5 Unleashed, but I am the author of a book in the same series. So, now that that is out of the way, let’s dig in.
HTML5 Unleashed is filled with beautiful, full color pages. Figures and code appear just as they do in browsers and quality code editors. That is a really nice bonus that makes long code samples (and we all love long code samples!) easier to read and gives us an easy way to visually confirm that what that code is supposed to do is being done in our browser when we try it out. Seriously, there is color on every page. I like it.
The book starts with a nice, easy introduction that gives us some historic and technical context as to why HTML5 was created and what it is designed to do. For those of us who have been making webpages since the early GeoCities era, it is a nice refresher that makes for a very quick read and provides an accurate context for the newcomer.
Chapter 2 is another quick introduction chapter that presents the important concepts for HTML5 from a high-level. This is actually important as it clarifies the “why are these things being presented” well before you dig in to the meat of the book. Don’t skip it, it’s short and worth reading.
The rest of the book, chapters 3-13, cover what I consider the main reason for buying the book. In here are the details we all want. While a quick Google search will give you most of this information, maybe all of it, it will not give it to you in such a well-planned order that builds upon itself.
Specifically, topics include everything from the basics like Doctypes and semantic tags to forms. Then, we move into deeper topics like rich media. A set of four chapters is dedicated to covering HTML5 canvas, which is the flashiest and most immediately-gratifying part of the new specification as it “natively enables interactive movies, games, charts, diagrams, and tons of other forms of dynamic visual content.” The canvas section includes topics like when and when not to use canvas over other options, working in 2D and even in 3D, making canvas interactive and stateful, performance tips, and even a discussion of its expected future.
This book does not cover presentation, such as is done using CSS. This is the content side of the equation, and honestly it is the part I enjoy most. However, it will not help you learn everything you will need to know about web programming and site creation. It will, however give you the useful tools you need to upgrade your skills to today, if you are an HTML4 or XHTML proficient, and it will help the novice gain a solid foundation and understanding of what makes a site work, which I think is important before you start to work on making it beautiful.
Two years since the last minor release of wxBanker, I finally made it a priority to release the next version of wxBanker, 0.9. If you aren’t familiar with it, wxBanker is a personal finance application in the Ubuntu repository, designed to be as simple as possible. Here’s my favorite review in the Ubuntu Software Center:
By far the best money manager I’ve ever used, on Linux or otherwise. I searched long and hard for a simple account tracker for several years until coming across wxBanker. Its interface is clean and easy to use. It supports anything you would expect in a typical money manager: recurring transactions, import/export, account transfers, tagging and many other useful features.
So, what’s new in the latest version?
- Mint.com integration restored
- 16 new currencies based on user requests
- bug fixes: rare startup crashes, CSV export with Unicode characters
- initial step towards multi-currency: accounts can specify their own currency
- under the hood work for the beginnings of OSX support
- minor UX and translation improvements
Now that these are out of the way, I’d love to work on 1.0 and make the following improvements based on what I’ve been running to:
- ability to archive accounts (their transactions will still exist and show up in graphs, but the accounts won’t show up in the left-side or transfer list)
- when making a transfer, accounts remember the last account they transferred from/to
- show the last few Mint.com transactions when hovering or clicking the status
- add a “yellow” Mint.com status which means a recent balance matches Mint, but you have new transactions which Mint doesn’t know about (yet)
- better representation of transactions dated in the future
I’d love to hear if you use anything to track your personal finances, and if you have any questions or thoughts about wxBanker!
Today I released Melany 1.0.4, a new patch for my minimal WordPress theme built with Twitter Bootstrap. This new release aims at bringing a better overall experience in the 1.0 cycle before starting to develop the 1.1 version, which will bring new features and cool stuffs into the theme.
Melany 1.0.4 introduces some fixes for found issues and a number of new translations, along with minor functionalities.
For the complete changelog, please read the release announcement.
Melany is free software: you can contribute with code, tests, suggestions, translations and documentation. Please see the official website.
Kubuntu Wire is the new blog from the Kubuntu team which links to interesting Kubuntu news around the web.
In my news feed today is an interesting article How Munich Rejected Steve Ballmer and Kicked Microsoft out of the City. Munich runs Kubuntu on the computers in its city council customised into a distro called LiMux. The screenshot in that article shows KDE 3 but the LiMux dudes are busy now upgrading it to current Plasma desktops. The article says it cost about €1 million and saved about €5 million on licencing fees, lovely.
The Kubuntu team is going to Munich this weekend for a bug squashing party at the LiMux offices do drop by if you are in the area.
Who doesn’t like ice-cream? Here in the design team we sure do! In the last few weeks we’ve been preparing a special Juju demo for the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong and we’ve created some very ‘tasty’ icons for it. We thought it would be nice to show you how those icons were created, so here’s a little insight on the design process.The brief
We wanted to replace the normal Juju icons for something a little bit more special in order to explain to people that visited the Ubuntu stand what kind of things Juju can do. We decided to use the idea of an ice-cream with toppings and sauce which you can build in the same way that you can build services in Juju.
The best part of this demo is that people would actually get the ice-cream they had ‘built’ in Juju in real life!
The Juju interface, with its default iconsFinding good concepts
The first thing I needed to do was to find good concepts to present ice-creams and toppings in an icon format. Toppings were going to be especially tricky, as they can be very small and therefore hard to make out at small sizes.
I initially sketched and designed some ideas that were using a kind of flat look. This worked well for the ice-cream, but not so much for the toppings — I soon noticed they had to be semi-realistic to be recognisable.
Initial sketches and designs following a flat and more simplified look
At a second stage, I added perspective to the icons; it was important that the icons kept the same perspective for consistency.
Another set of sketches with added perspective
The shape of the sauce bottles was also something that needed a bit of trial and error. The initial design looked too much like a ketchup bottle, so we’ve decided to try a different approach.
Before and after shape of the sauce
For the backgrounds, I chose to use vibrant colours for the ice-cream icons, to contrast with the ice-creams’ monochrome palette, but paler colours for the toppings, as these are already quite colourful.
The amount of detail added to the icons is just enough for what we needed to show and for them to be recognised. I’ve also added larger pieces to the side of the toppings, to make them easier to be identified.
The Oreo topping icon, with a side of OreosWorking out the detail
The Oreo pieces were created from a single biscuit, which I cut into 9 different parts and then distributed in different layers — I guess in a similar way to what happens in real life.
The 9 pieces used to create the icon
The clone tool in Inkscape came in handy: repeating the same small set of different pieces made the final SVG file much lighter, and also Inkscape faster.
The whole process took 4 days from brief to final icons, which is quite a tight deadline, but it was a really fun project to work on.
The final icon set
Here’s a video of Mir powering a few different GPUs:
- Nexus 10 (ARM Mali T-604 GPU)
- Nexus 4 (Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU)
- Nexus 7 (2012) (Nvidia Tegra 3)
- Galaxy Nexus (PowerVR)
This is a pretty big milestone, as we’re now in a position where Mir works well with 4 big Android gpu vendors.
The only disclaimer on the video is that some of the code hasn’t trickled to the images yet, and the tablet support is still a work in progress. Onwards and upwards!
The process has been ongoing for more than a year but the Debian technical committee is about to select a candidate to recommend for its vacant seat. The Debian Project Leader will then (likely) appoint him (looks like it won’t be a women).
If you look at the current membership of the committee, you will see:
- Bdale Garbee: USA
- Russ Allbery: USA
- Don Armstrong: USA
- Andreas Barth: Germany
- Ian Jackson: United Kingdom
- Steve Langasek: USA
- Colin Watson: United Kingdom
That’s very Anglo-Saxon centric (6 out of 7 members). While I trust the current members and while I know that they are open-minded people, it still bothers me to see this important body with so few diversity.
Coming back to the choice at hand, Keith Packard is American and Philipp Kern is German. No new country in the mix. I can only hope that Philipp will be picked to bring some more balance in the body.
Australis has finally landed in Firefox Nightly and this presents and excellent opportunity for all Firefox Users to help test out nightly. Mozilla relies pretty heavily on user feedback and its nightly testers to help keep each release as crisp as possible.
Installing Nightly on Ubuntu
- sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa
- sudo apt-get update
- sudo apt-get install firefox-trunk
Reporting Bugs in Firefox
Here is a very simple but robust guide on reporting bugs on Firefox
Feedback is really important to Mozilla in fact Mozilla has an entire team that focuses a lot of their attention on reading through feedback and advocating for changes in Firefox to meet the expectations and needs of users. You can submit feedback about Firefox by going to Help -> Submit Feedback or by clicking here.
Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #343 for the week November 11 – 17, 2013, and the full version is available here.
In this issue we cover:
- Community Council Election Results
- Ubuntu Developer Summit Schedule Ready
- discourse.ubuntu.com Is Here, Dive In!
- Ubuntu Stats
- Trusty attends first Ubuntu Hour
- Three Teams Verified
- From 0 to hero in a few minutes, Introducing Juju Bundles
- Alan Bell: Building Ubuntu for the Raspberry Pi
- Benjamin Kerensa: Awesome vUDS Sessions
- Xubuntu: Xubuntu 14.04 Default Wallpapers
- Sergio Meneses: Lubuntu needs you!
- Canonical News
- Dell aims for cloudy orbit with Sputnik Ubuntu developer project
- Hillsboro School District considering open-source solutions in wake of failed bond measure
- In The Blogosphere
- Other Articles of Interest
- Featured Audio and Video
- Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
- Monthly Team Reports: October 2013
- Upcoming Meetings and Events
- Updates and Security for 10.04, 12.04, 12.10, 13.04 and 13.10
- And much more!
The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:
- Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph
- Paul White
- Nathan Dyer
- Jim Connett
- And many others
Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License
November is really going to be Doctor Who month for me. It’s been Doctor Who year really, but things really ratchet up a notch this month, as I am off to lots of events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show.
Last week I headed to the BFI for the preview screening on “An Adventure in Space and Time”, by Mark Gatiss. It tells the story of how a small team of inexperienced people made magic, despite the hindrance of the old guard in the BBC. As bizarre as it might sound to say about a drama set so long ago, I won’t spoil it for you. I will say that it was a magical way to spend an evening, ninety minutes of joy watching the excellent cast wearing familiar costumes in loving recreations of vintage sets.
The engagement from the audience was intense, and there were lots of sniffles and tears throughout the drama. The standing ovation was well deserved. It’s on BBC Two at 9pm on Thursday, and you should watch it!
Yesterday saw stand-up comedian, presenter and fan Toby Hadoke perform a double-bill of his two Doctor Who-related comedy shows “Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf” and “My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver” at the Garrick Theatre. Although they are ostensibly about Doctor Who, and there are more than enough jokes to keep fans happy, both shows tell a much more human and personal story. It was clear that both stories were affecting and again there were a few tears amongst the audience. It was nice to see a fair few Doctor Who alumni in the audience, including Katy Manning, Nicola Bryant and Dan Starkey, and a pleasure to join what has become a little family of Doctor Who podcasters at yet another event this year.
It’s hard to imagine after this week, but the best this month is yet to come!Pin It
This morning like Oliver Grawert I learned a variety of Linux related news sites had decided to cover a discussion from a few weeks ago on the Ubuntu Devel mailing list surrounding the possibility of a Ubuntu MATE Remix.
The coverage in the media has been pretty mixed, but I was disappointed to see some sites trying to put a spin on things and suggesting that this was Canonical being critical of Linux Mint which is not the case. In fact for the most part Clement Lefebvre has clarified that what Oli and I said was accurate that being that certain updates in Linux Mint are not enabled by default and that Firefox on LMDE (Debian Edition of Linux Mint) was not always updated as much as it probably should have been but now is updated automatically.
I wanted to post briefly and just say that my personal opinion is that Kernel and Xorg updates are important for users to have, and Ubuntu Developers are diligent in testing updates to packages and addressing regressions.
I do not think stability and performance are as big of an issue as Clem alludes them to be, and I think it is important for users to have security updates for all packages automatically without having to do anything extra to get them.
Anyways this post is not to try to convince anyone of my opinion nor was the original discussion on the mailing list.
Lets get back to making awesome free software for our users! FOSS Yeaaaah!
Getting online this morning was in interesting experience, seemingly some news sites picked up a two week old post to a mailing list thread from me to turn it into something that generates revenue for them …
… intrestingly even though the original post was linked in all of these articles, people seem to be more intrested in the interpretation of the reporters of the sites than to read the actual thread, putting potential words from Canonical into my mouth that i didn’t ever say.
I must say I find that pretty offending to me as an individual … yes, I do work for Canonical (still happily since nearly 9 years now and I love what I do and plan to go on to do so …) but please allow me to have my own mind and opinions, not everything an Ubuntu developer says is coordinated by Canonical, even if this statement might trash you conspiracy theories … (oh, and not every Ubuntu developer works for Canonical … unlike some people might want you to think, the Ubuntu dev community is healthy and happily chuggin along, with the new Ubuntu Touch community vibrantly growing)
What I wrote was my own personal opinion (that was actually the reason to use the word “personally” in my sentece about home banking, but I am not a native english speaker, so I might have misunderstood its meaning for all these years)
What I also did was to point to code evidence that shows that Linux Mint supresses security updates for certain software in its default setup … while it might be true that it is configurable and that it is only disabled for certain packages out of the box, this is still an evident fact and can be seen in the code, there is nothing to argue or discuss about (and as I learned now it seems to be part of the Mint philosophy since security updates seem to have caused them instabilities in the past)
Indeed I couldn’t keep my feet still and made the mistake to actually read comments on the different articles …
“He fears losing his job and needs to stir up stuff” … dude … after such a long time in an opensource company and getting headhunter offers regulary, you dont have to worry for your job … what I’m actually worried about is the undeserved badmouthing of Ubuntu based on FUD. Ubuntu is more than Canonical or its decisions, please don’t discredit the work of many many contributors out there … if you want to attack Canonical, do it, but pretty please take into account that Ubuntu is more than Canonical … Oh, and the stirring up part … I can tell you it isn’t any pleasure to be in focus like that for a side statement you made weeks ago …
“He wants to badmouth Linux Mint because they steal users from Ubuntu” … I seriously don’t care if users use Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Mint or elementaryOS, in fact it makes me proud to know they base on work I participated in (note that I maintained one for the first derivative distros of Ubuntu (edubuntu) for about two years nearly on my own) derivatives (and the work they feed back into the Ubuntu archive) are a big part of the Ubuntu ecosystem, why would any sane developer badmouth them ?
A big thanks to OMGUbuntu for fixing their headline … which initially suggested that I “advised” users to not use Mint because it is vulnerable, I never did, I just stated that I personally would not use it for online banking since I know they dont install all available security updates by default …
Seriously, I HATE raisins, I would never eat a cheesecake that contains raisins … did I ask anyone to not eat raisins or did I propose to stop producing them in the former sentence ? no, obviously I didnt … and I dont want the raisin farmers go jobless just because I dont like their product … why people did read something like this into my words in the mail that was quoted is really beyond me …
So lets see if we can get something constructive out of all this, obviously would I be a debian developer that had posted to some debian ML nobody would have picked it up … but since this trivial statement has drawn so much attention we can probably both benefit from it…
To me PERSONALLY suppressing any available security updates is a no-go and while Clem points out that it is configurable in Mint, I don’t belive my Mom or my sister would get along with that, they would just use the default. Which would leave them obviously vulnerable with some packages (wether the vulnerabilities are exploited or not, there are open security holes in your system after all) … obviously the practice to suppress these updates stems from bad experience with using Ubuntu provided security updates …
Hey Clem ! … so how about we take a look at this and improve that situation for you, obviously something in Ubuntu doesn’t work like you need it, Canonical puts a lot of time and money into improving the QA since about two years. I think it would be really helpful to sit down and look if we can improve it well enough for both of us to benefit (Ubuntu from your feedback and you from improvements we can do to the package quality) … wether you still want to suppress updating any packages or not even after we fixed the issue for you, is indeed your choice, but please dear press allow me to also still not use Mint for online banking then
Quotes from the comments section in the above page:
… “Maybe it is time to re-evaluate whether security updates should be held back by default. Ubuntu have made steps to avoid regressions such as Phased Updates.” …
Clem: … “I’d be happy to have that discussion and look at the pros and cons post Mint16 release. It’s not a reaction to a particular incident though, it’s a difference in policy. We actually built the tools that would allow us not to make it trivial for people to apply changes blindly. There’s pros and cons to it, and that’s why it’s configurable.” …
So hey, as much out of bounds these press posts were for such a non-issue, it apparently caused some discussions and will possibly improve the situation for all of us in the end …
Oh, and btw … many people missed the actually interesting part in the mail thread … having Mate in debian and Ubuntu will definitely reduce the maintenance work for Mint since they can just pull it in from the respective archives (and it might bring Ubuntu another new derivative distro)
This is a special review. This time around, I am including three books in a new educational manga series. I originally intended to produce three individual reviews, but I’m pretty excited about these books and don’t want to make you wait. The series was just published, so if it isn’t on your local bookstore shelves now, it will be soon.
Survive: Inside the Human Body, Volume 1: The Digestive System, Volume 2: The Circulatory System, and Volume 3: The Nervous System are being published by No Starch Press, the same people who brought us the Manga Guide to series, several books from which I have reviewed here in the past. Like that series, this set of books was originally published in another country (Korea, this time) and licensed by No Starch and translated into English. During this process, the information in these books was reviewed by medical doctors for accuracy. The story line was also updated in a few places to adjust the fun to an English-speaking audience.
There is much to love in this series. The information is useful and detailed. I’ll tell you more about that in a paragraph dedicated to each volume. In all the volumes, the illustrations are beautifully done, colorful (not black and white!), and genuinely add to the experience without distracting from the information or the story line. There are lovely samples to view on the No Starch site at the links above.
The three volumes have one story line that arcs across the set. It is a cute story that is pretty typical in its use of standard manga motifs like overstated graphic representations of emotions. In all three volumes, at the end of each chapter, there are a couple of pages that step out of the arcing story line that give more academic details with just enough detail to tie up any loose ends that the reader may have without crossing the line into overwhelming the reader.
The first volume covers the digestive system. It covers everything from the mouth to the anus and everything in between. Beautiful illustrations show useful details and help the reader understand what the action describes. We learn about how food is processed, how nutrients are absorbed, how beneficial gut flora are vital to the process, and how waste is eliminated.
The second volume covers the circulatory system. Here we learn about blood and its components, the liver and filtration, the heart, the lungs and oxygenation, the bones and blood creation, blood types, and we even get a few bonuses with side tracks into skin, the nose, and the ears.
The third volume centers on the nervous system. Topics covered include the brain, different kinds of cells in the nervous system, and the diagnostic tests that can be used by doctors to investigate when problems occur.