Evan Dandrea

The home stretch

This is it. After nearly a month of preparation, with a five day blitz of asking those around to you to take an interest in what promises to be an excellent new resource for Ubuntu users, we are a mere 24% away from going into beta.

We are now one of the fastest growing proposals on Stack Exchange. We’re ahead of Apple, we’re ahead of the Advanced Unix and Linux group, and we’re ahead of homebrewing, which I had imagined would blow past all of us in fairly short order ;). We’ve put the Ubuntu brand on the front of a very popular website within the wider tech community for several days. Well done, everyone.

Lets get those last few percent this week. Please, tell all your friends that we’re working together to build a community around an excellent question and answer platform that rewards good questions and helpful individuals. One that non-technical users, entirely unfamiliar with forums and Launchpad, can use effectively and make their experience of running into some difficulty with Ubuntu ultimately a positive one through the support they get here.

Please post the proposal on identi.ca, twitter, facebook, hacker news, reddit, digg, and wherever else you and others who can benefit from such a resource frequent. Encourage others to hit the “Commit!” link.

Remember, you can get reputation points for referring other people to the Ubuntu proposal. Simply visit this page, then click on the “Share This” link. A special URL with your referral code will appear. Use this URL when telling others how much fun we’re going to have once the Ubuntu Stack Exchange is set up, and you’ll be on your way to earning all sorts of cute badges for your efforts.

Good luck, and again, thank you so much for your help.

Nearly there

Wow, massive thanks to Iain Farrell who took a shine to my old fashioned in-office spam and posted an article about our efforts to create a Stack Exchange for Ubuntu to his own blog, which was then syndicated by the Design Team blog. The good folks at OMG! Ubuntu! took notice and covered what is now turning into quite the large community endeavor. When I went to bed last night there were just over 80 people who had hit the “Commit!” button on our proposal. Looking now, there are 217!

We’re not done yet though. According to the not-quite-linear percentage bar on the right side of the page, we’re 41% of the way there, and so now is as good a time as ever to find a wider audience within this lovely community we call Ubuntu to bring the message of a question and answer site made of pure awesome.   One that will give users of Ubuntu a tingling sensation in their fingers and warmth in their bellies every time they save someone hours by leading them to an answer that everyone agrees is the best one, or when they get a new badge for being such an active contributor.  One where people who are entirely unfamiliar with forums, who find Launchpad to be a bit heavyweight when all they want to do is find out how they can get the latest, greatest version of Firefox on this new Ubuntu thing that a good friend helped them get set up with.  One that brings new users to Ubuntu.

So, I ask you, how do we spread this throughout the Ubuntu community and beyond? How do we get even more people interested and signed on to make Ubuntu even more amazing through this powerful tool?  While you’re giving that a think, do share the link with your friends. Talk to them about what we’re doing and how they can get involved by simply going to that page and clicking the “Commit!” button.

Thanks for your support.  Your dedication to these kinds of efforts continue to blow me away.

Ubuntu and Windows 7 make sweet love.

Wubi in Windows 7

Wubi in Windows 7

Wubi, the Ubuntu installer that presents itself as a dialog in Windows and lets you use space on your existing filesystem rather than having to divy up your precious hard drive into partitions, was rewritten in Python this development cycle to save us all from the horror that is the Nullsoft Scriptable Installation System (NSIS).  One benefit of this change is that I actually feel compelled to hack on it, and so I did this weekend, fixing a few bugs in Agostino’s Windows Vista/7 bootloader management code.  The end result is a fully functional Wubi for those of you running Windows Vista or the admittedly clean and cool Windows 7.

You can try it out by downloading any daily desktop CD image built at cdimage.ubuntu.com with a manifest file newer than yesterday, March 16th.  If you’re hoping to use a 64-bit Ubuntu desktop CD, you’ll unfortunately have to wait at least another day as today’s build failed.  Wubi is included in the following distribution builds:

Just boot Windows and pop in the CD.  Please remember that Ubuntu 9.04 is still in development and therefore you should not use this on any machine you particularly care about just yet.  It’s not that I think anything will go wrong, I’m just not willing to listen to sob stories about how you lost everything you ever cared about while trying this software.

Please take the time to file any bugs you encounter on Launchpad.


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