Guadalinex is getting close to Ubuntu

Well, the new project I was going to join was Guadalinex v6 :-)

If you don’t know, Guadalinex is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Ubuntu made by La Junta de Andalucia (Andalusian regional Government) for the citizens. It’s one of the main distributions in Spain and has a large amount of users. There are over 300.000 pcs on schools and over 600 internet centers in rural areas running Guadalinex.

This is very exciting for me because, although I’ve already participated on 3 versions of Guadalinex and I’ve helped to create the system in which was based the others first, this is going to be developed in another way.

The previous versions were developed by a few small companies working together. The way those companies were chosen was by a public tender.

This was a good way, I think. Letting to small free software companies work, learn and grown doing software useful for the people around. And the whole process was open. It wasn’t that kind of project that one company develop for few months and then put in a public server. It was always open from the beginning. Open and public wiki, mail lists, subversion, forums, bug tracking and so on. Which sadly is no very common on free software project from governments…

Anyway, this time it was also a tender, but not for making the whole distribution by the companies, just hiring separated groups of people for doing different tasks (design the distro, maintain the mirrors, take care of the users and forums, create a manual for human beings….) from inside. I mean, from the public installations.

Well, my company won the tender for leading part of the technical side of this project. So my coworker and friend Roberto Morano and me are working on Guadalinex v6 since the last Monday :-)

Guadalinex always has been trying to collaborate with the upstream projects, like the distribution on which were based (first Debian, now Ubuntu). But it wasn’t easy at all.

We have our schedule, few resources, usually we start to work on an already stable version (which means we can not add or fix things for that upstream version) and too much burocracy some times. Also the upstream distro side was never clear and we couldn’t find a middle point to collaborate.

We actually did collaborate with Ubuntu with the first version of the live installer (Ubuntu Express, now Ubiquity), some fixes, translations and few things more. But there was a lot of interesting stuff we created for Guadalinex and never arrived to Ubuntu. That’s sad.

Also, since we got a huge amount of computers running Guadalinex and we must assure those computers work fine (because the child and teachers need them for the classes, for example), we have a lot of bugs and hardware issues notificated and we already have fixed lots of different kind of problem (hardware support, 3g support, digital certificates support, etc).

I know very well that all the people behind the project would like to push all those improvements to upstream and give to more people. But the time, the tools, the language and things like that didn’t let us doing properly.

But, good news, now we are getting close to a better collaboration. We have started to integrate subprojects from Guadalinex on Launchpad, so we can show to the Ubuntu community (and nearby ones) all the things we do. We are creating the projects on launchpad and importing the subversion repositories into bazaar branches registered on lp, as well.

We also add our bug tracker to the list of bug tracker connected to launchpad, so we can connect the bugs we share and give feedback from each other or even close our bugs and notificate the fixes to the related bugs or software in Ubuntu.

People from the launchpad team are helping us with this because the bug tracker we use since more than 3 years (mantis) is not the better supported by launchpad, so we are figuring how sort this out. We’ll see.

Also there is a Guadalinex distro registration about to finish, so we can manage the releases, milestones and subprojects as a normal distro in launchpad.

We are asking to the launchpad and ubuntu people how to doing better so they can take our work and we are open to any idea or recommendation.

Our initial goal is release the stable version between 30 and 60 days after Jaunty and for this version we don’t plan add much new features, like on earlier versions. Instead, we’ll try to help to fix bugs, improve translations, documentation and hardware support, so we can get a better, more stable and more secure upstream distro.

As said before, any help, advise, recommendation will be more than welcome.

I’ll keep posting about our progress and I hope it be just good news :-)

Gwibber working on Guadalinex v5 and Ubuntu Hardy

I’ve just discover Gwibber and I found it very nice and useful. It’s a microblogging client for GNOME which support twitter, identi.ca, facebook, fickr, rss and much more. It use webkit and is quite eye candy.
The problem is webkit is not very well supported on Ubuntu Hardy, which means neither on Guadalinex v5.

But you can get it for those systems by adding to your sources.list:

# Gwibber
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gwibber-team/ubuntu hardy main

# Webkit
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/stemp/ubuntu hardy main

And then install the package Gwibber.
Don’t add the ppa from Webkit team on Launchpad because those packages are not working right now.

Well, enjoy this nice piece of software ;-)

Break and FOSDEM have finished

It was a really good experience going to the FOSDEM. It was my first, but I hope it won’t be the last.

I had the opportunity of knowing a bit Brussels: the beer, the chocolate, the waffles, the city center… very nice place… errr, but the weather… rains and cold… not really my type.

The FOSDEM itself was amazing. So many people from so different projects (hackers and users).

Kudos for the organization people, they did just great. Huge and great work! ;-)

I missed some friends over there but I met new friends and I could talk a lot about the GCDS (Gran Canaria Desktop Summit), which is going to be a very important event. It seems that people from GNOME and KDE are ready for collaborate as much the time over there let us.

I very exciting about the event and all the think are coming with it.

By the way, there are new mail list for the event:

http://mail.grancanariadesktopsummit.org/mailman/listinfo/gcds

Stay tuned! ;-)

The other thing I want to write is about my break.  I was in a break of my job for having time for me and some personal stuff. Well, that break is now over :-)

On Monday I come back, but I have some changes. I’m going to work on a six months project, out of the office (actually at the client office) but in a good a nd interesting (at least for me) Spanish free software project.

I’m really exciting about this too, but I’ll wait until I start (on Monday) to talk about the project and what I’m going to do in it.

Well, I’m keep reading, learning and searching some stuff more that on Monday I have to be prepared ;-)

See you! Happy hacking! ;-)