Canonical Voices

Victor Palau

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

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

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

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

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

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


npm install azure
azure login
azure account show

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

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

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

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

$ ./util.sh copykey

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

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

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

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

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


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Victor Palau

First of all, I wanted to recommend the following recipe from Digital Ocean on how to rollout your own Docker Registry in Ubuntu 14.04. As with most of their stuff, it is super easy to follow.

I also wanted to share a small improvement on the recipe to include a UI front-end to the registry.

Once you have completed the recipe and have a repository secured and running, you extend your docker-compose file to look like this:

nginx:
 image: "nginx:1.9"
 ports:
 - 443:443
 - 8080:8080
 links:
 - registry:registry
 - web:web
 volumes:
 - ./nginx/:/etc/nginx/conf.d:ro

web:
 image: hyper/docker-registry-web
 ports:
 - 8000:8080
 links:
 - registry
 environment:
 REGISTRY_HOST: registry

registry:
 image: registry:2
 ports:
 - 127.0.0.1:5000:5000
 environment:
 REGISTRY_STORAGE_FILESYSTEM_ROOTDIRECTORY: /data
 volumes:
 - ./data:/data

You will also need to include a configuration file for web in the nginx folder.

file: ~/docker-registry/nginx/web.conf

upstream docker-registry-web {
 server web:8080;
 }

server {
 listen 8080;
 server_name [YOUR DOMAIN];

# SSL
 ssl on;
 ssl_certificate /etc/nginx/conf.d/domain.crt;
 ssl_certificate_key /etc/nginx/conf.d/domain.key;

location / {

# To add basic authentication to v2 use auth_basic setting plus add_header
 auth_basic "registry.localhost";
 auth_basic_user_file /etc/nginx/conf.d/registry.password;

proxy_pass http://docker-registry-web;
 proxy_set_header Host $http_host; # required for docker client's sake
 proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr; # pass on real client's IP
 proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
 proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
 proxy_read_timeout 900;
 }
 }

docker-compose up and you should be able to have a ssl secured UI frontend in port 8080 (https://yourdomain:8080/)
If you have any improvement tips I am all ears!


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Victor Palau

My first steps into snappifying, I have publish a RestApi for PiGlow (glowapi 0.1.2). I though it might be a good first step and mildly useful for people wanting to set up build notifications, twitter mentions, whatever you fancy!

You can find it in the webdm store…
Code is here: https://code.launchpad.net/~vtuson/+junk/glowapi

And here is how it works:
PiGlow Api exposes PiGlow in your board port 8000, so you can easy accessing by POST in port 8000.

remeber to do the hardware assign, something like: sudo snappy hw-assign glowapi.vtuson /dev/i2c-1

API calls , method POST:

v1/flare
turns all the leds on to max brightness
v1/on
turns all the leds on to med brigthness
v1/clear
turns off all leds
v1/legs/:id
turns all the leds in a leg (:id) to a given brightness
(if not specify it uses a default setting)
parms: intensity , range 0 to 1
eg: http://localhost:8000/v1/legs/1?intensity=0.3
v1/legs/:id/colors/:colid
turns on one led (colid) in a leg (:id) to a given brightness
(if not specify it uses a default setting)
parms: intensity , range 0 to 1
eg: http://localhost:8000/v1/legs/1/colors/green?intensity=0.3
v1/colors/:colid
turn on all leds for a color across all legs
if not specify it uses a default setting)
parms: intensity , range 0 to 1
eg: http://localhost:8000/v1/colors/green?intensity=0.3

ID ranges
legs range : 0 – 2
colors:
green
white
blue
yellow
orange
red


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Victor Palau

I recently blogged about making a scopes in 5 minutes using youtube. I have seen also a fair amount of new scopes being created using RSS. By far, my favourite way to use scopecreator is Twitter.

If you want to check a few examples, I have published previously twitter-based scopes like breaking news, la liga and a few others. Today, I give you Formula One:

f1 f1_2 f1_3

The interesting thing about twitter is that many brands upload minute by minute new updates, which make a really good source for scopes.

To create a Formula One scope,I started by going to twitter and creating a list under my scope account (you can use your personal account). The list contains several relevant “official” Formula One accounts.  Using Twitter, I can then update the sources by adding and removing accounts from the list without the user needing to download an update for the scope.

Again, it took me about 5 min to get a working version of the scope.  Here is what needed to do:

  • First, we followed Chris’ instructions to install the scope creator tool.
  • Once we had it set up on my laptop, I run:
    scopecreator create twitter vtuson f1
    cd f1
  • Next, I configured the scope. The configuration is done in a json file called manifest.json. This file describes the content of what you will publish later to the store. You need to care about: “title”, “description”, “version” and “mantainer”. The rest are values populated by the tool:
    scopecreator edit config
    {
    "description": "Formula One scope",
    "framework": "ubuntu-sdk-14.10",
    "architecture": "armhf",
    "hooks": {
    "f1": {
    "scope": "f1",
    "apparmor": "scope-security.json"
    }
    },
    "icon": "icon",
    "maintainer": "Your Name <yourname@packagedomain>",
    "name": "f1.vtuson",
    "title": "Formula One",
    "version": "0.2"
    }
  • The following step was to set up the branding: Easy! Branding is define on an .ini file. “Display name” will be the name listed on the “manage” window once installed, and also will be the title of your scope if you don’t use a “PageHeader.Logo”. the [Appearance] section describes the colours and logos to use when banding a scope.
    scopecreator edit branding
    [ScopeConfig]
    ScopeRunner=./f1.vtuson_f1 --runtime %R --scope %S
    DisplayName=Formula One
    Description=This is an Ubuntu search plugin that enables information from Yelp $
    Author=Canonical Ltd.
    Art=
    Icon=images/icon.png
    SearchHint=Search
    [Appearance]
    PageHeader.Background=color:///#D51318
    PageHeader.ForegroundColor=#FFFFFF
    PreviewButtonColor=#D51318
  • The final part is to define the departments (drop down menu) for the scope. This is also a json file and it is unique the twitter scope template. You can either use “list” or “account” (or both) as departments.  The id is the twitter handle for the list or the account. For lists you will need to specify in the configuration section what account holds the list. As I defined a single entry, the formula one scope will have no drop down menu.
    scopecreator edit channels
    {
    “departments”: [
    {
    “name”:”Formula One”,
    “type”:”list”,
    “id”:”f1″
    }
    ],
    “configuration”: {
    “list-account”:”canonical_scope”,
    “openontwitter”:”See in Twitter”,
    “openlink”:”Open”,
    “retweet”:”Retweet”,
    “favorite”: “Favourite”,
    “reply”:”Reply”
    }
    }

After this, the only thing left to do is replace the placeholder icon, with a relevant logo:
~/f1/f1/images/logo.png
And build, check and publish the scope:
scopecreator build

This last command generates the click file that you need to upload to the store. If you have a device (for example a Nexus4 or an emulator ), it can also install it so you can test it. If you get any issues getting the scope to run, you might want to check your json files on http://jsonlint.com/. It is a great web tool that will help you make sure your json doc is ship shaped!

It is super simple to create a scope for a twitter list! so what are you going to create next?


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Victor Palau

Not long back Chris Wayne published a post about a scope creator tool.  Last week, I was visiting bq and we decided with Victor Gonzalez  that we should have a scope for Canal bq. The folks at bq do an excellent job at creating “how to” and “first steps” videos, and they have started publishing some for the bq Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition.

Here is a few screenshots of the scope that is now available to download from the store:

bq1bq2bq3bq4

The impressive thing is that it took us about 5 min to get a working version of the scope.  Here is what needed to do:

  • First, we followed Chris’ instructions to install the scope creator tool.
  • Once we had it set up on my laptop, we run:
    scopecreator create youtube com.ubuntu.developer.victorbq canalbq
    cd canalbq
  • Next, we configured the scope. The configuration is done in a json file called manifest.json. This file describes the content of what you will publish later to the store. You need to care about: “title”, “description”, “version” and “mantainer”. The rest are values populated by the tool:
    scopecreator edit config
    {
    "name": "com.ubuntu.developer.victorbq.canalbq",
    "description": "Canal bq",
    "framework": "ubuntu-sdk-14.10",
    "architecture": "armhf",
    "title": "Canal bq",
    "hooks": {
    "canalbq": {
    "scope": "canalbq",
    "apparmor": "scope-security.json"
    }
    },
    "version": "0.3",
    "maintainer": "Victor Gonzalez <anemailfromvictor@bq.com>"
    }
  • The following step was to set up the branding: Easy! Branding is define on an .ini file. “Display name” will be the name listed on the “manage” window once installed, and also will be the title of your scope if you don’t use a “PageHeader.Logo”. the [Appearance] section describes the colours and logos to use when banding a scope.
    scopecreator edit branding
    [ScopeConfig]
    DisplayName=Canal bq
    Description=Youtube custommized channel
    Author=Canonical Ltd.
    Art=images/logo.png
    Icon=images/logo.png
    SearchHint=Buscar
    LocationDataNeeded=true
    [Appearance]
    PageHeader.Background=color:///#000000
    PageHeader.ForegroundColor=#FFFFFF
    PreviewButtonColor=#FFFFFF
    PageHeader.Logo=./images/logo.png
  • The final part is to define the departments (drop down menu) for the scope. This is also a json file and it is unique the youtube scope template. You can either use “playlists” or “channels” (or both) as departments. The id PLjQOV_HHlukyNGBFaSVGFVWrbj3vjtMjd corresponds to a play list from youtube, with url= https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjQOV_HHlukyNGBFaSVGFVWrbj3vjtMjd
    scopecreator edit channels{
    “maxResults”: “20”,
    “playlists”: [
    {
    “id”: “PLjQOV_HHlukyNGBFaSVGFVWrbj3vjtMjd”,
    “reminder”:”Aquaris E4,5 Ubuntu Edition”
    },
    {
    “id”: “PLjQOV_HHlukzBhuG97XVYsw96F-pd9P2I”,
    “reminder”: “Tecnópolis”
    },
    {
    “id”: “PLC46C98114CA9991F”,
    “reminder”: “aula bq”
    },
    {
    “id”: “PLE7ACC7492AD7D844”,
    “reminder”: “primeros pasos”
    },
    {
    “id”: “PL551D151492F07D63”,
    “reminder”: “accesorios”
    },
    {
    “id”: “PLjQOV_HHlukyIT8Jr3aI1jtoblUTD4mn0”,
    “reminder”: “3d”
    }
    ]
    }

After this, the only thing left to do is replace the placeholder icon, with the bq logo:
~/canalbq/canalbq/images/logo.png
And build, check and publish the scope:
scopecreator build

This last command generates the click file that you need to upload to the store. If you have a device (for example a Nexus4 or an emulator ), it can also install it so you can test it. If you get any issues getting the scope to run, you might want to check your json files on http://jsonlint.com/. It is a great web tool that will help you make sure your json doc is ship shaped!

It is super simple to create a scope for a youtube channel! so what are you going to create next?


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Victor Palau

Just a quick note to tell you that I have published a new scope called uBrick that brings you the awesomeness of Lego, as a catalogue powered by brickset.com, directly to your Ubuntu phone home screen.

I wrote the scope in Go cause I find it easier to work with for a quick scope ( took about 8 hours with interruptions over 2 days to write this scope).  The scope is now available at the store, just search for uBrick.

Here are some pics:

lego1lego2lego3 lego4

Also I have to congratulate the folks at Brickset for a very nice API, even if it is using SOAP:)


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Victor Palau

I am pleased to announced that Logviewer is now published in the Ubuntu Touch store.  The app no longer runs unconfined but uses “read_path” pointing to “/var/log/” and “/home/phablet/.cache/”. If you think there is another interested log path let me know and I will try to include it.

Also, one feature that landed by popular request is submitting a selected section of a log to pastebin , thanks to Popey for the image:

pastebin


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Victor Palau

[Ubuntu Touch] Logviewer

I have been recently doing some android development for Techfunder, one thing that I have found really useful when testing my app is using CatLog. CatLog allows you to check the app and system logs on the go. This is extremely useful when you have a crash while you are not close to your laptop.

This motivated me to look into writing a similar app for Ubuntu Touch. So here it is: LogViewer!

logslogsettingsunitylog

This app, like CatLog, is for developers and requires unconstrained running. You will need to install it manually:

  • Download click package from launchpad
  • transfer to your device and install:
  1. adb push com.ubuntu.developer.vtuson.logviewer_0.1_armhf.click /home/phablet/
  2. adb shell

  3. su phablet
  4. cd ~
  5. pkcon -p install-local com.ubuntu.developer.vtuson.logviewer_0.2_armhf.click

When you launch the app, you will get a list of .log files in /home/phablet/.cache/upstart/ , if you click on an specific log, it will be displayed in a similar manner to tail -f. You can pause the autoreading, clear the screen and copy to clipboard parts of the logs from the bottom menu.

You can also access other files, change font size of the logs and the size of the text buffered from the settings page.

You can see the code and contribute:) in launchpad:

https://launchpad.net/logviewer


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Victor Palau

We announced today a new solution to dual boot Android and Ubuntu on the same device. Over the last few weeks I have recently blogged about a Contacts import app for Ubuntu and  Techfunder, an Android app for crowd funding projects. What I didn’t mention before is that I have been developing and testing both in the same device!

I have been dog-fooding and developing a small part of our dual boot solution for a couple weeks now.  During that time, I’ve not only been able to boot between Android and Ubuntu as a user, but also as an application developer.

Dual boot brings no compromise to the SDK experience of either operating system.  I run Ubuntu SDK with QTCreator and Android’s ADT (eclipse-based) on my 12.04 LTS laptop.  And while the SDK for Android is more mature and fully featured, I still find Ubuntu (an particularly QML) much faster to prototype apps.

Dual boot is also about making the application developers life easier and cheaper.  Having to buy extra devices for testing new apps can be a put you off. You can now develop for Ubuntu by jusr re-using your Android device.. without having to disrupt your android projects!  For example,  yesterday I was working on applications on both sides, and I was easily booting back and forward and collecting logs in each side.

I hope to see more integration in between both development environments, I think it will be particularly neat to have something like  Android Monitor tool (aka DDMS) working for both OSs.

Btw, I have just released version 2.0 of Techfunder! Including home screen widgets, search and more categories. Don’t forget to check it out:

Get it on Google Play


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Victor Palau

I have a lot of contacts in my phone… I am sure you will have more, but syncing over 500 contacts to Ubuntu phone using the command line for Syncevolution gets tedious.

So I wrote a little QML app to do the trick for you. Unfortunately, to run a system command the application has to run unconfined, so I have not yet submitted it to the store.

But if you want to install it yourself it is pretty simple:

  1. Download this file
  2. push the downloaded file to your phone, like so: adb push com.ubuntu.developer.vtuson.contactsimporter_0.9_armhf.click /home/phablet
  3. then run this to install it: adb shell “sudo -u phablet pkcon -p install-local  /home/phablet/com.ubuntu.developer.vtuson.contactsimporter_0.9_armhf.click”

You should be good to use it now, the app looks like this: (and if you want to check out the code is here)

contactsimp


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Victor Palau

Hi,

I found myself trying to build a QML Ubuntu Touch app project that includes a qml c++ extension and I found that I some how stumble a bit along the way. So, here are some of my notes on how I got it done. Hope that helps.

Creating the project.

Using QtCreator, create a new project and select – QML Extension Library + Tabbed Touch.  I found that it was easier to change the QML side of things than start with an extension and then add the whole project structure.

Build and Run your project locally

In QtCreator click on projects.  In Build, I set up the build path as my project root path. In run,  the executable is “/usr/bin/qmlscene” (make sure there is no spaces trailing) and then Arguments is set to “-I  ../backend/modules $@ yourapp.qml”, with a working directory of “projectroot/app”

Now if you try to run your project it should build it locally and run your app. After that you are on a roll.

Build on target device

Click Ctrl+f11 should install the platform developer tools in your device. However, I how found that this lately does not work.

Instead from the terminal:

first we will need to make the image in your device writeable:
adb shell touch /userdata/.writable_image  --> and reboot the phone.
then:
cd /usr/share/qtcreator/ubuntu/scripts
adb devices
./device_developertools_install <device_id>

Now you are ready to build, so back to QtCreator:

Build>Ubuntu>Build Application on Device

This should build the application with only some test problems, but the main binaries would be created. To package your app you will need to get

/home/phablet/dev_tmp/<yourapp>/backend/modules/lib<yourlib>.so

Creating a click package

create a manifest standard manifest file. Manifest.json

{
"description": "your text",
"framework": "ubuntu-sdk-13.10",
"hooks": {
"yourappname": {
"apparmor": "yourappname.json",
"desktop": "yourappname.desktop"
}
},
"maintainer": "your name<yourname@yourmail.com>",
"name": "com.ubuntu.developer.yourname.yourappname",
"title": "yourappname",
"version": "0.1",
"architecture": "armhf"
}

You will also need a yourapp.desktop file:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=yourappname
Comment=description
Exec=qmlscene -I plugin $@ yourapp.qml
Icon=icon.png
Terminal=false
Type=Application
X-Ubuntu-Touch=true

Note that Exec= has a -I plugin part to it. This is very important, will see later.

Now yourapp.json file that contains your confinement profile:

{
"policy_groups": [
"networking"
],
"policy_version": 1
}

Now time to setup a folder with all this stuff, not that the plugin folder is going to contain your lib which your are importing with -I option on the desktop file:
myproject>
-./click/
--icon.png
--manifest.json
--yourapp.json
--yourapp.desktop
--./plugin/
---./yourlib/
----lib(yourlibname).so
----qmldir

Now you are ready to build from your project root folder:
click build ./click

This should create a .click file in your project folder.

Installing in your device

adb pull your.click /home/phablet/
adb shell
su phablet
cd ~
pkcon -p install-local your.click

This should be enough, but sometimes I find that you need to restart unity:
pkill unity8 (you might need sudo)


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Victor Palau

Since I lead the Ubuntu Edge campaign, I have been trying to keep up with other crowd funding projects.  I am mainly interested on technology and gadgets, and I have found it hard to navigate Kickstarter, but also to have to keep hoping between Kickstarter and Indiegogo to see what is going on.  Specially since now, seems like interesting projects are evently split between them.  You might share my friction on this… so I give you Techfunder:

Get it on Google Play

Techfunder is an Android app that provides an easy way to browse crowd funding projects launched across the main industry websites. Techfunder gathers Technology and Design projects from Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Using Techfunder side navigation you can easily switch between:

  •  Popular
  •  New this week
  •  Staff Picks
  •  Design – Popular

Then you can browse as many projects on a compact scrollable list. Just click on the project you are interested to expand into a full screen view.From there you can tell the world about it using the share button. 

If you want to contribute or found out more about it, click on the “browse” button and Techfunder will launch the project page in your web browser. When you are finished, just press the Android back button to return to Techfunder.

I am currently planning to add a favourites/watchlist functionality and looking into a way to select additional crowd sourcing platform. I hope you enjoy it!


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Victor Palau

Since I lead the Ubuntu Edge campaign, I have been trying to keep up with other crowd funding projects.  I am mainly interested on technology and gadgets, and I have found it hard to navigate Kickstarter, but also to have to keep hoping between Kickstarter and Indiegogo to see what is going on.  Specially since now, seems like interesting projects are evently split between them.  You might share my friction on this… so I give you Techfunder:

Get it on Google Play

Techfunder is an Android app that provides an easy way to browse crowd funding projects launched across the main industry websites. Techfunder gathers Technology and Design projects from Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Using Techfunder side navigation you can easily switch between:

  •  Popular
  •  New this week
  •  Staff Picks
  •  Design – Popular

Then you can browse as many projects on a compact scrollable list. Just click on the project you are interested to expand into a full screen view.From there you can tell the world about it using the share button. 

If you want to contribute or found out more about it, click on the “browse” button and Techfunder will launch the project page in your web browser. When you are finished, just press the Android back button to return to Techfunder.

I am currently planning to add a favourites/watchlist functionality and looking into a way to select additional crowd sourcing platform. I hope you enjoy it!


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Victor Palau

It has been over 2 months since the Ubuntu Edge campaign concluded, and I haven’t really blogged about it.  I must say, driving something like this was great fun but also a fully immersive 24-7 experience. For that reason, I wanted some time to pass before write some conclusions about it.

One of the things that made the Ubuntu Edge campaign to stand out from previous crowd funding projects was the target: $32 Million. Other successful projects (I will focus only on products) had much lower targets (~$100K). So, why was this the case?

If your company has already raised capital via “standard” funding routes or you are actively pursuing it, a successful crowd funding campaign will reduce the overall amount of equity you have to give away. It can also attract that elusive VC investment.  In this situation, your objectives are:

  • Proof the product viability 
  • Remove doubts from future investors minds
  • ensure your campaign and your product are perceived as a successes

An early achievement of your campaign target will tick all these boxes. A “sold out” effect in the first week will increase the confidence of future pledgers and investors. In that case, a campaign target of $100K can be the magic number for you. 

In the other hand, if crowd funding is your only or main avenue to finance your product, your objectives will be slightly different. These were ours:

  • Proof the product viability
  • Finance product design and factory tooling
  • Finance a fix/minimum production run
  • Market validation

An early achievement of your target is still desirable, but your main worry will be to raise enough money via the campaign to deliver on your promises to the pledgers.

Although we raised over $12 Million, we did not reach our intended target. The Ubuntu Edge was a unique proposition that was build on the premise of delivering the latest cutting edge technology.  Unfortunately, this meant that we could not pursue what I think is a better approach for 100% crowd funded products: a multi-campaign project.

In a crowd funding campaign, people contribute for different reasons:

  • The Angels: Angels are interested in supporting new innovation. They might not even necessarily want to own your product, but they appreciate the disruption you are trying to bring to the market.  For these reason, they are willing to contributed from a little as $1 to thousands of dollars to see your project succeed.
  • The Extended Team: These are passionate individuals that understand your product concept and they want one! Not only they are willing to part with some money to get one, but they are also willing to contribute their own time and energy to make your product successful. They are a great source of professional and amateur resources. The contributions we got for Ubuntu Edge ranged from advise on how to run the campaign by serious knowledge people, to PR (T-shirt designs, websites, ads) to product design.
  • The Pragmatists:  Your product might look good, but your project might just be too risky. Crowd funding projects are developing a bit of a reputation for shipping late or even worst, never happening.  Pragmatist might be put off from contributing to your project is the perceived risk is too high.  Some key questions they would like answer to are: Who are you? What is your proven record? Do you have a proto-type working?  Do you have suppliers ready to go? but they all ultimately boil down to one: Can I trust you?
  • The Shoppers: Although, it should be clear to everyone that crowd funding is not the same that shopping in Amazon, similar motivations may apply.  Shoppers will compare backing your project with buying a similar product online. Things they will care about: Are you offering a good deal? How long will it take for me get the product? What warranties do you offer?.

Pragmatists and shoppers form the bulk of the backer community out in the wild. If you are just getting started with your product development, you might find that addressing the concerns of pragmatists and shoppers is just not possible. In that case, financing your product development via multiple crowd funding projects might be a better option.

Target your first project to attract angels and extended-team. Set a campaign target that will allow you to build a prototype and start seriously talking to suppliers. Build up your credibility by delivering the first project on time.

For your second project, you will have had reduced the risk and the time to product delivery substantially. You might now be able to raise the rest of the funding or your might need a couple more iterations. Here is how the people at +Pool are doing it:

  1. First project
  2. second project

 

+POOL

 


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Victor Palau

Hi everyone, I’ve been talking to a lot of you in the comments on the Indiegogo page, so I thought I’d come on here with a little video of my own computing setup.

I’m going to show you convergence. Although the hardware is getting a lot of the attention, it’s the Ubuntu Edge’s ability to be your phone and your PC that will have the biggest impact. How do I know this for sure? Because I’m already experiencing it.

For over two months I’ve been running Ubuntu for Android on a Nexus 4 phone, and even with its much slower processor and smaller storage than the Edge will have, it’s still made my working life so much simpler. With just a phone I can do pretty much anything that I could do before on my laptop.

I’ve made a quick video to show you a few examples. Remember this code is still in beta – with the final production code and the much more powerful hardware of the Ubuntu Edge, the desktop will really fly.

If you can’t see the video - click here

We’re doing great so far but there’s a long way to go, so please keep on sharing our campaign with everyone you know. You’re our best chance of making this happen!


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Victor Palau

I was thinking about starting dogfooding Ubuntu Touch, and really for me the blocker is having a torch app! :) so here it is:

https://code.launchpad.net/~vtuson/+junk/torchapp

Tap in the lightbulb to turn the tourch on (tested on Galaxy Nexus). Image by  Ryan Hyde

 


torchontorchoff


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Victor Palau

So a few months later, the game I was working on has now got to Beta stage. Since last time, I have added a few extra things:

  • Proper dogfight with a T50 fighter
  • Plane shadows
  • Scaling for multiple size screens
  • Revamp and multitouch controls
  • Collisions and explosions
  • Full keyboard control
  • Added 13 levels, loaded from level.txt JSON file
  • Tutorial walkthrough
  • and lots of bug fixes

Still only a Beta, but all the game play is now completed, now it is just fixing bugs ;) All the code is here, and some screen shots.

https://code.launchpad.net/~vtuson/+junk/dogfight

screenshot2
screenshot3
screnshoot1


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Victor Palau

Since my first steps into QML when the Ubuntu SDK was launched, I have become a bit addicted to it. I decided to try to write a QML declarative game, and I settle on a shooting fighter jet game. Finally had enough content to put out an alpha. Here is the video:


The code for it in on my LP Junk branches, not really ready for review yet ;) but happy to have help!

You might notice that I am using the keyboard to drive the game in my computer, I have also build a touch joystick that so far works ok in the Nexus 7, but needs some calibration.

PS: if you have some problems with playing the video, try jumping a head 10 secs, it also helps if you play it in HD :)


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Victor Palau

Last week I wrote about my first impressions on working with QML vs Android as I tried to translate a SimpleTodo application.

This week, I managed to find a few more spare hours to finish it. Not only that, but I have been able to go beyond what I had for Android. Specially on the UI part, QML makes it really simple to build in transitions and animations. I also found that defining States for the application had simplified the complexity of the program.

I don’t think that today there are official menus published for Ubuntu qml components, so I have implemented my own menu “a la” Ubuntu for phones. Here is a small video of the app:

or you can access the link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-gDv-vDMhg

Overall, I highly recommend everyone to play with QML. Here are two very useful links if you are new to it:

And of course, lets not forget the awesome developer.ubuntu.com pages!


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Victor Palau

A few months back, I decided to write a Simple ToDo app for Android, then I hooked it up to a cloud backend, using Juju. That was my first Android application, so I got to experience first hand the latest developer documentation and development environment.

Last month, Canonical launched Ubuntu for Phones, that gave me the idea to re-write the same application on QML using the Ubuntu Components.

Clearly comparing a new SDK-Alpha with a stable platform like Android will seem hardly fair, however, keep reading as you might be surprised of the results.

QML vs Dalvik Java

Lets start with QT/QML vs Dalvik/Java – I found QML really easy to get to grips with and be productive. I had the UI (see picture below) running in no time and I would say much faster than with Android.  QML is a very flexible declarative environment that allows you to embedded quick logic into the layout. This is a blessing and  a curse.

While with Android, it was very easy to keep a nice MVC  separation, I struggled to stop the leaks in QML. So while it is very easy to quickly write a functional application, it does not impose what you would consider as good development practices.

In summary, they are both very powerful development environments.

todoapp

IDE: Eclipse vs QtCreator

Part of the development experience is the IDE. I must say that I simply love the QTCreator. Possibly not as polish as Eclipse but you don’t need to read a manual to use it. Also, with a quick integration with the HUD, it is just very simple to use.

So what is QTCreator missing? A good emulator. The Android Development Kit (ADK) provides a really good user experience to develop mobile solutions. QMLScene gives you similar functionality but does not simulate a phone environment. However, all the technology is there, and  I am sure that will be included in the v1.0 version of the SDK.

Documentation

I can’t fault Android developer documentation, but taking into account its popularity, you  wouldn’t expect anything else.

I was very surprise of the quality of information on http://developer.ubuntu.com/ and specially with the component showcase.

componentshowcase

The only thing to watch out for is that in Android you can get all the info you need from a single website. With QML you quickly end up pinging between Digia, Nokia and Ubuntu pages.

The Code

The code is on my launchpad repos. The actual source functionality is not finished as I am still trying to figure out how to add menu options to access Done items. Anyway, the whole thing is pretty compact compare to the Dalvik code. The actual logic is almost identical in both. A ListView that is populate from an List model. All the data is persisted in SQLite db.

Conclusion

Both environments have been equally painless to work with, the difference is that the Ubuntu environment has *just* been released as an Alpha. I think this is the start of a very vibrant App development ecosystem.


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