Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Amicable Antidisestablishmentarianism

Kicking some knowledge about Ubuntu Studio and talking about where Ubuntu Studio is heading with Natty.

Ubuntu Studio Fun Facts
I think there are a lot of misconceptions and generally an anemic amount of factual information about Ubuntu Studio.  So I thought a silly and fun way to address this issue would be to start publishing Ubuntu Studio Fun Facts.  They're fun!  They're facts!

Hey!  You got your fun in my facts.

No!  You got your facts in my fun!

Hmmm, delicious.

Ubuntu Studio Fun Fact #0:
Ubuntu Studio shares the same repository as vanilla Ubuntu.  Crazy, huh?

Ubuntu Studio Fun Fact #1:
The Ubuntu Studio developers don't general code much.  This means you don't have to have mad coding skills to help with Ubuntu Studio development; generally I suggest that tenacity, inquisitiveness, and initiative will serve you well.

Natty Improvements
Natty is the first release where I felt effective as project lead as defined by being proactive rather than reactive.

Notably we took a good hard look at what packages were being shipped with Ubuntu Studio.  In some cases it seemed that some packages didn't support a viable work flow.  Perhaps there weren't enough packages to provide a complete "tool chain" for a particular task or a random and isolated package was included "just because".

So, I started a work flows page to help coalesce some of our ideas on pertinent and desirable work flows.  Once we could develop a complete, supportive "tool chain" of applications to support a particular task, and we deemed a task currently desirable to our users, we could validate the necessity of those packages and they would be included in the ISO.

NB All are encourage to add their thoughts to the work flows wiki page.  Please be courteous, however, and do not remove or delete another person's work flow, but please append yours as an alternate.

Justifying package inclusion is a good way to make Ubuntu Studio leaner, yet more functional at the same time.  Brilliant!

Another thing we did was look at the installation tasks (also known as tasksel), which is where the choice of installing audio, audio-plugins, graphics, and/or video applications during a fresh installation from the DVD occurs.

I felt that the audio tasksel option could be better effected by dividing the proffered audio applications into two subgroups; sequencers/synths/MIDI and recording instruments/vocals.  This was a direct result of the work flow exercise.

The benefit to this is that those who want to record audio, i.e. the "I want to record my band" crowd, will probably not want all the sequencer and synth applications.  Likewise, those who do not play instruments will probably not want additional applications crowding up their menus.

Of course, those who want both can easily (it's an additional spacebar away!) get them all.  Sounds like a win-win to me.

What Say You?
I have other ideas for Ubuntu Studio topics to discuss but I would like to hear your suggestions.

Probably topics like the various ways to install Ubuntu Studio or why certain packages are included would be worth the discussion.  But I'm sure there are others that would be just as extremely beneficial.  Help me identify those subjects.

RPM Challenge Update
Two new demos up at my RPM Challenge artist page.

The first is an instrumental while the second will have vocals, but I am still working on lyrics and plan to record to vocals during the last week.

Please feel free to make any comments or critiques about the music...even to say it sucks.  I have thick skin.


PipeManMusic said...

The best part is that fun facts are both fun and facts without being mutually exclusive or inclusive. It's a symbiosis that form an unbreakable chain of enjoyability.

DoosC said...

Hi Scott,
that's good news that there is a vision and a direction given to the project.
And yes there is not a lot of informations around about ubuntu studio. So you filled the gap a little.
Thanks for the post and thanks for your work !

yman said...

Please update the Ubuntu Studio web site.
Also, please get a new theme. An all dark version of Ambiance that uses grey instead of both orange and purple like Ambiance Dark (not my work): http://ubuntu-art.org/content/show.php/Ambiance+dark?content=132875
should do the trick.

Please provide a graphical installer, and a graphical tool to convert regular Ubuntu Desktop into an Ubuntu Studio setup.

Anonymous said...

Hi, glad to see an interesting line of thought about package stream-lining with ubuntu studio.

I'm a zen buddhist so I like throwing zen koans: What is the user doing when the installer is resolving all the package dependencies?

Did I enlighten you? If not, here is what I really meant:

1. I'm not asking for a pacman game or fretsonfire in the foreground during the install.
2. Think about who are your users? You already know this - that's what shows up with the tasksel dialog.
3. However, the _release_ per se could just be a giant tarball with the required expected apt related metadata (pre-computed, say even "golden") released/tested "giant tarball", figuratively speaking. Unlike other linux distributions, I bet, the Ubuntu Studio user is not going to complain if the installer brought in _everything_ he/she needed faster.

I'm ranting here while my brand new, reasonably fast computer that is capable of doing useful things right now, than be doing the "reading APT database, unpacking, setting up, unpacking... oh wait, a set of dependencies first" chore. apt is a great tool, but my question is, should it be in the ubuntu studio installer at all? It can 'emerge' later, of course!

Scott Lavender said...

@ Pipeman
lol, symbiosis is underrated in my book

@ DoosC
Thank you :)

@ yman
The website update is underway, although moving fairly slowly.

That theme is awesome! Indeed, it inspired us to start working on a new theme.

There is talk about a graphical installer as well. It just takes someone to dig into it and learn how to do it, but we are a very small team and resources are already limited. Currently this is tentatively scheduled for Natty+1 at the soonest.

As far as a graphical tool to update from Ubuntu Desktop to Ubuntu Studio...that's an awesome idea as well. The foundation for such an application may have already been lain with our current work with the ubuntustudio-controls udpate. Details to follow in the next post.

I think I need to think more about your post before I reply in earnest.