The Canary Islands have two derivatives of Kubuntu, one which is being installed in all their schools and one used by the largest university. The Jornadas de Software Libre conference at The University of La Laguna, took place in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, from the 18th-21st September 2007. It was organised by the university’s Software Libre Office (OSL).
In a trip to on the of the schools, mEDUXa 1.2 was shown to Jonathan Riddell (Kubuntu’s main developer) and Aaron Seigo (president of KDE e.V.). For more than an hour, members of the MEDUSA project from the Educational Department of the Canary Island Regional Government, along with some of the members of mEDUXa’s 1.2 team and conference organisers, all talked about the project. These well known community members were informed about the actual state of the project and future plans. They visited a computer lab where the workstations were all running Kubuntu based mEDUXa v1.2.
300 schools already have mEDUXa v1.2. The MEDUSA project (which has mEDUXa as its major free software effort) is developing mEDUXa v2, based on Kubuntu Feisty Fawn with KDE 3.5.6. It is going to be deployed in 100 more schools before the end of the year. That means that about 8000 computers will have mEDUXa on them by January. During 2008 and the first half of 2009, every single state school (about 1100) will have mEDUXa on their desktops. There are also plans for distributing a mEDUXa LiveCD.
During the conference, Aaron Seigo talked about the exciting new capabilities coming in KDE4. Jonathan Riddell described the expanding Ubuntu eco-system as well as the many different distributions based on Kubuntu including Linux MCE, mEDUXa and many others. Jonathan talked about Kubuntu Gutsy and described the Launchpad Free Software project hosting platform. Another talk was about the Canary Island regional government’s plans for free software in education (including mEDUXa v2, courses for teachers, mEDUXa’s liveCD, free software applications that will be included in windows by default in schools, etc.).
Several morning long workshops were held during the 4 day conference. In one of them Kubuntu packaging was described and there was a tutorial on using bzr and Launchpad. Aaron Seigo gave an introduction to KDE and Qt programming. Bardinux v2, La Laguna’s college distribution for students, based on Feisty Fawn, has had a big impact amongst students from that college. New tools for developing derivative distributions, the Unidistro project, were also announced to the Free Software community. Unidistro is a combined effort from various Spanish colleges, the main objective being to simplify the development and distribution of Ubuntu based Live CDs.