Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'events'

Michael Hall

The Ubuntu Florida LoCo Team is my home team, and this cycle I will once again be meeting up with Chris Johnston to participate in the Ubuntu Global Jam.  Since Chris is the one organizing this event again, I asked him a few questions about it.

Tell me about yourself and how you are involved in Ubuntu

My name is Chris Johnston. I got involved in Ubuntu about 3 years ago. I started by attending a Florida LoCo Team event at Michael Hall’s house. I got involved with the Ubuntu Beginners Team, the Classroom Team, and the BugSquad. I was one of the original planners of Ubuntu User Days and I got involved in developing for what is now the LoCo Team Portal. After attending my first UDS I saw a need and started coding on the Summit Scheduler. Now days I spend most of my time developing on Summit or the LoCo Team Portal.

Have you organized a Global Jam event before, and if so what was your experience? How did you choose a venue and select activities?

I organized a Global Jam event last cycle. We ended up with only 3 people participating, but we had a productive day hacking on and even got a new developer involved.

What kinds of activities do you plan of doing as part of your upcoming jam?

During this Global Jam, we will again be working on some of the community supported websites, including Summit and the LoCo Team Portal.

How do you spread the word about your event to get more people to participate?

Through the LoCo Team Portal and talking to people about it.


Now it’s time for you all to share your stories about past and future Global Jam events!

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Michael Hall

We’re coming up on the next Ubuntu Global Jam, the point in every cycle where the community gets together for a weekend of contributing to the next release of Ubuntu.  And this time we’re shaking things up a little bit.

Every cycle we help people organize their jams, and suggest the same generic topics: Bug triaging, packaging, translations, documentation, testing, etc.  This time, in addition to these topics, we will be reaching out to the various teams both in Canonical and the Community, and picking some very specific activities that will directly help them make the Precise Pangolin the best release of Ubuntu ever.

Another change this cycle is a focus on bringing all of the global jam activities together so that we can all see, in real time, the work being done by contributors around the world.  To that end, we’ve added a Global Jam Dashboard to the LoCo Teams Portal, which features an integrated webchat, updating twitter/ stream, and photo feed.  So while you are jamming locally, be sure to tweet about it using the #ubuntu hashtag, and upload photos to Flickr, Picasa or, again using the #ubuntu hashtag.

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Michael Hall

Starting today at 1500 UTC, we’ll be conducting a series of online classes for Ubuntu Developer Week.  Whether you are interest in developing new applications for Ubuntu, or want to make an existing app take advantage of all of Ubuntu’s features, this is definitely something you should attend.

This cycle Daniel Holbach will kick things off with a overview of Ubuntu development, using Bazaar and Launchpad to collaborate both online and off with teams of developers all over the world.

After that I will be giving an overview of the unique collection of technologies and services that Ubuntu offers application developers, including Unity integration, Ubuntu One cloud storage, and the Software Center.  Then I will be joined by Micha? Sawicz to talk about Ubuntu TV, and how you can get a development environment setup and start hacking on it yourself

Later, David Callé and Michal Hruby will be showing you how to integrate with the Unity Dash by writing custom lenses and scopes for your content.  And if you are interested in that, be sure to come back Thursday for my session on writing simple lenses and scopes in Python using the Singlet library.

Mark Mims and Dustin Kirland will both by presenting on different ways Ubuntu lets you take advantage of the latest cloud technology to improve the development, testing and deployment of your application and stack.  And Stuart Langridge will be talking about the latest developments in the Ubuntu One Database (U1DB), and then showing how you can integrate our file and data syncing infrastructure into your own application.

You will also learn how to work upstream with Debian (both pulling changes in and sending them back), how to properly and easily package your application for distribution, and of course how to work on contributing changes back to Ubuntu itself.

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Sean Sosik-Hamor

It’s déjà vu all over again! It looks just like last year, only a bit more organized! Since getting everyone balanced in a group photo the size of this is akin to herding cats I decided to lay down boundaries with gaffer tape like at UDS-O in Budapest. It worked out extremely well; it’s much easier to say “stay inside the pink tape” than to bark orders over the crowd to get individual people to move and fill in the gaps. And remember, if you can’t see my lens, I can’t see you!

UDS-P photos cc by-sa 2011 Sean Sosik-Hamor (prints can be ordered by clicking the Buy button in the gallery):

Shot with my workhorse EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM mounted to the usual EOS-1D Mark IV on 10 FPS burst to increase the chances of getting a usable shot with all the movement in the crowd. Apologies for taking a while to get these posted; it’s been a hectic four weeks of travel, event support, and sprinting.

The making of the group photo

Following what appears to be a new UDS tradition Randall managed to capture me herding everyone into the photo box made out of pink tape! (cc by-sa 2.0 rrnwexec)

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Michael Hall

Recognition is the currency of the open source community.  When somebody does something that helps you, the proper way of paying them for their time and effort is, quite simply, to thank them and let other people know that they helped you.  This is why the most popular Creative Commons licenses include attribution.  This is why even the most permissive open source licenses ask that attribution notices be kept and distributed with the code.  And this is why members of the Ubuntu community is celebrating everybody else in the community in our first ever Community Appreciation Day.

I was a member of the Ubuntu community long before I became an employee of Canonical, and I’ll be getting much more community focused in my new role as Upstream Liason on the Community Team in January.  Suffice it to say, I owe a lot of people thanks for their work, support and encouragement over the years.  But Community Appreciation day isn’t about repaying old debts of gratitude, it’s about letting people know that their work doesn’t go unnoticed, that it does make a difference, and that people do appreciate it.  Without that, it’s very easy for a community member to burn themselves out.  So consider Community Appreciation day to be a day of investing your gratitude, because while it may just feel like you’re being thankful, you are in fact building up a fellow contributor.

I will be sharing my appreciation with people either privately, or in the medium where I usually interact with them, either mailing lists of IRC, because I feel that I should show my appreciation in the place where I received their contribution.  But you should share your thanks in whatever manner you feel is most appropriate, and most sincere.  Just make sure that you do.

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Michael Hall

It’s late, I’m tired, so this is going to be brief.  But if I didn’t put something up now, chances are I’d procrastinate to the point where it didn’t matter anymore, so something is better than nothing.


So the buzz all week was about Juju and Charms.  It’s a very cool technology that I think is really going to highlight the potential of cloud computing.  Until now I always had people comparing the cloud to virtual machines, telling me they already automate deploying VMs, but with Juju you don’t think about machines anymore, virtual of otherwise.  It’s all about services, which is really what you want, a service that is doing something for you.  You don’t need to care where, or on what, or in combination with some other thing, Juju handles all that automatically.  It’s really neat, and I’m looking forward to using it more.


Summit worked this week.  In fact, this is the first time in my memory where there wasn’t a problem with the code during UDS.  And that’s not because we left it alone either.  IS actually moved the entire site to a new server the day before UDS started.  We landed several fixes during the week to fix minor inconveniences experienced by IS or the admins.  And that’s not even taking into consideration all the last-minute features that were added by our Linaro developers the week prior.  But through it all, Summit kept working.  That, more than anything else, is testament to the work the Summit developers put in over the last cycle to improve the code quality and development processes, and I am very, very proud that.  But we’re not taking a break this cycle.  In fact, we had two separate sessions this week about ways to improve the user experience, and will be joined by some professional designers to help us towards that goal.

Ubuntu One eBook syncing

So what started off as an casual question to Stuart Langridge turned into a full blown session about how to sync ebook data using Ubuntu One.  We brainstormed several options of what we can sync, including reading position, bookmarks, highlights and notes, as well as ways to sync them in an application agnostic manner.  I missed the session on the upcoming Ubuntu One Database (U1DB), but we settled on that being the ideal way of handling this project, and that this project was an ideal test case for the U1DB.  For reasons I still can’t explain, I volunteered to develop this functionality, at some point during the next cycle.  It’s certainly going to be a learning experience.


Friends!  It sure was good to catch up with all of you.  Both friends from far-away lands, and those closer to home.  Even though we chat on IRC almost constantly, there’s still nothing quite like being face to face.  I greatly enjoyed working in the same room with the Canonical ISD team, which has some of the smartest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.  It was also wonderful to catch up with all my friends from the community.  I don’t know of any other product or project that brings people together the way Ubuntu does, and I’m amazed and overjoyed that I get to be a part of it.

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Michael Hall

If you’ve been doing anything with Ubuntu lately, chances are you’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about Juju.  If you’re attending UDS, then there’s also a good chance that you’ve been to one or more sessions about Juju.  But do you know it?

The building blocks for Juju are it’s “charms”, which detail exactly how to deploy and configure services in the Cloud.  Writing charms is how you harness the awesome power of Juju.  Tomorrow (Friday) there will be a 2 hour session all about writing charms, everything from what they do and how they work, to helping you get started writing your own.  Questions will be answers, minds will be inspired, things will be made, so don’t miss out.

(Photo courtesy of

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Sean Sosik-Hamor

After 8544 miles traveled, 16 days on the road, 40 GB of RAW photos, and two days of post-travel coma, I’ve posted the official group photos and my personal photo set from Ubuntu Developer Summit Oneiric Ocelot (UDS-O) which took place at the opulent Corinthia Hotel Budapest (formerly Grand Hotel Royal), Budapest, Hungary, EU (9th – 13th May 2011). UDS was insanely hectic as usual trying to keep everything running smoothly behind the scenes. Luckily there were enough lulls to give me a chance to meet a bunch of new faces and catch up on some of my favorite projects.

UDS-O photos cc by-sa 2011 Sean Sosik-Hamor (prints can be ordered by clicking the Buy button in the gallery):

In addition to the above SmugMug gallery I’ve added the group photos to Facebook for tagging! And if you’ve ever wanted to see what goes on behind the scenes and what gets packed for UDS, check out the UDS-O Logistics gallery.

Unlike UDS-N in Orlando where I found out on short notice that I would be the official photographer I came a bit more prepared this time toting my EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM on top of the usual EOS-1D Mark IVEF 50mm f/1.2L USM, and pair of 580EX II Speedlites that permanently live in the Fastpack 350 that always accompanies me everywhere. Immediately upon arriving at the hotel and checking in I scouted locations and found a gorgeous spot to take the group photo shooting down from the fifth floor catwalk into the Southeast atrium bathed natural light from the skylights and six-story street-facing glass wall.

Unfortunately the hotel staff disagreed with my selection and pushed us into the lobby spilling up the main staircase when it came time to actually shoot the group photo. This location was less than ideal forcing me to shoot at a strange angle from an offset second floor guest room window overlooking the lobby with mixed tungsten, CFL, sunlight, and shadow.

This required a bit of pre-planning and creativity to make sure everyone would be in the photo and wouldn’t be blocked by pedestals or balconies. Liberal use of pink highvis gaffer tape on the floor to mark the boundaries of the frame and verbal instruction (if you can’t see my lens then I can’t see you) seems to have ensured that everyone actually got into the photo…including some creative trolls folks who made their way up to the first floor balconies!

The rest of the photos shot throughout the week were dead-simple and accomplished by utilizing natural light or by dragging the shutter with on-camera bounce flash with catchlight panel. While the more difficult nighttime outdoor bar and cafe photos had the Speedlite pointing straight up into the air with only the catchlight panel bathing the subject with fill flash, the indoor Orfeum Club photos also utilized a strategically-placed remote Speedlite and glass ceiling to create some interesting effects.

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Ubuntu Developer Summit Oneiric Ocelot (UDS-O) Logistics at Canonical Group Limited, London, England, UK – 11th – 15th April 2011

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Michael Hall

This past weekend was Ubuntu Global Jam, where Ubuntu users and contributors all over the world get together to work on improving the project.  Jams come in many forms, code hacking, bug triaging, translating, documenting, or even just promoting Ubuntu in their community.  In my own corner of the Ubuntu community, a few of us got to together to work on improving the Summit project

This is the code behind, which provides the UDS scheduler and sponsorship application forms.  Summit is a Django application, released under the AGPLv3 license, and is primarily developed by community members.  Joining me were Chris Johnston,  a frequent community contributor who I’ve also worked with in LoCo Directory and other projects, and Elliot Murphy, my 3rd-level boss as Canonical (no pressure there!).

Here’s a list of what we managed to accomplish:

Switch to the new ubuntu-community-webthemes, which will give us the “mothership” top-navigation links as seen on and

Started work on integrating Summit with Django testing framework.

Bug #643012: Register Interest should only show currently available tracks

Currently when you register your interest in a track, the form shows tracks for previous summits.  This will restrict it to just the tracks for the summit you’re registering for.

Bug #668532: /today page to display current day’s schedule

A new, permanent URL which will show the current day’s schedule, so you can bookmark it once and re-use it for each day of the summit, and even future summits!

Bug #745378: Empty sub-nav exists on sponsorship page

Removes the gray sub-navigation bar from pages where there aren’t any linkes in it.

Bug #462793: Add slots for videographers

Up to two videographers can not be assigned to a UDS session and their names will appear on the schedule.

Bug #747296: Add plenary flag to iCal feed for

We have been working with the makers of Conventionist, a convention management application, which will allow you to track your session schedule on your Android or iPhone, even getting directions to the correct room.  This fix was necessary for them to distinguish plenary sessions from regular ones.

Bug #747301: Add daily Crew list

Allows Summit to schedule which UDS attendees are willing to act as event crew, with the current day’s crew assignments listed on the daily schedule which is displayed on the large monitors during the event.

Bug #747303: Auto-add slots to schedule

This solved an administrative headache for those organizing the summit.  For past events, every available time slot had to be entered manually, which was a very time consuming task.  This provides them a quick way to pre-populate the time slots, with the ability to fine-tune just the ones that need it.

Bug #747419: Fix login redirect

Several features of Summit require that you log in using your SSO/Launchpad account.  However, after login you are currently redirected back to the main Summit page instead of the page you left.  This sends your current page URL as the path to redirect to after a successful login, so you no longer have to go find that page again.


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Canonical Platform Sprint and Launchpad Epic at The Renaissance Dallas Hotel, Dallas, Texas, USA – 10th – 21st January 2011 [cc by-sa 2011 Sean Sosik-Hamor]

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Sean Sosik-Hamor

UDS-N Group Photo

I’ve posted the official group photo and my personal photo set from Ubuntu Developer Summit Natty Narwhal (UDS-N) which took place at The Caribe Royal, Orlando, Florida, USA – 25th – 29th October 2010. Overall it was quite a productive trip and, in addition to working event support, running video cameras, photographing the event, and attending sessions, I got to hang out with the usual gang of Open Source superstars and meet plenty of new faces!

UDS-N photos cc by-sa 2010 Sean Sosik-Hamor (prints can be ordered by clicking the Buy button after clicking through to the below galleries):

I was a little caught out by volunteering to do the UDS-N group photo since Ken Wimer, the usual photographer, wasn’t in attendance and the photoshoot had already been scheduled. I knew it would be a bit of a scramble to get everything squared away because I was traveling light and the only lens in my bag was an EF 50mm f/1.2L USM (my standard shoot-anywhere workhorse).

The first task was to source a lens since a 50mm just wasn’t going to cut it. Many thanks to Ted Gould for letting me borrow his EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens as well as the Novacut guys for offering up their EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM on standby. It just goes to show how great the Ubuntu community is and how the Open Source sharing mentality even carries over to physical (and quite expensive) gear.

Once the lens was sourced a location had to be scouted so I contacted Yvonne from hotel services to arrange a quick tour of the grounds. We explored the various courtyards and ponds but the prime location was right in front of us the whole time: the West entrance to the convention center closest to the UDS session rooms. The West entrance loop was blocked off with traffic cones to keep cars out of the shoot and I scheduled hotel engineering to set up a ladder for Friday afternoon before lunch so I could get some test shots.

Once everyone was lined up outside and herded into the frame I fired a few bursts at 10 FPS (which made everyone giggle) to make sure I had plenty of posed, waving, and jumping shots to choose from. The photoshoot itself ran smoothly and only took a few minutes leaving plenty of time for coffee before heading back into sessions.

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Canonical IS Sprint at Hotel Auditórium, Madrid, Spain, EU – 9th – 13th August 2010 [cc by-sa 2010 Sean Sosik-Hamor]

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A number of folks for Canonical will be at LinuxCon this week.  On Thursday, Matt Asay, our COO, will be moderating a panel discussion on what’s next for Linux.  On Wednesday, Matt Zimmerman, Canonical’s CTO (replacing Chris Kenyon)  will participate in a panel discussion on where the Linux desktop is succeeding.  On Wednesday as well, Amanda Brock, Canonical’s General Council, will be giving a talk on Project Harmony – a project that takes its aim to harmonize contribution agreements within the FOSS community.

As a marketer in the Open Source world and an employee of Canonical, I am particularly interested in the proliferation of Linux in the Enterprise, what needs to happen to make Corporate [fill in the name of your favorite country] not only accept but actually seek out Open Source solutions and Linux as a platform to realize said solution.  I think that the talks Canonical is participating in address those questions, as well as several others I am going to try to make, such as what Linux means to the CIO, and how companies should approach the reality of Open Source as a multi-source distributed development environment that needs to function in the Enterprise – to name just a couple.

Hope to bump into some of you in Boston…

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Ubuntu Developer Summit Maverick Meerkat (UDS-M) at Dolce La Hulpe Hotel and Resort, Brussels, Belgium, EU – 10th – 14th May 2010 [cc by-sa 2010 Sean Sosik-Hamor]

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Ubuntu Developer Summit Lucid Lynx (UDS-L) at The Renaissance Dallas Hotel, Dallas, Texas, USA – 16th – 20th November 2009 [cc by-sa 2009 Sean Sosik-Hamor]

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