Robby-alpha2b is not a forbidden planet but a Jolicloud.
I recently stumbled upon a nice piece of software on my “extra-unity” journey aka Jolicloud. I need to warn you about one or two things before i start. This is not a test but rather a feature walkthrough, hieratic and confused. This article is a review written real time wile browsing the OS features.
I’m not a big fan of distro hopping. I don’t often jump but stays where i am until I need to move on due to some restriction. Since I have a net-book (asus eeePC 701) and Since I use a lot of remote services like Google apps & social network like Facebook. So when I’ve been “Joliclouded”, it took me less than 1 hour before my first boot!
I had not read trough all the infos about the OS but it was fair (according to the interface) that it was some “Easy-Peasy” spawn. This Distribution is some Ubuntu remaster dedicated to net-books like mine and installed on it since the first alpha release. According to the experience i’m living with Jolicloud… it sounds like Easy-Peasy is going to get wiped…
The real powers of Jolicloud are in its “cloud” feature. It lets you install software, sync computers, socialize with friend from one single interface. ITs yet very different from the eeePC Xandros shipped with the original 700 models but something (yet running Gnome) that can be used as both a full featured desktop OS but also as a net app terminal client to work and have fun with a minimal configuration. Nothing needs to be saved to your computer since you can do everything on google apps, the footprint of the OS is also minimal since except the base os, some browser apps and a few media players and codec … you can do all you need online.
Of course its not a workstation OS but its base. Its an Ubuntu so you can mutate it … We all know its not as easy as they say and that its not 50% as stable as the lovers pretend it is … but its yet the most commonly used Linux OS ! You may install wine to run your favourite Win* applications. You can connect to a regular Ubuntu repo and test the building of a desktop OS but it would be nonsense. Its a net-book OS. Tiny, light and speedy so that my 7 year old kid could use it.
This is something bitter and sweet at once when one involved (even from far) in the development of a distribution discovers something as efficiently built as this. I wish that Unity-Linux will reach trough one of its branch, such a level of excellence. Yet there is a lot of bugs to fix and elements to remove to get it to bee as speedy as it should but its yet one of the best distribution in the last 5 years. I wish it will run on a compressed file system and take some good ideas that the eeePCLinux project had implemented and i guess it will stand a chance against the big ones …
Something else is really nice about this os launch and that is something that other Linux distro should draw inspiration from. It uses a lot of viral marketing techniques to get the users/consumers being the brand ambassador. This is yet dangerous but really efficient at once… Its dedicated for an audience used to viral media. It buzzes and spread (despite the closed alpha status) real fast and finds pretty efficiently its target audience. This, in my very opinion, is the way all free software should built their communication : On top of the users. By entrusting them to spread the image of the product they use.
Not to look like geeks in caves but real competitors towards the commercial retrograde omni corporations, nowadays Linux enthusiasts, needs to set up real glamorous graphic identity with inspiring visual, fashionable and fresh, backed up with real marketing strategies. They must not do what they like but what the people like, and especially what their little sister, children and grand children would like. Even information went viral nowadays. So looking at future usage and using nowadays means of communication is the key. Will there be someone able to explain to all the hairy punks haunting 90% of media labs and distro CVS repositories that marketing is not a compromise towards commercial software. Its is not a step backward, but rather a feature that the free OS scene has been missing since the beginning. Marketing is a language, not a philosophy. Else, free software will remain (for desktop usage) a really confidential epiphenomenon.