Saturday, 15 May 2010

Ubuntu 10.04, my two cents...

Originally uploaded by mcastellani
Some days ago, I upgraded my linux box to Ubuntu 10.04. I am pleased to say that the upgrade took place without worries and virtually no intervention on my side (aside a couple of request from the upgrade script in order to ask permission to overwrite some system files).

Now, detailed descriptions of the new release may be easily found in the network (you just need to google a bit to find plenty of them), so here I note only some impressions of use. Say, what strikes me without "scratching" too much under the surface, in the first approach. 

    Let's see ...

  • for a "sick" of social networks like myself, Ubuntu 10.04 comes with a really interesting aspect: it is eminently social. It comes with the client gwibber (now at release that supports Twitter, StatusNet, Facebook,, Digg, FriendFeed, and also Qaiku (a microblog service with an exciting support for languages; I like it a lot and, as a matter of fact, I have realized most of the interface translation in Italian). To tell the truth, not only it's included, but it result deeply integrated in the "social" concept of Ubuntu, for which we can now express our "online presence" directly from the top status bar of Gnome. I am very curious (and so are the developers) to understand whether the inclusion of native Qaiku in Ubuntu will bring more users to put their noses in this interesting but still little known platform.
  • There was much discussion on Ubuntu related sites, concerning the new network online music store that comes integrated into Rhytmbox, the "software and music playback for GNOME", which is now reached its version 0.12.8 (but what to say about this habit of going forward with the zero point something ?). I just spent a bit of time in it, and I found that the prices of a number of albums are very interesting and - at least in some cases - significantly lower than their  iTunes counterparts .
  • The GNOME desktop backgrounds have my appreciation, for the aesthetic work that I think has given excellent results. Overall, it seems quite clear that Mac OS X has been well taken into account by the Ubuntu developers (up to small details as the discussed choice of putting the icons on the left side of windows) ... but that's OK, no problem;)
  • Even the 'Ubuntu Software Center' (again, the not-too-hidden reference not is to the online software repository of Mac OS X) has made significant progress. Browsing through categories to choose the software to install it 's now easier, and it is a truly enjoyable experience ... and it's free, too!

Overhall, I like Ubuntu 10.04. Surely there are things to improve and fix (for example, during the first days of use I stumbled upon some oddity of gwibber, which kept to give me authentication error in Qaiku, despite having already added the correct API at least a couple of times ...), anyway I think we came to a really respectable version. One of the most important representations - perhaps the most important at present - of an open source operating system. 

... what do you think, I'm exaggerating?