Plimoth Plantation, Kubuntu; woo!

October 30, 2009


Unfortunately I missed all of the release hubbub for Kubuntu 9.10, which I usually enjoy very much. 😦

Fortunately, I spent quality time with my family at Plimoth Plantation down in Massachusetts. (That’s how they spell it, to differentiate the settlement from the town) (This was a field trip for my younger sister’s class) It was really quite interesting, seeing how both the Native Americans and Settlers lived. The Native Americans in the Wampanoag village exhibit were dressed in traditional clothing, but did not role-play to the point where they didn’t speak any English or anything like that. This is so that we could converse with the exhibitors so that we could gain a fuller understanding of the culture back then.

The English Settlement exhibit was also very neat and authentic looking, though these actors did role-play, speaking the English dialect in use at the time. My weight (150 lbs) was put to use for holding a small log of wood down while the younger kids got to drive stakes and gluts in it to split it into fence railings with a hefty mallet. Very interesting stuff. I’m just glad they didn’t take the roleplaying too far and make stupid comments about our “strange words” and “strange clothing” that we as visitors had, and that a band of Burger King robbers did not take the settlement hostage. (First one to get the reference wins!) Very professional and authentic.

It would be at this point (or a few days ago, actually) where I customarily do a retrospect of the past cycle. Unfortunately I do not have any solid package upload numbers since there was no “Karmic Top Uploaders” page as their was in recent cycles. 😦 I think I can safely say that the number increased from last year, though it’s not all that important anyways.

I’m quite pleased with Kubuntu 9.10. KDE is awesome as usual, the graphics drivers have gotten better, Launchpad isn’t breaking translations as far as we know, and networking now works for most wireless cases and is overall better than Kubuntu 9.04. (If there have been Ubuntu-translator-inflicted mistranslations, please let us know. Hopefully big changes will be implemented for the future. All I can say for now is “the Doctor”.)

PackageKit is honestly for me a bit disappointing this cycle, though it is worlds better than what was released with 9.04. At least it works in general now, if it’s not a bit lite on features and is a bit wonky at times. It’s just one of those things where there’s not that good of a solution at the moment no matter how you look at it. (If anybody wants to step up and write a solid C++ apt-based package manager with nice search functionality, pleasepleaseplease step up :P)

Overall, in my quite possibly biased opinion, Kubuntu 9.10 is good. It takes the awesome work the KDE has done and adds compelling features to improve the experience. I’m quite proud of our new installer as well as the User Configuration utility integrated into System Settings. While I’m not too big of a fan of the Ayatana notification experiment, I think it will be interesting to see how it turns out. I am also glad that corporate politics did not disrupt the default KDE experience, leaving it as an opt-in dealie. I do think that GTK apps being able to have KDE notifications as a side effect of this work (which is enabled by default 😀 ) is a great win for Kubuntu as well.

Plans are being forumuated for 10.04, the next Long Term Support release, as I type this. I have great optimism for Kubuntu 10.04, and will be blogging about our plans hopefully in the coming week. (All I will say for the moment is “the Doctor” again, which happens to relate to a codename of something… suspense… 😉 In general I hope for our Kubuntu-specific tools to be given more polish as well as some optimization lovin’. General LTS-y things and such.

So, in conclusion, yay history, yay Kubuntu, and yay KDE!


Kubuntu Countdown

October 8, 2009

Just wanted to give a shoutout to Nookie, the talented artist behind Kubuntu’s shiny new Kubuntu 9.10 countdown banner. But what are you still here for? Go check it out!