Why Not Pre-Install World Community Grid on Ubuntu?

I have been using the World Community Grid as my default screen saver for quite some time. For those of you not familiar with the project, it basically creates a massive computing network (your computer and everyone else using WCG) to solve some of the most difficult problems facing science, such as curing AIDS.

World Community Grid Logo

The software is available on a wide variety of platforms,
including Linux. There is even an Ubuntu Linux Team (my distro of choice). Yes, you can create teams and track how much good you and your friends are doing!

What blows my mind is that, with all of the crappy, cheesy screen savers built into operating systems, World Community Grid hasn’t been.

ubuntu logo

If WCG were the default screensaver for every Ubuntu release going forward, what kind of difference would that make? Hundreds of thousands of new participants with computers that you know stay on forever and are well maintained (sorry for the geek stereotype, but come on, how many of you regularly turn off your computer).

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6 Comments

  1. This is a really great idea. Did you ever tried to fill a blueprint for it on launchpad? You can propose this as a feature to the upcoming Ubuntu 8.04 because 7.10 is already feature frozen, though.

    https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu

  2. MarcoVincenzo
    Aug 29, 2007

    Sorry, but I have to disagree with this suggestion. Ubuntu is nice because it isn’t bloated. And, since my machines run [email protected] when I’m not using them for something else I really don’t want to have to remove unwanted parts of the base install to free up cycles I’ve already got a use for.

    Make the WCG as easy as possible for people to install iF THEY CHOOSE TO, but don’t try to force it on people.

  3. BuddaMagoo
    Aug 29, 2007

    Gawd, you sound like Bush. Go push your fascist ideas on someone else.

  4. Mindbleach
    Aug 29, 2007

    Good intentions, but I mostly agree with Marco. I can see including it and even having it installed by default, but setting it up as the default screensaver sounds like a great way to flood messageboards with complaints about louder fans, higher electricity bills, and greedier bandwidth use since the previous release.

    Authors Note: Perhaps that is a better compromise. If we are going to have pre-installed screensavers, we might as well include the one that might save a few lives in the process

  5. Tmanisaur
    Dec 16, 2007

    I also agree with Marco – I’m using spare cycles on several Ubuntu machines at home and office to run simulations. Ubuntu is great because it works very well for linux newbies like me. I really don’t want to have to uninstall elements I don’t need.

    Btw…fascism is politics. This is linux. ‘Nuff said.

    Authors Note: Do you turn off your screen-saver as well? Also, if I am correct, World Community Grid runs as the lowest priority, so as long as your simulation programs are prioritized higher, WCG would not interfere.

  6. Blah Blah Black Sheep
    Jul 8, 2009

    What Ubuntu is missing is a “simplistic / advanced” install wizard. Users can do the usual install, which could be considered “simple”. Or, let them click a button to do “advanced” install and ask them a butt-ton of questions that would cover things like this … “what default screen saver would you like? May we suggest world community grid BOINC?” The advanced setup wouldn’t be sequential. Essentially, user would be shown a list of topics, and they’d pick/choose the ones they wanted to do a more in-depth option on. That way advanced setup could take an extra few seconds, or an extra 30 minutes, depending on what the user wanted to tweak.

    While I like Ubuntu being simple, I think it’d be nice for a more robust install option for power-users.

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