Canonical Voices

facundo


El evento estuvo dividido principalmente en tres partes, tutoriales para principiantes, conferencia propiamente dicha, y los sprints.

A los tutoriales (Beginners day, y Django girls), que duraban un día, no fui.  La conferencia fue de lunes a viernes. Y los sprints fueron sábado y domingo.  Del primer día de conferencia ya les conté, y el domingo estuve viajando. El resto, se los cuento acá :)


Charlas interesantes

Recopilación de lo que más me gustó de la conferencia... ojo, en algunos casos incluyo links a los videos o presentaciones mismas, en otros no porque me dió paja buscarla, pero tienen que estar :)

Por lejos, la mejor Keynote fue la de Jameson Rollins, "LIGO: The Dawn of Gravitational Wave Astronomy", aunque también estuvo buena la de Naomi Ceder, "Come for the Language, Stay for the Community". Tercera podríamos poner "Scientist meets web dev: how Python became the language of data", por Gaël Varoquaux. El resto me aburrió un poco, o no me interesó tanto.

LIGO is a...

Otras charlas que me gustaron fueron "High Performance Networking in Python" de Yury Selivanov, "Build your first OpenStack application with OpenStack PythonSDK" por Victoria Martinez de la Cruz, "Implementación de un Identificador de Sonido en Python" por Cameron Macleod, "FAT Python: a new static optimizer for Python 3.6" de Victor Stinner, "CFFI: calling C from Python" de Armin Rigo, "The Gilectomy" de Larry Hastings, "A Gentle Introduction to Neural Networks (with Python)" de Tariq Rashid, y "Music transcription with Python" de Anna Wszeborowska.

De esta última charla me quedé con el proyecto a futuro (ya lo anoté, está en la posición 1783461° entre otros proyectos) de mostrar en tiempo real, usando Bokeh, la info que levanta y las transformaciones que va haciendo.

Imagen típica de Bilbao

También quiero resaltar dos lightning talks: a Armin Rigo mostrando un "Reverse debugging for Python", y una de alguien que no me acuerdo mostrando "A better Python REPL".


Mis presentaciones

Ya les hablé de la charla que había dado el lunes, pero aprovecho y les dejo el video de la misma.

El martes dí Entendiendo Unicode, en castellano. Fue la 12° vez que la doy, y me podrán decir "dejá de robar con la misma charla"... qué quieren que les diga, el público se renueva. Yo también a veces pienso si no será demasiado, ¡pero a la gente le gusta y le sirve! Una decena de personas me saludaron y me comentaron lo buena y lo útil que fue la charla. Así que nada, la seguiré ofreciendo en próximas conferencias, :). El video, acá.

Espacio común de trabajo

Además de esas dos presentaciones "largas", dí dos lightning talks. La primera sobre fades; no es la primera vez que la doy, pero la había renovado y traducido al inglés, y estuvo muy bien. La segunda fue sobre Python Argentina. La hice el mismo viernes, a los apurones, pero a la gente le gustó mucho (me sorprendió la cantidad de veces que se rieron en esos cinco minutos (cinco minutos que tuve que pelear, como ven en el video, porque me querían dar dos, luego la confusión de que yo iba a hablar de una PyCon).


Cierre

El sábado, estuve sprinteando, trabajando con fades, más que nada ofreciendo ayuda a gente que quería usarlo o que querían enterarse más sobre el proyecto. Incluso se acercó alguien con un detalle, lo charlamos, lo solucionamos y hasta hice un pull request.

Pintxo

Ese sábado era mi última noche en Bilbao. Medio coordinamos con Juan Luis y fuimos a cenar pinchos con otras personas, luego por una cerveza. Y cuando estaba cerrando la noche, tipo once y media, me comentaron de una zona en la ciudad donde hay toda una movida heavy y punk.

No me la podía perder.

Así que nos fuimos cinco personas hasta allí, saltamos por tres o cuatro bares, tomando algo en cada uno, escuchando muy buena música, terminando en un antro de mala muerte, jugando metegol, pasando música que elegíamos nosotros, y disfrutando mucho.

En un bar punkie

A eso de las dos y media dí por concluido el paseo, porque a las cuatro me pasaba a buscar el taxi, así que con Oriol (uno de los chicos) nos tomamos un taxi, llegué a la habitación, terminé de armar todo, me pegué una ducha, dejé las llaves en la mesa de la cocina y arranqué las 23 horas de viaje que me iban a reecontrar con mi familia :)

Todas las fotos de la conferencia y Bilbao, acá.

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Colin Ian King

Scanning the Linux kernel for error messages

The Linux kernel contains lots of error/warning/information messages; over 130,000 in the current 4.7 kernel.  One of the tests in the Firmware Test Suite (FWTS) is to find BIOS/ACPI/UEFI related kernel error messages in the kernel log and try to provide some helpful advice on each error message since some can be very cryptic to the untrained eye.

The FWTS kernel error log database is currently approaching 800 entries and I have been slowly working through another 800 or so more relevant and recently added messages.  Needless to say, this is taking a while to complete.  The hardest part was finding relevant error messages in the kernel as they appear in different forms (e.g. printk(), dev_err(), ACPI_ERROR() etc).

In order to scrape the Linux kernel source for relevant error messages I hacked up the kernelscan parser to find error messages and dump these to stdout.  kernelscan can scan 43,000 source files (17,900,000 lines of source) in under 10 seconds on my Lenovo X230 laptop, so it is relatively fast.

I also have been using kernelscan to find spelling mistakes in kernel messages and I've been punting trivial fixes upstream to fix these.  These mistakes are small and petty, but I find it a little irksome when I see the kernel emit a message that contains a typo or spelling mistake - it just looks a bit unprofessional.

I've created a kernelscan snap (which was really easy and fast to do using scancraft), so it is now available Ubuntu.  The source code is also available from the kernel team git web at http://kernel.ubuntu.com/git/cking/kernelscan.git/

The code is designed to only parse kernel source, and it is a very rough and ready parser designed for speed;  fundamentally, it is a big quick hack.  When I get a few spare minutes I will try and see if there is any correlation between the number of error messages with the size of the kernel over the various releases.

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Barry McGee

Developing for Vanilla v1

As Inayaili recently blogged, we are now working towards a goal of releasing Version one (v1) of Vanilla for early September.

Maturity

Vanilla was created just over a year ago and in that time has been used to build a wide range of sites across Canonical and beyond. It currently averages around 1,500 downloads a month on NPM. We’ve been delighted to see it grow in popularity and see the myriad of different experiences people have been building using Vanilla.

A big advantage of this wide adoption is the feedback we’ve received from developers on the front line, including within our own teams at Canonical. This feedback has enabled us to identify growing pains and mark out clear areas for improvement.

The overarching themes for v1 are maturity and stability — ensuring the framework is a cohesive set of building blocks and also making sure those building blocks are stress tested and robust.

Practical steps

The first step we will be taking is to audit the codebase and ensure it adheres to our coding standards. This will include encapsulating all components with the BEM methodology which we have introduced to our coding standards within the last year.

We will also be working to improve accessibility and responsiveness of each component while making some aspects of the codebase less opinionated to help increase its applicability to a broad range of use cases.

Another big area earmarked for love is the documentation provided for Vanilla. Given that the framework is now used by a wide and diverse set of people, we can make no assumptions about what they may know. So we need to provide comprehensive documentation that not only details how to implement each component but that also explains where each component should or should not be used.

It’s also important that everything in Vanilla is visible. Over time, code has slipped into Vanilla that is not documented on the demo.  This can cause page elements to display in ways a developer might not expect. We will be addressing this by building a comprehensive documentation site at a dedicated URL. This will be the one-stop-shop for all things Vanilla and will replace the current Vanilla demo page and Sass docs.

We will also be restructuring Vanilla so it is in a better place for scalability and extensibility going forward. Vanilla currently employs a flat structure for simplicity but we’ve come to realise that it can be confusing to mix components with utilities and presentation with configuration.

We recently had a team discussion on possible ways to structure the code within Vanilla and settled on an approach minted by Harry Roberts — Inverted Triangle CSS or ITCSS. Structuring Vanilla in this way will not only improve the quality of the resulting CSS but make it much easier to initiate new developers to building with Vanilla.

itcss-triangle-foundation

Layers of ITCSS – courtesy of Harry Roberts

Exciting times

I’m very excited about this project and think it has huge potential to help shape how we in Canonical approach building experiences on the web, not to mention how the wider community will benefit from these changes.

If you have any feedback or ideas on the future direction of Vanilla from a development point of view, please do comment below – we’d love to hear from you.

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Steph Wilson

Meet the newest member of the design team, UX designer Raul Alvarez, who will be working on the Ubuntu convergence story. Raul will be bringing new ideas to improve our apps to allow for a seamless experience across all devices. We caught up with him to tell us more about his background and what attracted him to the open source world of Ubuntu.

raul

 

You can find Raul’s blog here and reach out to him on Twitter using his handle @raulalgo.

Tell me about your background

If we go all the way back to university, I started as a computer engineer student, but after a while I got to a point where I was rather burnt out by it. Then almost by chance, I ended up studying another degree in Advertising and PR. When studying my second degree I gained a fresh perspective. I was coming from studying maths and physics to then finding myself in classes for Spanish, history, law, and eventually design, which is where I got hooked.

I turned 30 and decided to move to London, as everyone in the small town of Salamanca (West Spain) was either getting married or bored; I was the latter. I wanted to challenge myself to do the most difficult things and push a bit more. I moved into designing Forex trading apps, which was a great experience with very smart people. I got to work very close with the developers too.

I then went into e-commerce as a designer, which was another diverse industry I wanted to learn from. Getting into something I know nothing about is key for me. It’s tricky, as people want experience, but once I’m there and I learn, I feel that I have the ability to take a fresh look at things. From studying advertising and knowing how apps are build I could bring those disciplines together to work on different platforms.

Canonical was a company I wanted to be part of. Just so happens they were looking for a designer, and now here I am!

Do you have any projects you’re working / or have worked on?

In the late days of my computer engineering degree, me and some fellow students started our own business. It was when the Social Network movie was out and everyone wanted to be Mark Zuckerberg; and so did we. We created a photography social network that was like a Flickr wannabe, or closer to what 500px is now. We had good intentions and we worked very hard on it. However, we lacked the business vision and strategy to push it forward. We had two choices: we close it off and do something else, or we find a better way to make money.

Salamanca is a small town and has little going on, but it just so happened that a company was doing mobile apps on demand for clients. Instead of hiring more people when they had large spikes of work, they would reached out to other companies. My three partners were playing the role of developers and I was the designer. We spent four years designing mobile apps for various clients specific needs, most came from the advertising industry. We had some startups come to us who didn’t have much money and we would help them advertise and prototype their apps. It was always a rather constrained working environment with a low budget and working with trial and error.

What attracted you to the open source world of Ubuntu?

For me, being here is amazing because I had been using a laptop that ran Ubuntu in my uni days. I’ve always known open source and the ideas around it. I remember playing with Linux when I was at high school too.

What does UX mean to you?

User Experience (laughs). But seriously, I think the term ‘UX’ is thrown back and forth a lot and people forget what it means. It’s a lot of ideas that could or could not be UX.

People might think that UX is just associated with apps and web design. But it’s not. If you think about user experience, it’s in everything. You can use user experience to build your hotel for instance. I could say how is the lobby going to be decorated, what is the uniform going to be like, do I want the guests to find a little chocolate under their pillow? THAT is defining the user experience. You don’t need to do a lot of research. Well, you can research user experience in other hotels, that would be one approach. Or you can say I have this vision I want to make my approach work. For this you need good judgement and to think about people, but also be prepared to take risks.

One of the parts I enjoy most about designing is whenever I don’t know what I’m going to do. That is the fun bit.

What have you learned in your first week at Canonical?

I came here thinking I knew how complex an operating system was. I wasn’t even close. I realised the complexity was way down below, every single little thing is taken into account, which amazes me. Then I realised the scale of the task. It’s amazing how much work is going on here. I have a lot of respect for it.

What is your proudest achievement?

Making a decision like: I’m stuck and I need a change. I made the effort to move to a different country and to change my degree. It has always been very natural for me to take risks, but I didn’t realize how scary it actually is until I stop and think about it.

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Femma

Last week the design team had two interns undertaking their work experience at the London office.

Our first student is studying computer science for her GCSEs and has an interest in Python programming and software engineering. The second student is studying Geography and IT and had a general interest in IT.

The tasks

We wanted them to experience what working in the design team is like, so we set them two tasks:

Task 1 – Create a poster of your work experience

We asked them to keep a note of the key things that they had been doing and what they learned throughout the week.

They were then asked to create two paper versions of their posters, which were reviewed by one of our visual designers. After being reviewed, the designers helped the student to create a final electronic version, which they could take back to school with them.

Task 2 – Convergence tablet

We asked them to use the convergence tablet as their device during the week for user testing purposes.

We wanted them to:

  • Send emails
  • Take notes
  • Update social media
  • Take images
  • Organise their gallery
  • Share something with a friend
  • Play games
  • Play music
  • Read news articles or other articles

We asked for feedback on:

  • What they liked about convergence
  • What would they like to see on the tablet?
  • What was their favourite app
  • What can we improve?

They were expected to talk through their feedback for 15 minutes with two designers.

Feedback

By the end of the week we wanted our interns to have the confidence to present their findings to us, as well as experience a review process with their poster designs.

The feedback we got from our first student – who used the tablet for 4 days, in between her other tasks – said: ‘ready, not a prototype, sleek and lightweight’. What she liked most about it was that ‘it can be a whole computer if you connect it’. She also liked the UbuntuStore.

The feedback we got back from our second student – who used the tablet in between tasks of making bootable USB drives and learning code – was that he ‘likes how it has the capability to … just pick it up and plug it into a monitor … Because it means that you don’t have to carry anything around, just a tablet.’
His favourite app was the Browser, he said ‘because it gives you access to everything’ and he thought it was ‘better than Safari because Safari blocks a lot of things like Flash’. He thought that the camera was of ‘good quality and focused quickly’ and felt it was easy to take photos and videos.

We also received suggestions on what they wished to see in the future and what they thought could be improved, which was great to see from the student demographic. We have captured all of this and can incorporate some of these ideas.

Work experience poster

With the help of one of our visual designer’s, we reviewed our first student’s paper designs and helped bring her poster to life.

work-experience-poster

This poster was the fruits of her labour and she was then tasked with finishing it off at home, ready to take back to school with her.

Our London office really values the work our work experience interns undertake in the week they are here during the summer. Many of them tend to have interests in technology and our open source nature is a good way to give them a flavour of the Ubuntu design and engineering process.

Want to be an intern at Canonical?

If you’re a student and like what you’ve seen so far, and would like to undertake your work experience with us please do get in touch with Stefanie Davenoy – stefanie.davenoy@canonical.com.

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facundo


Hace catorce años, unos meses antes de viajar a Italia (como parte de mi Master en Ingeniería de la Innovación) fui a un banco en la city porteña y compré 1100 euros en American Express Traveler Checks.

¿Para qué? Bueno, era la primera vez que iba a Europa (la primera vez que salía del país, si no contamos las vacaciones en Fray Bentos, Uruguay), y tenía que llevar bastante dinero para vivir las primeras semanas, y los travelers checks tienen la característica (teoricamente) de que si los perdés o te los roban, American Express te los puede volver a dar, no importa donde estés.

En su momento, en Italia, cambié 800 euros, y como luego empecé a recibir el dinero de la Universidad (viáticos), me quedaron 300 sin cambiar. Volví a casa, guardé eso para un futuro donde los necesitara. Pero cuando volví a viajar a Europa ya tenía una tarjeta de crédito que funcionaba fuera de Argentina, así que no me llevé los cosos esos, sino que quedaron ahí.

Hace unos años decidí sacármelos de encima, pero no los quería cambiar en Argentina, porque no me iban a dar euros, así que esperé a volver a viajar a Europa. Y llegó Europython, y acá estoy en Bilbao, así que decidí irlos a cambiar al banco.

Catorce años después de comprarlos.

Así que almorcé rápido, me cargué la mochila, y caminé unas 10 cuadras hasta el centro de la ciudad. Fuí a un Banco Santander, hablé con una persona, puso cara de no saber qué eran los Traveler Checks, y me dijo que hablara con la cajera. Fui con la cajera y me dijo que ahí no los cambiaban, que vaya a la casa central (que quedaba ahí a la vuelta).

Caminé dos cuadras, entré, averigüé, me dijeron que hable con el Jefe de Cajas, el que me dijo que el Banco Santander ya no cambiaba "de eso".

En la esquina había un BBVA, así que entré y pregunté. Me dijo (con bastante seguridad) que Traveler Checks sólo cambiaban en la casa central (Gran Via 12, enfrente del Corte Inglés). Caminé unas 7 cuadras hasta ahí, entré, pregunté, me mandaron a las cajas.

La cajera puso cara de "queloqué?", le preguntó al de al lado, que llamó a uno de un escritorio, que dijo "sí, esto me parece que lo aceptamos". Se sentó en la computadora de la señora, y empezó a (por lo que veía y suponía yo) navegar ventanas que él nunca había visto en el sistema interno que usan.

En un momento me pidió el pasaporte, le sacó fotocopia, luego lo escaneó, luego firmé los traveler checks y les puse la fecha. En ese momento (unos diez minutos luego de haber empezado el trámite) yo pensé "listo, ya está, esto es la confirmación de que los aceptan, porque ya no puedo llevarlos a otro lado ni nada".

El tipo siguió cargando datos, hasta que en un momento le dió "servicio no disponible". Lo consultó con uno, con otro, volvió a intentarlo, lo mismo. Llamó a Soporte (que por lo visto puede entrar y ver la misma ventana que él estaba usando, al mismo tiempo que él la estaba usando), le contestó veinte preguntas, y volvió a hacer TODO de nuevo.

Cortó, esperó, lo llamaron, volvió a probar algo. Me enteré que la chica de soporte había llamado a Soporte nivel 2. Esperamos. Lo volvieron a llamar. Hizo otra cosa, le pasaron un valor hardcodeado, ahí pudo avanzar y tuvo un "código de autorización". Iupi!

Pero siguió una ventana más, y "servicio no disponible". Volvió a intentar todo, lo mismo. A esta altura el banco había cerrado hace 10 minutos, toda la gente se estaba yendo, los otros cajeros cerrando las cajas, etc.

Lo volvieron a llamar, era Soporte nivel 3. Volvieron a intentar cosas, nada. Vino otra chica (a esta altura quedábamos solamente cuatro en todo el banco). Volvió a probar algo, le dió error y un número de American Express. Llamó (acá me enteré mucho porque puso el móvil en speaker), le pidieron todos los datos (míos, de los cheques, etc), hasta que le dijeron que los cheques estaban autorizados (con el código que ya sabíamos), así que efectivamente era un problema del sistema del banco.

Esperamos diez minutos más, el flaco llamó a soporte de nuevo, le dijeron que estaba en Soporte nivel 4 (!!!), que lo iban a llamar.

Siguieron probando cosas, hasta que el flaco se cansó, agarró y me dió 300 euros (teoricamente yo tenía que pagar una comisión, pero nadie sabía cuanto), y me fui.

Dos horas y media después de entrar al banco :/

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Kyle Nitzsche

Running X Apps on Ubuntu Devices You can install, launch, and use traditional debian-packaged X apps on Ubuntu devices. This may be unexpected given that Ubuntu devices do not seem to support user-installed debian packages, nor do they run the X Display Server. But it does work, courtesy of Mir/XMir and Libertine.

So here’s a bit of background to get started.

But first, please note that at this time, display and use of X apps on an external monitor is only available on the Pro5/M10 and on future devices. (BQ 4.5/E5 and Meizu MX4 do not support this feature.)

Hello Mir (Goodbye X)

Traditionally, and still on the Ubuntu Classic desktop with Unity 7, Ubuntu runs an X Display Server. Apps are debian packaged. And, they are written for X:

Due in part to X’s inherent security shortcomings, the Mir display server is now used on Ubuntu Devices under Unity 8 (although not yet by default on the desktop). XMir bridges traditional X apps to Mir. That is, apps written for X can run fine in a Mir/XMir environment:

Packages and the root file system

Ubuntu Classic has a root file system (rootfs) that is populated through installation of a carefully curated set of debian packages. At run time, users can install debian packages to add apps or modify their system.

This approach raises security concerns because debian packages execute installation scripts with root level privileges and because debian packages can alter what the rootfs provides by modifying or replacing core system components.

Ubuntu devices are designed for security and reliability. Ubuntu devices have a read-only rootfs that is small and tight, providing just what is needed and simplifying system updates. The rootfs is not modifiable by the user. Indeed it is mounted as a read-only partition. Users install apps through click packages that do not modify the rootfs.

Given all of this: how do users install debian packaged apps that use X on Ubuntu Devices? The answer is LIbertine with XMir.

Hello Libertine

Libertine is a system to manage app containers. It is specifically designed to support the many traditional X apps that are debian packaged. Each container is a separate Ubuntu rootfs populated through debian package installations. (Currently these containers are chroots: later, LXD contains will be supported. Also, currently the containers must be of the same Ubuntu series as the device: Vivid.)

So, you can install or create a libertine container, install debian packaged X apps into it, and launch them using the XApps scope. The apps access to the user’s key directories: Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos. So data files created and saved by an app in one container are available to apps in any other container, and indeed outside of the containers.

Let’s take a quick look at the XApps scope.

XApps Scope

This scope simply lists the containers and, for each container, it displays its apps. Here’s a look at a device with two containers. This system has two containers (Puritine and My Container). And each has a few apps:

  • Tap an app to launch it.
  • long press an app to hide it.
  • If you have any hidden apps, see them from the search icon (magnifying glass) and tap Hidden X Apps. Long press a hidden app to unhide it.
  • Note that a container with no apps does not display in the scope.
So how does one create and delete containers, and add or remove apps from them?

Libertine Container Manager

libertine-container-manager is a command line tool you use on the device to create and manage containers. This includes installing debian packaged apps into them. (These containers are created in the phablet user’s home directory and are not a part of the read-only rootfs.)

Note: libertine-container-manager currently cannot be run in the Terminal App. Instead please connect to your device from an Ubuntu system using phablet-shell.
Listing Containers
phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~$ libertine-container-manager list
puritine
my-container

The “puritine” container is pre-installed on many devices through the com.ubuntu.puritine click package (“Desktop Applications”):

phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~$ click list | grep puritine
com.ubuntu.puritine 0.11

The second container (“my-container”) was created on the device with libertine-container-manager.

Note: It is possible to pre-install customized containers through bespoke channels.
Creating a Libertine Container
You can create a new container on a device. The container needs a unique ID and (optionally) a name.

Note: The container must be the same Ubuntu series as the device, currently: vivid.

phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~$ libertine-container-manager create --id my-container --name "My Container" --distro vivid --type chroot

I: Retrieving Release
I: Retrieving Release.gpg
I: Checking Release signature
I: Valid Release signature (key id 790BC7277767219C42C86F933B4FE6ACC0B21F32)
I: Retrieving Packages
I: Validating Packages
I: Resolving dependencies of required packages...
[...]
Listing Apps in a Container
It’s easy to list the apps in a container. You just use the container’s id, as follows:

Note: We add the optional --json argument here and show only lines with “name” for display convenience.

phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~$ libertine-container-manager list-apps --id my-container --json | grep "\"name\""
"name": "Panel Manager",
"name": "Python (v3.4)",
"name": "Python (v2.7)",
"name": "gedit",
"name": "Help",
"name": "Notification Daemon",
"name": "Terminal",
Also note that all apps that install a .desktop file are listed by this command, although many of them are not displayed in the XApps scope since they are not appropriate.
Installing an app in a container
To install a debian package in a container, you just use install-package with the container id and the debian binary package name, as follows:

phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~$ libertine-container-manager install-package --id my-container --package terminator

The package and all of its dependencies are installed in the container. After this, assuming the package installs a .desktop file, it displays in the XApps scope and is launchable with a tap as expected.
Installing an app from a specific Launchpad PPA
By default, available debian packages are installed from the standard Ubuntu archive the chroot’s apt configuration points to. You can add a launchpad PPA, as follows:

phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~$ libertine-container-manager configure --id my-container --archive ppa:USER/PPA-NAME

(Currently, private PPAs are scheduled for an upcoming release.)

After this, you can install packages into the container as usual, including from the PPA.
Removing apps from a container
Remove a debian package from a container with:

phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~$ libertine-container-manager remove-package --id my-container --package PACKAGE_NAME
Libertine-container-manager help
Use the --help for top level help.

You can see details on each subcommand, for example remove-package, as follows:

phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~$ libertine-container-manager remove-package --help
usage: libertine-container-manager remove-package [-h] -p PACKAGE [-i ID] [-r]


optional arguments:
-h, --help show this help message and exit
-p PACKAGE, --package PACKAGE
Name of package to remove. Required. -i ID, --id ID Container identifier. Default container is used if
omitted.
-r, --readline Readline mode. Use text-based frontend during debconf
Interactions.
Updating a container
Want the debian packages in a container updated? Easy:

phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~/.cache/libertine-container/my-container$ libertine-container-manager update --id my-container
Executing a Command in a Container
phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~/.cache/libertine-container/my-container$ libertine-container-manager exec --command "apt-get update" --id my-container
Atteint http://ppa.launchpad.net vivid InRelease
Atteint http://ports.ubuntu.com vivid InRelease
Atteint http://ports.ubuntu.com vivid-updates InRelease
Atteint http://ppa.launchpad.net vivid/main armhf Packages
Atteint http://ppa.launchpad.net vivid/main Translation-en
Atteint http://ports.ubuntu.com vivid/main armhf Packages [...]

Note: Running the apt-get update command in a container may be useful to update the container’s knowledge of newly available packages without installing/updating them all. You can then see whether a package is available, with:

phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~/.cache/libertine-container/my-container$ libertine-container-manager exec --command "apt-cache policy firefox" --id my-container
firefox:
Installé : (aucun)
Candidat : 44.0+build3-0ubuntu0.15.04.1
Table de version :
44.0+build3-0ubuntu0.15.04.1 0
500 http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports/ vivid-updates/main armhf Packages
37.0+build2-0ubuntu1 0
500 http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports/ vivid/main armhf Packages

More about the Libertine Containers

As noted, the container is a directory containing an Ubuntu rootfs. Container directories are here:

phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~/.cache/libertine-container$ pwd
/home/phablet/.cache/libertine-container
phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~/.cache/libertine-container$ ls
my-container puritine
phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~/.cache/libertine-container$ cd my-container/
phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~/.cache/libertine-container/my-container$ ls
rootfs

You can get a bash shell into the container as follows:

phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~/.cache/libertine-container/my-container$ libertine-container-manager exec --command "/bin/bash" --id my-container
groups: cannot find name for group ID 1001
[...]
root@ubuntu-phablet:/#

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facundo

Europython 2016, Bilbao


Aeropuertos

Estuve cinco horas en el aeropuerto de Río de Janeiro. La comida más elaborada que encontré en las dos terminales fueron sánguches de Subway y panchos. No, gracias.

El aeropuerto de Lisboa, por otro lado, era inmenso y tenía mil locales de comida. Eso sí, ni un cartel de "Bienvenido a Portugal" o similar, que busqué para mandarle foto a los peques...

El único aeropuerto con wifi libre era Aeroparque, en Argentina. El de Río y Lisboa tenían redes que podías usar si tenías contratos con empresas de ahí. En el de Bilbao también pude conseguir internet, luego de registrarme en una página que le fallaba el certificado SSL :/; pero bueno, me sirvió para avisarle a Moni que había llegado bien.


Bilbao

Luego de llegar a donde me hospedé, me pegué un baño y salí a pegar una vuelta (eran las siete y media de la tarde, así que tenía todavía más de dos horas de luz). Algo que me llamó la atención es que la gente, en los barcitos, agarran su cerveza o vino y salen a tomarlo a la calle (el clima estaba hermoso), así que veías un montón de gente super empilchada, con sus copas de tinto o blanco, sentados en los muchos banquitos que hay por todos lados...

Yo me metí un un bar que pintaba lindo, me tomé un par de cervezas con un par de pinchos, y luego arranqué la vuelta. No me fui a dormir demasiado tarde (antes de las doce y media), y habiendo dormido un poco en los dos vuelos cortos, y casi cinco horas en el vuelo largo, no esperaba dormir tanto: me levanté a la una y pico de la tarde!! Parece que el truco de no poner despertador, un oscuro casi absoluto, y no estar pendiente de niños, le aportaron mucho a lo cansadísimo que había llegado al fin de semana...

Parte del Guggenheim a la izquierda, el Puppy a la derecha

Así que me levanté, desayuné y salí a pasear. Me tomé el metro y me fuí para el casco viejo, hice un par de recorridos, saqué un par de fotos, y un par de horas después encaré para uno de los edificios de la conferencia donde se hacía el Django Girls, a saludar conocidos.

Al rato me fui para el edificio principal de la conferencia, donde desde media tarde ya uno se podía registrar, así hacía el trámite el domingo, y de paso encontraba bien el edificio, sabía por donde entrar, etc.

Ahí me encontré con gente que no conocía personalmente pero sí de redes sociales virtuales, estuvimos charlando un rato y después con Juan Luis Cano, Yamila Moreno y otra gente fuimos caminando hasta un funicular, con el que subimos una montaña para mirar la ciudad de arriba.

Desde lo alto

Después nos fuimos a cenar con otra gente a un restaurant bastante piola, comimos rico. Y ya se hicieron las doce, así que volví a donde me hospedé, revisé un rato la charla del lunes, y a dormir!


Primer día de conferencia

Es el día que más charlas tenía marcada. Hubo una plenaria apenas interesante sobre la base de "podés ganar plata haciendo lo que quieras, no tengas miedo de probar", y luego me fuí a una charla de Efficient Django, de la cual me anoté algunos puntos a investigar. Después fui a una charla que mostraba como realmente funciona mezclar AsyncIO y Cython, logrando código asincrónico rapidísimo, y después me tocó a mí.

Yo dí It's not magic: descriptors exposed, la que preparamos con Joac y dimos en la PyCon de Mendoza, pero en inglés. Es una charla difícil, pero creo que la gente se va con info nueva. Hubieron varias preguntas, y luego se me acercaron en los pasillos para seguir charlando del tema, y también me saludaron un par de veces para decirme que la charla les había gustado, así que estoy contento con como salió.

A la tarde estuvo más tranquilo. Una charla que me gustó bastante fue la The Report of Twisted's Death, dada por Amber Brown, una Twisted core developer (y también release manager) que contó en qué estaban, los planes con respecto a asyncio, qué pasaba con Tornado, etc.

An open space in the conference

También me enganché con unos acertijos que te daban en una empresa, algo estilo el pythonchallenge, donde resolver un problema te da la info para encontrar el próximo, y así. La realidad es que era medio buggy, en el segundo acertijo al flaco le marqué dos bugs, y en el último caso le dije que no se podía resolver, y lo hostigué hasta que me pasó la solución y le mostré como no había forma de llegar, :). Así que me gané el premio (una boludez, un hub usb), más que nada por mostrarles a ellos dónde tenían el problema :p.

Como frutilla del postre de la tarde, nos regalaron a todos los asistentes una micro:bit!!! Si no la conocen, una micro:bit es una pequeñísimo hardware que corre Python, que la BBC le regaló a todos los estudiantes de 7 años en el Reino Unido para que jueguen y aprendan. Ahora tengo que ver qué cosas se puede hacer para ponernos con Felipe :D (aunque creo que es un poco más para el año que viene...).

Luego vinieron las lightning talks, y ya se terminó el día!

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Elvi

Over the past few months, the Juju team has been working on a whole redesign of the Juju store </><style=”font-weight: 400;”>homepage</><style=”font-weight: 400;”> and we’re very happy to announce that it is now live!

Juju is an application and service modelling tool that enables you to quickly model, configure, deploy and manage applications in the cloud. Juju comes with ready-made solutions for everything you need – these solutions are encapsulated in Charms and Bundles:

  • Charms contain all the instructions necessary to deploy, manage and scale cloud applications.
  • Bundles are collections of charms that work together, deploying an entire application or chunk of infrastructure in one go.

The new Juju Charm store allows you to explore the growing ecosystem of over 300 charms and bundles – everything you need to build your app.

You can now get started with the featured charms and bundles at the top or explore the whole collection of categories:

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 12.53.40

 

We’ve surfaced key categories and highlighted their most popular services:

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 12.54.36

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 12.55.28

 

The search stays the same for now, but we’re working on improvements which will be released in the near future:

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 12.59.10

 

You can explore bundles and view charm details:

Screenshot 2016-07-10 14.10.08

Screenshot 2016-07-10 14.11.20

 

And deploy your chosen charm, using the GUI or CLI:

 

Screenshot 2016-07-10 14.13.20

 

Check it out at:https://jujucharms.com/store

 

How did we arrive at this solution?

We’ve summarised four of the most important stages of the project for you to get an insight into our design process.

  1. Defining the problem

You may want a shiny new design, but if you don’t understand the problems that you are trying to solve you’ll probably find yourself having to redesign the whole page again in no time. We therefore began by identifying the issues that we wanted this new design to tackle,  and laying out the new store requirements.

This is what the store homepage looked like before the redesign:

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 13.36.52
Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 13.37.10

 

The original goal of this page was to feature the breadth of the software available for Juju. However, there were a number of elements in our previous design that didn’t facilitate a smooth browsing experience. As the Juju ecosystem grew, we found the need to increase the store’s performance by:

  • Providing a more curated selection to users when they arrive at the store
  • Highlighting the most popular and interesting charms and bundles for users to get started
  • Providing better discovery methods for browsing
  • Encouraging exploration
  • Reducing cognitive load
  • Helping visitors find what they’re looking for with the least amount of friction.

 

  1. Understanding our audience

Before making any design decisions we:

  • Conducted a round of user testing to uncover friction points and reveal insights into our users’ behaviour and needs.
  • Dived into our site’s analytics to learn more about how current users are moving across the store.
  • Looked at conversion, bounce rate and page views.
  • Identified what search terms are used most and what terms and categories were the most popular.
  • Tagged our content to increase findability.

It’s a surprisingly large amount of prep work but absolutely essential – all this research enabled us to gain some insight into our audience and allowed the definition of use cases which we then used as a basis for our designs.

 

  1. Researching our competitors

We also undertook a competitor benchmarking project with the aim of:

  • Comparing our general practices and performance with that of our competitors
  • Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of our competitors and review that against our own.
  • Identifying pitfalls to avoid and ways in which we could improve our page.

IMG_2367_4352b

 

  1. Test the performance

Testing the design enabled us to continuously iterate towards a solution that, when finalised, was very well received by the community. We love conducting user testing sessions to see how our designs are performing, and it’s hard to over-emphasise the importance of watching actual people interact with your design!

We’ve enjoyed every stage of this process and are very happy it is now available to the public. We’d welcome any feedback, please don’t hesitate to share it here. Check it out here

 

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Daniel Holbach

Snapcraft

Over the last few weeks, Tuesday has become the Snappy Playpen day. Although you can find us on IRC and Gitter all the time basically, Tuesday is where many of us have their eyeballs locked on the discussion and are happy to help out.

We’re making no exception tomorrow, 19th July 2016 will be another Snappy Playpen event.

It’s beautiful to see all the recent additions to the Snappy Playpen repository and other contributions. Just check out the snapcraft social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) to get an idea.

We very much want to continue down that road: get more software snapped, help newcomers, get snapcraft.yaml files submitted upstream, fix documentation, answer questions, and grow together as a community.

Tomorrow will have the great advantage, that most of the people working on snapd and snapcraft are sprinting in Heidelberg right now. So they are all in the same place physically, so we are going to try to talk them into helping out and joining us for some Playpen activity.

To get started, have a look at the snapcraft.io page and ask us all your questions tomorrow! We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

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bmichaelsen

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
— Taylor Swift, 1989, Shake It Off

The latest release candidate of the upcoming LibreOffice 5.2.0 feature release is available for installation from the snap store. This makes it very easy to install this prerelease of LibreOffice for testing out new features (an incomplete glimpse on what to look forward for can be found on the LibreOffice 5.2 release notes page, which is still under construction, go on #libreoffice-qa if you want to help with testing).

To install this build of LibreOffice on any snap supported platform just open a terminal and run:

sudo snap install --channel=beta libreoffice

To start this version of LibreOffice, you run:

/snap/bin/libreoffice

The full path should only be needed, if you have another version of LibreOffice installed. If that is not the case a plain “libreoffice” should do.

Note that this version is still a prerelease and not for production use yet. That said, it is mostly a full-featured package including everything that would be packaged for end users of LibreOffice. While this package also includes a set of localizations to show that they work, their number has been restricted to English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Portugal/Brazil), Spanish for size considerations for now. This set is mostly the one Ubuntu provides on its installer images (removing those that might have issues as they need special fonts).

Another difference to prior downloads is that while LibreOffice still uses X11, now runs in confinement provided by snaps. Unlike previous releases on Ubuntu, this package defaults now to do so via the newer GTK3 backend: This has a lot of advantages, see details on Caolans Blog, but it is also a younger backend, that hasnt has that much time to be polished yet.


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Victor Palau

I recently looked to do my first live deployment of kubernetes, after having playing succesfully with minikube.

When trying to deploy kubernetes in public cloud, there is a couple of base options. You could start from scratch or use one of the turnkey solutions.

You have two turnkey solutions fro Azure, Fannel or Weave based. Basically these are two different networking solutions, but the actual turnkey solutions differ more than just the networking layer. I tried both and had issues with both, yeay!! However, I liked the fannel solution over Weave’s straight away. Flannel’s seems to be able to configure and used Azure better. For example, It uses a VM scale sets for the slave nodes, and configures external ips and security groups. This might be because the Flannel solution is sponsored by Microsoft, so I ended up focusing on it over Weave’s.

The documentation is not bad, but a bit short on some basic details. I  did the deployment in both Ubuntu 14.04 and OSX10 and worked in both. The documetation details jq and docker as the main dependencies. I found issues with older versions of jq that are part of the 14.04 Ubuntu archive, so make sure to install the lastest version from the jq website.

Ultimately, Kube-up.sh seems to be a basic configuration wrapper around azkube, a link to it is burried at the end of the kubernetes doc. Cole Mickens is the main developer for azkube and the turnkey soultion. While looking around his github profile, I found this very useful link on the status of support for Kubernetes in Azure. I would hope this eventually lands in the main kubernetes doc site.

As part of the first install instructions, you will need to provide the subscription and tenant id. I found the subscription id easily enough from the web console, but the tenant id was a bit more elusive. Altough the tenant id is not required for installations of 1.3, the script failed to execute without it. It seems like the best way to find it is the Azure cli tool, which you can get from node.js


npm install azure
azure login
azure account show

This will give you ll the details that you need to set it up. You can then just go ahead or you can edit deatils in  cluster/azure/config-default.sh

You might want to edit the number of VMs that the operation will create. Once you run kube-up.sh, you should hopefully get a working kubernetes deployment.

If for any reason, you would like to change the version to be install, you will need to edit the file called “version” under the kubernetes folder setup by the first installation step.

The deployment comes with a ‘utils’ script that makes it very simple do a few things. One is to copy the ssh key that will give you access to the slaves to the master.

$ ./util.sh copykey

From the master, you just need to access the internal ip using the “kube” username and specify your private key for authentication.

Next, I would suggest to configure your local kubectl and deploy the SkyDNS addon. You will really need this to easly access services.

$ ./util.sh configure-kubectl
$ kubectl create -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/colemickens/azkube/v0.0.5/templates/coreos/addons/skydns.yaml

And that is it, if you run kubectl get nodes, you will be able to see the master and the slaves.

Since Azure does not have direct integretion for loadbalancer, any services that you expose you will need to configure with a self-deployed solution. But it seems that version 1.4  ofKubernetes is comming with equivalent support for Azure that the current versions boast for  AWS and Co.


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Michael Hall

I’ve had a Nexus 4 since 2013, and I’ve been using it to test out desktop convergence (where you run a desktop environment from the phone) ever since that feature landed just over a year ago. Usually that meant plugging it into my TV via HDMI to make sure it automatically switched to the larger screen, and playing a bit with the traditional windowed-mode of Unity 8, or checking on adaptive layouts in some of the apps. I’ve also run it for hours on end as a demo at conferences such as SCaLE, FOSSETCON, OSCON and SELF. But through all that, I’ve never used it as an actual replacement for my laptop. Until now.

Thanks Frontier

A bit of back-story first. I had been a Verizon FiOS customer for years, and recently they sold all of their FiOS business to Frontier. The transition has been…..less than ideal. A couple of weeks ago I lost all services (phone, TV and internet) and was eventually told that nobody would be out to fix it until the following day. I still had my laptop, but without internet access I couldn’t really do my job on it. And while Ubuntu on phones can offer up a Hotspot, that particular feature doesn’t work on the Nexus 4 (something something, driver, something). Which meant that the only device that I had which could get online was my phone.

No Minecraft for you

13528720_10154238389913419_2608531900571217522_nFortunately, the fact that I’ve been demoing convergence at conferences meant I had all of the equipment I needed to turn my phone into a desktop and keep right on working. I have a bluetooth mouse and keyboard, and a Slimport adapter that let’s me plug it into a bigger screen. But while a TV works for testing, it’s not really great for long-term work. Don’t get me wrong, working from the couch is nice, but the screen is just too far away for reading and writing. Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for my children, their computer is at a desk and is plugged into a monitor with HDMI ports. So I took it over for the day. They didn’t have internet either that day, so they didn’t miss out on much right?

A day of observations

Throughout the day I posted a series of comments on Google+ about my experience. You could go through my post history looking for them, but I’m not going to make you do that. So here’s a quick summary of what I learned:

  • 3G is not nearly fast enough for my daily work. It’s good when using my phone as a phone, doing one thing at a time. But it falls short of broadband when I’ve got a lot of things using it. Still, on that day it was better than my fiber optic service, so there’s that.
  • I had more apps installed on my phone than I thought I did. I was actually taken aback when I opened the Dash in desktop mode and I saw so many icons. It’s far more than I had on Android, though not quite as many as on my laptop.
  • Having a fully-functional Terminal is a lifesaver. I do a lot of my work from the terminal, including IRC, and having one with tabs and keyboard shortcuts for them is a must for me to work.
  • I missed having physical buttons on my keyboard for home/end and page up/down. Thankfully a couple of people came to my rescue in the comments and taught me other combinations to get those.
  • Unity 8 is Unity. Almost all of the keyboard shortcuts that have become second nature to me (an there are a lot of them) were there. There was no learning curve, I didn’t have to change how I did anything or teach myself something new.
  • The phone is still a phone. I got a call (from Frontier, reminding me about an appointment that never happened) while using the device as a desktop. It was a bit disorienting at first, I had forgotten that I was running the desktop the Nexus 4, so when a notification of an incoming call popped up on the screen I didn’t know what was happening. That only lasted a second though, and after clicking answer and picking up the device, I just used it as a phone. Pretty cool

screenshot20160701_151104996

Must go faster

While I was able to do pretty much all of my work that day thanks to my phone, it wasn’t always easy or fun, and I’m not ready to give up my laptop just yet. The Nexus 4 is simply not powerful enough for the kind of workload I was putting on it. But then again, it’s a nearly 4 year old phone, and wasn’t considered a powerhouse even when it was released. The newest Ubuntu phone on the market, the Meizu Pro 5, packs a whole lot more power, and I think it would be able to give a really nice desktop experience.

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facundo

Europython, otra vez


La semana que viene se hace la mayor conferencia de Python de Europa, la Europython. Esta vez es en Bilbao.

Es larga. El domingo hay un día de tutoriales y cursos para principiantes. La conferencia en sí es de lunes a viernes. Y sábado y domingo de la otra semana hay sprints. Pueden ver el schedule online.

alt

Lo que más me entusiasma de esta edición de la conferencia es que voy a ir, :). No es la primera vez que voy, sin embargo; vuelvo luego de once (sí, 11) años de ausencia!!

No sé si me sorprende más eso o que mi blog ya es tan viejo que tengo registro de eso que pasó hace tanto: en estos cuatro posts.

Ahora que lo pienso, hace *años* que tampoco voy a una PyCon US (la default, digamos)...

La frutilla del postre es que esta vez voy a presentar dos charlas, en dos idiomas. En castellano va mi repetidísima "Entendiendo Unicode" (el público se renueva, me dicen algunos; dejá de robar, me dicen otros). Y en inglés la versión anglosajona de la charla que preparamos con joac para la PyCon pasada: "No es magia: Descriptores al desnudo".

Ya les iré reportando como va todo :)

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Daniel Holbach

Distributing software has never been easier. snapcraft makes it easy to build any kind of app, snapd and snap-confine bring security and hassle-free updates. Maintaining the app in the store is simple and you get lots of flexibility with different release channels.

If you’re interested or curious, adding your software to the Snappy Playpen, might be a good first step. Tomorrow, Tuesday 12th July 2016, we are working together on getting more snaps landed, getting things improved, updating our docs, helping out the snapd/snapcraft people, and upstreaming snaps.

It’s easy to get in touch, we are both hanging out in

We are looking forward to seeing you there.

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David Callé

If it hasn't already, snapd 2.0.10 should be making its way to your 16.04 systems. Here is what’s new!

The 2.0.10 release contains a number of improvements and fixes over the 2.0.9 release that was available before. The highlights:

Channels

Channels (stable, candidate, beta, edge) usage has been streamlined on the client.

As a shorthand to --channel=<channel>, you can now use --<channel> with the refresh and install commands.

For example:

2027ba20a6d8c6adad917f1b47bc6df3feed300c.png

Interfaces

New interfaces have landed with this release, giving you more freedom to interact with the OS, while keeping your app into the bounds of the existing confinement. This allows, for example, for improvements in the VLC snap’s user experience.

Screenshot from 2016-07-11 13-35-02.png

mpris (new)

  • Allows snaps such as music players to connect to D-Bus as an MPRIS server.
  • You can see an usage example in the VLC snapcraft.yaml.

camera (new)

optical-drive (new)

  • Grants read access to optical drives.

home

  • Allow gvfs shares in home.

General

  • Snaps can be launched under KDE Neon

  • SNAP_COMMON and SNAP_USER_COMMON are paths to unversioned data directories

  • Better handling of removed `snap try` directories

  • Fixes towards running snapd inside LXC

  • `snap change <taskid>` shows task progress

  • Auto-connect the home interface only if running on classic

The changelog is available here and the full details can be found here: https://github.com/snapcore/snapd/tree/2.0.10

Let us know what you think!

We’d like to hear your feedback about snapd and snap technologies. Is there an interface you would need for your app to be working better? Can we do better with integrating with a particular distro? Here’s how we can talk:

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facundo


La primera vez que probé cerveza de trigo, fue en Bruselas. No soy fan, las esquivo, cada tanto vuelvo a probarlas, though.

Esta foto la saqué en el bar del hotel, estaba charlando con "el John".

Cerveza de trigo

Para más detalles de ese viaje de laburo: uno, dos tres.

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Steph Wilson

photo_2016-07-08_13-59-27

You can now follow us on Dribbble and Behance for design inspiration.

See things like: the Ubuntu #reinvent digital campaign, Juju embeddable card and Suru app icon designs.

Follow us :)

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Inayaili de León Persson

Getting Vanilla ready for v1: the roadmap

We have been using our front end framework Vanilla across our sites for a while now, so it might surprise you to know that its first official version (let’s call it v1) hasn’t yet been released.

In preparation for v1 (which we are tentatively aiming for early September), there are a few tasks that we have been, and will be, working on to make sure that Vanilla is as robust as we can make it, and to make the process of using and improving it clear.

Future-thinking: defining a high level roadmap

It’s important that long-term, ongoing projects have defined goals that people can focus on and strive for. Having short, mid and long-term goals makes it easier to prioritise and concentrate efforts on tasks that will get you closer to achieving the ultimate vision for the project.

The first thing we did in order to outline a roadmap for Vanilla was to collect all the things that we felt needed to happen for it to be ready for release, things we’d like to improve, and wishlist items that might not be urgent but that we would like to tackle at some point in the future.

With this list at hand, we organised the tasks by priority and added them to a roadmap board in Trello, which is open for anyone to have a look at. You can see which tasks we are working on during the current two-week sprint, and which tasks are queued to be done next.

 

Vanilla roadmap in TrelloThe Vanilla framework roadmap Trello board

 

Contributing: defining the process for adding new patterns

Releasing Vanilla v1 does not mean that Vanilla will then be finished. As a working style guide that is used across Canonical on various different projects with different needs, new patterns will emerge and existing ones will have to be improved to be more flexible.

We thought that it would be good to document the process that a pattern should follow in order to become a Vanilla pattern, so after a little bit of brainstorming, we created a diagram that shows the different steps that should be taken from before submitting a pattern proposal to its full acceptance as a Vanilla pattern.

Most of the steps in the diagram happen in just a few seconds, but it is good to be able to visualise the entire process.

 

Vanilla process diagramDiagram of the process to submit a new pattern to Vanilla

 

As Vanilla itself, this process diagram is not really finished. Once we start using it more frequently, we will probably have to make some adjustments to improve it. Also, there are a few branches of the process that we still need to include, namely how a pattern is added to a theme as opposed to the main Vanilla framework, and how an existing pattern (in a website of Vanilla theme) can be promoted to Vanilla.

As part of this task, we also updated the existing GitHub template that pops up when you submit a new issue on the Vanilla repository to include the option of submitting a pattern proposal.

The proposals will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis by the web team during the Vanilla working group meetings. We are pondering how we can make these meetings open to anyone who’d like to participate, as we know that lots of you would like to contribute with new patterns and improvements. We’d be happy to hear your ideas on how this could work.

Defining browser support guidelines

While internally, in the web team, we tend to agree on and follow consistent browser support guidelines, the process isn’t documented.

We want to make sure that Vanilla is built following the latest web standards, and that people can build sites with it that will work on as many form factors as possible, so we thought defining the browser support guidelines that we want contributors to follow was a vital step in preparation for the v1 release.

The document isn’t yet finished, but we are working on it as we speak and will be sharing it soon enough.

Future tasks

You can see the roadmap that we have planned for Vanilla in preparation for v1 and after in Trello, but there are few key tasks that we want to carry out before September that we’d like to highlight:

  • Defining the accessibility standards that all patterns will have to follow, and adding automated tests to the build process to ensure they are adhered to
  • Conducting an internal accessibility audit and making as many changes as we can to improve accessibility
  • Redesigning the dedicated Vanilla website to include the new documentation we are writing and other pieces of useful information, including the style guide itself — all living together in one single site
  • And, obviously, making sure that Vanilla has its own logo — as any respectable framework does :)

Final words

This is all from me for now! Barry is writing a companion post that will go into more detail about the technical tasks that are being done on Vanilla, which he will be publishing soon.

We would love to know if you have any ideas on how to improve Vanilla — share your thoughts in the comments.

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Thinking about writing an Ubuntu application that will work in Unity 8? You’ll be writing a “convergent” app, which is an application that can respond to touch or mouse, and will adapt appropriately to a phone, tablet, or desktop screen. It will even be able to update its display on-the-fly if, say, you plug your phone into a monitor or bluetooth keyboard.

There are lots of ways to write a convergent application with the Ubuntu SDK. You can build apps in pure QML, C++ with QML, QtQuick, pure HTML5/Javascript, or even Golang with QML. We’ll be focusing on go apps for the rest of this post.

Go is a young language, and the recent release of go 1.6 has introduced some nasty changes particularly involving cgo. It has also introduced vendoring by default, which is a welcome change.

I’m using go 1.6.2. For me, the current project template provided by the Ubuntu SDK feels quite broken. I can’t get things to build locally, and furthermore I see no options for pushing an ARM build to my device.

Fortunately, I found this ubuntu-go-qml-template which is a template to enable running/building a go/qml application locally while also supporting building/installing onto an arm device. The kicker? This tool was designed to work for go 1.3.3. Sigh! Since I’m unwilling to compromise and use old technology, I forked the project and updated it to fit my more modern needs.

Because our go template will depend on QML, we depend on the go-qml project to create the necessary C bindings to allow us to use QML. However, with the update to go 1.6, the current version (revision 2ee7e5f) of go-qml will give a runtime error from cgo with the wonderfully helpful panic: runtime error: cgo argument has Go pointer to Go pointer. Another thorn in our side. Fortunately, this issue is in previously tread-upon ground and there is a fork of go-qml with enough of the cgo issues fixed to run our application with no problems. In the ubuntu-go-qml-template I forked above, I’ve gone ahead and vendored this fork of go-qml. It all works because of the default vendoring available in go 1.6.

With that background out of the way, let’s run through getting a project started:

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$ sudo apt-get install golang g++ qtdeclarative5-dev qtbase5-private-dev \
                       qtdeclarative5-private-dev libqt5opengl5-dev \
                                           qtdeclarative5-qtquick2-plugin
# installing dependencies...
$ git clone https://github.com/larryprice/ubuntu-go-qml-template.git your-project-name
# cloning repo...
$ cd your-project-name
$ chroot-scripts/setup-chroot.sh
# building a chroot for ubuntu-sdk-15.04
# distro=vivid, arch=arm
# with go 1.6.2 with armhf compilation support

You may need to have other dependencies including click or phablet-tools. The above commands installed dependencies, cloned the repo, and built and/or updated a chroot for building our source for arm.

Next you’ll want to setup the project for your own needs. The original template creator included a nifty setup script to get this done:

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$ ruby setup.rb -v -n your-project-name -a "Your Name" -e "your.email@example.com" \
                   -d "your-developer-namespace"

This will do some fancy gsub and file renaming to make the template your own.

If you check src/, you’ll find a main.go file ready for your use. You’ll also find a main.qml file in share/qml/. You can vendor all of your dependencies in vendor/, where you’ll already find the qml package.

As far as getting your application to work, there are more scripts available:

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$ ./build.sh
# this will build your project locally
$ ./run.sh
# this will build your project locally and then run it on the desktop

The best part about this template is the ability to build for arm and load your applications onto a device:

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$ ./build-in-chroot.sh
# builds the package using the vivid+armhf chroot we set up previously
$ ./install-on-device.sh
# builds for vivid+armhf and installs the click directly on
# the first USB-connected Ubuntu Touch device

Now you can run and install go/qml applications on desktop or on devices. Time to go build something cool!

Disclaimer: In the future, this template will likely need to be updated for new go versions or new default versions of the Ubuntu SDK. Don’t be afraid to make a comment below or submit a PR.

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