FOSS 0704

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LinuxMCE is a fork from Pluto. Pluto is a commercial company releasing their software as open source, but it only worked as part of their own proprietary distro and wasn't therefore too useful to the general LinuxMCE community. LinuxMCE was to be a FOSS community-driven project with no commercial ties.

In March, 2007 I completed a rough integration with Ubuntu which I released as version 1.0 along with a crude demo video. It generated a lot of interest, with millions of visitors, and the demo video was downloaded over 300,000 times. However only 27% of people reported they succeeded in installing it. I started receiving hundreds of emails a day. Many were from volunteers offering help, but first they always wanted help getting their own systems going. So after spending more than 1 month providing non-stop tech support, but without getting any of the bugs fixed or code improved, I decided to withdraw long enough to get a stable release out that was fully integrated into the Linux desktop and thus could be used by normal Linux users, and wouldn't require tech-support to get going. Pluto's solution was already reasonably stable with their own distro, but my integration with Ubuntu was still too rough.

A commercial company wanting to sell LinuxMCE also contacted me offering to provide significant resources to get a stable release out so they could start selling it. I have no invested interest in it. Pluto also offered to help because they knew that their software wasn't of much real benefit to the FOSS community when it was tied to their own proprietary distro. So, instead of working on my fork as originally planned, I merged all the changes I made for LinuxMCE 1.0 back into Pluto's svn, and used their svn and build server, with help from their IT team, the past couple months to get this new release out.

This was only a temporary diversion because it seemed the most efficient way to get a new release out which was solid and usable. Now LinuxMCE 0704 is out and the feedback is very positive. There's a more polished demo video that's a complete walk-through including all setup, documenting all the hardware I used and every step that goes into setup starting with a clean PC. So any serious Linux user who wants to get a LinuxMCE system going should be able to do so without needing tech support. Therefore my intention is to go back to the original plan now and re-fork from Pluto as a community-driven project, and re-engage looking for volunteers wanting to join the project. This 0704 release seems pretty stable and to work well so we can focus on the roadmap, the community, and not spend all the time doing tech-support to help others get LinuxMCE installed.

My apologies for withdrawing for a while. It was a catch-22 situation, and this seemed the best approach. If you contacted me previously and I didn't respond, I encourage you to do so again. My forum id is webpaul1, and my email is the same @gmail.com