Today, July 26, 2016, Canonical and The Document Foundation (TDF) announced that the company behind the popular Ubuntu operating system had joined the LibreOffice project Advisory Board.
If you're using the Ubuntu Linux OS on your personal computer, you are aware of the fact that the award-winning LibreOffice office suite is installed by default. Canonical chose to use LibreOffice as the default office suite for its widely-used GNU/Linux operating system since the first release of the open-source software in early 2011.
Now that Canonical announced the availability of Snaps as universal binary packages for Ubuntu and other supported GNU/Linux distributions, many application developers decided to offer their software in the Snap package format, and it looks like The Document Foundation is among the first to adopt the latest Snappy technologies for LibreOffice.
When I sat down to interview Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical, I don’t think it was lost on either of us that our ability to chat freely even though I was in my office in the middle of the U.S. and she was in her office in London, England had everything to do with cloud computing, an area in which her company does brisk business.
Silber has been running Canonical (maker of Ubuntu, among a great many other software products) in one form or another for well over a decade at this point, first as COO and now CEO. She answers questions thoughtfully, with carefully chosen words; even though I’m sure I’m not the first journalist to ask her some of the below questions (maybe not even the first one this week), she had no canned responses, and she never veered off course to discuss her own agenda. There were no preset talking points; simply, I asked questions, and she answered them.
Canonical just released Ubuntu 16.04.1, the first point release in the Ubuntu 16.04 “Xenial Xerus” series. All the changes made to Ubuntu 16.04 have been combined into a new installer image, which you can now download.
It doesn’t what sort of portable device you use, from laptop, to tablet, to phone: you know how crucial it is to monitor battery life.
As part of the Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus) announcement, Martin Wimpress informs us about the release of the Ubuntu MATE 16.04.1 LTS operating systems for users of Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS.
Ubuntu MATE 16.04.1 LTS is not a major release, and if your Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) installation is up to date, you already have the latest software updates and security patches that have been injected in the new installation mediums generated mainly for those who want to reinstall or deploy the OS on new systems.
This week I was a guest on the Snappy Sprint in Heidelberg, hosted by Canonical, because I'm the maintainer of snaps packages on Arch Linux.
Actually with official packages on Arch Linux, you can only use snaps without confinement (aka you can only install packages in devmode) and this is bad for security since any snap is not confined and it can do (almost) anything it want.
The reason is that snap for confinement uses the ubuntu-patched version of apparmor not available in mainline kernel yet.
Distributing apps as packages (deb, rpm, etc) is problematic. For example, the Pitivi package depends on the GTK package and Pitivi 0.95 broke in the distributions which updated to GTK version 3.20, because of the incorrect way we were using a virtual method. This is not the first time something like this happens. To avoid the slippery dependencies problem, two years ago we started making universal daily builds. They allowed everybody to run the latest Pitivi easily by downloading a large binary containing the app and all the dependencies.
The latest release candidate of the upcoming LibreOffice 5.2.0 feature release is available for installation from the snap store. This makes it very easy to install this prerelease of LibreOffice for testing out new features (an incomplete glimpse on what to look forward for can be found on the LibreOffice 5.2 release notes page, which is still under construction, go on #libreoffice-qa if you want to help with testing).
So when Ubuntu and Canonical revealed they were partnering with actual, big manufacturers for Ubuntu mobile devices, a spark of hope was rekindled in my heart. Let it be clear, I am by no means an Ubuntu user, not even a fan. I left the fold nearly a decade ago, after having spent quite some time using and contributing to Kubuntu (to the point of becoming a certified “member” even, though I never ascended to the Council). In terms of loyalties and usage, I am a KDE user (and “helper”) foremost. I use Fedora because it just works for me, for now. So, yes, an Ubuntu Touch device would be another compromise for me, but it would be the smallest one. Or so I hoped.