The 3D-printing technology has gained quite a big momentum in recent times. Its use is spreading widely even among hobbyists and many sources report daily several (sometimes weird) examples of its usage. The thing I like most, as a Free Software activist, is that several 3D-printing-related free and open source software are already available and quite good, and some printers are even released as free hardware.
Unfortunately, Debian is quite lagged behind with regard to the availability of such software in our archive, especially compared to other distributions who already ship much of it. Hopefully this situation will change drastically thanks to the brand new Debian 3D-Printing team, whose purpose is to make Debian a rocking platform to do some serious 3D-printing.
The team is bootstrapping right now, and we are looking for volunteers who are willing to help us. Packagers are greatly welcomed, but also triagers, users and passionate people with some experience in the field are extremely valuable.
People willing to join the team can take a look at our (in-progress) wiki page and apply on the team page on Alioth. As with any good packaging team, a mailing list is available to share ideas, feel free to subscribe it, and feel free to join #debian-3dprinting on OFTC if you want to hang out with other team members.
A few days ago, several sources reported that SteamOS, the long-announced game-oriented OS has been released by Valve. Steam is a gaming platform currently available for Ubuntu, and it has been a major reason of advertising for the Ubuntu community. Actually, SteamOS was expected to be built on top of Ubuntu itself.
Quite surprisingly instead, SteamOS is Debian-based. Yes, you read that well. This is quite impressive, given the amount of testing that has been done on Ubuntu so far, where quite a big number of users has been piled up.
I don’t know the reasons why Valve made this choice. Looking at their FAQ, I can read that “building on top of the Debian core is the best way for Valve to deliver a fully custom SteamOS experience to our customers.” Which is quite odd, given that Ubuntu looked the perfect platform up to just a few days ago. I really would like to know what made Valve change their mind.
Another bizarre thing I noticed is the complete black-out of news on Planet Ubuntu. I can remember the great excitement when Valve announced Steam for Ubuntu. The release of SteamOS has passed silently instead. Maybe someone is quite upset by this choice, or maybe we are no more interested in Steam after this “treason” .
In any case, I’d say this is one more blown away opportunity for our community. One more after a long series of other incidents happened in the years. The number of people who quit for not feeling part of the project anymore has reached an impressive value. Several (both technical and non-) decisions has caused puzzlement and conflicts in the community; some of them are unanswered, many of them have been badly-answered. Ubuntu is more and more under the eyes for its privacy concerns . This time, we just lost quite a big opportunity to land in millions of houses, and we had wide open doors, a chance we could not have again for some time ahead.
First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. Ubuntu has a problem, and we should find a solution. Or at least be more sincere with regard to what this project really aims to.