Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Back to the Future!

The New Year approaches and I really need to start working on the first official release of Vinux. The last few weeks have been quite frustrating as I have had to spend most of my free time setting up a new Vinux website, mailing list and development blog in preparation for the formal announcement of the re-branding of Vibuntu to Vinux etc. This has also given me the opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved so far and what the priorities are for the next release. I am quite pleased with the initial response to Vinux, which has been largely positive. However I was a bit surprised and discouraged by criticisms made by some subscribers suggesting that there was no real need for such a distribution, that Linux was already accessible anyway and posting updates on the three key forums (Ubuntu, Gnome and Orca) was tantamount to spamming! This aside, the key tasks in the order of priority as I see them, are: 1. To allow users to choose their preferred language and keyboard layout at boot, and their own username and password during the installation process. 2. To improve the responsiveness of Orca by replacing PulseAudio with Alsa and installing Speech Dispatcher (this may also provide a more elegant solution to the problem Orca has with administration applications). 3. Incorporating alternative accessibility solutions such as YASR, LinuxSpeaks and Speakup etc., (although this may require the replacement of Open Office with AbiWord and Gnumeric because of space constraints). 4. Replacement of Ubuntu logos and splash-screens etc., with original Vinux artwork or at the very least generic artwork which will not infringe on Canonical's trademarks etc.