Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'planet ubuntu'

jono

Back in January I first posted about initial progress on the Ubuntu Accomplishments project; an effort to present our users with fantastic documentation and guidance for a range of different community activities and automatically award our users with trophies when they accomplish those activities. The end-goal is to make opportunities on your computer and in your community more discoverable and satisfying when accomplished.

Importantly, Ubuntu Accomplishments is not about meaningless awards such as 1000 posts to a forum or 500 bug comments (the like of such can be easily gamed and generate too much noise to signal), but we are instead focusing on awards for new experiences and skills acquisition (e.g. learning how to file a bug, becoming an Ubuntu Member etc). You can see our guidelines for how we decide on what makes a great accomplishment here.

Well, after a furious period of development, I am delighted to announce our very first release: Ubuntu Accomplishments 0.1. This first release is a huge milestone in the project: this isn’t just a small GUI app…to build this first milestone involved creating a back-end service (featuring a DBUS API), a Python API to ease writing accomplishments, a server validation service, a graphical front-end, and a collection of community accomplishments to get people started. In addition to this everyone’s favorite Callé…David Callé…has created a Unity lens for the system which we plan on releasing over the next few days too.

Currently the 0.1 release does the following:

  • Browse a range of different Ubuntu Community opportunities and filter them based on different categories.
  • Click on different opportunities to discover more about them, what is involved, how to get started, as well as tips and tricks for success.
  • Some opportunities require others to be completed before you can progress: this provides a logical on-ramp for participation.
  • Accomplishments are automatically checked to see if you have achieved them. If you have they are verified to ensure they can’t be faked.
  • The GUI client shows your collection of accomplished trophies as well as the available opportunities.
  • Comprehensive Unity integration featuring Launcher numbering, notification bubbles, and hi-resolution icons.
  • Full translated and available in a range of languages (language support varies due to the early nature of this release…but you you can help translate it!).
  • We also provide a collection of community accomplishments covering Development, LoCo Teams, Juju, Governance and more. We need more accomplishments contributing and I will be talking more over the next few days about how you can contribute.

The goal of the 0.1 release was to demonstrate the core system working and I am delighted to share this first release with you.

Installing

Please note, there is a reason why this is version 0.1 – this is a very early version, so use with caution. There are bound to be some bugs, but we welcome all testing so we can resolve bugs and problems. Thanks!

The 0.1 release is only available for Ubuntu 12.04 and is available in a PPA. You will need to have an Ubuntu One account set up and working (you don’t need a paid account, just the free account).

You can install the PPA by following these instructions.

First, add the PPA to your system with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-accomplishments/releases

Now update your package list:

sudo apt-get update

Now install the packages:

sudo apt-get install accomplishments-daemon accomplishments-viewer
ubuntu-community-accomplishments

To use the system simple click on the Accomplishments Information app in the Unity dash. The graphical app will load and if you wait a few minutes you should start seeing notification bubbles arriving that tell you which trophies you have achieved.

You can browse the Opportunities by double-clicking on them to read more about them. You can view your collection of trophies by clicking on My Trophies.

Known Issues

A few known issues with this first release:

  • Unicode decode crash – we have had a report of a translation causing a crash when clicking on an opportunity to view it.
  • You have to start the GUI to start the back-end process. This will be started on login in the future.

Reporting Bugs

If you find a bug you can report it here. We are keen to know about all bugs you find!

Thanks

I just want to offer thanks to the following people who helped get this 0.1 release out:

  • Rafal Cieslak
  • Stuart Langridge
  • Matt Fischer
  • Duncan McGreggor
  • David Callé
  • Simon Watson

Thanks!

Next Steps

Moving forward we want to focus on these areas:

  • Growing our range of accomplishments in the community to have an expansive collection that covers all parts of the community.
  • Fix up support for local accomplishments so that you can browse opportunities for things on your computer (e.g. sending your first email in Thunderbird) and be awardd trophies for these.
  • Fix bugs reported by you good people to get things rock solid.
  • Expand our translation coverage.

If you would like to get involved and participate, please join our mailing list. Thanks!

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jono

Many of you will be familiar with the Ubuntu Accomplishments project I have been working on recently. Well, we are gearing up to release our very first 0.1 release in the next week in a PPA, but we have one area where I would like to reach out to you folks for help.

Translations!

We want to ensure that Ubuntu Accomplishments is available in as many languages possible; not just the application, but also the fantastic documentation that is part of the application.

As such, can I please ask you wonderful people to help contribute your translations by following the instructions below.

Translating the Application Software

We want to ensure the backend process (which displays the accomplishments achieved and opportunities unlocked bubbles) as well as the graphical client is fully translated. To translate just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the daemon translations page and the viewer translations page.
  2. Ensure you have the language you want to selected (you can change this by clicking the Change your preferred languages… link at the bottom of the page.
  3. You should see a row for each language you have selected. Click on the number under Untranslated and go and add your translation.
  4. Sit back and bask in your wonderful contribution to Ubuntu Accomplishments!

Oh, and if there are no translations for your chosen language, please do go and add translations!

Translating the Accomplishment Information

For each of the different opportunities (things you can achieve in the system) we provide comprehensive documentation for how to achieve that particular accomplishment.

Translating these is very similar. To do this just follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the Ubuntu Community Accomplishments translations page.
  2. Ensure you have the language you want to selected (you can change this by clicking the Change your preferred languages… link at the bottom of the page.
  3. The translation of Ubuntu Accomplishments works a little differently. You should IGNORE the English line at the top and instead look at the documentation just below. There it tells you which accomplishment you are editing and what the original English translation is.
  4. You can now type your own language’s documentation into the New translation box. For the larger chunks of text you can use the grey button at the end of the New translation box to make the text entry bigger. If there is already a translation there and you want to edit and improve it, click the Current <language> translation button and the text will be copied to the edit box where you can edit it.
  5. Now click the Save button at the bottom of the page to save your contributions. Sometimes you have to scroll to the right to see the Save button due to some of the long chunks of the text on the page.

Thanks in advance to every one of you who helps to translate Ubuntu Accomplishments!

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jono

Today we released the highly-anticipated Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release after a busy six month development cycle. The release is available in Desktop (see OMG! Ubuntu!’s great summary), Server, and Cloud Infrastructure form. You can also install the desktop easily from Windows by clicking here.

I am hugely proud of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS; I believe it is the best and bravest release we have ever shipped, and I am delighted to see Ubuntu’s continued progress in delivering a simple, elegant, and powerful Free Software platform for the Desktop, Server, and Cloud.

Aside from the release, the Ubuntu 12.04 cycle was in my mind an evolutionary cycle for us as a project. The focus on quality was firm and unrelenting; initiatives such as gated trunks, acceptance criteria, automated testing, and a strong focus on growing a testing community and widening our manual tests, all contributed to delivering a solid release. Canonical as a company continued to see a lot of growth, as did our community with initiatives such as the Developer Advisory team, application developer focused outreach, and our continued growth of the Juju charming community. I am not only proud of the 12.04 LTS release, but also of these workflow and growth improvements we also made as a community that are not immediately visible in the release. Thank-you to everyone who helped drive this important work.

Thank-you also to everyone of you who has participated in this release, whether you have worked on packages, provided testing, documentation, translations, support, advocacy, or anything else. Ubuntu really is a community effort, and without our wonderful community of contributors and supporters we would be nothing. Thank-you for all of your hard work and fantastic efforts.

After a busy six months let’s all take a few minutes to take a step back and be proud of what we accomplished. Rock and roll. :-)

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jono

Why?

View larger.

…that’s why. :-)

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jono

Back in January I started working on the Ubuntu Accomplishments system, and since then the project has been making some solid progress. Thanks to everyone who has joined to help, and a particular thanks to Rafal Cieslak for his wonderful contributions to the core system.

Over the last few weeks we have locked down the features in Ubuntu Accomplishments and have been working towards our very first 0.1 release. We have defined our 0.1 bug list across the daemon and viewer components and we have been steadily getting the bugs fixed.

For a quick video demo of how the system is looking, see the video below:

Can’t see the video? Click here to see it.

As we work to stabilize the system ready for a first taster release, there has been some wonderful work going on with the translations of the system. If you can help translate the system, please see this post and this one.

Testing

If you would like to play with Ubuntu Accomplishments, you can install the testing PPA. Before you do so, please remember this software is very young and if it blows up you will get to keep both pieces; you are on your own. :-)

To install the PPA simply run the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-accomplishments-admins/daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-community-accomplishments accomplishments-daemon accomplishments-viewer

Please note, you will need to be running Ubuntu 12.04 to run Ubuntu Accomplishments.

You can then start the daemon with:

twistd -noy /usr/bin/accomplishments-daemon

…and the GUI with:

accomplishments-viewer

You can file bugs in the daemon here and the viewer here. If you get stuck with which one to use, just file it and we will move the bug if needed.

If you have got any questions, be sure to join the mailing lists!

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jono

For many years now we have been building a comprehensive Ubuntu contributor community. Across our many different sub-communities such as Packagers, Translators, LoCo Teams, Forums, AskUbuntu, Documentation Writers, Ubuntu Women, QA, Accessability, and elsewhere, we have worked hard to help everyone put their brick in the wall to help Ubuntu be the best it can for everyone and within our core values of the platform being Free Software, in your language, and available for everyone irrespective of disability.

I am proud of this work and the many people who have contributed to it. Importantly, I think Ubuntu has made great inroads in fostering a community that empowers all contributors, whether you are technical or not, wherever you may live, and welcoming everyone to the Ubuntu family.

There is however a new type of community that we need to build and this is quite different to what we have done before; a community of application developers.

In recent months various teams have been working to make the Ubuntu application developer experience smooth and effective. This has included the creation of developer.ubuntu.com, creating the MyApps submission process that enables an app developer to submit their app for review, improvements to the Ubuntu Software Center, application reviews from the App Review Board, and various outreach campaigns.

Some of you may be wondering why this community is so different; surely it is just another collection of mailing lists, blog posts, excitable tweets, and infrastructure? Well it is different in one very distinctive way.

Traditionally each of the different sub-communities I mentioned at the beginning of this post have contributed to Ubuntu itself as a platform. This defines a simple relationship between Ubuntu and our contributors: if there is a problem in Ubuntu, we encourage these contributors to help resolve the issue in whatever way they can. This includes reporting bugs, testing PPAs with fixes, running the development release of Ubuntu etc. The relationship presumes that our contributors are interested in the internals of the platform and community, how they fit together, and how they can be improved. With such a presumption we make a set of determinations: you are familiar with Launchpad, you read Planet Ubuntu, you know how to file a bug, you read some of the mailing lists etc.

With this app developer community we should not make those assumptions: we need to assume that application developers are only interested in Ubuntu as a platform. They don’t care how it is built or the politics involved, they just want to deliver their apps quickly and easily on Ubuntu. We need to view these folks as true consumers of our platform: they want to use our platform to do interesting things and not get embroiled in how the platform was created. More specifically, we should not presume an interest or intention to improve the platform, but to merely consume it and deliver their value…their apps.

With this in mind we need to adjust our focus and thinking a little bit in how we grow this community. We can’t presume application developers have the skills or interest that would be commonplace to our existing contributor community. As an example, I don’t believe it would be reasonable to recommend an application developer runs a development version of Ubuntu, or recommend he or she becomes a member of MOTU or core-dev. These functions are valuable in our contributor community, but we need to work from an assumption that an application developer is uninterested in those functions and just wants to consume our platform and deliver their app.

Of course, our existing contributor community is still as critically important as it was before; we would be nothing without our community. The difference is in setting expectations for this new community; we need to not assume the same experience, knowledge, interests, or values.

I want to build an incredible community of application developers who feel truly empowered by Ubuntu. We have an awesome Free Software platform, wonderful collaboration tools in Launchpad, an enthusiastic community of users, and bags of potential.

With these goals in mind, David Planella and Michael Hall on my team will be performing a lot of work in the next Ubuntu cycle to actively grow and build this new community. We will be reaching out to find application developers in new places, identifying the holes in our application developer processes, and seeking to ensure that not only is Ubuntu a fantastic platform for application authors, but the fruits of their work are available to Ubuntu users around the world in the Ubuntu Software Center.

You can expect to read more and more about this over the coming months and your ideas, thoughts, and suggestions are most welcome. :-)

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jono

Just a quick note.

As some of you know I play in a metal band called Severed Fifth that releases it’s music under a Creative Commons license. You can listen to and download our album Liberate and here. Feel free to share it with your friends!

Well, on the Saturday night before UDS kicks off (Sat 5th May 2012) we will be the first band playing at a show in nearby Alameda. We will be opening for a new band called Black Gates which features Paul Bostaph on drums (ex-Slayer, Testament, Exodus) and former Anthax singer Dan Nelson.

The venue is called Roosters Roadhouse and it is a pretty cool little spot in Alameda. Getting a cab there from the UDS hotel won’t be that expensive (particularly if you split it with a few other people). Pre-sale tickets are $10 and on the door tickets are $13. You can buy tickets here.

If you are getting into Oakland on the Saturday (or earlier) you should come and see the show. We will be opening up the show so if you just want to come along and check out Severed Fifth and then take off early, that is fine too. Everyone is welcome!

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jono

As we pull into the final stretch of the Ubuntu 12.04 release cycle all hands are on deck to ensure the quality of 12.04 is perfect. Fortunately this is something that everyone can help with to help us find bugs before we release.

We need to ensure we get total coverage of our different ISO images; the different images that you can download and install from. Each of these images has a small set of mandatory tests that we need to run through to ensure everything is working. We want to ensure all of these mandatory tests are run so that we can find any problems before the release and get them fixed.

We are looking for volunteers who can help with this important work. This would just involve downloading an image, running a few tests and reporting the results. This is really important work and any help will really help the quality of Ubuntu 12.04.

To get invovled, read Nick’s blog entry and email him to volunteer. Thanks so much for helping, and do spread the word to get your friends to help too!

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jono

Another quick update of Ubuntu Accomplishments.

Recently I split out the two different pieces of the project (the back-end daemon and the GUI client) into two different branches. With the two branches this then put us in a position to use quickly package to generate packages for the applications (I had problems with quickly package when the daemon and GUI shared the same branch as the daemon uses Twisted (glib) and the GUI uses GTK3 (GObject Introspection)).

I originally had a few issues with some path-related problems, but I now have working packages for the daemon, the GUI, and the Ubuntu Community accomplishments set that you can use the system with. Thanks to Daniel Holbach for helping with some of these path-issues in the code.

This means we are now in a position to start generating packages in a PPA. This puts us in a strong position to deliver the 0.1 release as planned near the 12.04 release date. Before we do this though, the next step is working through the 0.1 bugs list to get everything rock solid. :-)

In other news, recently I had a call for localized documentation of the Ubuntu Community accomplishments. The Germans had the first fully translated set of documentation, and this has been closely followed by localized documention in Romanian, Italian, and Spanish, with Swedish, Brazilian Portuguese, Albanian, and Polish not far behind!

I also had a call for translations for the daemon and viewer. We now have full translations for the daemon in Swedish, Spanish, Slovenian, Portuguese, Polish, Marathi, French, Danish, Portuguese and Arabic with Albanian not far behind, and translations for the viewer in Japanese and Simplfied Chinese with Spanish, Swedish, Swedish, Portuguese, Polish, French, Danish, Arabic, and Slovenian not far behind.

If you can help with translations, head over to these links to translate the system into your language:

You can also create localized documentation for the different accomplishments by following these guidelines.

Thanks for everyone for helping!

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jono

On Saturday I blogged with a call for help in providing localized documentation for the different opportunities available in the Ubuntu Accomplishments project. Since then there has been many wonderful contributions:

Congratulations to the German community for being the first to to provide the first entirely localized set of accomplishment documentation! Your contributions will make participating in Ubuntu and elsewhere easier and lower the bar for entry for joining our community. :-)

It is great to see the Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Albanian, Swedish, Polish, and Italian documentation making such wonderful progress too. IF you speak those languages, be sure to hop in there and help. :-)

To you want to provide documentation in your language, see this post that explains how to get started.

While on the subject of translations, we also need translations for the daemon and graphical client. If you can help, click below:

Thanks everyone, for your wonderful contributions!

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jono

It has been a few weeks since I last posted an update about the Ubuntu Accomplishments project. As such I wanted to take a few moments to update you lovely people with some of the progress being made in the project and show off some juicy screenshots too.

Let’s take a look at the eye-candy first and then I will get to the big changes. Firstly, I created a nicer looking icon for the GUI and a desktop file ready for when we package:

Next, Rafal Cieslak is a new contributor who has been doing some fantastic work. Rafal added support so that you can start the GUI without having to run the daemon first:

Rafal also added support so that you can click on accomplished trophies and some information is displayed about them:

Next up, inspired by the awesome Hello Unity by our very own Michael Hall, I added Launcher support for the GUI. Now when a new trophy is awarded to you the Launcher icon shakes to get your attention and displays the number of freshly awarded trophies to you:

Our final screenshot is thanks to the great work of Alessandro Losavio and the wonderful Italian Ubuntu community. Alessandro has created a collection of Italian accomplishments, complete with Italian documentation and custom icons. You can see this below:

Thanks also to Simon Watson for making the My Trophies and Opportunities buttons depress; this makes it much easier to know which view you are looking at.

There has also been a number of large structural changes going on as the project is maturing. Firstly, the backend service is now a full twistd application. This means it runs as a full daemon, starts and shuts down properly, and is properly logging events. This piece was an important part of getting the back-end service ready so we can deploy it on systems for testing. Thanks to Duncan McGreggor for his wonderful work in helping to make this happen.

Another important milestone, and one that I completed tonight, was adding support for multiple languages in accomplishment sets. The Ubuntu Accomplishments system can support accomplishments from any online or offline community or project and I wanted to ensure that the documentation that explains how an accomplishment can be completed is available in your own language. This is important not only to support different languages but to also be able to provide language and country specific resources (e.g. websites and IRC support channels). This is now in there and working pretty well. I will posting more in a few days to encourage our translations community to get involved and translate the accomplishments sets.

Following on from multiple language support inside the system itself, there has been a lot of activity going in the Ubuntu Accomplishments Web Editor project. The Web Editor project is designed to make it easy for our community to contribute documentation for available accomplishments, and part of this goal is to also enable translations via the web editor. This will feed into the multiple language support that I added tonight. Thanks to Janos Gyerik for driving this discussion forward and Bruno Girin for bringing his expertise to the fold too. We definitely need Django developers to help with this project, so if you are interested, please join the mailing list and help. :-)

Finally, I want to offer my thanks to Matt Fischer for stepping up to help with packaging Ubuntu Accomplishments. He has already created a Daily PPA for the Ubuntu Community Accomplishments set, and Matt is now working to get the core system packaged too so that you folks can play with it, test it, participate, and file bugs.

Interested in joining the team and helping? We need all kinds of help…documentation writers, programmers, translators, web developers, and testers! To get involved join the mailing list and introduce yourself, join #ubuntu-accomplishments on Freenode IRC, and be sure to see the Wiki Homepage. Thanks!.

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jono

Here we are, just a matter of weeks away from the Ubuntu 12.04 release on 26th April 2012, and what a cycle it has been.

Ubuntu 12.04 is a release that has been talked about within the Ubuntu community for quite some time. It marks our next Long Term Support (LTS) release, an important milestone for Ubuntu deployment in business, education and elsewhere, and an important checkpoint in delivering precision and quality in Ubuntu.

Unlike previous LTS releases, Ubuntu 12.04 had a different history leading to it. In it’s preceding releases we had brought Unity in as the default desktop shell, and there had been some consternation about the design and quality of Unity and other elements of Ubuntu. Some of this criticism was deserved, and some was not. Throughout the 11.04 and 11.10 releases we were trying to get a balance in something that has always challenged software; the balance of innovation and quality.

While Unity was a disruptive technology, I believe it was important for the future of Ubuntu. The introduction of Unity was not just a new software component, it was an evolution of of the Ubuntu ethos: Linux For Human Beings.

Eyes On The Prize

I see a lot of talk in our wider community about Free Software and the various ethical opinions of it. I am sure you folks have seen the discussions too, debating the freeness of this license verses that one, the freeness of Ubuntu One, the freeness of various kernel components, where Ubuntu stacks up compared to other distributions in terms of these software freedoms and more. There are then the debates about what being a good Free Software citizen means, whether we refer to ‘Linux’ enough on our website, how much upstream development Canonical contributes, whether we work on existing upstreams, and the rationale around why we would dare to challenge the norm with such contributions as Unity.

These are all valuable debates, and if Linux and Free Software is your hobby they can be an entertaining way to spend an evening.


This is how I like to spend an evening.

Speaking personally, I think these debates sometimes dwell too much on which nuts and bolts we are using rather than how we build a more effective machine. They are important and valuable discussions, and they often do improve the Free Software machine, but sometimes they get a little too introspective and shoe-gazey. What really interests me and what was my primary attraction to Free Software when I first got involved in 1998 is how a collaborative community and Free Software can break down the digital divide and open up technology for everyone.

I think we would all agree that this is an important goal, but for this to happen our technology needs to be usable and accessible to all. Many of the core Ubuntu values speak to this; Ubuntu available freely, in your language, and available to all users regardless of disability. We don’t make technology accessible to all by just making great software though. We need to create great and memorable experiences that empower our users.

Traditionally the Free Software development model has been succinctly described as scratching your own itch. This approach works well: if you have the technical chops and want to see your computer work in a certain way to meet your needs, you can get the Free Software code and adjust it to work for you and deliver your requirements. If you then contribute your work to others, everyone benefits. Winner.


Sometimes the fruits of my sharing are not really worth sharing.

The challenge with the scratch your own itch philosophy is that it can sometimes produce fairly one-dimensional software that purely meets the needs of those who created it. As a part-time developer myself, I always start out writing programs that meet my own needs. As my programs mature though, the greatest improvements in my software has been when others have challenged the presumptions that I made as I created the software to meet my own needs. It helps my software grow, be more accessible, and more interesting to people not like me, and that is tremendously rewarding.

When Ubuntu was founded, one of it’s core principles was to build something that just works. As a vision, I believe that the introduction of the various Unity components, the messaging menu, notify-osd, application indicators etc, continued this philosophy. The goal was to build a simple, easy to use, elegant, Free Software Operating System that continues the evolution of Linux For Human Beings.

Of course, while the vision and design was evolving, there was both a technical and cultural chasm that we needed to cross. From a technical perspective Unity suffered from various quality issues; first performance, then stability, and finally rubbing off the rough edges in the design. From a cultural perspective the move to Unity was controversial. While it excited many, it also alienated some members of our community who felt uncomfortable with Ubuntu heading in this direction. I place no judgment or criticism at the feet of any of these folks; everyone has their own Free Software vision and story to tell, and we can’t please all the people all the time. I am confident we are now over the most challenging aspects of this cultural adjustment.

Ubuntu 12.04

Now this brings us to 12.04. Before this cycle kicked off we started making significant plans around meeting our quality responsibilities. Together we restructured QA in the Ubuntu Engineering team in Canonical, hired Nick Skaggs to grow our QA community, put in place acceptance criteria, built automated testing farms, developed manual testing plans for different milestones, and various other efforts. I believe that you can feel the quality in 12.04 far more than in the last few releases, and we are not finished yet. 12.10 is going to see more and more focus on quality and to ensure Ubuntu delivers a rock solid experience.

Going back to 1998 when I first got involved in Free Software, I always dreamed of the potential of a Free Software experience that is simple and effective to use by everyone.


Me in 1998. Sorry.

Spin forward to 2012 and I believe that Ubuntu 12.04 is shaping up to be a solid contender in continuing to break down the digital divide and bring a stable, simple, effective, and powerful experience for everyone, whether you are Martin Pitt (Ubuntu super-hero) or Martin Bacon (my brother who doesn’t care about his computer, just the experiences it can deliver).

Of course, Ubuntu 12.04 is not perfect; nothing is. There will be some bugs, and there will be some things that won’t please some users. Despite some of these elements though I do feel it offers a wonderfully integrated, slick, and fun experience. Sometimes I think it is important to just take a step back and look at what we created.

…and we as a community really came together to create Ubuntu 12.04. Whether you fixed bugs in packages, created features, filed bugs, translated Ubuntu, contributed art and design input, supported our users on the Ubuntu Forums and Ask Ubuntu, wrote documentation for the features, contributed news to our various websites, introduced Ubuntu to members of your local community or anything else, you should feel as proud as I do about Ubuntu 12.04 and how it is shaping up.

Thankyou to every one of you for being part of Ubuntu; you make it a pleasure every day.

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jono

Back from a wonderful few weeks vacation in Italy and I am catching up with Ubuntu Accomplishments. Today I merged in various contributions and things are looking in great shape.

An important change that I merged in was support to run the Ubuntu Accomplishments back-end service as a twistd daemon service (thanks to Duncan McGreggor!). This was important to get the codebase into a form in which we can start packaging it so people can play with it.

I wanted to reach out to our community to see if anyone is able to help with the packaging. To get started I would preferably like to be able to generate some daily packages in a PPA so folks can test it as development continues. This will help us get more eyeballs on the project to find bugs and get it ready for it’s first release.

Some notes for those of you who can (very generously) contribute your time:

  • The code is available in lp:ubuntu-accomplishments-system and installation instructions are available here.
  • The backend is a twistd daemon that would need to be started preferably when the user starts their desktop session.
  • With the backend running, the user can then run the included GUI client (or another client such as the Unity lens that David Callé is working on). I have a .desktop file included in the archive and the current app icon is in data/media/trophyinfo.svg (although I need a better, squarer icon).
  • We will also need the Ubuntu Accomplishments collection packaged that the system uses. This is available in lp:ubuntu-community-accomplishments. Right now this is installed to ~/accomplishments/ by running install.sh in that branch. Guidance on where to install these accomplishments is welcome and I can then adjust the system to read that location where appropriate (this will be simple as the main Ubuntu Accomplishments system looks at ~/.config/accomplishments/.accomplishments to look where to find the accomplishments files).

If anyone is able to help, you can get in touch with me at jono At ubuntu DOT com, or simply reply in the comments. Also, feel free to join the project mailing list. Thanks!

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jono

A little while back I created the following video that outlines many of the technologies available in Unity that your apps can neatly integrate with:

Can’t see the video? See it here!

Thanks to the wonderful work of Michael Hall and David Planella, see the developer documentation and tutorials for how to get started integrating these technologies into your app by clicking here.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!

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jono

One important part of the Ubuntu Accomplishments design is that any project or community can provide accomplishments. From the beginning I have been building the Ubuntu Community Accomplishments set to demo the system, but I am keen to encourage other projects to do so, such as upstreams, distributions, and other communities.

Recently Alessandro Losavio from the Italian Ubuntu community proposed an accomplishment related to the Italian community. With the accomplishment likely only being of interest to Italian speakers (as opposed to the general global Ubuntu commmunity, for which the Ubuntu Community Accomplishments set I referred to earlier are intended), I recommended that Alessandro create an accomplishments set specifically for Italian Ubuntu users.

And with this, we now have our very first community contributed accomplishments set (albeit, with just one accomplishment, but it is early days!). Here it is in the GUI:

..and here is the accomplishment information (which I assume makes sense…I don’t speak Italian):

Obviously, some of the English headings would sugges that we have some in-app translations to add. I plan on looking into this soon.

Thanks Alessandro, and I hope we see some more awesome accomplishments joining the Ubuntu Italian accomplishments set in the coming weeks!

If you would like to contribute an accomplishment to either Alessandro’s set or the general Ubuntu Community Accomplishments, be sure to see this documentation, and if you would like to create your own accomplishment set for your community, see these docs too. Thanks!

Oh, and I did an interview for the Ubuntu UK Podcast about Ubuntu Accomplishments. Listen to it here.

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jono

Last night I posted a call for a web designer to help design the accomplishment information inside the app. Fortunately, Brandon Holtsclaw responded and sent over some CSS and HTML that was ready for me when I woke up.

It now looks like this:


Shiny!

Thanks to Brandon for this work! I also really liked some of the ideas shared by Andrew. We are always keen to refine and improve Ubuntu Accomplishments.

This is just another fantastic example of how incredible our community is. Within just a day Brandon’s contribution has now made Ubuntu Accomplishments better looking and more pleasurable to use for everyone. :-)

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jono

As part of Ubuntu Accomplishments you can read information about each accomplishment to find out more about how to participate. This is an important piece of the system: being able to provide useful, discoverable information to our community.

It looks a little like this:


The goal is to create in-depth help and guidance for a variety of ways of participating in the community and elsewhere.

As you can see, with my feeble CSS skills, I have tried to make this use the Ubuntu brand guidelines, but I think there is a lot more opportunity for improvement.

As many others do, I believe that the attention to detail and small refinements help deliver really enjoyable experiences, so I am keen to ensure that the presentation of this content is comfortable, informative, and pleasurable to read.

This information is presented in the application in an embedded webkit widget, and I wanted to reach out and ask the web designers among you if you can help provide a stylesheet (and any recommended HTML changes) to make this look better, more attractive and closer to the look of ubuntu.com. I really want the information includes to look truly native on Ubuntu.

Some thoughts on areas of improvement:

  • My current design doesn’t really use any of the assets such as the dot patterns, pictograms etc (as an example, I think showing the dot pattern in the background would look better, and it would be cool if some pictograms were used next to the tops/pitfalls sections and possibly as bullet-points).
  • I am sure the font sizes and colors could use some adjustment.
  • The Tips and Tricks and Pitfalls table doesn’t have brand adherance whatsoever, so that definitely needs some work.
  • The structure of the page could be improved; if you want to propose a better means of laying out the content, feel free to experiment!

If you are a bit of a CSS guru and can make this look better and more like the Ubuntu brand guidelines you can download the zip file with an example HTML file and the CSS so you can play with it.

Some things to bear in mind while doing this:

  • Don’t assume that all sections are always there. As an example the Steps, Tips/Pitfalls, Help, and Links sections are all optional in the accomplishments, so they may not be present.
  • Assume that the page is going to be narrow and long (around 700px wide).
  • Feel free to include additional pictograms and imagery where appropriate (e.g. such as the dot patterns for the background, pictogram icons for the tips/pitfalls sections etc).
  • The rendering widget this is all displayed in is Webkit GTK, so feel free to use webkit-specific CSS extensions.

If you create something and would like to propose it for inclusion, just drop me an email to jono AT ubuntu DOT com with a zip file with your improvements.

Also feel free to join the Ubuntu Accomplishments community mailing list and aks questions!

Thanks!

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jono

Are you a web developer who uses Django to build web apps?

We are looking for a developer to contribute to the Ubuntu Accomplishments editor to help make it easy for people to contribute documentation for accomplishments across the community, Ubuntu desktop, and elsewhere. I started working on this, but I need to focus my time on the core system so I am looking for folks who might be interested in helping with this.


The first cut, but we need your help!

I have documented much of this into a spec which you can find here and you can also get the implementation I started putting together at:

lp:~jonobacon/ubuntu-accomplishments-system/accomplishments-web-editor


If you are interested in helping, either get in touch with me at jono AT ubuntu DOT com or feel free to join the mailing list. Thanks!

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jono

Sorry, folks, I forgot to blog these.

See the notes from today’s team meeting.

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jono

Work has been continuing on the Ubuntu Accomplishments system. Befor e I go on, I want to encourage any of you who are interested in the project and who would like to help to join our new mailing list. Click here to join; everyone is welcome!

Last week I didn’t work on the core system while some other work was going on there by Duncan, so I used my evenings to to start working on another important piece: making it easy for our documentation community to be able to contribute to the guidance included with every accomplishment. My goal is that our community can contribute without having to know how to branch a bzr branch, without needing to know how a .accomplishment file is structured, and without needing to know how to submit a merge proposal. As such, I want to have a web service in place where contributions can be made by filling in a forml I am confident that great tools can result in great contributions.

As such, with me not working on the core code-base, I used this as an opportunity to kick off this documentation piece. I knew I wanted to write this using Django due to it’s strong Python heritage, support within the Ubuntu community, and it’s simplicity. Unfortunately, I have never even touched Django before, so this was all new to me.

Fortunately, Django provides an awesome set of documentation, and Michael Hall and Chris Johnson were helpful and answered my questions.

I kicked off working on the docs portal and it now scans in all the accomplishments files from the branch and presents a list of them:


Here you can see the Ubuntu Accomplishments list of apps as well as test-local which is a set of test local accomplishments (e.g. such as a trophy for sending your first email).

When you click on each one you can then see the different fields in the .accomplishment file and edit them:


The form obviously needs some formatting love. This will come later.

The plan is that when you submit the form it will be added to a queue that shows the differences between the accomplishment file in the branch and the contribution. A project admin can then approve the contribution and it will be automatically committed to the branch. This should make documentation simple for our wider community to help with. If you are interested in helping with this, the branch is lp:~jonobacon/ubuntu-accomplishments-system/accomplishments-web-editor and have some Django experience, please join the mailing list and let me know. Thanks!

In other news, Bruno Girin and Andrea Grandi got the very first merge proposals into the Ubuntu Community accomplishments set, and Duncan McGreggor has been helping to ensure the accomplishments daemon is working as a proper daemon.

I am also pleased to see the list of reported bugs expanding so we know we can fix issues and ensure the system works reliably.

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