O mia bela Madunina che te brillet de lontan
tuta d’ora e piscinina, ti te dominet Milan
A week after the workshop at SMAU 2010 Milano I’m finally rested and ready to write something about it.
A full week to restore? Well, not exacly. We (me and Flavia Weisghizzi) also did a meeting in Siena at University, a talk at LinuxDay in Rome, and, of course, we have made up for delay in our works So, let’s start from the latter.
LinuxDay, as usual, is a great experience. You can meet fantastic people and share ideas. Our talk was about new stuff in Ubuntu 10.10; the event was at Math Department of La Sapienza University in Rome and… yes, Dalton Maag was right, Greek glyphs in new font was really appreciated by mathematicians.
Siena… wow, what a day. Morning was literally enlightened by Prof. Renzo Davoli and his great talk about Free Software in Free University¹. In the afternoon new edition of our book about Ubuntu was presented, then there was an “exhibition” of some FLOSS project to the public in rectorship yard. Flavia was in Ubuntu stand with Paolo Sammicheli (giving branded CDs and lanyard for free… we need some GNOME marketing stuff too), I was at GNOME stand, explaning to interested people how GNOME Shell (will) works. Oh, KDE guys are awesome too
And now SMAU. Do you remember penguin gang in Madagascar movie? Good, we were something like this, penguins in sub-tropical Africa SMAU is an acronym for “Salone Macchine e Attrezzature per l’Ufficio” (showroom for office machinery and equipment) and its first edition was in 1964. Nowadays is an expo for any technologically related stuff: software (yes, the usual big, proprietary names), hardware (PC devices, but also cars), web, marketing. Penguins, yes, but strongly resolute. So we did a showcase of what Ubuntu can offer to business, we explained what Ubuntu is and why it’s different from other OSes and/or distros, we suggested people they can use Ubuntu in their own IT infrastructure, but also provide service or software. Thanks to Canonical, thanks to community. This is maybe the “magic” allowing Ubuntu to be a valuable solution: a great and skilled community² together with a cool and smart company providing a free and libre OS, explosive mix for desktop and server in business.
Two final side notes:
- in order to suggest Ubuntu to businessmen you have to undress yourself from nerd stuff and suit, you have to communicate the proper message with your words AND your body;
- the user base, i.e. linux enthusiasts from 15 to 40 years old, seems worried by some Canonical moves. They agree with paid services and music store and the need of rebrand, but also ask all us ubuntu member to watch over Ubuntu as open project, in order to preserve community-driven part and “prevent” company-imposed drift³.
 footnote: here in Italy the post-secondary education (as well as any grade of education) is a public affair, in other words an institution of political society; wikipedia says “universities are supported by state funding so that students do not have to pay much for tuition”, but the actual issue and state is far more complex then this.
 not only Ubuntu community, but also Debian and upstream
 don’t blame the messenger (for the bad news) oh, this was before Unity on desktop…