Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'planet ubuntu'

Steve George

Today we are pleased to announce the beta release of the Ubuntu SDK! The SDK is the toolkit that will power Ubuntu’s convergence revolution, giving you one platform and one API for all Ubuntu form factors. This lets you write your app one time, in one way, and it will work everywhere.  You can read the full Ubuntu SDK Beta announcement here.

For the developers who are already writing apps using the Ubuntu SDK most of the beta’s features will already be known, as they have been landing in the daily releases as they become finished. Here’s a list of the features that have been added since the alpha:

  • Cordova Ubuntu HTML5 app template – leverage the Apache Cordova APIs to write Ubuntu apps with web technologies: HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Write your first HTML5 with the Cordova Ubuntu tutorial.
  • Ubuntu SDK HTML5 theme – a companion to all HTML5 apps: stylesheets and JavaScript code to provide the same look and feel as native apps
  • Responsive layout – applications can now adopt a more natural layout depending on form factor (phone, tablet, desktop) and orientation
  • Scope template – Scopes enable operators to prioritise their content, to achieve differentiation without fragmentation. Now easier to create with a code template
  • Click packaging preview – initial implementation of the Click technology to distribute applications. Package your apps with Click at the press of a button
  • Theme engine improvements – a reworked theme engine to make it easier and more flexible to customise the look and feel of your app
  • Unified Actions API – define actions to be used across different Ubuntu technologies: the HUD, App Indicators, the Launcher, the Messaging Menu
  • U1DB integration – the SDK now provides a database API to easily synchronise documents between devices, using the Ubuntu One cloud

Some of the biggest news here is the Cordova support and HTML5 theme, which brings together our goal of making first class HTML5 app that look and feel like native apps.  Cordova support means that apps written using the PhoneGap framework can be easily ported to Ubuntu Touch, and the HTML5 themes, written largely by community developer Adnane Belmadiaf, will allow those apps to match the native SDK components in both the way they look as well as the way the user interacts with them.

The Responsive Layouts, which landed in the daily SDK packages weeks go, gives developers the ability to adjust their application’s GUI dynamically at runtime, depending on the amount of screen space available or any number of other variables.  This is one key to making convergent apps that can adapt to be useful on both small touch screens and large monitors with a keyboard and mouse.

We’ve also put out the first set of Click packaging tools, which will provide an easier way for developers to package and distribute their applications both on their own and through the Ubuntu Software Center.  There is still a lot more work to do before all of the Click infrastructure is in place, but for now developers can start trying getting a feel for it.

All of that and more is now available, so grab the latest SDK packages, read the QML and HTML5 app development tutorials, and get a head start building your convergent Ubuntu application today!

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Stéphane Graber

Some of you may be aware that I along with Barry Warsaw and Ondrej Kubik have been working on image based upgrades for Ubuntu Touch.
This is going to be the official method to update any Ubuntu Touch devices. When using this system, the system will effectively be read-only with updates being downloaded over the air from a central server and applied in a consistent way across all devices.
Design details may be found at: http://wiki.ubuntu.com/ImageBasedUpgrades

After several months of careful design and implementation, we are now ready to get more testers. We are producing daily images for our 4 usual devices, Galaxy Nexus (maguro), Nexus 4 (mako), Nexus 7 (grouper) and Nexus 10 (manta).
At this point, only those devices are supported. We’ll soon be working with the various ports to see how to get them running on the new system.

So what’s working at this point?

  • Daily delta images are generated and published to
    http://system-image.ubuntu.com
  • We have a command line client tool (system-image-cli), an update server and an upgrader sitting in the recovery partition
  • The images usually boot and work

What doesn’t work?

  • Installing apps as the system partition is read-only and we’re waiting for click packages to be fully implemented in our images
  • Data migration. We haven’t implemented any migration script from the current images to the new ones, so switching will wipe everything from your device
  • Possibly quite some more features I haven’t tested yet

So how can I help?

You can help us if:

  • You have one of the 4 supported devices
  • You don’t use that device for your everyday work
  • You don’t need to install any extra apps
  • You don’t care about losing all your existing data
  • You’re usually able to use adb/fastboot to recover from any problems that might happen

If you don’t fit all of the above criteria, please stick to the current flipped images.
If you think you’re able to help us and want to test those new images, then here’s how to switch to them:

  1. Get the latest version of phablet-tools (>= 0.15+13.10.20130720.1-0ubuntu1)
  2. Boot your device
  3. Backup anything you may want to keep as it’ll be wiped clean!!!
  4. Run: phablet-flash --ubuntu-bootstrap
  5. Wait for it to finish downloading and installing
  6. You’re done!
  7. To apply any further update, use: adb shell system-image-cli
    (never use phablet-flash after the initial flash, updates can only be applied through system-image-cli!)

Reverting to standard flipped images:

  • Boot your device
  • Backup anything you may want to keep as it’ll be wiped clean!!!
  • Run: phablet-flash –bootstrap
  • Wait for it to finish downloading and installing
  • You’re back to standard flipped images!

To report bugs, the easiest is to go to:
https://launchpad.net/ubuntu-image-image/+filebug

We also all hangout in #ubuntu-touch on irc.freenode.net

 

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Chris Johnston

I blogged a couple of weeks ago about the addition of the key performance indicators to the Ubuntu QA Dashboard. Since that post the QA team has been hard at work. We have added a bootspeed KPI to the dashboard, giving you a quick look at today vs yesterday. Another cool feature that has been added to the dashboard is the addition of bug information. Previously the dashboard just provided a link to the bug in Launchpad. The dashboard now fetches the bug data from Launchpad and displays it for you when the mouse hovers over the link. No more having to click through to see what the bug is that is causing issues!

The other big things that we have added goes back to one of the most basic types of testing that we do, the smoke test. We have added two new big things to smoke testing in the past few weeks. The first is that you are now able to see, from the dashboard, which tests pass and which fail. The new test case results page shows you quite a number of things about the testing that was done. You get the basics that you see on the other smoke testing pages (total tests, pass/fail/error count, pass rate, as well as image and machine information) but you now see a list of test cases and their return codes. As you see on the results page I linked to, there were 19 test cases that ran plus four setup type commands. The setup commands are shown since it is possible for them to error. Clicking on the individual command types will give you more details about the specific test to include the test suite and the command that was run. This is all valuable data in determining the quality of Ubuntu each day and easily pinpointing any problems that there are.

The final thing that has changed with smoke testing isn’t so much a change in the dashboard but an addition of a type of test. The QA team is now running daily Ubuntu Touch testing with autopilot. Adding the autopilot testing provides us with a new and much better grasp of the daily quality of Ubuntu. Previously, we relied on manual testing for much of the functional testing of Ubuntu to determine if things where the way that they were supposed to be. While the manual testing is still an important part of the overall indication of quality, the addition of the autopilot tests provides us with the ability to test many more things at a much higher frequency than relying completely on manual testing. The autopilot testing results show up in the smoke testing results each day after they run.

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David Planella

Participate in the Ubuntu Core Apps Hack Days and get involved in developing the essential apps of Ubuntu on phones.

Starting this Wednesday, and during the next three weeks, we’re organizing a set of Hack Days inviting all interested contributors to bring Ubuntu Touch up another step closer to a production release and to ensure all core apps have reached a state of functionality to be used every day.

With the Core Apps Hack Days we’re targeting several objectives:

  • Get all core apps into a ‘dogfoodable’ state
  • Find and fix critical bugs in core apps and their dependencies
  • Identify, record and fix gaps in functionality
  • Get new developers involved in Core Apps and Ubuntu Touch development in general
  • Have fun with Ubuntu App Development!

How the Hack Days will work

  • The Ubuntu Core Apps Hack Days will be run as virtual hackfests on the #ubuntu-app-devel IRC channel on Freenode
  • Everyone is free to join the channel and encouraged to pick a task related to the set of goals to get core apps to a dogfoodable state
  • The development and testing tasks will be posted on the Hack Days wiki before each day’s hackfest starts
  • Ask Michael Hall (mhall119), David Planella (dpm) or Alan Pope (popey) on the channel for any help when you join (or just say hi!)

When

  • Starting on Wednesday 10th of July until Thursday 25th of July
  • From 9:00 UTC to 21:00 UTC
  • We’ll be following this schedule:
10 July Calendar
11 July Music
12 July Clock
15 July Calculator
16 July Weather
17 July Sudoku Touch
18 July RSS Reader
19 July File Manager
22 July Document Viewer
23 July Terminal
24 July Dropping Letters
25 July Stock Ticker

Join us!

Participating in the Hack Days is extremely easy: you just need a working Internet connection and access to IRC. We simply recommend some preparation beforehand:

  1. Learn how to get started developing core apps
  2. Join the #ubuntu-app-devel IRC channel on Freenode

Looking forward to seeing you next Wednesday at the Calendar hackfest!

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Chris Jones

Help shaping up Ubuntu Touch by joining the core apps development teams

Community-driven apps that will power the next million phones

The Ubuntu Core Apps project started as an initiative born out of the initial Ubuntu Touch announcement, with a call to our community to participate in building the core set of applications which will be considered for shipping on Ubuntu phones.

With this, we started an exciting project that provides a unique opportunity for community members to create Free Software that could run on millions of handsets.

If you’re running Ubuntu Touch on a device, you can already see the results of the work our amazing volunteer developers have been doing: Calculator, Clock, Calendar, Weather, Terminal, File Manager… these apps and more are part of this project. Together with the Canonical designers and other community designers, we’ve also got a solid UX and design story for our applications.

In essence, each core app development team organizes their work and time in the way that works best for them, where the Canonical Community, Design and Engineering teams participate in several different areas:

  • Development infrastructure
  • Engineering management
  • Community mentorship and support
  • Design guidance

With this post I’d like to share how any developer can contribute to core apps and join the core dev teams. It’s not only an opportunity to shape up Ubuntu Touch, but also to work in a truly open development environment, with the best Open Source developers and designers out there!

Participating in the core apps project

Getting started to contributing to core apps is just a few minutes away. Here are some really easy steps for developers to get all set up.

Step 1: install all core apps

While some of the apps are already installed on the Ubuntu Touch image, you’ll be doing your development on the desktop. As part of the convergency story, core apps run equally well on phones, tablets or desktops, so the first step will be to get familiar with them and do some dogfooding.

  1. Open a terminal by pressing Ctrl+t and type the commands below, followed by Enter.
  2. Install the Ubuntu SDK: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:canonical-qt5-edgers/qt5-proper && sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-sdk-team/ppa && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-sdk
  3. Install the core apps: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-touch-coreapps-drivers/daily && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install touch-coreapps

If you get stuck here, check out the SDK’s getting started page or ask on Ask Ubuntu

At this point you’ll be able to launch any of the core apps from the Dash.

  • Try opening the Dash clicking on the Ubuntu button in the Launcher, and type the first letters of each one of the apps to launch them. You should now be able to install:
    1. Calculator
    2. Calendar
    3. Clock
    4. Document viewer
    5. Dropping Letters
    6. Email
    7. File Manager
    8. Music
    9. RSS Reader
    10. Stock Ticker
    11. Sudoku
    12. Terminal
    13. Weather

Step 2: pick an app and find something to work on

Once you’ve road-tested all of the apps, you’ll have a good overview of their functionality, and where you think you can help. At this point, the best thing to do is to pick an app you’re interested in contributing to and find more about it:

  1. Go to the core apps overview page
  2. Click on the app you’re interested in. This will show you:
    • The public project where the app is being developed and where the code is hosted
    • The development team who is writing the app
    • The IRC channel where to discuss about the app’s development in real time
    • The blueprint we use to track the items to work on to implement the functional requirements
    • The burn-down chart we use to provide an overview of the status of the work

The best way to get started is to look at the existing code for the app. Here’s how:

  1. If you haven’t already, open a terminal with Ctrl+t and type this command to install the Bazaar revision control system: sudo apt-get install bzr
  2. Get a local copy of the code. Run this command, replacing ubuntu-clock-app by the app you’ve chosen. You’ll find the exact name to replace on the project section of the app’s detail page you opened earlier on: bzr branch lp:ubuntu-clock-app
  3. Start Qt Creator, the Ubuntu’s SDK IDE by clicking the Ubuntu button on the Launcher and typing “ubuntu sdk”
  4. In Qt Creator, press Ctrl+o to navigate to the location where you’ve just downloaded the code to and choose the .qmlproject file to open the app’s project in the IDE
  5. You can now study the code and launch it with either the Ctrl+r key combination or by pressing the big green “Run” button in Qt Creator

Before you start doing any changes in the code, you might want to get in touch with us to ensure no one is already working on what you’re intending to start on. Two good places to look at are:

Step 3: send a merge proposal with your contribution

In our distributed collaborative environment, where thousands of volunteers participate in Ubuntu from all over the world, we use a distributed version control system, Bazaar to manage the code’s revisions.  The code for all core apps is hosted in public projects in Launchpad, the online tool where we do all development.

You can easily do your changes to the code locally, publish them in a public branch and then send a request for the core app development teams to review and merge your code.

Check out the core apps development guide for the full details ›

Many ways to contribute

Although development is where you can make most of an impact at this point, there are many other ways to participate. You can:

Get in touch

We’d like to hear from you!. If you’ve got QML programming skills and would be interested in joining one of the core apps teams, get in touch with Michael Hall, David Planella or Alan Pope and we’ll gladly guide you in the first steps to becoming a core app dev.

You can also join any of the public IRC core app development meetings.

Looking forward to welcoming you in the core apps project!

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Chris Johnston

Recently there has been a huge push for quality in Ubuntu. The goal is to have a stable and usable daily image of the development version of Ubuntu. To do this, the QA teams have spent a lot of time writing tests and manually testing everything in Ubuntu to ensure this high level quality. The QA Team is also developing the QA Dashboard to display all of the results from the testing that is being performed. The goal of the QA Dashboard is to start at high level overviews of testing results, and drill down to the small details that make up the overall big picture to give users and developers the ability to quickly and easily be able to identify that a problem exists, determine the cause of the problem and then fix the problem. Certain tests or types of tests are part of what we call ‘key performance indicators’ or KPI. These key performance indicators will give someone a very quick overview of the quality of today’s Ubuntu image.

Of the types of testing that is being done, the smoke testing is the most important one. Smoke testing is the most basic level of what to test. Essentially, does it install and after it installs does it work? If the image doesn’t install, none of the other testing can be completed. Infact, the daily builds part of cdimage now has a current and a pending. Current is the most recent image to pass the automated smoke testing whereas pending has not yet passed smoke testing. Because smoke test results are so important, it is now listed as a key performance indicator on the QA Dashboard. The Smoke Testing KPI shows each release that is currently being tested as well as the pass rate for the latest image of that release as well as which arches are being tests. It also will show you the number of bugs effecting a release by hovering over the pass rate.

The other test that is currently listed as a key performance indicator is Eventstat Wakeups testing. Essentially, this test is measuring the number of wakeup events each process has. The reason this is important is each wakeup prevents the kernel from going into low power mode, or idling. With the push towards cell phone and tablet devices battery life is a big deal. It is important that power consumption is properly measured and understood in order to make an operating system that performs well on these small factor devices which have a limited power source. The eventstat testing tells developers which processes are causing too many wakeups, allowing the developers to look into the root cause of all of the wakeup events. This KPI shows each machine that the tests are run on and the average number of total wakeups for all processes on that machine as well as the percent that it is higher or lower than the last image.

There are quite a few other types of power related tests that will hopefully soon be added as key performance indicators for the overall quality of Ubuntu. We have sort term goals of adding bootspeed testing results and memory usage as key performance indicators. If you have any questions about the QA Dashboard, feel free to jump into #ubuntu-quality on Freenode and ask away.

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Chris Jones

One of the key aspects in developing the Ubuntu Touch core apps has been Quality Assurance. With that goal in mind, we’ve been adding functional tests to each and every one of the applications, using Autopilot.

We want to ensure our core apps are rock-solid, and we’d like to invite each of you who want to help make it happen to participate in the Autopilot Hackfest today. Here’s how:

  1. Join the #ubuntu-quality IRC channel ›
  2. Read the Autopilot tutorial ›
  3. Read Nick Skagg’s blog post for more details ›

Looking forward to the new autopilot tests for core apps. See you there!

Image: Autopilot Engaged CC-BY-SA by Mike Miley

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David Planella

Time does fly, and we’re alread on the last day of the Ubuntu Developer Summit. Lots of content covered and still lots of interesting discussions to be had. We’re thrilled to bring you the summary on what’s on today on the App Development track.

Here’s the list of app development sessions for today at UDS:

Hope to see you there!

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David Planella

After a very productive kick off, we’re back with the second day of the Ubuntu Developer Summit on the App Development track and the summary of sessions for today. Thank you everyone who participated in the sessions yesterday, either in hangouts or in IRC.

Here’s the list of app development sessions for today:

See you there!

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David Planella

UDS, the Ubuntu Developer Summit, is here again, starting in just a few hours. A week packed with content that will define the plans for the new Ubuntu development cycle, and as usual, a with a full track dedicated to application development.

So for all of you interested in helping and being part of the effort of making Ubuntu a platform of choice for application developers, here’s a quick list with an overview of the sessions we’ve got in store for today.

The links in the list below will take you to the each session, ready to participate on the live hangout or on IRC. You can also check out the full UDS schedule.

So, without further ado, here’s the list of app development sessions for today:

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Chris Johnston

Last cycle we saw quite a number of changes to the way that planning works for Ubuntu. Some of these changes are causing issues that the current implementation of the Ubuntu Status Tracker is not easily able to handle. The main issue that I have noticed from helping people setup their work items and blueprints for tracking is that tracking needs to not be so closely dependent on the Ubuntu release cycles. This is causing issues in two ways. The first that I have seen is that a feature is planned to be released in stages essentially X number of cycles. It currently isn’t possible to track a single blueprint across different cycles, let alone multiple cycles. If you try to do this anyway by changing the cycle every 6 months, then the Status Tracker sends out what are essentially validation errors because as far as it is aware, any milestone that isn’t in the cycle that it is looking at is in valid (ubuntu-13.04 is a raring milestone and isn’t valid on a saucy blueprint).

In order to discuss these issues and hopefully come up with a solution, I have created a meeting for the virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit which starts tomorrow.

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Chris Johnston

Next Tuesday, May 14 starts the second Virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit. Based on feedback, this vUDS will be three days long. Don’t forget to register for the event. A list of currently approved blueprints is available on Launchpad. If you find that one is missing, you can create your own. Keep an eye out this week for scheduling to start.

Tracks…

  • App Development: Alan Pope, David Planella & Michael Hall
  • Community: Daniel Holbach, Nick Skaggs & Jono Bacon
  • Client: Jason Warner & Sebastien Bacher
  • Server & Cloud: Dave Walker & Antonio Rosales
  • Foundations: Steve Langasek

Bugs…

One of the bugs that has long effected Summit has been that a blueprint had to have a specific status. This will finally no longer effect us! If a blueprint is marked anything other than Obsolete or Superseded it will now show up on the schedule as long as it is approved by a track lead. A huge thanks to Steve Kowalik and William Grant for getting this fixed!

Another issue that seemed to confuse people is having to register attendance in Launchpad in order to be able to use the features of Summit. This is no longer the case! You are now able to register as attending in Summit without any need to visit Launchpad (a Launchpad account is still required).

If you find that you have any issues with Summit or vUDS you can contact the track leads or you can contact me. If you find any bugs in Summit, please tell us about it!

See you next week!

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Chris Johnston

I have been a Google Chrome user for a while now, and I have two different ‘Users’ in Chrome. The default user is my personal account, and then I have a work account. For my personal email I use a Google Apps Gmail account and just check my email with Chrome. I use Thunderbird to check my work email. For a while now I have had an issue where I click a link from Thunderbird and it tries to open in my default Chrome user. This doesn’t work very well as I am not logged into most of my work accounts on my personal user. This drove me nuts! Now I have to copy and paste the URL into the work user Chrome window. After a little Googling tonight, I was able to setup Thunderbird to open URLs in my work user Chrome browser. Life is much better now! To do this, I had to add two lines to prefs.js. On Ubuntu 13.04, prefs.js is located at ~/.thunderbird/ /prefs.js where is what appears to be a random set of numbers/letters followed by .default.

The two lines I added are:

user_pref(“network.protocol-handler.app.http”, “/opt/google/chrome/google-chrome –profile-directory=’Profile 1′”);
user_pref(“network.protocol-handler.app.https”, “/opt/google/chrome/google-chrome –profile-directory=’Profile 1′”);

If the profile-directory for the Chrome user you are wanting the links to open in is different than what I have, you may need to edit the directory name. This worked for me on Raring (what will become Ubuntu 13.04) with Thunderbird 17.0.4.

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Chris Johnston

New OpenPGP Key

Friday I decided to create a new OpenPGP key to migrate off of my 1024D keys to something a little more current as far as how secure it is. With this, I created a 8192R key. I have also created a transition statement. If you trust me and wouldn’t mind signing the key and uploading it back to the keyserver after you are complete, it would be very much appreciated.

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Chris Johnston

Yesterday Anthony Lenton released django-openid-auth version 0.5 which includes support for Django 1.1 through 1.4. It also has quite a number of bug fixes in the release as well. The new version is available from PyPi today. I plan on getting the new version into Raring soon if someone else doesn’t get to it first. I will also work with the Debian maintainer to get it into Debian soon.

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Daniel Holbach

Hot on the heels of the announcements of the Ubuntu SDK and the Touch Developer Preview, we bring you the first ever Ubuntu SDK Days.

Make apps happen on all of these devices

On Thursday, 14th March and Friday, 15th March a number of app developers and Ubuntu SDK creators will get you started writing apps for Ubuntu on multiple devices. It’s surprisingly simple, and since the announcement we’ve seen many early adopters try out the SDK and the first apps up and running. We will  answer your questions, talk about best practises and show you the power of the SDK.

Here a quick overview over the sessions we’ll run:

  • Installing and Configuring the SDK
  • Writing your first app with the SDK
  • Writing games with QML and Javascript
  • Live update from the development progress of the Touch Core Apps
  • Several Q&A sessions
  • Making the best of the Ubuntu App Design guidelines
  • More about the SDK skunkworks projects
  • Introducing Friends and Gwibber QML
  • Writing a new generation of Scopes
  • Lightning talks and Project demos

How to join

Participating is easy: just head to http://ubuntuonair.com to watch the sessions on the schedule. Videos will be available after the event, to ensure you can watch the content even if you couldn’t make it to the session you wanted.

You can ask your questions on the chat widget on http://ubuntuonair.com or join the #ubuntu-app-devel IRC channel on Freenode directly.

Check out https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuSDKDays/ to see the timetable of the event, be there for lots of fun and bring your friends – and your questions too!

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Chris Johnston

vUDS

Most people are probably aware by now that this Tuesday, 5 March starts the first of the new virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit events. In order to handle the changes nicely, we have made some changes to the Summit Scheduler. The changes that we made allows a meeting and/or a summit to be set as ‘virtual.’ When a meeting is set as virtual, the meeting page will render with a new virtual layout. This layout includes the Google Hangout broadcast, the IRC channel via the webchat client, and the Etherpad, all embedded on in the page. The required participants for a meeting will also be given a link to participate in the hangout. Both the embedded broadcast and the hangout link have to manually be added by the track lead prior to each meeting. If the hangout broadcast isn’t available when you visit the page, please be patient and wait for the data to be added. Once the information is added to Summit, the meeting page should automatically load the hangout broadcast.

Please don’t forget to test using hangouts prior to UDS starting so that we can minimize the number of issues we have with the hangouts. A “best practices” guide has been created for use during the Ubuntu On Air events. Please take the time to look at these practices before Tuesday.

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Daniel Holbach

Yesterday we released Ubuntu Touch Preview images for four devices. This is a huge milestone for Ubuntu. We always wanted Ubuntu to be everywhere and the Preview shows quite nicely how well the vision of a design family across different form factors works.

There is quite a bit of work to be done, we all know that, but it’s a giant opportunity for us, the Ubuntu community. Everybody can contribute to the effort and we can show the world how we believe software should look like.

How you can help? Easy.

  • You can install the Ubuntu Touch preview images on a device and test them.
  • You can help out designing and shaping the Ubuntu Touch Core Apps.
  • If you are a bit more experienced with bringing software up on new devices, you can help us porting Ubuntu Touch to new devices.

Did the last point find your interest? Excellent, because we just took the wraps of our Ubuntu Touch Porting guide. This also marks the start of our Ubuntu Touch Port-a-thon. We want to get Ubuntu Touch up and running on as many devices as possible.

If you don’t mind some tinkering, maybe some kernel building, some configuration meddling and flashing your device repeatedly, you might just the person we’re looking for.

The porting guide should help you understand

  • how Ubuntu Touch works internally,
  • which bits are generally involved and where to find them
  • how to submit patches
  • how images are put together
  • how to test them and
  • where to find help

To get you started and into the mood, you might want to join us today, at Friday 22nd February at 15:00 UTC on http://ubuntuonair.com when two super heroes of the Ubuntu Touch project, namely Ricardo Salveti and Sergio Schvezov, are going to talk to us about the technical aspects of the phone and the tablet.

Reliable sources tell us, there’s going to be a surprise announce during the hangout as well.

This is the opportunity we always wanted. Let’s make it happen. Bring Ubuntu to the world in all its beauty.

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David Planella

We’re thrilled to announce yet another significant milestone in the history of the Ubuntu project. After having recently unveiled the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview, today we’re publishing the full source code and images for supported devices.

For developers and enthusiasts only

While a huge amount of Engineering and Design work has been put into ensuring that the foundations for our user experience vision are in place, we want to stress that the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview is currently work in progress. We are releasing the full code at this point to align to our philosophy of transparency and open source development.

We recommend to install the Touch Developer Preview only if you are a developer or enthusiast who wants to test or contribute to the platform. It is not intended to replace production devices or the tablet or handset you use every day.

Flash your device

All that said, let’s get on to how to install Touch Developer Preview from a public image on your device.

What to expect after flashing

Not all functionality from a production device is yet available on the Touch Preview. The list of functions you can expect after installing the preview on your handset or tablet are as follows. For detailed information check the release notes.

  • Shell and core applications
  • Connection to the GSM network (on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4)
  • Phone calls and SMS (on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4)
  • Networking via Wifi
  • Functional camera (front and back)
  • Device connectivity through the Android Developer Bridge tool (adb)

Supported devices

The images we are making available today support the following devices:

  • Galaxy Nexus
  • Nexus 4
  • Nexus 7
  • Nexus 10

I’m all set, show me how to flash!

You will find the detailed instructions to flash on the Ubuntu wiki.

Install the Touch Developer Preview >

Contributing and the road ahead

These are exciting times for Ubuntu. We’re building the technology of the future, this time aiming at a whole new level of massive adoption. The Touch Developer Preview means the first fully open source mobile OS developed also in the open. True to our principles this milestone also enables our community of developers to contribute and be a key part of this exciting journey.

In terms of the next steps, today we’re making the preview images available for the Ubuntu 12.10 stable release. In the next few days we’re going to switch to Raring Ringtail, our development release, which is where development will happen on the road to our convergence story.

You’ll find the full details of how the infrastructure and the code are being published and used on the Ubuntu wiki.

Contribute to the Touch Developer Preview >

Presenting the Ubuntu SDK Alpha

But there’s more! To further celebrate the Touch Preview, we’re very proud to bring some exciting news that app developers will surely enjoy: the Ubuntu SDK Alpha release.

In fact, development of the SDK still keeps happening in the open and on a rolling release basis. But coinciding with the Touch Developer Preview, we thought that the latest release came with so much goodness, that we decided to label it in celebration.

Feature highlight: remote app deployment

Perhaps the coolest feature ever since the SDK was released: you can now deploy and execute the apps you create straight from the IDE.

Applications developed with Qt Creator can now be seamlessly and securely transferred and executed to a device just moving two fingers. Remember this shortcut: Ctrl+F12.

Inline with how easy and lightweight the process of creating a phone app is, a lot of work has been put into ensuring all complexity is hidden from the developer, yet it works solidly. Behind the scenes, SSH key pairing with the remote device works on-the-fly.

Here’s the lowdown:

  1. Plug in your mobile device running Ubuntu on the USB port of your computer
  2. Make sure your device is also connected to a wireless network (SSH key pairing happens over the air)
  3. Start Qt Creator from the Dash, and select the new Devices tab
  4. Press the Enable button to activate Developer Mode
  5. Once the device is connected, you can develop your QML projects as usual (check out the new project wizard as well) and press Ctrl+F12 to install and execute your app on the remote device

Tooling updates

With Qt Creator at its heart, the set of tools app developers use on an everyday basis to author their software, have seen major improvements:

  • Qt Creator has been updated to the bleeding edge version: 2.7. We expect this version to continue maturing together with the platform and the SDK.
  • Ubuntu application templates and wizard are now available to easily start creating apps that run on the phone and tablets.
  • The visual user interface designer in Qt Creator now works with QtQuick 2, the framework upon the Ubuntu SDK is based.

User Interface Toolkit updates

The UI Toolkit is the part of the SDK that provides the graphical components (such as buttons, text entries, and others) as building blocks that enable the basic user interaction with the underlying system. A new component, polishing and bug fixing have set the theme for this release:

Install the Ubuntu SDK Alpha

By now we’re pretty certain you’re looking forward to installing and putting all of that development goodness to the test.

That’s an easy one, if you haven’t yet install the Ubuntu SDK.

If you already installed the SDK, just run Update Manager from the Dash and update the Ubuntu SDK package as prompted. Or alternatively, if you prefer the command line, just fire up a terminal and run ‘sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-sdk’.

And that’s pretty much it! Be sure to check out the release notes for any additional technical details too.

Let us know what you think

We’d be delighted to hear what you think and get your feedback on how you are using the SDK and ways in which it could be improved. So do get in touch with us or report a bug if you find any issues.

Time to start developing beautiful apps now!

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David Planella

We’re thrilled to announce one of the most expected resources for Ubuntu app developers: the App Design Guides.

The App Design Guides site is the first installment of a live resource that will organically grow to provide guidance and enable app developers to build stunning, consistent and usable applications on a diversity of Ubuntu devices.

Together with the Ubuntu SDK preview, the App Design Guides complete yet another chapter in the Ubuntu app developer story. Developers have now the tools to create beautiful software, along with all the information related to UX, behaviour, patterns and visual design to ensure their apps provide a solid, clean and enjoyable user experience.

And consistent with the Ubuntu philosophy and our beliefs, all of these tools and guides are available to everyone as open source and for free.

Show me the Ubuntu App Design Guides! ›

Updating the core app designs for Ubuntu App Guides compliance

We have recently kicked off a community-driven process to design and implement a set of 12 core apps for Ubuntu running on phones. The first stage of the project consisted in asking community members to participate in the submission of designs to be used as input and food for thought for the core app developers.

The response so far has been overwelming:  over 50 community designers signed up for this initiative, submitting nearly 90 mockups on the Ubuntu MyBalsamiq site we set up for this project.

Following the App Design Guides go-live, it is now a great opportunity to ensure those designs follow the guidelines for a consistent app experience on Ubuntu. Therefore, we’d like to ask everyone who submitted a design to review them and update them to make sure they are inline with the App Design Guides.

Reminder: if you want to collaborate in this design project, just drop an e-mail to David Planella <david(dot)planella(at)canonical(dot)com> and Michael Hall <michael(dot)hall(at)canonical(dot)com>.

Open design and collaboration

Continuing with the trend of open and collaborative design, we want to hear from you!

The Guides are a resource that will grow together with the needs of app developers, so we’ll greatly appreciate your feedback on the Ubuntu Phone mailing list (remember to prepend the subject with [Design]) and if you’ve got any questions about them, just ask on Ask Ubuntu.

Stay tuned for updates and for some visual designs for core apps from the Canonical Design team coming soon!

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