Where the heck is Bayanihan Linux 5.0?

Posted by jun auza On 12/30/2008
In May 2008, Manilatimes.net reported that the latest version of our very own Bayanihan Linux is about to be released. According to the report:

Software programmers at the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology are now putting the finishing touches to the latest version of Bayanihan Linux.

In addition, a leading member of the Bayanihan Linux team said, “Bayanihan Linux version 5 is slated for release by early 4th quarter, possibly on the first or second week of October, with the possibility of an offline edition of Wikipedia bundled with the upcoming academic edition.”

With the year comes to an end, I’m left wondering where the heck Bayanihan Linux 5.0 is.

I visited the BL project website and noticed that nothing much has changed since my last visit in August of 2007. Their forum is also very quiet with extremely low activity and plenty of unanswered posts.

Danny Garcia of Dannybuntu tried to contact the Bayanihan Linux team via email to request for an interview (to be published here at junauza.com) but failed. Since Danny’s questions are too good to be ignored, I decided to publish them now. Hopefully, someone from Bayanihan Linux will get to read this and can give us some answers. Here’s the content of Danny’s email to Bayanihan:

Greetings,

My name is Danny Garcia or dannybuntu. Like you, I am a fellow Linux enthusiast who likes to write about Linux or FOSS related topics of general interest. If possible, I would like to request for the opportunity to interview you guys, for me to know and publish on Junauza's blog, an article related to the "Comeback of Bayanihan Linux".

Here are the questions that I would like to pose, should you accept my request:

Part 1: Government and Community

1. The Philippine Linux crowd is growing bigger, what do you think could be the contribution of "Bayanihan Linux" a government sponsored Linux distribution, to the general Philippine Linux / Open Source community?

2. It is known that Bayanihan is government sponsored, in spite of this what do you think would be the role of the community at large - in the overall development and application of Bayanihan Linux?

Could the community contribute to the development of this project?

If so, in what ways?

3. For a while, the Bayanihan project seems to have stagnated, in fact the website for Bayanihan literally disappeared for a while and no updates were available for quite a significant time - what happened?

4. Do you think being government funded is advantageous to the growth of Bayanihan Linux or is it constrained by government guidelines?

So, is it safe to assume that if the government pulls the plug on Bayanihan, the project would just disappear?

Who pays for the hosting and bandwidth?


Part 2: Distribution Specific Questions

1. There are literally hundreds of Linux distributions that are available for Free to download on the Internet, if I am going to download Bayanihan, what are the reasons for me to download and use it for my everyday purposes instead of Ubuntu for example?

2. Some distributions, like Debian, integrate in their distributions mechanisms, which send user information back to the distribution's home, for example Debian's Popularity Contest. Will Bayanihan send back information to the government about what we do with our computers?

If yes, what kinds of information?

3. The latest version that is available to download is version 4 right? According to distrowatch.com, the release date for that version is 2007-03-28. Do you plan on updating anytime soon?

What can we expect on the next version?

Distributions such as Ubuntu, release updates on a regular timetable, does Bayanihan have a regular release timetable?


Part 3: Fun Stuff

1. 2001 is a long time, how many original team members are still on the project?

2. Friendster, My Space or Facebook? =D Can we add you as our friend?

3. Aside from Bayanihan, what stuff do you guys engage in? Do you play network multiplayer games?

4. You are in Diliman Quezon City, how did you feel when Microsoft set up an Open Source Center at the National Computer Center (NCC) in Quezon City?

5. Lastly, Richard Stallman or Linus Torvalds?

Well guys and girls, thank you for your time in answering this simple email interview. Good luck on your project and Long Live King Tux!

Until someone from Bayanihan can give us some answers, we can’t really tell what’s happening out there and why the release of BL 5.0 has been greatly delayed. I just hope that Bayanihan Linux will not become another government project with funds going straight inside Houdini’s magic pocket.

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