Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'community'

jono

We are growing a world-class community and app developer eco-system, fuelled by Open Source and open collaboration. We are putting the core pieces in place and I am delighted to be working with such a wonderful team:

(L-R) Daniel Holbach, Kyle Nitzsche, Michael Hall, This Guy, Nicholas Skaggs, Alan Pope, David Planella

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Michael Hall

Second to last day of the sprint, and we’ve been shifting gears from presenting ideas and brainstorming to making solid plans and bringing all the disparate pieces together.  The result is looking very, very promising.

I started out this morning by updating my Nexus 4 to build 166, which brings some improvements to the Unity 8 and system apps.  I’m still poking around to discover what’s new.

I had a handful of great conversations with the Jamie (security) and Ken (content-hub) about how to deliver creative content via click packages in the new store.  It looks like wallpapers will be relatively easy to support, and Ken and I (mostly Ken) will be working on adding that to the Click installer and System Settings.  Theme support is unfortunately going to be more difficult, since our QML themes are full QML themselves, and can run their own code, which makes them a security concern. We’re going to try and support a safe subset of styling to be delivered via Click packages, but that’s not likely to happen this cycle.

After lunch we had another set of presentations, this time from Florian Boucault on the SDK team about app performance.  After briefly covering performance goals we need to meet to make our UI as smooth and responsive an iOS, he stunned us all by showing off live performance graphs overlaid on top of one of the Core Apps (sadly I didn’t get a picture of that) so you can see the CPU and GPU usages while interacting with the app.  This wonderful little piece of magic should be landing in device images in the next couple of weeks, and I for one can not wait to try it out. In the mean time, he was nice enough to sit down with me and walk me through using QtCreator’s Analyse tab to see what parts of my own app might be using more resources than then should.

Among the sessions I wasn’t able to attend today: More HTML5 device APIs are coming online, contacts syncing via the Online Accounts provider for Google got it’s first cut, the SDK’s StateSaver component got some finishing work done, and AppArmor optimizations that will speed up boot times.

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Michael Hall

Today we had a lot of good discussions around app development, starting off with an update on the state of GoLang support and what was needed to get the Go/QML bridge packaged and available for people to start using.

From there we moved on to the future of Content Hub, which is really set to reach it’s full potential now and we will hopefully see a wide range of system, core and 3rd party apps providing it with content.

After lunch Nick gave us all a quick lesson in how to properly use Autopilot, something I think we’re all going to become more familiar with in the coming months.  The key takeaway: Don’t Sleep.

Then we discussed QtCreator itself, and our various plugins for it.  We identified some easy fixes, and did a lot of brainstorming on how to attack the harder ones.  We saw the new packaging and cross-compilation support that’s being added to it now. Zoltan topped it all off by giving us a very short demonstration, going from the creation of a new project all the way, through creating a package, running package verification tests on it, copying it onto a phone and installing it, all in about 30 seconds!

We also discovered that the current SDK packages in the PPA were broken for Saucy and older releases (Trust was okay).  Daniel, Zoltan and David Barth spent much of the day intensely debugging the problem, providing a fix, shepherding those fixes though Launchpad and into the PPAs so that we could get it all working by the end of the day.  We then set aside time for a new session where we discussed what happened and what we can do to prevent it from happening again.  I’m pleased to say that some of those steps have already been implemented, and the rest will soon follow.

Finally we wrapped up the evening with chicken wings and beer, plus another fantastically entertaining card game courtesy of Alan Pope’s deranged humor.

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Michael Hall

Another day packed with meetings and discussions today.  Here’s some of the highlights:

We decided that SDK version numbering should mirror distro numbering, so instead of Ubuntu SDK 2.0 we will have Ubuntu SDK 14.04.

We worked out more details on the next App Developer Showdown, including what additions and changes to the SDK and store will be ready for the contest, and what prizes we will try to get for it.

After reviewing the current documentation on developer.ubuntu.com, we identified some areas where we need to improve it before the App Showdown.

Alan Pope and I guest starred in Jono’s weekly Q&A session, from the hotel bar, which was loads of fun.  Watch the full video to hear more about what we’ve been discussing here and maybe find answers to some of your own questions.

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jono

As some of you will know, I founded the Community Leadership Summit that takes place in Portland, Oregon every year. The event brings together community leaders, organizers and managers and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community. Each year we discuss, debate and continue to refine the art of building an effective and capable community, structured in a set of presentation and attendee-driven unconference sessions.

This year’s event is happening on 18th – 19th July 2014 (the two days before OSCON), and is shaping up to be a great event. We have over 140 people registered already, with a diverse and wide-ranging set of attendees. The event is free to attend, you just need to register first. We hope to see you there!

The Think Tank Community Leadership Summit

This year I am also excited to announce an additional sister-event to the main Community Leadership Summit at the Open Source Think Tank.

The Community Leadership Summit and Open Source Think Tank have partnered to create a unique event designed for executives and managers involved in community management planning and strategic development. While the normal annual Community Leadership Summit serves practicing community managers and leaders well, this unique event is designed to be very focused on executives in a strategic leadership position to understand the value and process of building a community.

I have been wanting to coordinate a strategic leadership event such as this for some time, and the Think Tank is the perfect venue; it brings together executives across a wide range of Open Source organizations, and I will be delivering the Community Leadership Summit track as a key part of the event on the first day.

The event will be in the form of a day of presentations and sessions that cover many of the considerations when building a community management strategy, and these approaches will be exercised in a practical and interactive case study. The conclusions from the event will then feed into the rest of the Think Tank. I am excited to get started and I am confident the event will be tremendously valuable for attendees, particularly in an age when a community management strategy is more and more of a core requirement.

The event takes place on 24th March 2014 in Napa, California. See the event homepage for more details – I hope to see you there!

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Michael Hall

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m with the rest of my team in Orlando this week for a sprint. We are joined by many other groups from Canonical, and unfortunately we didn’t have enough meeting rooms for all of the breakout session, so the Community team was forced (forced I tell you) to meet on the patio by the pool.

We have had a lot of good discussions already, and we have four days left.  You’ll start to seem some of the new ideas and changes going into effect next week.  Until then, stay tuned.

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Michael Hall

Last week I posted on G+ about the a couple of new sets of QML API docs that were published.  Well that was only a part of the actual story of what’s been going on with the Ubuntu API website lately.

Over the last month I’ve been working on implementing and deploying a RESTful JSON service on top of the Ubuntu API website, and last week is when all of that work finally found it’s way into production.  That means we now have a public, open API for accessing all of the information available on the API website itself!  This opens up many interesting opportunities for integration and mashups, from integration with QtCreator in the Ubuntu SDK, to mobile reference apps to run on the Ubuntu phone, or anything else your imagination can come up with.

But what does this have to do with the new published docs?  Well the RESTful service also gives us the ability to push documentation up to the production server, which is how those docs got there.  I’ve been converting the old Django manage.py scripts that would import docs directly into the database, to instead push them to the website via the new service, and the QtMultimedia and QtFeedback API docs were the first ones to use it.

Best of all, the scripts are all automated, which means we can start integrating them with the continuous integration infrastructure that the rest of Ubuntu Engineering has been building around our projects.  So in the near future, whenever there is a new daily build of the Ubuntu SDK, it will also push the new documentation up, so we will have both the stable release documentation as well as the daily development release documentation available online.

I don’t have any docs yet on how to use the new service, but you can go to http://developer.ubuntu.com/api/service/ to see what URLs are available for the different data types.  You can also append ?<field>=<value> keyword filters to your URL to narrow the results.  For example, if you wanted all of the Elements in the Ubuntu.Components namespace, you can use http://developer.ubuntu.com/api/service/elements/?namespace__name=Ubuntu.Components to do that.

That’s it for today, the first day of my UbBloPoMo posts.  The rest of this week I will be driving to and fro for a work sprint with the rest of my team, the Ubuntu SDK team, and many others involved in building the phone and app developer pieces for Ubuntu.  So the rest of this week’s post may be much shorter.  We’ll see.

Happy Hacking.

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Michael Hall

So it’s not February first yet, but what the heck I’ll go ahead and get started early.  I tried to do the whole NaBloPoMo thing a year or so ago, but didn’t make it more than a week.  I hope to do better this time, and with that in mind I’ve decided to put together some kind of a plan.

First things first, I’m going to cheat and only plan on having a post published ever week day of the month, since it seems that’s when most people are reading my blog (and/or Planet Ubuntu) anyway, and it means I don’t have to worry about it over the weekends.  If you really, really want to read a new post from me on Saturday……you should get a hobby.  Then blog about it, on Planet Ubuntu.

To try and keep me from forgetting to blog during the days I am committing to, I’ve scheduled a recurring 30 minute slot on my calendar.  UbBloPoMo posts should be something you can write up in 30 minutes or less, I think, so that should suffice.  I’ve also scheduled it for the end of my work day, so I can talk about things that are still fresh in my mind, to make it even easier.

Finally, because Europe is off work by the end of my day, I’m going to schedule all of my posts to publish the following morning at 9am UTC (posts written Friday will publish on Monday morning).  I’ve been doing this for a while with my previous posts, and it seems to get more views when I do. For example, this post was written yesterday, but posted while I was still sound asleep this morning.  The internet is a magical place.

So, today being Friday, I will be writing my first actual UbBloPoMo entry this evening, and it will post on Monday February 3rd.  What will it be about I wonder?  The suspense is killing me.

 

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jono

Recently Randall did some research into what people want to see on Planet Ubuntu. This has been followed up by Stuart with a set of concerns.

I agree with both of them.

I think the gist of Randall’s view is that he would like to encourage more fun, interesting, and diverse Ubuntu-related content. I think Randall wants to see fun stories of LoCo events, interesting Ubuntu work going on, cool Ubuntu apps, details of new features, and more. I agree with Randall here, and would love to see the same.

I think the gist of Stuart’s view is that the personal stories on Planet Ubuntu is a wonderful part of being in a community. Ubuntu is not just about Ubuntu, it is about the stories and the lives of the people who contribute to our community. I agree with Stuart here too.

I think we need a mix. Ideally we want to see interesting posts about people’s contributions to Ubuntu, but also about their non-Ubuntu lives too.

I would like to see Planet Ubuntu stick to its core goal: to be a place where you can look into the lives of Ubuntu members and explore their Ubuntu work as well as their non-Ubuntu thoughts and views.

The problem here is really with Ubuntu membership. Some people are still Ubuntu members who haven’t contributed to Ubuntu for a long time and thus we see lots of non-Ubuntu content, but rarely hear about their contributions. I would recommend we deactivate membership for those who are not actively contributing (active being significant and sustained contributions, as per our charter); this will then tighten up which feeds appear on planet and we will get a nice mix of both Ubuntu and person content.

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jono

On Accountability

Every so often I see a scenario play out that I find rather disappointing.

It works like this: someone posts a topic to their blog that is critical or controversial. This person can either be a community member, commentator, employee or otherwise; it doesn’t matter who the person is. Then what happens is a series of comments are posted to that blog entry from readers that are critical of the post, thus challenging the author on their views. The author then either deletes the blog entry or disables the comments based on the feedback. In other words, a viewpoint is shared, an invitation for comment is provided, but that invitation is then revoked when the author of the blog post is dissatisfied with the response from their readers.

I have seen this happen countless times over the years and I don’t like this.

I believe we should all be accountable for our words. Our words have the ability to inspire, to entertain, to challenge, but to also hurt. Actions have consequences, and so do words.

As such, when I see someone openly share their thoughts on their blog and invite their readers to provide comments, I see that as a wonderful demonstration of accountability and engagement; debate is a beautiful thing when executed with politeness and respect. To then close that door, seemingly because people disagree with you, is in my mind the equivalent of walking out of a room in the middle of a debate. The excuse when folks are criticized of this behavior is typically “it is my blog and I can run it how I like“.

This is true: it is your blog, and you can run it how you like, but the true measure of a person is not just in what they say, but also in the conversation and discourse that follows.

Now, there are two very important caveats to my view here. Firstly, abusive, threatening, or otherwise offensive content is a perfect candidate for removal and the commentator for banning. We should never tolerate this. Secondly, I can understand the removal of a blog post if there is a legal requirement to do so. In the majority of cases where I have seen posts removed or comments disabled though, it has been for neither of these reasons.

Speaking personally, I have never, ever, switched off comments on my blog posts or deleted posts. Even when the Internet has seemingly come to get me, or when the press pick up on something and are critical, or when I have made a mistake and felt embarrassed at the outcome…I have never switched off comments and never deleted a blog post. This is because I feel I should be and I am accountable for my words.

For me, this is an ethical issue; in the same way I won’t go and re-write or edit a blog post if I get criticism for it (outside of minor grammatical/spelling fixes). My posts are a time-capsule of my thinking at that point in my life. For me to go and edit them would be me re-writing history. A blog is not a regularly updated record of your views (like a book), it is chronological diary of your views and progression as a person. Consequently, my blog is filled with moments from my past that don’t reflect my views, experience, or ideas of today. Some of those posts are even embarrassing. But you know what, those posts stay unchanged, and I am proud that I have never compromised on this accountability.

So with this in mind, I have a simple suggestion for those of you who run blogs: either switch your comments off entirely or always leave them on, but don’t turn them off when you don’t like the reaction from your readers. Polite and respectful debate helps us grow as human beings, helps us evolve our ideas and perspectives, and makes us better people. Let history be our record, not our edited version of history.

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jono

I am delighted to announce the Community Leadership Summit 2014, now in it’s sixth year! This year it takes place on the 18th and 19th July 2014, the weekend before OSCON at the Oregon Convention Center. Thanks again to O’Reilly for providing the venue.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the CLS, it is an entirely free event designed to bring together community leaders and managers and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community. The event provides an unconference style schedule in which attendees can discuss, debate and explore topics. This is augmented with a range of scheduled talks, panel discussions, networking opportunities and more.

The heart of CLS is an event driven by the attendees, for the attendees.

The event provides an opportunity to bring together the leading minds in the field with new community builders to discuss topics such as governance, creating collaborative environments, conflict resolution, transparency, open infrastructure, social networking, commercial investment in community, engineering vs. marketing approaches to community leadership and much more.

The previous events have been hugely successful and a great way to connect together different people from different community backgrounds to share best practice and make community management an art and science better understood and shared by us all.

I will be providing more details about the event closer to the time, but in the meantime be sure to register!

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jono

On Monday 13th Jan starting at 6pm UTC (10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern) I will be doing an AMA on Reddit. For those unfamiliar with this – this is where you can ask me anything on Reddit, and the most popular questions and responses are up/down voted.

The post will go live about 30mins before that time so you can start adding questions.

I welcome questions about absolutely anything to do with Ubuntu, Canonical, community management, working in the Open Source industry, writing books, podcasting, free culture, heavy metal, moving from England to America, or anything else. Let’s have some fun!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my work, I work at Canonical as the Ubuntu Community Manager, I am the author of The Art of Community by O’Reilly, founder of the annual Community Leadership Summit, and have spoken around the world about community leadership and encouraging people to get together to create awesome things.

Outside of my work, I co-founded the Bad Voltage, Lugradio, and Shot Of Jaq podcasts, founded the Creative Commons metal band Severed Fifth, wrote an archive of Creative Commons music, built the BBQ website BBQpad, write for various magazines (Linux Format / Ubuntu User), and have contributed to various Open Source projects.

I will follow up on Twitter/Google+ with a link to the thread when it is published.

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jono

Recently the Ubuntu newswires have been buzzing with the news that we have won our first smartphone partner.

Now, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way – I am not telling you who it is. It is not my place here to share confidential details about business-to-business relationships such as this. Rest assured though, I know the folks working on these relationships and there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for Ubuntu in these discussions; OEMs, carriers, ISVs and more are very interested in exploring Ubuntu for future products.

This is…spoiler alert…fantastic news.

But what does this news really mean for Ubuntu, and to what extent do our community play a part? Let’s dig into this a little bit.

I joined Ubuntu because I want to help an effort to bring technological elegance and freedom to people. Both of these are essential; elegant proprietary software and complex Free Software are both limited in the opportunities they bring to people and who can harness them. A good balance of both is what we strive to achieve in Ubuntu.

For many years Ubuntu has been available to download and install on your computer. Today you can download Ubuntu for your desktop computer, phone, tablet, and you can deploy it to your public or private cloud.


Soon.

While this provides a reliable distribution point for those in the know, it remains an unknown service for those not in the know. Put simply: most normal people don’t do this. People like you and me, who read nerdy blogs like mine, often do this.

Now, we often talk about how we have around 20million Ubuntu users. To be fair, this will always be something of an informed estimation (made up from sales, downloads etc). As an example, if one person downloads Ubuntu they may install it on one computer. Alternatively, they could do the kind of work that Project Community Computers and Partimus do and use that download to install Ubuntu on hundreds of computers that potentially thousands of people will use. Again, put simply, it is difficult to get a firm idea of current numbers of users.

Irrespective though, whatever figure we have…such as 20million…this number is fundamentally defined by our available distribution mechanisms. The formula here is simple: if we increase the opportunity for Ubuntu to be distributed, we get more users…

…and this is where the chain reaction begins.


Wrong chain reaction.

If we have more users, we get more ISVs such as Adobe, Autodesk, Zynga, Rovio and others who want to use Ubuntu as a channel. If we get more apps from ISVs we get more interest from OEMs, carriers, and others. If we get more OEMs and carriers, we get more enterprise, creative-industry, and educational deployments. If we get more deployments we see more businesses selling support, services, training, people writing books, seminars, and other areas of focus. This effectively creates an eco-system around Ubuntu which in turn lowers the bar enough that any consumer can use and try it…thus putting Free Software in the hands of the masses.

Put simply once more: if we make Ubuntu commercially successful, it will put Free Software in the hands of more people.

Now, on the desktop side of things we have Ubuntu pre-installed on four of the largest OEMs on the planet, and while industry-wide annual PC shipments are dropping more and more each year, fortunately, we have positioned ourselves in a sweet spot. We can continue to fulfill our position as the third most popular Operating System for desktop/laptop computers, while providing a simple on-ramp to bring Ubuntu to these other devices as part of our wider convergence story.

As such, our first commercial smartphone partner is where we light the touch-paper that starts that chain reaction. This is good for Ubuntu, consumers, app developers, small businesses selling services, and for other OEMs/carriers who are exploring Ubuntu. All of this is good for Free Software.

So where does the community fit into this? Surely all of this work is going to be the domain of paid Canonical engineers delivering whatever the secret smartphone partner wants?


Recent Canonical sprint at the Marriott City Center, Oakland

Not at all.

Delivering a shippable device has many different technology components: hardware enablement, display server (Mir), shell (Unity 8), developer platform and SDK, core applications that ship with the device, quality assurance, language packs, third-party scopes and services, and more.

This is just what sits on the device. Outside of it we also need effective governance, event planning, local user group advocacy and campaigns, app developer growth and support, general documentation and support, web and communications services, accessibility, and more.

Every one of these areas (with the probable exception of specifically working with customers around enabling their specific device) welcomes and needs our community to help. Some of these areas are better set up collaboratively with our community than others…but not working collaboratively with our community is a bug, not a feature.

Believe me when I say there is no shortage of things for us to do. We have a long but exciting road ahead of us, and I am looking at my team to help support our community in finding something fun, rewarding, and productive to work on. There are few things in life more satisfying than putting your brick in the wall as part of a global effort to bring technological change to people. I hope you are joining us for the ride.

If you want to help and get stuck, email me at jono@ubuntu.com. I am happy to help get you started.

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Michael Hall

A funny thing happened on the way to the forums, I was elected to serve on the Ubuntu Community Council. First of all I would like to thank those who voted for me, your support is a tremendous morale booster, and I look forward to representing your interests in the council.  I’d also like to congratulate the other council members on their election or re-election, I can’t imagine a better group of people to be working with.

That’s it, short and sweet.  Thanks again and let’s all get back to building awesome things!

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jono

Free Software is not just software or a philosophical attitude to freely available software. Free Software is a catalyst for change in a constantly evolving world that is becoming more and more dependent on technology. Unfortunately while many of us are getting faster and faster computers on our desktops and in our pockets, for many the digital divide is ever wide as it has always been.

I have always had a soft spot for those organizations who selflessly bring Free Software to those for whom technology is a missing link in their lives. I spent two years doing this with OpenAdvantage before I joined Canonical, bringing technology to a region where many manual labourers were out of work and needing access to technology and training to upskill and get new jobs to support their families. Likewise groups like A2RT, FreeGeek, Partimus and more doing similar great work.

When I was speaking at Ohio Linux Fest earlier this year I met the Project Community Computers. Emma from System76 told me they wanted to talk to me about their project (they use Ubuntu extensively across their projects) so I had a meeting with them. The project essentially takes Ubuntu and puts it on recycled computers and they have set up over 20 educational labs around the world.

All out of their own pocket. All on their own time.

I was blown away by their accomplishments.

The guys are smart, selfless, motivated, and harnessing the truest power of Free Software…to break down the digital divide. They are not just talking a big game…they are playing a big game with so many accomplishments so far. It is projects like this why I got involved in Free Software and Ubuntu in the first place.

The team were looking for opportunities for funding their continued work and I suggested they crowd-fund it, an idea that they had already thought about, so I am delighted to see they have kicked their campaign off at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/project-community-computers.

See their campaign video below:

Project: Community Computers Indiegogo Campaign Launch Video from Project: Community Computers on Vimeo.

Can’t see it? See it here!

Please go and invest in this tremendous team and project; I have no doubt that every penny will be put to good use.

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jono

I have talked in the past about how critical I feel app developers are to the Ubuntu convergence story. If developers can go from idea to implementation to publishing quickly and easily, it will make the overall Ubuntu platform more attractive and featureful for users, partners, OEMs, carriers and more.

As such, we are working hard to make Ubuntu a platform where you can match your creativity with the tools you need to deliver your creative vision to others. This has included a powerful SDK, a simple and effective app upload process, a new version of developer.ubuntu.com that will be landing next week, and more.

Now we are finalizing much of the core infrastructure (SDK, docs, knowledge, support, publishing) I really want to focus more and more on widening the awareness of Ubuntu as a powerful and fun developer platform.

There are all kinds of things we can do – video tutorials, training weeks, local tutorial schools, app contests, and more, and we are really keen to hear your ideas and look for those who want to help spread the word about Ubuntu as a powerful converged developer platform.

How Do I Help?

If you are interested in helping, we are looking for ideas on this pad; you will need to be a member of this team to edit, so be sure to join that team first. Feel free to braindump your ideas for ways in which we can get out to more developers and help them realize their creative ideas. The more ideas the better!

Then, on Tuesday 24th Sep at 3pm UTC, we will be running a live Google+ Hangout meeting on Ubuntu On Air to review the ideas and start making plans. If you add an idea to the pad it would be awesome if you could join the session too.

I would love to encourage you all to join and help build the developer platform of the future across phones, desktops, tablets, and more!

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Michael Hall

Last month I announced a contest to win a new OPPO Find 5 by porting Ubuntu Touch to it.  Today I’m pleased to announce that we have a winner!

Below is a picture tour of what Ubuntu Touch running on the device, along with descriptions of what works and what doesn’t. If you’re impatient, you can find links to download the images and instructions for flashing them here.

First a disclaimer, these aren’t professional pictures.  They were taken with my Nexus 4, also running Ubuntu Touch, and the colors are slightly shifted horizontally for some reason.  I didn’t notice it until I had already gone through and taken 58 pictures and downloaded them to my laptop.  Apologies for that.  But you can still get a feel for it, so let’s carry on!

Edge Swiping

The touch screen and edge swiping worked perfectly, as was neatly demonstrated by going through the new introduction tour.

Dash & Launcher

The Dash also works exactly as expected.  This build has a low enough pixel/grid-unit, and high enough resolution, that it fits 4 icons per row, the same as you get on Asus Nexus 4. The icons on the Launcher felt a little small, but everything there worked perfectly too.

Indicators

The indicators were missing some functionality, which I assume is a result of Ubuntu Touch not working with all of the Find 5′s hardware.  Specifically the WiFi isn’t working, so you don’t see anything for it in the Network indicator, and the screen brightness slider was non-functional in the Battery indicator.  Sound, however, worked perfectly.

Apps

Not having WiFi limited the number of apps I could play with, but most of the ones I could try worked fine.  Sudoku and Dropping letters don’t work for some reason, but the Core Apps (except Weather, which requires network access) worked fine.

 

Hardware

As I already mentioned, WiFi doesn’t work on this build, nor does screen brightness.  The camera, however, is a different story. Both the front and back cameras worked, including the flash on the back.

Final Thoughts

While this build didn’t meet all the criteria I had initially set out, it did so much more than any other image I had received up until now that I am happy to call it the winner.  The developer who built it has also committed to continuing his porting work, and getting the remaining items working.  I hope that having this Find 5 will help him in that work, and so all Find 5 owners will have the chance to run Ubuntu Touch on their device.

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Daniel Holbach

The next Ubuntu Developer Summit is coming up next week (27-29 August 2013) and you can already see a nice set of topics coming together in Launchpad. The schedule will, as always, be available at summit.ubuntu.com.

Jono Bacon and I are going to be track leads for the Community track, so I wanted to send out an invitation to get topics in, especially for bits concerning the Community track. If you are a team lead and had feedback from your team or you want to bring up a discussion topic where you are interested to help out with, check out our docs on how to submit a session for UDS. Please note: this is not a game of “this is what I think somebody should discuss and do for me”, so if you plan to bring up a session topic, be prepared, have a good idea of what might be on the agenda, reach out to people who might be interested in the topic, so you have a good set of participants and contributors to the project available.

If you just want to attend and listen in and contribute to sessions on the schedule, you can just do that as well, check out uds.ubuntu.com which has all the information on how to tune in. Register here. Can’t wait to see you all next week!

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jono

Some time ago we announced Mir; a thin, efficient, multi form-factor display server that will form the foundation of Ubuntu moving forward across desktops, phones, tablets, and TVs.

Our goal has been clear that in Ubuntu 13.10 we will include Mir by default for cards that support it and fall back to X for cards that don’t (primarily those that require proprietary graphics drivers). In 14.04 we will deploy Mir but not provide the X fallback mode, and we are in active discussions with GPU manufacturers for them to support Mir in their drivers.

I wanted to provide an update on the progress we have been making with Mir.

Mir is in Ubuntu 13.10

The Mir team have been working hard to get Mir ready and in the archive ready for Feature Freeze on the 29th August. I am pleased to report that Mir is now available in the Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy archive and available for use.

Now, there are a few caveats here:

  • Multi-monitor support has not fully landed yet, as such you will only see mirrored displays and possibly some bugs. This support should land around the 22nd August. Keep up to date with the blueprint for this feature.
  • Although performance in Mir is very usable, the team are working on composite bypass support that will bring enhanced performance benefits. This should also land around the 22nd August.
  • Mir is naturally still under heavy development, so don’t consider it finished quite yet. ;-) The team will be focusing on bug-fixing and performance optimizations when the primary feature development is completed.

Good progress is being across all fronts with Mir and we are on track for our Ubuntu 13.10 commitment. As part of this work we have also been providing weekly Mir engineering updates as part of our Weekly Ubuntu Update videocast, so you can get a clear weekly idea of current status.

Mir in Ubuntu Touch

With the furious progress being made, we are expecting Mir to land in the daily Ubuntu Touch images in the next week. This means that those of you using Ubuntu Touch on your phones and tablets will have Mir running on your device soon. To get this, simply upgrade as normal.

Test Mir in Ubuntu 13.10 Desktop

Anyone is able to run the development version of Ubuntu 13.10 by installing the latest daily ISO and although Mir isn’t switched on by default yet, it is available you can test it by running:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mir-demos unity-system-compositor

Now to be clear: if Mir is working you should see no graphical difference from your normal system. Mir exists underneath your desktop environment, so you should just see your desktop as normal.

We are going to be kicking off a series of Mir testing campaigns in the coming weeks, but right now I would like to encourage you folks to install Mir and start your system as normal and test it is running with:

ps ax | grep "unity"

You should see a line with unity-system-compositor listed. If you see this you are running Mir! If you see this and your desktop works as normal, this is considered a success.

If you have a proprietary graphics driver (e.g. some Nvidia/ATI cards) and you run the above command and don’t see a unity-system-compositor entry then the system correctly fell back to X and this is considered a success.

If the system doesn’t display graphics or you see a line with unity-system-compositor and you see significant performance or tearing issues, this is considered a failure.

I created this wiki page to track how Mir works on different graphics cards. Please add your graphics card (if it isn’t already covered) and whether Mir was a success or failure.

If you do have problems with Mir and want to start a normal X server, simply edit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf.d/10-unity-system-compositor.conf and comment out the second and third lines:

[SeatDefaults]
#type=unity
#unity-compositor-command=unity-system-compositor.sleep

Now restart LightDM and you are good to go. Uncomment these lines to go back to Mir.

Mir Ecosystem

In the last few weeks we have been having some wonderful discussions with those who are actively interested in utilizing Mir. This has included:

  • Active discussions with the GPU manufacturors. These discussions are under NDA so unfortunately I cannot share more at this time, but the discussions are active and on-going.
  • Working with Xubuntu around testing XMir + Mir for their Ubuntu 13.10 release. The Xubuntu team have been awesome as usual to work with and are currently encouraging their community to test the latest ISO images available here. I would like to encourage Xubuntu folks to update the GPU wiki page I mentioned above as part of your testing.
  • We are working with flavors in general to encourage testing. We also encourage flavors to tag Mir bugs with flavormirbug so they appear in this bug search that the Mir team is using.
  • We have also been working with OEMs and ISVs around their needs with Mir and have had some useful and productive discussions. Again, these discussions have been largely private, but we hope to share more soon.

Overall, Mir is making steady and consistent progress, but we need your help to test. Keep your eyes peeled for a number of testing initiatives moving forward. Thanks!

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Michael Hall

Do you want a new OPPO Find 5?  Of course you do!  Well the awesome team at OPPO have given us a brand new Find 5 (x909 to be exact) for us to give you.  So here’s the deal, the first person to provide a working Ubuntu Touch image for this device gets to keep it.

Last weekend both Ubuntu and OPPO had booths at the first ever XDA Developers Conference in Miami.  While discussing both of our new products, the idea came up to hold a porting contest to get Ubuntu Touch running on the Find 5.  Jono announced the initial contest during his presentation on Saturday, with an initial challenge to have a winner claim the prize during the conference itself.  Despite having three separate developers build images and flash them onto the phone, none were able to boot into Ubuntu Touch.

So now we’re extending the contest and making it available to everybody!  To enter, you will need to send me an email containing links to the necessary files and detailed step-by-step direction for loading them on the phone.  I don’t have much experience with flashing ROMs, so treat me like a complete newbie when writing your instructions.  If your images don’t work, I will send you the output from adb logcat as well as any other information you request.  If your images do work, and meet the requirements below, I’ll be asking for a mailing address so I can send you your prize!

In order to win your phone, you need to get Ubuntu Touch running on the OPPO Find 5. Not just booting, but running, and is a way that makes it usable for other Find 5 owners.  So I’ve set out the following things that I will be checking for:

  • The phone boots into Ubuntu Touch (obviously)
  • I can launch multiple apps and switch between them
  • I can make phone calls (I have a SIM that works)
  • I can send and receive SMS
  • I can connect to Wifi, using WPA2
  • The screen goes to sleep when pressing the power button or after the set timeout period, and wakes up again when pressing the power button
  • I can play audio with the Music app
  • I can take pictures with the front and rear cameras

So, you want to take a crack at it?  Well the first step is to read the Ubuntu Touch Porting Guide.  Once you have an image you want me to try, send an email to mhall119@gmail.com with “OPPO” somewhere in the subject (just to help me out, I get a lot of email).  In that email include all of the steps necessary to download and install your image.  Again, be detailed, I’m a newb.  If you image meets the above requirements, I’ll put it in the mail to you!  After that, we can work on getting your image available for easy installation via our phablet-flash tool, so all the other OPPO Find 5 owners can try it too.

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