Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Guess who's back?


My name is Mobeen Iqbal or Mo for short, and I have recently taken on the roll of Vinux project manager. As many of you may already know, on the 8th of October 2011 Tony Sales, the founder of Vinux announced that he would no longer be able to continue his involvement and work on the Vinux project. Any voluntary project can take up a lot of someone's personal time. Though we are all extremely saddened by Tony's departure, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank Tony for all his hard work both in starting Vinux and developing and maintaining Vinux releases. The amount of work and dedication he has poured in to Vinux is admirable. We wish him all the best for the future and welcome him if he wants to continue work on the project at a later time.

I would also like to thank everyone for the over whelming amount of support and encouragement on and off the Vinux lists which I have received to take on the roll of project manager over the last 5 weeks.

Though at times our mailing lists have been some what quiet, I can assure you I have been making my way around the Vinux teams, users and familiarizing
Myself. Rob Whyte is currently working on Vinux development and taking on the roll Tony was filling in producing updated Vinux releases. However, we are looking to have our build process automated very soon; this should make life a lot easier for people working on the project. I'd like to say a big thanks to Rob for his time in producing updates to our current stable release of Vinux, liaising with developers to iron out bugs and helping out all teams in general. I'd also like to say a huge thanks to Luke Yelavich, our Lead Tech who is currently spending hours of his time working on getting our new build process up and running.

Vinux is continuing to improve and we have not lost any drive or determination. We still have a small core of dedicated contributors who work on Vinux in their own time.
We have been conducting team meetings and they have produced a lot of good ideas and we have started to implement them. Some of the changes we hope to make over the coming months include:

We intend to start a blueprint Vinux project on Launchpad.
This will be a place where people can start an idea and others can follow the progress or provide feedback/suggestions for improvement.

We now have a Vinux Ventrilo server which is push to talk voice chat.
We are implementing an open door policy on our Ventrilo server where Rob and I plan to be available two nights a week for people to drop in and chat with us.

We are taking another look at Vinux media, such as CD's and USB pen drives as well as the possibility of T-Shirts, caps, mugs even stickers and are hoping to setup some kind of distribution network across the world so people can purchase media in their country of residents. We are also in the process of implementing a global contact scheme for users who need on the ground Vinux support.

We are setting up a Vinux YouTube channel so look out for videos being uploaded soon.
If you have a topic that you feel has not been covered or needs revisiting we welcome your input. Also if you would like us to cover a specific topic or provide a walkthrough for a specific app in a video, please don't hesitate to get in touch and we will see what we can do.

We still need more people to be a part of our various Vinux teams, if you have some time let us know what area you would like to contribute in and please
join up.
Although there is no pay, there are many rewards and all contributions how ever large or small are welcome and much appreciated. So far our teams consist of web development, testing, documentation, public relations and the development team.

We are looking in to implementing a donations system on the website.

We are also in the process of updating our user manual and switching to a new wiki platform which should be more intuitive and easier to navigate.

Hopefully over the coming months, we will be demonstrating Vinux at various exhibitions’ across the world, please keep an eye on our news page or on the email lists just in case we're in your area.

You can also buy Vinux computers or laptops, or have Vinux installed on your machine or pen drive for you. Although these services are only available in the UK at present, we are looking in to providing them internationally.

So, where is Vinux going, glad you asked!

Vinux 4.0 is our next long term support release, or referred to as LTS. This will be based on Ubuntu 12.04, and will use the Unity desktop instead of the gnome desktop. Our very talented lead tech Luke Yelavich has been working tirelessly to build a Vinux build process such as the one used by Ubuntu. This offers us many new features that our previous manual build process did not allow, such as extra language support and WUBI support so you can install Vinux to your computer and boot from it without partitioning your hard drive.

For those who are really not sure of Unity we will be having a Vinux 3.3 development build in preparation for Vinux 4.0, this will be for testing
and staging for the next LTS.

We will also be releasing an update to Vinux 3.0.1 shortly, V3.0.2 which is still based on Ubuntu Lucid.

The next 12 months should be an exciting time for us all. I'd like to thank everyone for their help and support. Both the various teams and developers working behind the scenes to keep the project alive and producing releases, and of course you, the users. Its you that make Vinux what it is today. With your input, Vinux will hopefully continue for years to come. Let’s make Vinux the number one distribution for anyone with a disability and have a great time while we're at it!