Daily Journal 10.04.1 released

I’m happy to share with you all that Rick Spencer and I were able to throw together a new release of Daily Journal yesterday.

Daily Journal is a journal application for Ubuntu that keeps one page per day. The focus is on letting you take your notes. There is no file management, formatting, or other complexity imposed. If you have a Ubuntuone account, your diary will be automatically synchronized across your computers.
The big change for the 10.04.1 release was that we switched the note navigation from a simple list of dates to a calendar that can be navigated.

Daily Journal 11.04.1

The Daily Journal source is: bzr branch lp:daily-journal
You can download Daily Journal from Rick’s PPA:  ppa:rick-rickspencer3/ppa
And of course, if you find any bugs feel free to file them and get in touch with Rick or I if you have any questions or want to help out.

Evolution of my netbook UI

I’ve used an Acer Aspire One D250 (Intel N270, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard drive) for my every-day machine, in fact basically my only machine, for over a year now. Needless to say, a productive netbook UI is important to me. I want to maximize the usable screen space while also minimizing RAM and especially CPU usage.

Here are the desktop UIs I’ve tried so far:

  1. Ubuntu Netbook Edition with the “legacy” netbook UI. I really got used to using maximus to keep most windows maximized and the window picker applet to easily switch between windows and close windows.
  2. Ubuntu Netbook Edition with the Unity interface on 10.10. I like the window management and it looks slick. The problems I’ve had are general performance, stability, and the screen real estate taken up by the launcher/side bar.
  3. Ubuntu Desktop Edition with compiz. This is my latest netbook method. I take the normal Ubuntu GNOME desktop, remove some of the applets (indicator-session for instance), and use a trick I read about to remove the window decorations on maximized windows.

I came up with the last idea after reading that Unity was moving to using compiz. I had always assumed that compiz would use more RAM and CPU than metacity or Unity. In fact, compiz is actually really snappy on my Aspire One. The only thing that I find problematic about my current setup is that due to not having any windows directions I have no button to close windows. I use the Alt-F4 keyboard shortcut, but it’s a little awkward.

So how about you? What kind of Ubuntu interface do you use on your netbook? Do you just use Unity? Something more like my setup? I’m really curious about Kubuntu, but it’s a real CPU hog at this point. I haven’t figured out how to fix that yet.

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.

from the crimsun files

Going through my “scratch” note I found the following quote:

C is beautiful. C++ makes me weep. Java stabs me in the gut. Python pours me wine.

That is all.

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.