If you read my blog regularly then you will know that I’m a huge fan of Ubuntu Linux and Open Source projects! Just recently, the Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth called upon the open source community for a challenge that will help Ubuntu to rival the “pretty” operating system that is Macintosh.
Billionaire, cosmonaut and founder of the fast-growing Ubuntu Linux distribution Mark Shuttleworth dreams impossible dreams.
No, not a return to the stars. He believes in something that’s far harder for mortal open source engineers to achieve.
That dream? To produce a desktop more beautiful to ordinary users than legions of Apple programmers supping on the milk of chief exec Steve Jobs’ alleged brilliance are capable of producing. That includes a desktop not funded by a clutter of annoying banner or Flash-based ads, but paid for by subscription-based services.
Now you’re done dreaming, go home and code for the victory.
If you’ve followed Ubuntu at all from one release to another then you should know by now that it is a very fast pace Operating System. With updates being released on a six-month basis, it’s easy to see that the open source community is hard at work to bring Linux (not just Ubuntu) into the real world.
Linux has for a long time been viewed as an alternative operating system for geeks and not friendly enough for the average PC user. While that may have been true in the past, those beliefs are fair outdated.
With previous releases of Ubuntu, it was obvious that work was going into the core components and making sure everything “just worked.” Now, with Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04, it is clear that progress has been made on making tasks easier to accomplish and minimizing the use of the terminal for average users. Installing a new application is as simple as it is in Windows. Just download the Debian file (*.deb) and double click it. An installer opens just like it would in Windows.
With more and more projects becoming open source, it’s no surprise that Ubuntu has become easier to use. The tools that you once couldn’t find are now included or are in the “Add/Remove” application for installations only a few clicks away.
Now that Ubuntu can be installed on basically every computer system and in most cases “just works” right after installation with very little necessary configurations, it’s time to work on the appearance and that’s just what they are doing.
If you have seen any screenshots of the next release, Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex 8.10, then you’ll notice that the default theme is darker and gives Ubuntu a whole new feel. I for one am usually a fan of brighter themes, just like the default theme in Ubuntu Hardy Heron, but there isn’t much that I can say about the new work that has been going into the appearance. I’m sure that it will be changing even more if their goal is to rival Apple, but they can’t do it without YOU.
If you can help develop then I’m sure you could contribute some to the project! If you don’t develop, but instead just use the operating system then they would definitely appreciate feedback and suggestions.