It’s always nice to follow the development of Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Fedora. But what about the people behind the scenes that use these operating systems. The developers. The community. The Users. Behind all those pixels that make up your display, there’s a whole wide range of interesting geeks with plenty of talent to contribute in many ways to the future of Linux development.
Geeks of all ages, young and old. I found one such person for which I briefly interviewed for Unixmen. A promising young developer who is still in his teens. Boden Matthews is a community developer who is currently working on a version of Ubuntu designed for the HP TouchPad. And it seems to be an interesting project with potential.
Here is the interview with the young Aussie community developer, Boden Matthews:
Chris: Introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself?
Boden: My name is Boden Matthews, and I’m 15. I live in Brisbane, Australia.
Chris: When did you first get involved with Ubuntu and/or the Linux Community?
Boden: I first got involved with the Linux community after playing around with Ubuntu 8.04 which was recommended to me by a friend. I submitted a few bugs. But after I got myself a HP TouchPad, I started working on a port of Ubuntu for the TouchPad.
Chris: What projects are you currently working on?
Boden: I’m currently working on the TouchPadBuntu Project, which is a project to port Ubuntu to the HP TouchPad and get it running fluidly and stable.
Chris: What development tools/software do you primarily use and what programming language do you specifically use?
Boden: I mostly use just the Terminal, gedit and Notepad++ for editing. And I’ve mostly been working in Bash and some C++.
Chris: What do you think of the current state of Ubuntu 12.04 development?
Boden: I think it’s going quite well. Aside from the little bit of squabbling between the GNOME and Unity camps.
Chris: Do you think Unity is the best graphical interface for Ubuntu? Or do you think the Ubuntu Developers should have stayed with GNOME?
Boden: It honestly depends on the situation, GNOME is better for desktops and non-touchscreen devices, yet Unity is better for netbooks and touchscreen devices. That is my opinion.
Chris: Are you planning to upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 once it has been released?
Boden: I already have.
Chris: Why do you use Ubuntu in favor of other Linux distributions?
Boden: Because it’s simple and easy to use. And it works with a lot of different hardware, right off the disc.
Chris: Do you use any other Linux distributions in addition to Ubuntu?
Boden: Not really. I have been using CentOS as of late for a Garry’s Mod server though.
Chris: How do you see the future of Linux computing and how much of an influence do you think Canonical and Ubuntu will play in the future direction of computing, especially in the Linux ecosystem?
Boden: I can definitely see Linux taking a larger share of the desktop, notebook and mobile OS market. Especially if you include Linux based operating systems like Android. I do see Canonical and Ubuntu playing a large part of the direction of Linux, mostly due to the fact that the community behind it is so immensely large.
Chris: Do you think Linux needs more commercial support and commercial software available for it to grow and gain stronger acceptance among the IT industry? Or do you think Free and Open-Source software is what Linux should be promoting, as it already is?
Boden: It would be great if more businesses and large corporations used Linux instead of Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X. But due to the fact that most people grow up with and are trained only to use Windows based computers, I don’t see it happening any time soon. On the other hand, Free and Open-Source Software does need to be promoted more, but not just on Linux. Windows and OS X have their share of open-source and free software too, The GIMP being a good example.
I wish to thank Boden for taking some time out to speak to Unixmen. His HP TouchPad port of Ubuntu is going to be something to keep a close eye on in the future. And it’s also great to see someone so young and mature embrace Linux and FOSS in such a positive way. It is certainly encouraging to see.