Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'general'

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


Read more
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


Read more
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


Read more
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


Read more
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


Read more
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 :)


Read more
Victor Palau

Chances are that either by now, or by the end of the week, some of you reading this post will have bought a new computer with Windows 8. Chances are high that you immediately felt the urge of installing Ubuntu, possibly also to have a shower.

If you did, I would like you to tell me about (Installing Ubuntu.. not about having a shower). I am specially interested if you installed 12.10, and if you had any secure boot issues.

Did all work magically? Did you have to muck around with BIOS settings? Tell me all about it.


Read more
Victor Palau

To make it easier to keep up with the work and progress on the Nexus 7 , I have set up a topic in status.ubuntu.com and a wiki page with the performance goals for the release:

If there is  a missing Blueprint that should be track under this topic, please let me know.

 


Read more
Victor Palau

I decided to run some browser performance benchmarks from http://peacekeeper.futuremark.com/ in the Nexus 7 running Ubuntu, mainly to see how it compares with other platforms. Here are my basic conclusions as a result of the test:

  • In general Ubuntu + Nexus 7 performs pretty well
  • The Nexus 7 with Ubuntu and Chromium (629) performs better that the Android Nexus 7 (489)
  • Firefox performance (257) is pretty bad compare with Chromium (629). I have tested it in my laptop and the same different exist, however the more powerful hardware makes it not as relevant.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to access the detailed results (it displays blank), any suggestions why? My results are the bottom firefox (257) results, and the top Chrome (629):


Read more
Victor Palau

When it come to ARM Servers one thing that everyone agrees is that the new 64 bit architecture, introduced in ARMv8, will be a significant milestone for this market.

It seems that 14.04 LTS will be a big release for ARM Servers, as it is likely to be the first Long Term Support with ARMv8. However, the road to 14.04 starts now!

The first set of ARMv8 licensees are starting to be announced, so it is time to get Ubuntu ready for hardware bring up. What better place to start that with an ARMv8 kernel? and that is what Jeremy Kerr from Canonical has just published.

As he says: “Most of the components of the 64-bit ARM toolchain have been released, so I’ve put together some details on building a cross compiler for aarch64. At present, this is only binutils & compiler (ie, no libc), so is probably not useful for applications. However, I have a 64-bit ARM kernel building without any trouble.”

If you want to find out more about Jeremy’s work, see:

With the test kernel builds, we’re able to start low-level testing of ARMv8 hardware as soon as they become available. So, we are ready for ARMv8 hardware bring up, Are you?


Read more
Victor Palau

Have you ever wondered what is all the fuss about ARM Servers? Yes? good , good.

Have you ever wish you had some crazy Zooming UI presentation that told you all about it? what.. no!? Well though.. because now you have one :)

If you haven’t heard of Prezi, it is a new way to generate more dynamic presentations. I will give you a few tips:

  • When viewing a Prezi, make sure you click on the “Full Screen” for maximum effect (under More..)
  • You can also click on autorun if you fancy the animation to happen on its own
  • You can also use the right and left arrows to move around the animation at your leisure
  • If you want to zoom into something, just double click on it!

Without further ado, I give you ARM Server on  a Prezi:

url: http://prezi.com/_zwqpnowk8cv/arm-server/


Read more
Victor Palau

In my previous entry, I argued that Ubuntu is possibly the best development environment to write connected android apps, thanks to Juju. Although using WordPress was possibly not a great example :) I still think that this idea has legs! Hence, I have decided to build an example project.

The example will mainly  be a simple and plan ToDo list app for Android, that gets its items from a back-end MySQL server.

So here is my list of things to get done for this example project:

  • Proof that you can access a Juju local environment from the Android Emulator
  • Develop a TODO list android app
  • Using a few charms from the charm store plus a custom one, set up a MySQL database that can be exposed through a web service with simple commands/steps
  • Connect the android app and the webservice, so they talk to each other.

And as there is no time like the present, here is the first bullet point!

Accessing a Juju Local Environment from the Android Emulator

As I was working on my wordpress charm, the easiest thing for me to do was to access the local webserver set-up for the blog.  I first installed the Android SDK, which turned out to be pretty easy to do by just following the instructions posted at http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html . Apart of the sdk tools that download you the emulator, build tools and so on.. you can also choose to use Eclipse as your IDE. If you do this, you can then install an Android plug-in that is *very very* complete.  Having had previous experience with Eclipse, I choose this root and unless you feel very strongly against it, I recommend that you do the same.

Once I had the SDK installed, I run the 2.2 emulator (because that happens to be the version in the spare Android phone that I plan to use later on) and open the local IP address of the WordPress service.  That just worked fine.

Then I decided to create a sample android project and tried some code to do the same. I found that the following method within the main activity of the project was able to ping and then open in a browser window the wordpress app:

private String hostip = "192.168.122.137";

...

public void pingme(View view) {
 TextView info = (TextView) findViewById(R.id.mytext);
 WebView mweb = (WebView) findViewById(R.id.webView1);
 InetAddress in = null;

 Log.w("PING","trying to reach" + hostip);
 info.setText("trying to reach" + hostip);
 in = InetAddress.getByName(hostip);

 if (in.isReachable(5000)) {
   info.append("\nHost found");
   Log.w("FOUND",in.getCanonicalHostName());
 } else {
   info.append("\nHost found");
 }
 mweb.getSettings().setJavaScriptEnabled(true);
 mweb.loadUrl("http://"+hostip);
}

So in a nutshell, the first bullet point (and the easiest) of my list is completed!


Read more
Victor Palau

[Juju adventure] Android

I have been playing for Juju for a bit before my nice and long holidays on the Costa Brava!

Back into action and I was thinking that I would be losingmy wordpress mobile app once I deploy my own wordpress instance, no? (please correct me if I am wrong). Would I be better of writting something simple for my own use on Android?

Then it dawned on me. Most phone apps today are mainly a front end to a web/cloud service. In that case, Ubuntu and Juju are the perfect development enviroment for an Android developer.

Think about it. You can write your app using the Android Linux SDK, then you can write your web service and deploy it locally with Juju. You can test that your end to end system works well and then deploy it. You just need to push your app to the android market and “juju deploy” your service into the public cloud.

I was curious, Has anyone tried this? Did it work well for you?


Read more
Victor Palau

In my previous post, Jorge Castro commented that a new super wordpress charm is in the works, and I want to keep working on my blog site configuration (theme and plug-ins) without missing out on any updates. This means that I needed to stop forking the wordpress plugin and find a way to just use the one in the charm store and then ,onto the same instance, roll-out my configuration.

I mentioned that I might try splitting my configuration out into a Subordinate service, and that is what I done :) It was actually pretty easy.

I created a new charm called wordpress-conf.  I set the metadata.yaml file to contain:

name: wordpress-conf
summary: "WordPress configuration"
subordinate: true
description: |
Provides configuration for wordpress blogs
- Plugin:
- WordPress importers
- super cache plug-in
requires:
logging:
 interface: logging-directory
 scope: container
juju-info:
 interface: juju-info
 scope: container

As you can see it has a line calling out that this charm is a subordinate, and has two requirement.  The two requirements are for testing purposes really. The “logging” requirement is an explicit requirement that the charm that you are “subordinating” to must have defined, while “juju-info” is an implicit requirement that is define for all charms. What this mean is that using “juju-info”, I can deploy my charm against any service. The key is to define the scope as container.

The magic happens not when you deploy a subordinate charm, but when you add a relationship to another service. For example the following commands result on a wordpress instance setup following the WP charm in the charm store, but with my plugin and theme set up:

juju bootstrap
juju deploy wordpress
juju deploy mysql
juju add-relation wordpress mysql
juju expose wordpress
juju deploy --repository=~/mycharm local:precise/wordpress-conf
juju add-relation wordpress-conf wordpress

Pretty cool, eh!? I should be able to upgrade the two charms now independently


Read more
Victor Palau

Reposting here the blog entry that I uploaded to blog.canonical.com

Have you been wondering if your Web application will work with the new generation of Hyperdense ARM Servers? Now you can easily find out by using Ubuntu and Amazon Web Services. Canonical has made available in Amazon Web Services an AMI image for developers wishing to experiment with Ubuntu ARM Server. Dann Frazier is the engineer behind this initiative. I took some of his time today to asking a few questions:

How did this came about?
We were wanting to do some internal functional testing of the 12.04 release across our global team without shipping hardware around. We had a QEMU model with us and using cloud systems to host it seemed like an excellent way to grow our (emulated) machine count.

Can you give me some examples of what could I do with it?
Basically, anything you can do with Ubuntu Server. You can install packages, deploy Juju charms, test your web applications, etc. However, I would strongly suggest not using it for any production work or performance testing – being an emulated environment, you will notice some overhead.

Who do you expect will use this new AMI?
Developers looking to test their applications on ARM, people wanting to test Juju charm deployments in a multi-architecture environment, and anyone just looking to kick the tires.

This is all great, How do I get my hands on it?
Canonical has published an AMI on Amazon EC2. You will need an Amazon Web Services account, then just go into your Management Console for EC2 and launch a new instance.  Select “Community AMIs” and look for AMI ID ‘ami-aef328c7′. (We’ll keep the latest AMI ID posted at http://wiki.ubuntu.com/ARM/Server). Or click here.

Are there any limations compared to a real hardware box?
The AMI provides an Ubuntu 12.04 (‘armhf’) system running on an emulated hardware system. Performance is limited due to the emulation overhead. This AMI requires the use of an m1.large instance type due to memory requirements.

Once again, thanks to Dann and the Canonical team for sharing this neat tool with the community. It sounds great and easy to set up. So, What are you waiting for?


Read more
Victor Palau

For a while now, I have being toying with the idea to move away from a WordPress.com hosted site for this blog. The main reason: I am not really happy to have to pay for every single simple stuff.. add an additional URL to the site, take aways advertising, edit a CSS… it really stops me from playing :)

What had prevented me from doing this in the past was that I haven’t really got much experience setting up WordPress or MySQL. What I really needed was a save (and free) sandbox to try changes to my site, until I was happy with it, and then easily deploy it live… Can you say Juju?

With Juju you can do all your playing locally using LXC, save all the changes into a Charm and then just deploy them into a public cloud. Perfect!

 

The first thing I did was to set-up an Amazon AWS account and configure my juju environment to deploy to the public cloud. My rationale here was: if I can’t get vanilla WordPress in a live public site, then there is little point continuing with the experiment.

This was actually pretty easy, I just followed the Getting Started guide. The only stumbling block was that I was using my travel laptop at the time that didn’t have my launchpad ssh keys. You need to create ssh keys to use Juju, but apparently you also need to publish them into your launchpad account. Once this was done, I had a public WordPress instance in just 5 commands.

Next step: destroy the environment and stop paying :) Now I needed to bring up my cheap sandbox.

Again this is pretty easy to setup, just follow the Getting Started guide. I hit another road block once my deployment instances seemed not be doing much, “juju status -e local” showed them in pending state and the logs did not display any activity…A bit of Googling later , I found that Jorge Castro had hit the same problem and found the solution in Ask Ubuntu.

With my WordPress local instance now fully up and running, now I needed to upload my own content. To do this, I just needed to upload the wordpress importer plugin. Fairly trivial to get gone by hand, thanks to the very useful “juju scp” and “juju ssh” commands, but how to do it via a Charm. I wanted to make sure that the next time a deploy wordpress, it would have already this plugin install. Crudly this is what I did:

  • Using the charm-tools I got the wordpress charm loc ally (charm get wordpress)
  • I then edited the install file under hooks/ to include:
    apt-get -y install wordpress pwgen wget unzip
    wget http://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/wordpress-importer.0.6.zip
    sudo unzip wordpress-importer.0.6 -d /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/
  • redeploy using locally stored charm. juju deploy –repository=~/charms local:precise/wordpress -e local

Guess what, it worked. I did get some warnings (WARNING Charm ‘.mrconfig’ has an error) that I am yet to iron out, but when the wordpress instance came up the new plugin was there:

That is all for today, and before I go, one last useful hint courtesy of James Page: Add “default: {name of your env}” if you have multiple environments  but you normally always use one. Save me having to type “-e local” all the time.


Read more
Victor Palau

I had a CR-48 Chromebook for a while, which has recently fallen in disuse. While I have never being totally convinced about Chrome OS being a polished, well designed, interface that simplifies the “always connected” user journey that Google was envisioning, I liked the concept.

Now I am reading in ArsTechnica that Chrome OS is getting a brand new look, that is … basically.. well, not new. While I am sure there are many technical advantages of a fully hardware accelerated windows managers, my issue is with the [lack of] concept.

Google has spent much energy convincing users that they do not need to have local apps, that they can do everything in the cloud and that the portal to this experience is Chrome. Having an OS which the only application that could possibly run, and at full screen, was the browser was a controversial but bold move. More over, it really hit home the user experience they were targeting.

This new UI seems to be sending the opposite message. It seems to be saying: “OK, we were wrong.. but  maybe if we make Chrome OS look more like windows you will like it better?”. Is that really the message? Well if you give me an app launcher in a desktop, I am bound to ask for local apps. If you give me off-line sync for Google apps, I am bound to ask for local apps.

I fear Google is paving the road to [windows vista] hell with good window manager intentions. I am primary an Ubuntu user, and what I like about it is that every single release over the last few years has continue to build on a design concept. Every new release is closely wrap on a consistent user message. Take as an example the HUD introduced in 12.04: it is new and different, but somehow it feels like it always belonged in Unity.

I am bought into the Ubuntu user experience, and I am excited to see what a new release will bring. If I had bought into the Chrome OS experience, I think I will be asking for a refund.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the new Chrome OS UI being available for the CR-48. Maybe I will change my mind once I get my hands on it.


Read more
Victor Palau

I have been using Scrum for a while. Back at my previous role, we tried using Scrum within the integration team that was creating the nightly builds and our bi-weekly releases. It brought good results, the team specially liked the visibility of the task board and the daily stand-ups.

We did found a bit artificial to have a cadence. We were suppose to put out a release every two weeks but we end up doing it as often as we could (or made sense), as we were not in control of when the new software was landing in our plate.

Since then, I’ve this nagging thought that Scrum might not be appropriated to service teams or teams with a large portion of maintenance/customer support work. I have found iterations shorter than 2 weeks, can be over burden by the demo, planning and sizing overheads. In the other hand, two weeks is too much time for teams with Service Level Agreements of days or hours. It also seems a bit cumbersome for short project (~1 month), were you end up with 2 or 1 iterations… What to do!?

In Canonical several teams have used Kanban in order to improve their development processes, so I started reading up on it when I stumbled on this excellent article on Kanban vs Scrum.

The author won me over straight away by not trying to decide which of the two practices is best but instead doing a great job at remaining impartial.

Looking back at the Symbian Foundation’s integration team it seems that Kanban would have been better suited. It retains the focus on making information visible while concentrating on reducing WIP.  It seems better suited to a “specialist” team, where most members share the same skills and work on similar tasks. Scrum seems to work better for cross-discipline project teams.

Also, the emphasis on managing constant flow of work is one that resonates with teams that have a work “currency” measured in days of effort (bugs?) rather in large projects lasting months at the time.

While Scrum has been very successfully adopted by the Certification team at Canonical, My previous experience with the Integration team had stopped me from cheering on Scrum in teams that have a constant flow of work. Now, we are thinking on going Kanban! Don’t get me wrong, we are going to continue using Scrum. It is just a case of using the right tool for each job. I will keep you posted on how it goes.

If you have any advice, tips or gotchas that you could share with us, I would be most grateful if you could drop your comments here!

Time to try something new (by theonlyanla)

 


Read more
Victor Palau

The Ubuntu Certification Website has just got better. We have roll-out improvements to how we list systems and provided a powerful search feature. We want to ensure that you get as quick as possible to the information that you need.

As part of the Certification website, we provide a feedback mechanism through Launchpad Answers. Over the last year, we have seen a trend of questions around:

  • Most models are sold with different graphics cards , processors… so which one is the one listed as certified?
  • Does the system listed as certified works with a version of Ubuntu that I can download from Ubuntu.com? Or only with the one that the manufacturer sales?
  • What release is this model certified for?

To address these questions, we have introduced some changes to the website. We now display what components are included on the certified system in the search results. We’ve also added a icon to indicate if the system is only certified with a vendor image or with the standard Ubuntu image.

The new and simpler search interface eliminates confusion on what data is presented. A small filter box has been added to the website allowing  users to select the device type, Ubuntu release and image type that they are interested in.

If you have any comments on the new website design, I would really like to hear from you!



Read more
Victor Palau

Coinciding with the 2011 Ubuntu Hardware Summit, we are launching a new portal aimed to help engineers at device manufacturers shipping Ubuntu systems: odm.ubuntu.com

The Ubuntu community is great. It provides users and developers with lots and lots of useful information. This means that sometimes finding the right informationfor you can take a bit longer than expected.

The odm.ubuntu.com portal content is a selection of the best articles in the Ubuntu community sites that are relevant to device manufacturers (OEM and ODMs) engineers. The content has been selected by the Canonical Hardware Enablement team and builds on the good work of the Ubuntu Kernel team.

We will continue to add and improve the content of the portal over the coming months, including news on tools and techniques to help you better integrate Ubuntu with your hardware. Please let us know if there is specific content you would like to see there.


Read more