Image Creative Commons by Rafael Laguna

lubuntu.net new website with Drupal 7

The goal of the upgrade of the lubuntu website was to keep all previous content and screencasts of Leszek and to continue the site with the latest version of Drupal 7, respectively the speed optimized distribution Pressflow 7. The way we did the upgrade: We got the latest dump of the site and database from Osuosl (the great folks of Open Source Lab hosting our site – Thank you!) and upgraded it locally. I got a lot of help from Thanh Nguyen from the Drupal Community, who is also working in my company.

WHAT WAS UPGRADED: The Drupal system was upgraded from version 6 to version 7. All modules were upgraded. Many modules had to be substituted with other modules. A new theme was set up. The new site is merging the proposal of Kanliot with the old site.

DESIGN AND THEME: The new site is using a slightly customized “Superclean theme” provided by the Drupal community. The icons for the lubuntu links and screenshots for the slideshow on the frontpage are made by Rafael Laguna (also known as 礁湖神癒).


screenshot lubuntu.net website 2012

CONTENT AND PARTICIPATION IN LUBUNTU WEB PRESENCE: There are three goals for the lubuntu site.

#1 The intention of the lubuntu website is to direct people to the right resources to find answers, e.g. a download page, forum, wiki or help pages.

#2 On the site we want to provide a basic idea about the lubuntu project.

#3 The site should show ‘updates’ from the community on the net.

For #1: We are providing links to the most common resources like the lubuntu tag page on the ubuntuforums and help pages.

For #2: We are offering an introduction to lubuntu on the front page and a slideshow (which substitutes the previous screenshots page).

For #3: We are collecting feeds from blogs of contributors and news sites like twitter and google news.

Since the beginning of the project the idea was to keep the participation as open as possible and to focus on lubuntu as a community project rather than “only” a lightweight Linux system. While marketing is important, we also did not want to use marketing language that might “promise too much” or compare to other systems and desktops in a negative way. Lubuntu is more lightweight than many others, but different systems have different advantages and other distributions more features for instance. In the end we are all in the same race for free software 🙂

Rather than creating a website that can only be handled by a limited group of people, we also decided to use existing collaboration tools that offer a wide degree of openness . For example, as a newbie or as an established contributor it is much easier to get involved contributing in the existing Ubuntu wiki and Ubuntuforums than becoming active in a team that manages a new content management system.

We are using existing channels as much as possible. In the proposal of Kanliot there were some additional pages with excellent in-depth information. In order to facilitate the process of content updates and to let more people participate, however, I suggest to collect this information in the wiki and other community resources (where there is an established path of getting involved). As far as I can see this actually works out well most of the time and some of the content of pages in the proposal already made it into the wiki and documentation pages.

screenshot lubuntu wiki 2012

screenshot of lubuntuforums

WEBSITE TEAM: Nevertheless, as updates on the website became a bit slow, especially during the last year, we need to think, how to bring a team of contributors together to update the most important information here. We need to form a team to keep the site running with up to date links and information, especially during new releases. The level of access to critical community resources like a server usually depends on the personal level of trust. At the moment our hoster is taking care of the server and many admin tasks, but they will also offer access  to the server ot the lubuntu web team in the upcoming months. So, we need to think about how to establish a team. This is probably a discussion during a UDS or meet up at a lubuntu community weekend.

Let’s also take the opportunity to say THANK YOU TO OSUOSL FOR HOSTING LUBUNTU.NET: Osuosl stands for Open Source Lab of Oregan State University. The advantage of hosting with Osuosl is that we do not need to worry about server maintenance and that the site is hosted with a community resource. There are tons of FOSS projects hosted by Osuosl we are sharing resources with. Thank you Osuosl for hosting us and in particular Michael and Rudy for your support!

.. Lastly, still the question: WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG TO BRING UP THE NEW SITE: One point was, there were a few obstacles to overcome in the upgrade process. Another point was, that the central administration of the server infrastructure of several projects means we need to coordinate with others and it means that there are more parties involved. Thus taking up more time.  Also, as we are co-working across continents (Europe, Asia, North America) and time zones, sometimes having to wait for a day for a reply if something does not work out right away. For the future things are also improving here step by step as Osuosl will soon provide a way for us to take care of CMS installations ourselves.

If you are interested below you find information about the major upgrade tasks and process.

Lubuntu-drupal 7 Upgrade Notes

1. Some important changes:

1.1. Drupal core: 6.22 -> 7.12

1.2. Theme

– Custom Superclean theme: http://drupal.org/project/superclean
– New logo

1.3. Modules

List of modules, which do not work on Drupal 7 anymore:

a) Akismet
– Link: http://drupal.org/project/akismet
– Similar modules include Antispam (which includes Akismet protection), Mollom
http://drupal.org/project/antispam
http://drupal.org/project/mollom

b) customcssjs
– Link: http://drupal.org/project/customcssjs

c) Image (integrated to the core)
– Link: http://drupal.org/project/image
– From Drupal 6 to 7: Image node data may be converted to Image fields using Field convert module; the image_legacy module (in this project’s git repository’s 7.x-1.x branch) provides the necessary field conversion information.

d) img_assist
– Link: http://drupal.org/project/img_assist

e) supercron (integrated to the core)
– Link: http://drupal.org/project/supercron

f) udcountdown, udheader, udplanet
– Link:
+ http://drupal.org/project/udcountdown
+ http://drupal.org/project/udheader
+ http://drupal.org/project/udplanet
– We need to find solutions to keep these features.

g) oauth_common (for post twitter feature)
– Link: http://drupal.org/project/oauth_common
– OAuth Common has moved to it’s new home at http://drupal.org/project/oauth

2. Upgrade process:

2.1. Backup current website.

2.2. Upgrade current website to latest drupal 6 (6.25) and also all active modules.

2.3. Check all modules to find new versions for drupal 7 or look for alternative solution to implement the features.

2.4. Disable all non-core/optional modules and change the theme to basic theme.

2.5. Download the drupal 7 and all module(for drupal 7).

2.6. Upgrade the website and check for errors (we will correct these error before going to next step).

2.7. Enable modules one by one to check and corect the errors.

2.8. Migrate cck fields to drupal 7 fields.

3. Upgrade difficulties:

3.1. Find alternative modules or solution to implement features.

3.2. The White Screen of Death (Completely Blank Page) when enabling a module.

4. New Features:

4.1. A sildeshow on frontpage for showing lubuntu screenshot

4.2. Some block to display new feed items, blog posts,…

Lubuntu 12.04 is now available

Julien Lavergne and the team have released lubuntu 12.04.

Download: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/lubuntu/releases/12.04/release/

What is Lubuntu

Lubuntu is a flavor of Ubuntu based on the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE), as its default GUI.  The goal is to provide a very lightweight distribution, with all the advantages of the Ubuntu world (repositories, support, etc.). Lubuntu is targeted at “normal” PC and laptop users running on low-spec hardware. Such users may not know how to use command line tools, and in most cases they just don’t have enough resources for all the bells and whistles of the “full-featured” mainstream distributions.

With many LXDE components, Lubuntu also uses well-known applications, such as Chromium, Openbox, Pidgin, to name a few. The Lubuntu project wiki contains more information on the project and the applications used available.

Unlike Ubuntu, Lubuntu 12.04 is not a LTS, this version will be supported for 18 months. However, a lot of work has been done to improve the stability of the system.

Features

* Based on the lightweight LXDE desktop environment.
* Pcmanfm 0.9.10, a fast and lightweight files manager using gio/gvfs.
* Openbox, the fast and extensible, default windows-manager of LXDE.
* Lightdm, using the simple GTK greeter
* Chromium, the open-source version of Google Chrome.
* … and, of course, based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

See the complete list of current applications on https://docs.lubuntu.net/lubuntu_applications.html

Improvements since Lubuntu 11.10

* A new software-center, optimized to be lightweight, for easy installation and removal of applications from your system.
* New theme is used, and each previous themes are available in the repositories.
* Lightdm is used as the display manager with the default gtk greeter.
* Blueman is now used instead of gnome-bluetooth for managing bluetooth devices.
* A lot of bug fixes, especially on the panel and the file manager.

Releases notes and known issues

The release notes, with a list of known problems are available on https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PrecisePangolin/ReleaseNotes/Lubuntu

Thanks

A big thank to everyone involving in the development of this new great release : LXDE developers, Ubuntu developers, ISO testers, artwork and design people, social-network & blog writers, support & IRC keepers … It’s another success of a great team work 🙂

Links

lubuntu on Track to Official Status as Ubuntu Flavour

There has been news on some sites about “lubuntu” gaining official status. And YES we are on the way to official status and had some thumbs up from Mark and others at UDS in Budapest, but one thing is for sure: There is still a lot of work ahead. We can call lubuntu official, when the ISOs are build on the Ubuntu infrastructure and when lubuntu 11.10 will be out. This here is a quick sum up of the Ubuntu Developer Summit and the impacts on Lubuntu development based on notes of Julien Lavergne:

Lubuntu and official status

As said during the UDS session, we are on track for official status. Infrastructure issues are going to be solved and Lubuntu will be added to the list of flavors. We have all the authorizations for it, so I’m (Julien) pretty sure it will happen this cycle. We will have to work on stabilizing the new ISOs, but I’ll write again when it will be available.

Work during this cycle

A lot of work will be necessary to be ready for gtk3 migration. Don’t expect many new exciting features. Unless we have more people and developers coming along and helping with various projects, new features will not be on the top of the list.

Rewrite of the TODO page

To help to know where there is work to do, there is a list of todos for lubuntu. What needs to be done?

The different sections:
* Bitesize : It’s little bugs that should be easy to fix, and are suitable for new comers.
* Projects : It’s more than bitesize 🙂 It’s more difficult / long to implement, suitable for people who want to work on a more long-term project.
* Discussed projects : items that are discussed, but we are not sure if it’s useful, suitable, or possible for Lubuntu.
* Packaging : items relative to packaging, for Debian or Ubuntu.
* Upstreaming : it’s tasks to be done directly on upstream side.
* Project Organization : task for the general organisation of the project.
* Documentation : Various items for documentation.
* Later / To triage : not up to date, don’t look at it 🙂

When you want to work on an item, you should put your name at the beginning of the line, or put your name in the table. It should avoid duplicate work.

Other

All should be summarize in the TODO page.

Mark Shuttleworth says “Thank you” to lubuntu community

lubuntu has grown into an amazing project over the last two years. There are more than 460 people who signed up with the project on my project team. Contributors are engaging to keep the documentation updated. Designers create lubuntu interface designs and others make videos.

Under the guidance of Julien Lavergne, the distro has become a stable and widely praised distribution constantly listed on the top end of lists of Linux distributions (comp.: distrowatch).

The next goals of the project are clear. Apart from constantly improving the distribution, the lubuntu project aims to become an official flavour of Ubuntu. Recent comments by Mark Shuttleworth thanking the lubuntu team add excitement in the community that this goal will be achieved in the near future.

“Thanks for the great work and progress of Lubuntu in the past 2 years. The fact that you are now 100% in the archive, and using PPA’s and other tools effectively, makes it possible for us to consider recognising Lubuntu as an official part of the project. … From my perspective, I see no problem in providing Lubuntu with the means to book sessions at UDS, and for us to call attention to Lubuntu in the project release notes. … Our goal with Ubuntu is to ensure that the archive contains the full richness of free software. LXDE is definitely part of that, and with the other desktop environments making greater demands on PC resources, LXDE has a continued role to play.” (Mark Shuttleworth, Apr. 26, 2011)

Links

* Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu Technical Board Mailing List about lubuntu: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/technical-board/2011-April/000835.html