A few people have been asking me for more details about my meeting with Ashley Highfield from the BBC. I figured I would elaborate a little more.
The meeting took place in his office and we discussed a range of topics. George had a HP laptop for Ashley that he started a new install on, and while Ubuntu installed, Ashley and I discussed a range of issues. We started discussing Ubuntu, its history, where the project started, how the community fits together, how people contribute, its size, and the success of Ubuntu throughout its history. We then moved on to talk in more detail about the Open Source philosophy in which I explained how this incredible worldwide community works, and how distributors take upstream software and release it. I explained the concept of “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow“, and Ashley asked specific questions about how Ubuntu compares to other Operating Systems and other distributions. He had a keen interest in the community and was asking what kind of things I do as part of my work, and where the line is drawn between the community and Canonical. He also reminisced on his programming days with the kind of nostalgic pleasure that many of us feel when looking back to those dim, distant days in technology.
I also sat down and ran him through the Ubuntu desktop, showing it off, demonstrating some applications, and he seemed quite impressed with how it worked. I also explained some of the benefits of the Linux desktop in terms of reliability, security, viruses etc. We transferred to a separate room at the Beeb to get a network connection and we discussed some of the network aspects of Ubuntu, such as the huge range of installable packages available. The meeting then concluded, we shook hands and agreed to talk further.
Ashley is a pleasant, engaging guy, and I look forward to meeting him again.
There we go.