wiki

lubuntu first alpha releases

lynxis published the first lubuntu test iso based on the seeds by David Sugar and additional patches. The first release was 381 MB and a second one only 292 MB. Following test images are also around this size. After crashing the c-base server several times with the lubuntu images, the LXDE team kindly offers the download from its website: download.lxde.org/lubuntu-9.10

lubuntu
lubuntu logo suggestion by gusion

The lubuntu project was started in February after I met with Mark Shuttleworth in Berlin. We talked about how to cooperate between LXDE and Ubuntu. Mark agreed that a light Ubuntu distro would definitely be worthwile to proceed. I started the lubuntu project with the goal to create an Ubuntu derivative that is fast and lightweight just as the goals of the LXDE project.

LXDE, "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment", is an extremely fast, performing and energy saving desktop environment. It is maintained by an international community of developers and comes with a beautiful interface, multi-language support, standard keyboard short cuts and additional features like tabbed file browsing. LXDE uses less CPU and less RAM. It is especially designed for cloud computers with low hardware specifications like netbooks, mobile devices (e.g. MIDs) or older computers. LXDE can be installed with distributions like Ubuntu or Debian. It provides a fast desktop experience connecting easily with applications in the cloud. LXDE supports a wealth of programs, that can be installed with Linux systems locally. The source code of LXDE is licensed partly under the terms of the General Public License and partly under the LGPL.

The lubuntu team already had IRC meetings, face to face gatherings in Singapore, Berlin and other cities. And, I am excited to see the team getting together and releasing first results now. lynxis who is most of the time in the c-base just over the street from my appartment joined the team a few months ago. I am looking forward to more people joining up with us.

There are many ways you can support the project. Firstly download and test the current test releases. If you are a developer you can submit patches. If you are a tester, please leave info about bugs in the bug tracker. Secondly you can join us and create desktop backgrounds and logos for lubuntu. We have not decided yet, what the final logo will look like.Check out the lubuntu Artwork Forum and leave your ideas there. You can also help with translations, if you speak another language and translate the desktop of LXDE. Or you can help to improve or write Wikipedia articles about lubuntu and LXDE.

lubuntu logo idea by genelyk
lubuntu logo idea by genelyk

lubuntu design idea
lubuntu Design Idea by leo

Download lubuntu test iso: download.lxde.org/lubuntu-9.10

Links

* lubuntu on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubuntu
* Join up with the LXDE community http://join.lxde.org
* lubuntu Artwork Forum http://forum.lxde.org/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=437
* Bug reports: https://bugs.launchpad.net/~lubuntu-desktop
* Seeds and Code of Lubuntu: https://code.launchpad.net/~lubuntu-desktop
* Launchpad Project: https://bugs.launchpad.net/~lubuntu-desktop
* How to make a LiveCD: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCDCustomizationFromScratch

Community First!

The current release of MySQL shows the problems free and open source software projects face that put business first and community second. Michael “Monty” Widenius critizes in his Blog the current developement model of MySQL and recommends not to use the current release 5.1 of the database system.

The reason I am asking you to be very cautious about MySQL 5.1 is that there are still many known and unknown fatal bugs in the new features that are still not addressed.

Monty points out problems stemming from having a company taking the lead in the development of a free software system - cause they need something to sell fast. In this article I am supporting the view of Monty and discuss his views in regards to Freifunk and LXDE. I believe communities must take the lead in order to make and keep a project on the bleeding edge, however, we should work together with companies (like FON.com for Freifunk or ASUS for LXDE) and exchange resources. Both can profit. In the end open and free community projects are all about cooperation.

In his blog entry Monty gives some reasons why the MySQL development department again got a quality problem with the release. Problems are ranging from the fact that MySQL 5.1 was declared a release candidate to early (because of commercial reasons), to focussing too much on new features rather than on quality (because of commercial reasons), to involving developers that are not experienced in developing database systems (Mario: Maybe because they do not come from the community?), to not keeping the development open for testing and participation of the community and more.

As I said in my talk at the MySQL users conference, I think it’s time to seriously review how the MySQL server is being developed and change the development model to be more like Drizzle and PostgreSQL where the community has a driving role in what gets done! (http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2008/11/oops-we-did-it-again-mysql-51-rel...)

What can we learn for the free software and other open source projects here? The consequences are clear. Projects that want to stay on the bleeding edge of technology with quality code and widespread support must put the community first.

In the projects I participate - e.g. freifunk, LXDE, FOSS Bridge - I always work hard to bring the community together, make the community grow and keep and foster it. And this is not always easy. There are different expectations of people involved, different goals and outside circumstances change and have positive and negative effects.

For example, even though the Freifunk community was in the spotlight many times in the last two years, it seemed somehow stagnating. We had put a lot of resources to rebuild the website and foster more exchange, but with the broader availability of broadband in some districts in Berlin for example the motivation of people to participate to get constant Internet access became less. Additionally new business models seemed to draw people away from freifunk to something that seemed easier to use and offer many things similar to Freifunk. However Freifunk is more than mere exchange of free Internet access. The idea of Freifunk is to build a local network - the public space in cyberspace, but we did not have the tools easy enough giving everyone the chance to build the local network with the limited resources, especially time!, that people have.. but we are getting there with simpler software and easier to use devices.

FON.com received different reactions in the core groups of the global Freifunk community when it started, ranging from refusing any connection with FON to trying to ignoring it. Some welcomed FON and their involvement. FON pays some of the core OpenWRT developers which is the base of the Freifunk Firmware and it offers new hardware, that can also be used by the Freifunk community. Personally I do not mind working together with FON. As I see it, we have to be pragmatic and everyone has to make a living and the Freifunk community could profit from the involvement of FON and other companies. I would like the decision if people from the community work for and with FON left to the person him/herself. At a recent meeting in Berlin, I have discussed this a bit with Martin Varsavsky. Martin actually asked me how FON could work together more with the Freifunk community.

We should be clear here though. FON and Freifunk are two very different things. FON is a company that labels its participants (actually its customers) community. Freifunk is a community with many different people - students, engineers, scientists, free and open source activists, people who want Internet, people who want a truly free network, people using it for their business, people working for development cooperation and so on. People have different motivations to participate in Freifunk - interest for technology and development, Internet access, interest in new ideas and projects, inspired by idea of freedom, a way to make a living. These people would not participate if Freifunk was a commercial operation. I remember the saying of some ¨Money destroys the community¨. It is formulated in this regard, I believe.

Still, we should not be absolute here - meaning - we should acquire resources and money for the community -> for conferences, events, hardware for developers, funding for projects etc.. Based on my experience of the last years, communities need resources. We should study successful models of communities that have achieved to channel resources to the people really working on it. Associations, Foundations and similar organisations are very helpful here as they keep things transparent and offer newcomers entry points. Also companies that would like to support projects have it easier to talk to someone from the community if there is a working organisation set up.

During recent months I have seen more activity in the Freifunk community again. With the new OpenWRT Firmware Freifunk will have many features which we want for years. I am always talking about the fantastic things we can do in local networks - new usage cases and sharing of content in your local environment, community radio in schools, universities or simply your backyard. Local networks are different to the Internet as cinema to TV. Felix Fietkau and John have presented a development version of OpenWRT to a group in Berlin recently. The new OpenWRT will offer plugins that will let us store content directly on the nodes. With router devices offering USB connections now everyone can have their small webserver at home. We can have a local Web 2.0. With devices connected to sensors like thermometers we can have live feeds from all over the city, the country and worldwide. I do not want this local Web 2.0 called after a company, a device or anything else. We call this FREIFUNK. A global local = glocal network open to everyone - to the public and to companies.

Companies are always welcome to join development and focus on their business models. However, Open Source, Open Infrastructure and Free Software Projects like Freifunk and LXDE or Open Content projects like Wikipedia have a roadmap that is following long term goals instead of short term profitability. And people are engaging here not just for monetary reasons, they have much broader motivations and they are inspired by the freedom the communities offer. This is why communities are more powerful. Companies simply cannot compete with this in terms of human resources and motivation. In order to grow and sustain free and open projects and the communities though we need to work together in our different fields and we need companies that engage and support the communities.

Daniel Molkentin über neue Features in KDE 4.1, Spass in der internationalen KDE-Community und seine Zukunftspläne

KDE LogoDaniel Molkentin von der KDE Community spricht mit mir ueber die aktuelle Entwicklung der Desktop-Oberfläche auf dem Linuxtag 2008 in Berlin. Themen sind
- die Plasmaoberfläche von KDE 4.1
- Moeglichkeiten fuer kommerzielle Distributoren den Desktop zu branden
- die Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Communities, wie Wikipedia und der Idee von Offlineclients
- die Zusammenarbeit mit dem OpenStreetmap-Projekt beim KDE Desktop Globus Marble
- die weltweiten Parties zum Release von KDE 4.0
- das geplante Camp KDE in Amerika
- das Potential der wachsenden Community in Asien
- Moeglichkeiten bei KDE mitzumachen


Linuxtag 2008, Interview mit Daniel Molkentin von KDE from Mario Behling/Kamera: Stefan Koehler
Die K Desktop Environment (KDE; auf Deutsch K-Arbeitsumgebung; früher: Kool Desktop Environment) ist eine frei verfügbare Arbeitsumgebung, das heißt eine grafische Benutzeroberfläche mit vielen Zusatzprogrammen für den täglichen Gebrauch. Diese ist vorrangig für Computer gedacht, auf denen ein Unix-ähnliches Betriebssystem läuft, wie z. B. BSD, Linux oder Solaris. Die Version 3 kann mit Cygwin auch unter Windows und mit Fink auch unter Mac OS X betrieben werden. Seit Version 4 kann KDE-Software prinzipiell auch nativ unter Windows und Mac OS X genutzt werden, die Entwickler planen eine lauffähige Version von KDE für Windows und für Mac OS X für KDE 4.1. Version 15. Juni 2008 um 22:56, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kde)

KDE 4.1 Desktop Image Small
Daniel Molkentin: "Wo es im Moment interessant wird. ... Wir haben einen Desktop-Globus namens Marble und dort arbeiten die Autoren aktiv mit OpenStreetMap zusammen. Wir koennen jetzt bereits OpenStreetMap-Karten anzeigen, noch als "Tiles" und wir hoffen diese "Tiles" bis Ende des Jahres durch wirkliche Vektordaten erzetzen zu koennen, die wir dann ueber die Landkarte legen koennen. Da sind sehr viele Leute aus dem KDE-Projekt aktiv geworden. Torsten Rahn ist da zu nennen, der Autor und andere."

OpenStreetMap ist ein freies Software-Projekt mit dem Ziel, für jeden frei verfügbares weltweites Kartenmaterial in elektronischer Form zu schaffen. Es handelt sich bei dem Projekt um ein Wiki mit geographischen Daten, die (im Gegensatz zu proprietärem Material) unter einer freien Lizenz (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0) verwendbar sind.

Media:

LiMux: Interview mit Florian Schießl über das Linuxprojekt der Stadt München

Ein Vorzeigeprojekt der Freien Software-Gemeinschaft ist das Projekt LiMux der Stadt München. Bei dem Projekt werden die Computerarbeitsplätze und Server der Stadt München nach und nach auf freie Software-Alternativen umgestellt, weg von einer Microsoft-abhängigen Monopolstruktur. Auf der Open Source Meets Business hatte ich die Chance mit Florian Schießl über das Projekt zu sprechen.

Producer: Mario Behling // Kamera: Stefan Koehler
Direkter Link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1615580599839632999

LiMux – Die IT-Evolution ist ein Linuxprojekt der Stadtverwaltung München, das freie Software auf den derzeit ca. 14.000 Arbeitsplatzrechnern der städtischen Mitarbeiter etablieren wird; aufgrund der für die öffentliche Hand in punkto Software-Beschaffung neuartigen Ausrichtung auf Open Source ist LiMux weltweit in den Medien präsent und wird von der proprietären Softwareindustrie und den Befürwortern freier Software gleichermaßen beobachtet. Das Kofferwort LiMux setzt sich aus Linux und München zusammen. Der Zusatz „Die IT-Evolution“ steht im Gegensatz zur „Revolution“, die versucht, durch einen scharfen Schnitt die aktuelle Situation zu ändern. „LiMux – Die IT-Evolution” wird eine langsame, aber kontinuierliche Entwicklung sein, die als Ziel eine modernere, den Anforderungen auf dem Arbeitsplatzrechner besser angepasste IT-Landschaft hat. (Version 23. März 2008, 16:30 Uhr, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiMux)

Hintergrund zu Florian Schießl, der das Limux-Projekt von der Seite der Stadt München betreut und Stefan Koehler, der von Seiten von Gonicus an dem Projekt arbeitet:

Biographie: Florian Schießl
Florian Schießl (29) ist seit 2003 bei der LiMux-Projektleitung und stellt als stellvertretender Leiter des Linux Client Teams die Ablauffähigkeit des Basisclients und die Koordinierung der Officeumstellung sicher. Linux ist sein ständiger Begleiter seit 1998.

Biographie: Stefan Koehler
Stefan Koehler wurde 1971 geboren. Nach einem Musikstudium wandte er sich der Informatik zu und vertritt aus Überzeugung den Einsatz von Freier Software in Unternehmen und Behörden. Derzeit begleitet er als Berater der GONICUS GmbH die Linuxmigration der Landeshauptstadt München.
(http://www.heise.de/fastbin/eventmanager/event_js/2/?event_id=124)

Media:

Serchilo: Meta Search Engine with Wiki Commands

I followed a lightning talk of Georg Jähnig on serchilo.net at the 24c3 Chaos Communication Congress. The video is available now in the torrent network. I uploaded it to Google Video (please post alternatives as comments). Last year I already published an interview with Georg in German. He put quite a lot of work in improving the website and making it more international since then. Hope his ideas takes off even more in the upcoming year. Would be great to have him at the SuMa-eV congress this year as well.

Videolink: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5416119002471085549

Link: www.serchilo.net
Blog: serchilo.wordpress.com
Serchilo Firefox-Plugin: serchilo.net/wiki/index.php/Serchilo:Firefox
Georg Jähnig: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Jorges

Media:

Free Society = Read-Write Society: A Culture of Openness and Free Collaboration

What made and makes the development of free software, free content and free infrastructures – alternatives to centralized systems of knowledge distribution and development possible? What made and makes the system of the many in contrast to the system of the few and powerful possible?

Mahalo – New Entry in the Search Eengine Market. An Alternative?

Jason McCabe Calacanis is the founder of Mahalo.com. With Mahalo he tries to establish a new search engine based on user submitted search result pages. In order to motivate people to write search result pages Mahalo pays part time guides 10 to 15 USD. Part time guides who submit a search page result that is accepted by full time guides also get credited as the original writer of pages. How do you become a guide? At first you have to register and fill out an application form. They want to know your personal details like phone, address etc. as well as your blog, user names of sites like Wikipedia, delicious, Flickr, Youtube and so on. Then they ask about the why you want to write search results, what kind of search results and what else you have to say. Finally you have to choose about the payment of your work. Currently US citizens can chose to receive 10-15 USD per accepted search result page themselves or donate it to the Wikimedia Foundation (it is planned to add other organizations later), non-US citizens can only choose to donate it. Are they good or bad? It seems like Mahalo wants to belong to the good guys. So they have 250.000 USD in donations set aside for the Wikimedia Foundation this year. This is impressive, but it has to be seen if part time guides also choose to donate to Wikipedia.
Mahalo Greenhouse: … Oh yeah, if we accept your search result we will pay you $10 to $15 per search result (the range is based on how many search results you’ve completed: more here). Now, if you’re a disciple of Yochi and you absolutely will not work on a web-based project for money, we’ve got an amazing proposition for you: make the web better by writing spam-free search results and we’ll donate your fees to the Wikimedia Foundation. So, you can make the world better 2x: first by making clean, spam-free search results and second by helping keep the Wikipedia running (those server bills ain’t cheap!). We’ve earmarked up to $250,000 in donations to the Wikipedia this year. http://blog.mahalo.com/?p=15
Even if some will choose to donate their work to the Wikimedia Foundation it is clear that Mahalo in the first place is not about building a community. It is about making money (or possibly for some guides to earn an income?) even if they try to appeal to different users, as well those with intrinsic motivations: “…you can make the world better 2x”. Investors like Sequoia Capital's Michael Moritz, who invested in Yahoo and Google when they were still start ups, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who became a billionaire after selling Broadcast.com to Yahoo, AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis, who also owns the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals, Elon Musk, co-founder of online payment service PayPal, NewsCorp, CBS Corporation and Hubert Burda Media – they want to gain a profit in the end. So what is the calculation of Jason Calacanis with Mahalo?
As for funding, if the Google AdSense units currently on the site don't cover costs, Calacanis says investors … have given him enough money to run the company for at least five years. (http://searchengineland.com/070530-180000.php)
If Mahalo pays up to 15 Dollars per submitted search page it means an ad that costs on average 7 Cents per click should be clicked about 214 times in order to recapture the cost of a search page of a “part time guide”. However, you also have to add the server costs, cost of the full time guide checking and so on. Still though, over time it seems possible for popular search pages to recapture the cost, but what about not so popular search terms and search terms that do not exist? Jim Lanzone, CEO of ask.com said "On any given day, 60 percent of the search requests we get, we have never seen before." (sfgate.com...) How will Calacanis solve this problem remains to be seen. What else do I have from submitting search page results apart from gaining money? In contrast to Technorati and Digg I do not get anything out of it except limited exposure – my name on a search page. With Technorati I get exposure for my blog (a link!) and receive useful data, for example who is linking to me and how many blogs link to me, what are top tags and so on. With Digg I can save my bookmarks and access them from anywhere and so on. The strategy of Mahalo to index only the best sites as well is unclear.
The FAQ says: We will link to... sites that are considered authorities in their field (i.e. Edmunds for autos, Engadget for consumer electronics, and the New York Times for news). (http://mahalo.com/Mahalo_FAQ)
Who decides who is an authority? Which are the best sites? How is the decision made? What happens in case of different opinions? Free communities like the Wikipedia community developed (and develop) ways to solve problems and create transparent decision making processes. How about transparency at Mahalo? Next: The question what is the user really looking for? ..This is a problem for all search engines: ambiguous searches. If I look for instance for the search result “Paris Hilton”. Do I look for the person or the place? Google tries to understand what users want by collecting more and more user specific information and personalizing search results according to this data. (I wrote about the privacy problem of hyper collecting user data of a commercial search engine company before. It is quasi automatically an “invitation” to collect more and more user data and utilize it commercially as much as possible.) There is no perfect solution to ambiguous searches. Mahalo also does not address the problem of ambiguous searches. So neither Mahalos results will be more relevant than those of other search engines, even if they are written by humans rather than by a computer algorithm. Is Mahalo more transparent than others? Not as far as I can see. Mahalo increases transparency by showing top searches in real time at the right sidebar. Google Zeitgeist does not do that in real time. Technorati and others though do it also in real time. Therefore I do not see more transparency as other search engines offer it. What about the search pages? I am not an expert in evaluating search engine results and it is probably still too early to do that anyways as Mahalo only started in June. Let’s see. Is Mahalo for me? It is for me if it is free! To tackle the problem of search engine monopolization, I believe we need an approach to search that is free, open source, sustainable and provides good search results. On the website there is no information about what software Mahalo is using. When I asked Jason Calacanis - suprise! Mahalo is based on free software: MediaWiki, Squid, Nutch, LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP). How about the search result pages itself though? They are copyright to Mahalo and therefore are not free. “we feel since we're paying for the results we should own them”. On the Wikia Search project mailing list Jason explains further to Jimmy Wales:
Now, this is not written in stone. In the future we might move to a Creative Commons model for the results--perhaps non-commercial so someone doesn't just life the entire Mahalo index and dilute our ability to pay the contributors. That's my main concern: figuring out a way to keep paying folks who want to get paid for their contributions. So, I like CC Noncommerical and I like paying people. (Jason on the search-l-wikia mailing list on 4 July 2007)
Mahalo might in future use a license that is not as free as many in the free software/content/infrastructure etc. community would like it, but Jason Calacanis is obviously trying to develop a sustainable business model based on free layers. Additionally he has expressed strong interest in helping to build open source search software together with the Wikia Search project of Jimmy Wales:
Mahalo.com hopes to a) use Wikia's open source search software and b) wants to help build it. We *share* the mission to open up search. Jason on the search-l-wikia mailing list on 3 July 2007.
Mahalo is an interesting approach to search, which revives the idea of the Yahoo Directory, the DMOZ and other directory listings. It is based on free software, but not (yet) on free knowledge. I cannot copy the database, but I can duplicate the software that is powering the site. Mahalo is set up as a commercial enterprise. Users have the choice to work for them - to submit human written search result pages and get paid or to donate what they earn to the Wikimedia Foundation. If Mahalo can become an alternative search engine with noticeable market share remains to be seen. If it is successful, I believe there is a high chance that it will be bought by Google, Yahoo or another company. It is probably what the investors are hoping for. If Mahalo would also use free licenses for its search page results, it would endanger this prospectus. Mahalo is trying to find a compromise between the use and the application of freedom in every layer (free software and free content) and its commercial interests. For anyone who wants free search it is a good start, but to create a really free search engine, result pages have to be free as well. Under current economic conditions this would not be interesting for a commercial enterprise. However, I believe only a completely free search based on completely free layers will provide a sustainable basis and motivation for people to form a free international community (like the Wikipedia community) that works continuously on a human powered search. But ... a free community cannot be bought!

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