Edubuntu makeover

I haven’t been involved with Edubuntu development for a year now. While I miss the work and especially the great people, I’ve come to see that the project is in great hands (better than mine for sure). Edubuntu made some really important strides in 10.04 with the enhancements made to the DVD installer and live system. One of the neat things that has happened a little more recently was a complete revamping of the edubuntu.org website. The work was done by Edubuntu community members Jonathan Carter and Stéphane Graber.

Besides being very slick and in-line with the main Ubuntu website, the new edubuntu.org is much more community oriented. There are social network badges on the right side to link users to Edubuntu resources on Facebook, YouTube, Identi.ca, Twitter. On the left side there is a widget with the latest Edububtu project status updates on Identi.ca.

Overall, I think the new site is much more social and connected to its users. I think it will make the website quite a bit more useful to users and for those wanting to learn more about Edubuntu. From what I hear there might be some more content coming. I’m excited to see what’s next.

Fool me thrice …

I’ve now tried to do upgrades from 10.04 to Maverick Meerkat three times and each time I’ve reverted to 10.04 within a day. There was a fair amount of general instability, and for instance, in the last case OpenOffice.org Writer crashed any time I tried to save any files. Normally I’ve upgrade to the development release somewhere between Alpha3 and Beta. I’m not sure if it’s that 10.04 has just been such an exceptional release or if Maverick is still a bit rough around the edges, thoughts? For the first time I’m even contemplating not upgrading this go-round.

However, there are some things I’m looking forward to in Ubuntu 10.10. First off, I’m a netbook-bound computer user so I’m really intrigued about what the Canonical team is doing with Unity. I was a big fan of the previous netbook UI (using netbook-launcher, maximus, and friends) and have my doubts about Unity. I’ve tried the Dx team PPA to use Unity on 10.04. It seems slick, but quite resource intensive and a bit incomplete. I’m concerned about the amount of screen real estate used up by the new sidebar. On my netbook it makes web browsing (which is a huge part of my day) more difficult. Ultimately I wonder if Unity is going to be too slick for it’s own good, at least in the short run. However, if anybody can pull it off, Neil Patel and co. are the guys to do it.

I’m also looking forward to the indicator work. So far I haven’t found indicators to be all that useful. Sure, they look pretty, and I can swipe across them, but I don’t use the Messaging Menu very often except to start apps (which I can easy do in other ways) and I never use the Me Menu (the one where you can set your status). However, adding networking and time menus might help make the whole thing a bit more useful. Thoughts?

Lastly, I’m eager to so what Ken VanDine has down with libgwibber. This is a library (with vala, python, and C# bindings) that provides microblogging services and GTK widgets. I would love to use it to create a simple, Vala-based Twitter client.