I spent a lot of time observing our community, this release. For some reason I was curious to see how our teams work together, what the dynamic is, how they work and play together, how they celebrate and sadly, also how they mourn. So I spent a fair amount more time this cycle reading lists from various Ubuntu teams, reading minutes from governance meetings for our various councils, watching IRC channels without participating, just to get a finger on the pulse.

Everywhere I looked I saw goodness: organised, motivated, cheerful and constructive conversations. Building a free OS involves an extraordinary diversity of skills, and what’s harder is that it requires merging the contributions from so many diverse disciplines and art forms. And yet, looking around the community, we seem to have found patterns for coordination and collaboration that buffer the natural gaps between all the different kinds of activities that go on.

There are definitely things we can work on. We have to stay mindful of the fact that Ubuntu is primarily a reflection of what gets done in the broader open source ecosystem, and stay committed to transmitting their work effectively, in high quality (and high definition :-)) to the Ubuntu audience. We have to remind those who are overly enthusiastic about Ubuntu that fanboyism isn’t cool, I saw a bit of “We rock you suck” that’s not appropriate. But I also saw folks stepping in and reminding those who cross the line that our values as a community are important, and the code of conduct most important of all.

So I have a very big THANK YOU for everyone. This is our most valuable achievement: making Ubuntu a great place to get stuff done that has a positive impact on literally millions of people. Getting that right isn’t technical, but it’s hard and complex work. And that’s what makes the technical goodness flow.

In particular, I’d like to thank those who have stepped into responsibilities as leaders in large and small portions of our Ubuntu universe. Whether it’s organising a weekly newsletter, coordinating the news team, arranging the venue for a release party, reviewing translations from new translators in your language, moderating IRC or reviewing hard decisions by IRC moderators, planning Kubuntu or leading MOTU’s, the people who take on the responsibility of leadership are critical to keeping Ubuntu calm, happy and productive.

But I’d also like to say that what made me most proud was seeing folks who might not think of themselves as leaders, stepping up and showing leadership skills.

There are countless occasions when something needs to be said, or something needs to get done, but where it would be easy to stay silent or let it slip, and I’m most proud of the fact that many of the acts of leadership and initiative I saw weren’t by designated or recognised leaders, they were just part of the way teams stayed cohesive and productive. I saw one stroppy individual calmly asked to reconsider their choice of words and pointed to the code of conduct by a newcomer to Ubuntu. I saw someone else step up and lead a meeting when the designated chairman couldn’t make it. That’s what makes me confident Ubuntu will continue to grow and stay sane as it grows. That’s the really daunting thing for me – as it gets bigger, it depends on a steady supply of considerate and thoughtful people who are passionate about helping do something amazing that they couldn’t do on their own. It’s already far bigger than one person or one company – so we’re entirely dependent on broader community commitment to the values that define the project.

So, to everyone who participates, thank you and please feel empowered to show leadership whenever you think we could do better as a community. That’s what will keep us cohesive and positive. That’s what will make sure the effort everyone puts into it will reach the biggest possible audience.

With that said, well done everyone on a tight but crisp post-LTS release. Maverick was a challenge, we wanted to realign the cycle slightly which compressed matters but hopefully gives us a more balanced April / October cadence going forward based on real data for real global holiday and weather patterns :-). There was an enormous amount of change embraced and also change deferred, wisely. You all did brilliantly. And so, ladies an gentlemen, I give you Mr Robbie Williamson and the Maverick Release Announcement. Grab your towel and let’s take the Meerkat out on a tour of the Galaxy ;-)

10.10.10.10.10…..

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Saw this URL fly by today… wow and thank you to the Ubuntu Ads guys :-)

So, who’s up for making Maverick Movies? It would be great to have a “10 best features in 10.10″ video collection for release. Unity’s awesome and then there are things to show off in OO.o, Gnome, Firefox…. giving credit where it’s due.

I put together https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MaverickMovies as a starting place to aggregate content. Have subscribed, so if you update that page I’ll see it. If that goes nicely, we can beef the process up in the runup to release.

It’s time to put our heads together to envision “the perfect 10″.

This is a time of great innovation and change in the Linux world, with major new initiatives from powerful groups bringing lots of new ideas, new energy and new code. Thanks to the combined efforts of Google, Intel, IBM, Canonical, Red Hat, Oracle, Cisco, ARM, many other companies, Debian and other projects, a hundred startups and tens of thousands of professional and inspired contributors, the open source ecosystem continues to accelerate. We need to bring the best of all of that work into focus and into the archive. For millions of users, Ubuntu represents what Free Software can do out of the box for them. We owe it to everybody who works on Free Software to make that a great experience.

At the Ubuntu Developer Summit, in May in Belgium, we’ll have a new design track, and a “cloud and server” track, reflecting some major focal points in 2010. They will complement our ongoing work on community, desktop, kernel, quality assurance, foundations and mobile.

Our new theme is “Light”, and the next cycle will embrace that at many levels. We have a continued interest in netbooks, and we’ll revamp the Ubuntu Netbook Edition user interface. As computers become lighter they become more mobile, and we’ll work to keep people connected, all day, everywhere. We’ll embrace the web, aiming for the lightest, fastest web experience on any platform. The fastest boot, the fastest network connect, the fastest browser. Our goal is to ensure that UNE is far and away the best desktop OS for a netbook, both for consumers and power users.

On the other end of the spectrum, we’ll be lightening the burden of enterprise deployment with our emphasis on hybrid cloud computing. Ubuntu Server is already very popular on public clouds like EC2 and Rackspace, and now that Dell supports the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud for private cloud infrastructure, it’s possible to build workloads that run equally well in your data center or on the cloud. We’ll focus on making it even easier to build those workloads and keep them up to date, and managing the configurations of tens, or tens of thousands, of Ubuntu machines running in the cloud.

It’s not all about work. We don’t just want to be connected to the internet, we want to be connected to each other. Social from the Start is our initiative to make the desktop a collaborative, social place. For the past five years, we’ve all been shifting more and more data into the web, to a series of accounts and networks elsewhere. Now it’s time to start to bring those social networks back into our everyday computing environment. Our addressbooks and contact lists need to be synchronized and shared, so that we have the latest information everywhere – from mobile phones to web accounts.

So there’s a lot to do. I hope you’ll join us in shaping that work.

Introducing the Maverick Meerkat

Our mascot for 10.10 is the Maverick Meerkat.

This is a time of change, and we’re not afraid to surprise people with a bold move if the opportunity for dramatic improvement presents itself. We want to put Ubuntu and free software on every single consumer PC that ships from a major manufacturer, the ultimate maverick move. We will deliver on time, but we have huge scope for innovation in what we deliver this cycle. Once we have released the LTS we have plenty of room to shake things up a little. Let’s hear the best ideas, gather the best talent, and be a little radical in how we approach the next two year major cycle.

Meerkats are, of course, light, fast and social – everything we want in a Perfect 10. We’re booting really fast these days, but the final push remains. Changes in the toolchain may make us even faster for every application. We’re Social from the Start, but we could get even more tightly connected, and we could bring social features into even more applications. Meerkats are family-oriented, and we aspire to having Ubuntu being the safe and efficient solution for all the family netbooks. They are also clever – meerkats teach one another new skills. And that’s what makes this such a great community.

Here’s looking at the Lynx

Lucid is shaping up beautifully, but there’s still a lot to be done to make it the LTS we all want. Thanks to everyone who is bringing their time, energy and expertise to bear on making it outstanding. And I’m looking forward to the release parties, the brainstorming at UDS, and further steps on our mission to bring free software to the world, on free terms.