Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'canonical'

jono

My apologies in advance for the shorter blog post about this, but like many other Ubuntu folks, I am absolutely exhausted right now. Everyone, across the board, has been working their collective socks off to make Ubuntu 14.04 LTS a fantastic release on desktop, server, and cloud, and pull together our next iteration of Ubuntu for smart-phones and tablets. Consequently, when the trigger is pulled to share our final product with the world, release day is often less of a blistering and energetic woo-hoo, but more of an exhausted but satisfying oh-yeah (complete with beer firmly clenched in hand).

I am hugely proud of this release. The last six months have arguably been our busiest yet. No longer are we just working on desktop and server editions of Ubuntu, but we are building for the cloud and full convergence across the client. No longer are we “just” pulling together the fruits of upstream software projects but we are building our own platform too; the Ubuntu SDK, developer eco-system, charm store, image-based updates, push notifications, app lifecycle, and more. While the work has been intense and at times frantic, it has always been measured and carefully executed. Much of this has been thanks to many of our most under-thanked people; the members of our tremendous QA and CI teams.

Today, tomorrow, and for weeks to come our users, the press, the industry, and others will assess our work in Ubuntu 14.04 across these different platforms, and I am very confident they will love what they see. Ubuntu 14.04 embodies the true spirit of Ubuntu; innovation, openness, and people.

But as we wait to see the reviews let’s take a moment for each other. Now is a great time to reach out to each other and those Ubuntu folks you know (and don’t know) and share some kudos, some thanks, and some great stories. Until we get to the day where machines make software, today software is made by people and great software is built by great people.

Thanks everyone for every ounce of effort you fed into Ubuntu and our many flavors. We just took another big leap forward towards our future.

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jono

I just wanted to let you folks know that I am recruiting for a community manager to join my team at Canonical.

I am looking for someone with strong technical knowledge of building Ubuntu (knowledge of how we release, how we build packages, bug management, governance etc), great community management skills, and someone who is willing to be challenged and grow in their skills and capabilities.

My goal with everyone who joins my team is not just to help them be successful in their work, but to help them be the very best at what they do in our industry. As such I am looking for someone with a passion to be successful and grow.

I think it is a great opportunity and to be part of a great team. Details of the job are available here – please apply if you are interested!?

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jono

This last weekend I was in LA at SCALE12x and gave a presentation providing a detailed update of much of the work going on as we build a convergent Ubuntu. As I have mentioned before, there is lots of other foundational pieces being built as part of this work (app insulation, SDK, click packages, developer.ubuntu.com, platform services etc), and this presentation covered where we stand today in this work.

Obviously a lot more of you couldn’t be at SCALE than couldn’t, so I have recorded the presentation to share online. You can see it below or click here to watch it. Enjoy!

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jono

I am sure that you have all seen the exciting news about the first partners to ship Ubuntu smart-phones. For those who haven’t seen it:

19th February 2014, London: Canonical today announces it has signed agreements with mobile device manufacturers bq (www.bqreaders.com) (Spain) and Meizu (China) to bring Ubuntu smartphones to consumers globally. Canonical is working with these partners to ship the first Ubuntu devices on the latest hardware in 2014. Ubuntu has also received significant support from the world’s biggest carriers, some of which intend to work with OEM partners to bring phones to market this year.

Development programmes have begun with the partners to provide smartphones with a superior user experience on mid to high end hardware for consumers around the world. Devices will be available to buy online through bq, Meizu and at Ubuntu.com.

Today was a hectic day, starting with our Ubuntu town hall hangout and spent in a wealth of meetings. As such I haven’t had a chance to write a blog post about this announcement yet, but I wanted to throw something out on my blog before I go to bed.

Naturally this is tremendously exciting news. As I posted about before, 2013 was an intense year as we not only started building our convergent platform, but also the many inter-connecting pieces too such as our SDK, image based updates, Mir, app developer platform, platform services, app insulation, developer portal, and more. As a result of this work, since May 2013 I have been running Ubuntu full-time on my phone and we are in great shape.

In the last year my team has been heavily focused on building a new community; our Ubuntu app developer community. I have directed many resources in my team here for a number of reasons that I believe are of strategic importance to the future health, growth, and opportunity of Ubuntu and our community.

Firstly, we want Ubuntu to instill a level of simplicity, elegance, and power that is not just present in the default platform, dash, scopes, and services, but also emphasized across the apps that users want to use. This means kickstarting a new generation of apps inspired by the design and development principles that are driving our convergence vision and using a simple and powerful app developer platform so devs can go from idea to app store as quickly and easily as possible.

Secondly, I personally believe that apps are key to our success. I suspect that OEMs and carriers will be even more motivated by a platform with great apps and a powerful developer platform, I believe that users will be attracted to a platform with great apps, and I believe that developers will want to build apps for a platform that is both fun to use and develop for.

Thirdly, I believe there is a huge opportunity to refine and innovate in so many areas of our app developer platform and community. Everything from the tooling to knowledge and support to publishing can be optimized and refined to build the very best developer platform.

As such, in my peanut-sized brain the apps are where much of my team’s strategy should be focused.

I am delighted by the progress we are making here. As I wrote about a few days ago, there is lots of wonderful work going on and fresh features and improvements landing soon. Our Ubuntu app developer platform is growing in leaps and bounds and I am really proud of the efforts of so many people.

Now, while I am proud of where we are today, I am not going to compromise until we have the best developer platform in the world.

So, how does this all relate to the bq and Meizu news?

Well, this news starts the ball rolling on the first set of devices that are going to be hitting the market. This in-turn will result in a general consumer audience starting to use Ubuntu on smart-phones. While today we have thousands of developers flashing their phones with Ubuntu and eagerly writing apps and using other people’s apps, the injection of general consumers will build even more motivation and momentum for our app developers to create apps they are truly proud of and that will be of interest to a new generaton of Ubuntu smart-phone users. As a musician I can tell you that having an audience makes everything that much more worthwhile, and I think it is the same our developers who are about to get a new audience growing around them.

These are tremendously exciting times. Our vision is ambitious but every day the momentum grows and I delighted you are all joining the journey with us. Let’s do this, friends!

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jono

Last week I was in Orlando sprinting with my team as well as the platform, SDK, and security teams and some desktop and design folks. As usual after a sprint, I have been slammed catching up with email, but I wanted to provide a summary of some work going that you can expect to see soon in the Ubuntu app developer platform.

HTML5

In the last few months we have been working to refine our HTML5 support in the Ubuntu SDK.

Today we have full HTML5 support in the SDK but we are working to make HTML5 apps more integrated than ever. This work will land in the next week and will include the following improvements:

  • Consolidating everything into a single template and container. This means that when you create a new app in the SDK you have a single template to get started with that runs in a single container.
  • Updating our Cordova support to access all the devices and sensors on the device (e.g. camera, accelerometer).
  • Adding full Ubuntu platform API access via Javascript. With this you will be able to access Online Accounts, the Content Hub, the App Lifecycle support etc and more.
  • Adding a series of refinements to the look and feel of the HTML5 Ubuntu components. Before the components looked a little different to the QML ones and we are closing the loop.
  • Full API documentation for the Cordova and Platform APIs as well as a number of tutorials for getting started with HTML5.
  • On a side note, there has been some tremendous speed improvements in Oxide which will benefit all HTML5 apps. Thanks to Chris Coulson for his efforts here.

With these refinements you will be able use the Ubuntu SDK to create a new HTML5 app from a single template, follow a tutorial to make a truly native look and feel HTML5 app utilizing the Cordova and Platform APIs, then click one button to generate a click package and fill in a simple form and get your app in the store.

I want to offer many thanks to David Barth’s team for being so responsive when I asked them to refine our HTML5 support ready for MWC. They have worked tirelessly, and thanks also to Daniel Holbach for coordinating the many moving pieces here.

SDK

Our SDK is the jewel in the crown of our app development story. Our goal is that the SDK gets you on your Ubuntu app development adventure and provides all the tools you need to be creative and productive.

Fortunately there are a number of improvements coming here too. This includes:

  • We will be including a full emulator. This makes it easy for those of you without a device to test that your app will work well within the context of Ubuntu for smartphones or tablets. This is just a click away in the SDK.
  • We are also making a series of user interface refinements to simplify how the SDK works overall. This will include uncluttering some parts of the UI as well as tidying up some of the Ubuntu-specific pieces.
  • Device support has been enhanced. This makes it easier than ever to run your app on your Ubuntu phone or tablet with just a click.
  • We have looked at some of the common issues people have experienced when publishing their apps to the store and included automatic checks in the SDK to notify the developer before they submit them to the store. This will speed up the submissions process.
  • Support for “fat” packages is being added. This means you can ship cross-compiled pieces with your app (e.g. a C++ plugin).
  • Last but certainly not least, we are going to be adding preliminary support for Go and QML to the Ubuntu SDK in the next month. We want our app developers to be able to harness Go and with the excellent Go/QML work Gustavo has done, we will be landing this soon.

As ever, you can download the latest Ubuntu SDK by following the instructions on developer.ubuntu.com. Thanks to Zoltan and his team for his efforts

developer.ubuntu.com

An awesome SDK and a fantastic platform is only as good as the people who know how to use it. With this in mind we are continuing to expand and improve developer.ubuntu.com to be a world-class developer portal.

With this we have many pieces coming:

  • A refinement of the navigational structure of the site to make it easier to get around for new users.
  • Our refined HTML5 support will also get full Cordova and Platform API documentation on the site. Michael Hall did a tremendous job integrating Ubuntu and upstream API docs in the same site with a single search engine.
  • A library of primers that explain how key parts of our platform work (e.g. Online Accounts, Content Hub, App Lifecycle, App Insulation etc). This will help developers understand how to utilize those parts of the platform.
  • Refining our overview pages to explain how the platform works, what is in the SDK etc.
  • A refreshed set of cookbook questions, all sourced from our standard support resource, Ask Ubuntu.
  • We will also be announcing Ubuntu Pioneers soon. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so more on this later. :-)

Thanks to David, Michael, and Kyle on my team for all of their wonderful efforts here.

Desktop Integration

In the Ubuntu 14.04 cycle we are also making some enhancements to how Ubuntu SDK apps can run on the desktop.

As many of you will know we are planning on shipping a preview session of Unity8 running on Mir. This means that you can open Unity8 from the normal Ubuntu login screen so you can play with it and test it. This will not look like the desktop; that work is on-going to converge Unity 8 into the desktop form-factor and will come later. It will however provide a base in which developers can try the new codebase and hack on it to converge it to the desktop more quickly. We are refreshing our Unity8 developer docs to make this on-ramp easier.

We are also going to make some changes to make running Ubuntu SDK apps on Unity 7 more comfortable. This will include things such as displaying scrollbars, right-click menus etc. More on this will be confirmed as we get closer to release.

All in all, lots of exciting work going on. We are at the beginning of a new revolution in Ubuntu where beautifully designed, integrated, and powerful apps can drive a new generation of Ubuntu, all build on the principles of Open Source, collaboration, and community.

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jono

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

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

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jono

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

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

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

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

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

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

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jono

Many of you will have heard about Ubuntu’s convergence goals on the client side — running a single, consistent code-base and experience that adapts to phones, desktops, tablets, and TVs…but are you aware of our convergence on the cloud?

Ubuntu and our cloud orchestration service, Juju, provides a platform and the tools to be able to deploy your service (from a simple blog to a full enterprise and production deployment) across a range of clouds…be it a public cloud, private cloud, or bare metal. Prototyping, staging, deploying to production, and scaling up are simple.

At the heart of Juju are the charms…the range of components that form a service (e.g. WordPress, Hadoop, Mongo, Drupal etc). Inside each charm is an encapsulation of best practice from domain experts for each component that automates how charms relate together in your service. Best practice connected to best practice in a service that easily scales is the backbone of Juju.

In much the same way we are building a consistent experience and set of features that run across phones, desktop, tablets, and TVs, we are also building a consistent experience and set of tools for delivering services across different clouds, bare metal, or local containers. Ubuntu for clouds is not merely bound to a single cloud…the point is that what matters is your service and you can easily migrate your service between public and private clouds and bare metal. Again, a converged experience across multiple services.

On the client side this convergence means a more consistent user experience with no fragmentation, consistent platform for deploying content across devices that is cheaper to deploy, and makes multiple product lines available to vendors and builds institutional knowledge across different product lines.

On the cloud side this convergence means that you are in control of your service. When you or your staff know how to use Ubuntu and the cloud orchestration tools we provide (such as Juju), you are in control of your service and you can prototype and deploy it where you want easily, whether a private or public cloud or bare metal, scale out when required, and build consistent institutional knowledge.

What makes Ubuntu on the cloud even more interesting is that Juju GUI also crosses the chasm between service topology on the office whiteboard and a running service – you can literally draw your service and everything spins up effortlessly.

Ubuntu is all about convergence and bringing simplicity and power to our devices, to our clouds, and all powered by Open Source.

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jono

One week ago today we kicked off the Ubuntu Edge Indigogo Campaign; a campaign to raise $32million using the crowd-funding site Indigogo to build the beautiful Ubuntu Edge device that can run Ubuntu Phone and Android and boot a full Ubuntu desktop running off the phone itself. Be sure to see video describing the device and the software running on it.

This campaign is ambitious, but important for a few reasons: it helps us to produce a limited run of devices perfectly crafted around the Ubuntu convergence vision, but also to utilize crowd-funding as a tool to innovate in an entrenched industry.

Currently we have raised over $7million with over 15,000 funders.

In this post I wanted to summarize the progress we have made in our first week…and what a week it was!

Our first day was a record-setter. We were the fastest project in crowd-funding history to reach $2million and the highest-raised campaign in the history of Indigogo. At around 12 hours in we had already raised 10% of our goal.

As the week progressed a flurry of media attention wrapped around the Ubuntu Edge campaign. We have had coverage on a range of media outlets, including:

We also saw OMG! Ubuntu!, one of the most popular Ubuntu sites online, integrate the Ubuntu Edge campaign into their site, providing an up to date ticker of the amount raised and other features.

We saw extensive coverage of the Ubuntu Edge campaign in video form too. I want to highlight two interesting highlights here. Firstly, Jane Silber, Canonical CEO talked about the campaign on CNBC:

Can’t see it? See it here!

I also strongly recommend you see Marques Brownlee’s video overview of Ubuntu Edge, which provides a fantastic overview of the campaign:

Can’t see it? See it here!

As the week progressed we also saw Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu Founder, doing a Reddit AMA that covered a lot of ground (including talking about six years of support for Ubuntu Edge) and answered many questions from those following the campaign.

Victor Palau also demonstrated Ubuntu desktop running on a lower-powered Nexus 4 to demonstrate the convergence technology, and a community member even put together a realistic interactive 3D model of the Ubuntu Edge.

Finally, we announced an awesome referral campaign. Whether you’ve contributed $20 or $2,000, you all have the chance to win something extra special: a personalised Ubuntu Edge phone engraved with your name. You can find the details of the campaign here.

Of course, for this prize to exist the campaign has to hit its target, so be sure to spread the word using every possible medium you have access to. Our goal is to make history, and every one of you can help us write that history and get a historical special-edition customized Ubuntu Edge in the process.

Week Two

Arguably our next milestone in the Ubuntu Edge campaign is to beat the crowd-funding record for the highest amount of money that has ever been raised. This currently stands at a shade over $10million and given that we are already over $7million, we are making good progress towards this goal.

One piece of feedback we have received from many of you is a desire for a lower dollar-amount perk for those who can’t afford to purchase an Ubuntu Edge device but still want to support the campaign. We are currently working on this right now, and look forward to announcing this soon.

So, let’s make the magic happen.

Visit the Ubuntu Edge campaign page

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jono

If you are going to be in Portland, Oregon in the next few weeks, I wanted to share some of the things I will be doing. If you want a meeting while I am at the Community Leadership Summit and OSCON, please get in touch and we can coordinate.

Community Leadership Summit 2013

I founded the Community Leadership Summit five years ago and the event has grown to become the primary annual meeting place for community managers, leaders, and those interested in the art and science of community management. I am really proud of how CLS has grown and matured over the years, and many thanks to our wonderful attendees who make it so fantastic.

This year’s event is shaping up to be awesome. We have a fantastic set of registered attendees, a full unconference format, enhanced audio and video facilities, and more.

Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors who have helped to support the event:

  • O’Reilly
  • Liferay
  • Microsoft
  • LinuxFund.org
  • Adobe
  • Mozilla
  • OpenNMS
  • Google

The event is completely free to attend. read more about how it works and how to get there and see the schedule.

OSCON

Lots going on at OSCON this year.

To begin with I will be running my first community management training workshop at OSCON on Mon 22nd July. This is a full-day workshop, so be sure to come and join me. Details are here.

Then on Tues 23rd July at 9.00am Jorge and Mark M will be running Service Orchestration In The Cloud With Juju – a full workshop that covers using Juju to deliver production services and how Juju charms work.

Next on Wed 24th July at 9.55am Mark Shuttleworth will be giving his keynote.

Wed 24th July is going to be a busy day for me with the following in my schedule:

See the full OSCON schedule.

We will also have a full Ubuntu booth staffed by many members of Ubuntu Oregon talking about Ubuntu for phones, desktops, and tablets, and Ubuntu for the cloud and our Juju orchestration platform.

I hope to see you there!

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jono

Many of you will be familiar with Juju, the powerful cloud orchestration platform we have been building.

Ubuntu has become the most popular Operating System in the world for cloud deployments, and Juju brings a powerful orchestration platform with over 100 services ready to deploy. It enables you to build entire environments in the cloud with only a few commands on public clouds such as Amazon Web Services and HP Cloud, private clouds built with OpenStack, or raw bare metal via Metal As a Service (MAAS).

If you haven’t seen and tried Juju, I strongly recommend you do so. It makes spinning up a service, relating different components (e.g WordPress and MySQL), and scaling up (such as when you get Slashdotted) quick and easy, but powerful enough for comprehensive production services.

Want to give it a try? Click here to get started.

The Juju Charm Championship

Jorge Castro on my team has been working over the last few years to grow our community of Juju charmers, running charm schools online and offline, coordinating tutorials, education weeks, and working with many different upstreams to help them harness Juju.

Recently we kicked off a particularly fun part of our community growth efforts in the form of the Juju Charm Championship.

The idea is simple:

  1. Charm up the individual services in your infrastructure, make something that is cool and repeatable.
  2. Put it together into a Juju bundle.
  3. Submit your stack.
  4. Win money…with over $30,000 USD in prizes!

That’s right…cold hard cash for building an awesome charm.

Let’s talk more about the cash. There are basically three categories:

  • High Availability – represents a full stack of HA-enabled services to accomplish a task.
  • Data Mining – represents a full stack of data mining and “big data” analysis.
  • Monitoring – represents a full stack of monitoring solutions for existing services.

The winner of each category will win $10,000. It doesn’t stop there though. In addition to these prizes, individual charm maintainers of a reviewed charm in the reviewed section of the Charm Store will receive $200 if their charm is included in a winning template. This can be awarded multiple times, to a maximum total of $3,000 per category.

How To Enter

Entering is simple. Just head to this page to get started, which includes a full FAQ. If you need a tutorial for writing a charm, you can find it here. If you have any further questions feel free to post to the Juju mailing list or ask in #juju on Freenode.

Be sure to get started soon though, the competition closes on 1st October 2013!

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jono

Earlier today Mark Shuttleworth blogged about the evolution of Mir, the powerful display server we are building as one component in the Ubuntu convergence story across desktops, phones, tablets, and more, but also as a general purpose display server that other distributions, desktops, and other upstreams can use too.

Mir will be landing by default in Ubuntu 13.10 with the XMir compatability layer to ensure we can continue to ship our existing Unity codebase and to ensure that any and all other distributions can ship their desktops too. This will be the first major distribution to ship a next-generation display server, not only on a desktop, but also on phones and tablets too.

I recommend you read Mark’s post in full, but I want to highlight this piece in particular:

On Ubuntu, we’re committed that every desktop environment perform well with Mir, either under X or directly. We didn’t press the ‘GO’ button on Mir until we were satisfied that the whole Ubuntu community, and other distributions, could easily benefit from the advantages of a leaner, cleaner graphics stack. We’re busy optimising performance for X now so that every app and every desktop environment will work really well in 13.10 under Mir, without having to make any changes. And we’re taking patches from people who want Mir to support capabilities they need for native, super-fast Mir access. Distributions should be able to provide Mir as an option for their users to experiment with very easily – the patch to X is very small (less than 500 lines). For now, if you want to try it, the easiest way to do so is via the Ubuntu PPA. It will land in 13.10 just as soon as our QA and release teams are happy that its ready for very widespread testing.

In a nutshell, we are passionate about encouraging not only Ubuntu flavors, but all distributions (either Ubuntu-derived or not) to be able to harness Mir as a powerful next-generation display server for either shipping their X desktop with XMir or harnessing Mir directly. From 13.10 onwards we will have a production-stable, fully supported Mir ready for everyone to use.

To put it clearly: while Mir will serve the needs of Unity well across a range of devices, it is not only intended for Unity, it is intended to serve other environments across a range of devices too.

Last week I reached out to most of our flavors to discuss this work (and discuss many related topics with the Mir engineers), and these discussions are continuing this week. I have also been in touch with some other distributions to discuss Mir support. Obviously we will be working closely with Debian to help get Mir in the Debian archives too.

Mir is Free Software (get the code or test from a PPA), discussed openly on mir-devel (see the archive), and we provide weekly updates from Kevin Gunn, Mir Engineering Manager every Tuesday at 5pm UTC on Ubuntu On Air. We are also refining our documentation to help folks write clients (see the API, the sample client, and other documentation). If you have any other questions about adding Mir support, feel free to get in touch with the Mir team on mir-devel.

tl;dr: the Mir team are very open to discussing the needs of upstreams and distributions. Get in touch on mir-devel or feel free to send me an email and I will put you in touch with the right person.

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jono

A few weeks ago we announced the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG is designed to provide a place where carriers can help influence the development and requirements of Ubuntu for smartphones.

The founding members of the CAG were Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Korea Telecom, Telecom Italia, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, SK Telecom and the leading Spanish international carrier.

I just wanted to follow up with a few CAG-related updates.

New Carriers

Firstly, we are pleased to announce two new carriers that have joined the CAG.

Last week we announced PT Smartfren Telecom, the largest mobile internet provider in Indonesia, an important market for the Ubuntu smartphone.

Richard Tan, Deputy CEO at Smartfren, commented:

“Ubuntu is an important option for Indonesia because it offers an attractive, flexible and differentiating solution for smartphones”.

Today we followed up with another carrier in the form of China Unicom; one of the world’s largest mobile operators, with nearly 300 million mobile subscribers.

Li Xingxin at China Unicom’s terminal research and support center commented:

“Ubuntu can be an exciting new platform for the Chinese market, offering a brand new user experience that balances user simplicity with operator requirements”.

We are delighted to welcome both PT Smartfren Telecom and China Unicom to the CAG! We also have some other carriers to announce, including a large US carrier; more details on that soon.

Differentiation and Scopes

When it comes to mobile devices, there’s a thin line between differentiation and fragmentation. Differentiation is enabling phone manufacturers and carriers to put their own stamp not just on the outside of the phone but also on the inside. To stand out against the competition in today’s market, manufacturers and carriers must go beyond the phone hardware itself and provide value-added services such as music and video content to the user.

Victor Palau, VP, Phone & Hyperscale Delivery at Canonical wrote an excellent piece on this topic called Differentiation Without Fragmentation and talks about the areas in which Ubuntu Phone can be given a unique brand and identity via theming, default applications and content, pre-defined launcher applications, and connecting backend content to default Ubuntu front-end applications.

A core method of differentiating is at the content level with music, video, applications, services, and other material. This is where our powerful scopes technology comes in, providing a way of delivering content to users, front and center, with a consistent experience…all while avoiding fragmentation.

For those of you who are interested in writing a scope to expose content and services to Ubuntu devices, see an overview of the technology, our tutorial for writing a scope, our growing cookbook with common scopes-related questions.

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jono

Beginning last week, we started our Ubuntu Weekly Update videocast that provides a range of weekly updates to keep our community, press, upstreams, and partners in the loop and up to date with recent progress.

Today’s show was a special two-hour show with two parts:

  1. The first part (beginning at the start of the video) includes status updates from the engineering mangers and project leads of Mir, Unity, Juju (Core and Ecosystem), Click Packages/App Upload Process, Ubuntu Touch, Unity APIs, and Community. We also fielded questions from the community who were viewing the show.
  2. The second part (beginning at 59.54) includes an hour-long interview with Chris Halse-Rogers (Mir Engineer), Kevin Gunn (Mir and Unity Engineering Manager), Oliver Ries (Director of Display Server and Unity Engineering), Robert Ancell (Mir Technical Lead), Steve Langasek (Ubuntu Foundations Engineering Manager), and Thomas Voss (Technical Architect). Again, viewers of the show asked a number of questions that were answered by the team.

You can view it below:

Can’t see the video? See it here!

As ever, questions are welcome in the comments, and Mir-specific questions are welcome on #ubuntu-mir on Freenode and on the Mir mailing list.

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jono

Many of you will have seen the recent news about Mir coming to Ubuntu 13.10 in October 2013. For those of you who are unaware of Mir, it is an Open Source display server we are building that we will use across desktops, phones, tablets, and TV. It currently works with Open Source drivers and we are currently in discussions with the major GPU manufacturers to discuss Mir support in their proprietary drivers.

From the announcement yesterday:

For 13.10 we plan on delivering Mir by default in Ubuntu Desktop with XMir (an implementation of X running on Mir) and our current Unity 7 codebase (the same Unity codebase that is currently in the Saucy development release).

This will be enabled for graphics hardware with Open Source drivers supported by Mir (primarily intel, nouveau and radeon). For binary graphics drivers (e.g. many NVidia and ATI cards) that don’t support Mir yet, we will fallback to the normal X server that we usually ship. This will mean that all users are well served in Ubuntu 13.10 and everyone will get the standard Unity 7 experience with feature parity with X (e.g. multi-monitor support). This fallback will be removed for Ubuntu 14.04. We are working with GPU vendors and partners to provide the required driver support and are confident to have this in place for 14.04.

We discussed this before the announcement with the Ubuntu Community Council and all councils and flavor leaders from each of our official flavors this week. Many thanks to those folks for the feedback they provided.

For those concerned about flavors being able to ship their desktops in Ubuntu 13.10, each of the desktops showcased in our flavors (GNOME 3, KDE, XFCE, LXDE) work with XMir running on Mir (see the video of them running). Please note, this is running on XMir, not Mir directly. Now, whether the flavors choose to use XMir on Mir or ship X directly is of course up them. Fortunately, they have a few options at their disposal for 13.10.

Testing, Reporting Bugs, and Benchmarks

If you would like to try Mir, Oliver Ries, Director of Display Server and Unity at Canonical, posted instructions for how to get started. Likewise, Nicholas Skaggs on my team has announced that Mir is part of our regular cadence testing, so we encourage you to test Mir, report your results, and feel free to discuss Mir on the mir-devel mailing list.

Most recently, we reached out to Phoronix to ask if Michael could perform some benchmarking tests on Mir to see where things stand today with applications running on XMir on Mir. Now, bear in mind that Mir has not yet been through a round of performance optimizations (this will happen a little later in the cycle), and the results naturally have a performance impact because of this, but the impact was not too great. These performance regressions should be largely resolved before Ubuntu 13.10. Oliver Ries blogged reviewing the results and discussed plans to resolve these issues.

Staying Up To Date

Next week we will provide two opportunities to ensure you have as much information about Mir as possible. On Tues 2nd July at 5pm UTC we will be doing our normal Ubuntu Weekly Update with updates from a range of teams of progress over the last week (see the last one here).

Immediately after that session at 6pm UTC I will then be doing a a full interview with a number of members of the core Mir team and inviting your questions too.

Watch both sessions on Ubuntu On Air.

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jono

Today we had our first Ubuntu Weekly Update with summaries from engineering managers and leads for Mir, Unity, Juju (Core and Ecosystem), Click, Smart Scopes, Ubuntu Touch, Community, and other areas. After the summaries we opened up the session to questions from viewers.

This weekly videocast will provide a regular in-depth, open, and transparent update of week-to-week engineering and community work going on.

See it below:

Can’t see the video? See it here!

Remember, you can always catch my regular weekly Q&A where you can bring any of your questions. Watch it live at Ubuntu On Air every Wednesday at 6pm UTC.

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jono

We have been working hard to ensure that the various engineering teams working on different parts of Ubuntu are being as open and transparent as possible. This has included many of these teams (e.g. Unity, Mir, App Development etc) sending regular weekly updates of progress being made. Well, we want to amp that up to the next level, so I am proud to announce the Ubuntu Weekly Update Videocast!

The idea is simple: we are pulling together a number of engineering managers from a range of different teams and they will provide a weekly summary of what their team has been working on, and their plans for the coming week. These summaries will form the beginning of the videocast and then we will open up for questions throughout the rest of the hour. This will provide a recorded summary of progress that our community, members of the press, and others can use to keep up to date, and a regular opportunity to ask questions to the team.

Our first Ubuntu Weekly Update Videocast is happening tomorrow, Tuesday 24th June 2013 at 5pm UTC live on Ubuntu On Air. Be sure to join us there!

Interviews

As many of you will know, every week I do a regular Q&A videocast where I invite the community and anyone else to come and ask me anything. This show happens every Wednesday at 6pm UTC live on Ubuntu On Air and has been well received by the community to ask anything on their minds about our goals, strategy, and areas of focus.

For some time now I have been wanting to conduct a series of interviews with various Ubuntu teams and communities about their work, and I did my first one last week with Jamie Strandboge and Martin Albisetti who are working on the future app upload process designed for app developers who want to deliver their apps on the Ubuntu convergent platform. See the interview here, which includes a lot of questions asked from viewers too.

I will be conducting more and more of these interviews, so let me know what topics and teams you want to see in the comments.

Mir Interview

The next interview I am doing is with the Mir team and this will take place on Tuesday 2nd July 2013 at 6pm UTC live on Ubuntu On Air. Be sure to join and bring your questions too!

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jono

This week I am pleased to announce two Q&A sessions to get all your juicy Ubuntu-related questions answered:

  • Wed 19th June – taking place an hour earlier this week at 6pm UTC will be my usual weekly Q&A session where you are welcome to bring any and all questions! Be sure to join me, it is always a lot of fun. :-)
  • Thu 20th June – taking place at 7pm UTC and kicking off the first in a series of 1-on-1 interviews that I am going to do, I will be interviewing Martin Albisetti who is a member of the team making application submissions for Ubuntu on desktops, phones, tablets, and TVs easier than ever. Martin’s team is building the server that will recieve submissions as click packages and review them before they go out to users. Martin is also an active member of the community and a member of the Community Council. I will be asking Martin some questions about his work and then we will open it up for you folks to ask questions too.

You can access both of these sessions on Ubuntu On Air.

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jono

We are working on a powerful vision with Ubuntu; to build a convergent Operating System that runs on phones, tablets, desktops, and TVs. A core part of this vision is that this is a platform and ecosystem that you can influence, improve, and be a part of, significantly more-so than our competitors.

One consistent piece of feedback we have seen from carriers and handset manufacturers is a a greater desire for platform competition and participation on helping to shape and define the ecosystem. A key goal for Ubuntu is to satisfy these needs.

Today we launched the the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG) which includes Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Telecom Italia, Korea Telecom, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, and SK Telecom as founding members. Wide industry participation in the group will help us to prioritize the delivery of new Ubuntu features, and grow an ecosystem of software, services and devices that meets that need.

The CAG provides regular meetings that take place regularly and typically include a briefing by Canonical or a partner company, followed by feedback from carriers. Members can bring domain specialists to calls for each relevant topic covered. Topics planned for discussion in the CAG forum include:

  • Differentiation for OEMs and operators.
  • Developer ecosystems and application portability.
  • HTML5 standards, performance and compatibility.
  • Marketplaces for apps, content and services.
  • Revenue share models for publishers, operators, and OEMs.
  • Payment mechanisms and standards.
  • Platform fragmentation.
  • Consumer and enterprise market segments and positioning.

CAG members can also launch Ubuntu devices before non-members in local markets. The first two launch partners will be selected from within the group, with the next wave following six months later; non-members will face a substantial wait to gain access to the platform. Members will have early knowledge of silicon, as well as OEM and ODM partners involved in the Ubuntu mobile initiative.

The Carrier Advisory Group is chaired independently of Canonical by David Wood, who has 25 years’ experience in the mobile industry, including leadership roles at Psion, Symbian and Accenture. He has wide experience with collaborative advisory groups, and twice served on the board of directors of the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA).

David has this to say about the CAG:

“The mobile industry still needs an independent platform that enables innovation and differentiation. That platform is Ubuntu. The Carrier Advisory Group will have the opportunity to influence the Ubuntu roadmap, and take full advantage of the potential this emerging platform.”

If you are a carrier interested in helping shape Ubuntu’s mobile strategy and being part of the CAG, click here.

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jono

For some time now we have wanted to improve the community pages on ubuntu.com. While the pages there provided an overview of the community they really didn’t serve us or our new community members very well.

At UDS in Copenhagen back in November we agreed to work on a project to build a new set of community pages, but in a more scalable and accessible way, and in a way that is easier to maintain and improve. We worked together as a community to coordinate a docs jam, to identify what content was needed, start building some of the core material, put together a WordPress instance, get it themed and prettified, and then review the content and get it trimmed, concise, and accessible. The final result is fantastic, detailed, and provides a wonderful springboard for contributing. I plan on having a regular session at every forthcoming UDS to discuss improvements and refinements to the pages to ensure they serve our community well.

Many people contributed their time to this project, and I want to offer my thanks to everyone who helped drive it forward. I want to highlight one person in particular though, Daniel Holbach on my team, who I gave a very explicit goal of pulling together these many threads into a completed product by the end of May. Daniel deftly delivered this coordination with our community contributors, while also balancing the many other projects he is coordinating too. As ever, fantastic work, Daniel!

You can visit the site by simply going to ubuntu.com and clicking the Community link at the top. ;-)

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