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As many of you know, LinuxMCE began as branch off of Pluto's media and home automation software designed to run on a more conventional Linux distribution (Ubuntu). Pluto has not given members of the FOSS community access to commit code to Pluto's own SVN server in order to preserve their ability to license the Pluto components of the code to closed source shops. SVN is a revision control system used to track software changes, and is used to manage the development of LinuxMCE as well as a number of other software projects. But we've been talking with Pluto about the possibility of having Pluto developers and LinuxMCE developers use the same public SVN repository for the significant overlapping bits of LinuxMCE and Pluto's software. The only real catch is that they want us to create a legal entity for LinuxMCE which can sign a code sharing agreement with Pluto.

One of our weaknesses is the lack of an elegant design tool for creating an attractive user interface, currently theming both LinuxMCE and Pluto's software is a black art and is difficult to approach for even very talented graphics designers. Pluto had been working on developing an entirely new user interface. But there has been such enthusiastic support of LinuxMCE from the FOSS community that Pluto has decided to work with the FOSS community on this new user interface rather than working on it alone. KDE has a big event on January 18th at Googleplex in Mountain View, California, and several members of KDE will be attending. Pluto has sponsored a conference facility at a nearby hotel on the 19th to discuss the new user interface with members of the KDE team and any interested parties to LinuxMCE, and has agreed to pay for flight and accommodations for 2 members of the LinuxMCE community. Read about the new UI concept here: UI3

As part of the public SVN initiative, Pluto has pledged to help us with the necessary server infrastructure and help us set up the LinuxMCE legal entity. This includes four new servers in a colocation facility with a dedicated 100 mbit connection. The server hardware was donated by Leadman Electronics. This includes a new server to host the LinuxMCE website, forums and mailing list, a fast svn server, and three build servers to continually compile the latest versions of LinuxMCE for 32 bit and 64 bit Linux as well as Windows. Daniel Kristjansson will be given root access to all the servers and will be able to grant SVN commit access to members of the LinuxMCE community.

NOTE: We have not committed to the public SVN initiative, it is being discussed in the Developers forum.