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Posts tagged with 'planet ubuntu'


Speaking of the Ubuntu Global Jam, if you are in Northern California, you should come and hangout with us fun Ubuntu folks in sunny, beautiful, Walnut Creek on Fri 2nd March 2012 at Caffe La Scala in Walnut Creek.

What will we be doing? Hanging out, working on Ubuntu, sharing tips, tricks and other ideas, and helping to make Ubuntu 12.04 even better. Everyone is welcome, everyone can help (no matter what your experience, technical knowledge, or familiarity with Ubuntu), and everyone can have a fun time meeting new folks and enjoying Ubuntu…all within this really rather awesome little coffee shop.

It is easy to get to from BArt (Walnut Creek station), plenty of parking nearby, and great coffee. :-)

All the details can be found right here.

Hope to see you there!

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This weekend is the Ubuntu Global Jam happening all over the world with 31 LoCo Teams participating across 22 countries. Be sure to find an event near you!

Much of the fun of an Ubuntu Global Jam event is keeping up to date with what is going on around the world and knowing things that you can do at your event to help Ubuntu.

With this in mind we have put together a handy little dashboard:

Access the dashboard at

The dashboard has a number of cool features:

  • A list of fun tasks you can work on to help Ubuntu 12.04. This covers a range of different topics and there is something for everyone!
  • A built in chat window so you can chat to other Ubuntu community fans all over the world and see what is going on at their jams.
  • A Twitter/ stream that shows the latest tweets and dents with the #ubuntu hashtag. Be sure to tweet and dent throughout the weekend about what you are doing. :-)
  • A regularly updating collection of photos from flickr, picasa, and that are tagged with #ubuntu. Be sure to take plenty of pictures, put them online and tag them!

Thanks to Michael Hall and daker for their efforts on the dashboard, and thanks to Charles Profitt, Randal Ross, Laura Czajkowski, Benjamin Kerensa, Daniel Holbach, David Planella, Jorge Castro, and many others for helping to promote and raise aware of the Ubuntu Global Jam. Have an awesome weekend, folks, and thanks for contributing to Ubuntu!

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At the heart of the Ubuntu Accomplishments system is a way to discover how to participate in the community by seeing built in guidance and help for how to learn the skills you need and participate. Inside the app it looks like this:

I need some help making the documentation for each of these accomplishments as expansive as possible. As an experiment, I create a pad page here to gather this work. If you have a few minutes and can help, please drop by the page and make some contributions. Thanks!

Also…add your accomplishment ideas here.

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Nick has a call open for manual tests that we can include with the Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 1 testing that will kick off on Thursday. We really want to throw open the doors to a wide testing campaign to ensure quality for 12.04 but we need your help writing manual tests for:

  • firefox
  • rythmnbox
  • empathy
  • thunderbird
  • nautilus
  • libreoffice
  • software-center
  • system-settings
  • deja-dup
  • totem
  • evince
  • file-roller
  • gedit
  • eog
  • gwibber
  • seahorse
  • ubuntuone
  • update-manager
  • shotwell

If you have never written a manual test for Checkbox before, fortunately it is simple and Nick has all the guidance you need.

See his blog post here for how to get started and please get involved ASAP; Beta 1 is this Thursday so we want to get a good set of tests created ASAP. Thanks, everyone!

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Ubuntu 12.04 is going to be an awesome release, but we are asking our community to download the current daily development release, test it out, and file bugs to let us know where the defects are. This will then help our developers to resolve the problems ready for the final release.

Fortunately, filing a bug is dead simple. Below is a quick tutorial video that I put together to explain how:

Can’t see it? See the video here!.

I would like to encourage you all to test Ubuntu 12.04 (you can run it from a USB stick and boot into if you don’t want to install on your computer), and be sure to file bugs for any problems that you see. Let’s all come together as a community to test, and this is a great thing to do next weekend at the Ubuntu Global Jam!

Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments!

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Just a quick reminder that in the next 30 mins I will be running a video Q+A session to explain how you can organize an Ubuntu Global Jam event next weekend.

My videocast will be at:

  • 11am Pacific / 2pm Europe / 7pm UTC/UK / 8pm CET – watch live here!

Be sure to bring your questions! If you want to ask a question, you will need to register on first; this is free and simple to do though.

Another great place to ask questions is Ask Ubuntu!

For more information on the Ubuntu Global Jam, see the video:

Can’t see it? See it here!

Find out more on the Ubuntu Global Jam website!

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After another furious week of hacking on my little project I have added a number of new features:

  • Trophies that are verified by the verification server are now GPG signed so they can’t be faked on the client.
  • We now support custom trophy icons; this way Ubuntu can have it’s own themed icons and upstreams could have their own themed icons too. As an example, the Juju accomplishments have different icons to some of the other Ubuntu accomplishments; it just makes each of the accomplishments feel a little more unique and desirable. As an example:

  • I have improved some of the trophy information page layout.
  • The app now dynamically updates to show when a trophy has been verified for you. This is in the form of a dbus signal which other clients can use too (such as the Trophies Lens that David has been working on).
  • I also added a bunch of additional trophies.

To give you a feel for how it runs now, check out this short demo video:

Can’t see the video? See it here!

I am now going to start building up to get some wider eyes and testing on this. If you are running Precise and interested in testing, drop me an email to jono AT ubuntu DOT com and I will be in touch soon.

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The last time I posted about my little project I shared a video demo of the work so far. I am pleased to report that I have made some further progress.

A key part of the design of the accomplishments system is that it supports two types of accomplishment:

  • Local – these are things you can achieve on your computer. Examples of this could include: sending your first email in Thunderbird, configuring your chat client, changing your wallpaper etc). I have a small library applications can use for this.
  • Machine Verifiable – these are things you can accomplish within the context of a community (e.g. becoming an Ubuntu Member, filing your first bug etc). These achievements are verified by a third party server to avoid people faking their trophies.

Although support for the former works, I have been really focusing on the latter Machine Verifiable accomplishments. I am pleased to report that this works fully end-to-end now. It works like this:

  • When you start the app we ask for your permission (as we are syncing data to a third-party machine).
  • When you agree to this the app creates your trophies directory, creates an Ubuntu One share and syncs it with the server. I have written some scripts for the server that scans the shares and approves them.
  • The app then runs the different accomplishments scripts and when you achieve something it is synced to the server, verified and then returned. It then appears in your list of trophies.

With the exception of some loose edges, this is all basically working, and even runs on someone else’s machine than mine. :-)

To get this rolling I wrote a bunch of additional accomplishments that use launchpadlib to give you a trophy if you have certain roles in the community (currently, Ubuntu Member, MOTU, core-dev, and a member of a LoCo Team).

A pretty cool feature here is that these accomplishments have dependencies. As an example, you need to complete the Register a Launchpad Account accomplishment before you can complete the File a Bug accomplishment (as you need a Launchpad account to file a bug). As such, accomplishments that you can’t access yet are listed as locked and unlocked when you have satisfied their dependencies. This helps us to develop a journey for how people learn new experiences and participate in the community.

You can now filter available opportunities by locked or unlocked – this makes it easier to see what you can do right now. I also prettified the interface somewhat and ripped out some of the clunky pieces of my very first implementation. With the addition of the extra accomplishments you can also see the additional categories.

This is how it looks so far:

I am hoping to release a video demo of this soon.

I will also be opening up a call for testing and accomplishment contributions when I nail a few final bugs. Stay tuned, folks!

Thanks to William Grant for his launchpadlib help recently.

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Click here for full size.

Thanks to the always amazing David Callé who has created this lens for the Ubuntu Accomplishments system. David was also the first person to brave running the Ubuntu Accomplishments system other than me (complete with the server verification pieces). It worked!

This week I expect to have another update on Ubuntu Accomplishments. My evenings have been tied up with finishing The Art of Community but the deadline for that is tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

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OK, fun little meme time. Simple question:

Which songs remind you of Ubuntu?

Think about the music…the vibe…the rhythm…what it makes you feel when you listen to the song. Which ones make you think of our goals of bringing Free Software to the world with Ubuntu?

Reply using your blog, Google+, Facebook, Twitter or wherever else (use the #musicofubuntu hashtag) and lets see what music gets our Ubuntu blood flowing. :-)

I have a few I want to present via the wonderful medium of embedded YouTube videos. What are yours?!

Queen: Don’t Stop Me Now

Can’t see it? Watch it here!

Twisted Sister: We’re Not Gonna Take It

Can’t see it? Watch it here!

AC/DC: Shoot To Thrill

Can’t see it? Watch it here!

Airbourne: Runnin’ Wild

Can’t see it? Watch it here!

Rush: Virtuality

Can’t see it? Watch it here!

Grave Digger: Rebellion (The Clans Are Marching)

Can’t see it? Watch it here!

Rage Against the Machine: Renegades of Funk

Can’t see it? Watch it here!

Bomfunk MC’s: Freestyler

Can’t see it? Watch it here!

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Just a reminder…every Tuesday at 8am Pacific / 11am Eastern / 4pm UTC on #ubuntu-community-team on freenode IRC.

Everyone runs through a a list of the work they have been doing over the last week and you can ask questions. Feel free to join us; everyone is welcome!

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Recently I have been blogging about a project I have been hacking on called Ubuntu Accomplishments.

This is an accomplishments system that can be used to identify when people have accomplished various things in the Ubuntu project and reward them with trophies. The plan also makes additional skills and accomplishments more discoverable and provides better help for people to get started. While designed for Ubuntu, the system can be used for other projects and also for local applications (e.g. completing Level 1 on a game). Accomplishments in community projects are verified for their integrity so people can’t fake their trophies.

I wanted to present a video demo of the system working so far:

Can’t see it? See the video here!

You can find out more about the project here and the code is available in the following branches:

Now, this is really early in the stages of development. If you grab the code you will find various bits that are not yet implemented, but the core idea works.

Things we need to do next:

  • Generate the user’s trophy directory and share it with Ubuntu One. I have the code written to do this, I just need to merge it in.
  • Add a Getting Started page which asks the user if they want to use verified trophies that use Ubuntu One.
  • Fix support for machine-verifiable trophies that are dependent on others.
  • Actually sign the trophies.
  • Implement the categories filter in the My Trophies view.

I plan on writing a longer blog entry about how the system works later for those who are interested in contributing.

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Today I had a call with another team at Canonical who were wanting to ask for guidance on (a) how to write good blog entries that people want to read and (b) how to regularly get into the habit of blogging and get more eyeballs on your posts.

I thought this could be of general interest to the community, so I figured I would write these things down into a blog entry. So meta. :-)

Some tips:

  • Keep it concise – your blog should get the point and talk through the topic you are presenting. Now…seasoned readers of my own work will know I tend to ramble from time to time, so I myself always need to try and keep this in check. Few people will want to commit to a huge block of text, so keep it concise.
  • Format it – the web has many wonderful things, and this includes formatting such as italic, bold, code, different heading sizes and more. Use them to help add emphasis to your posts.
  • Make it visual – pictures say a thousand words, and so do videos. Break up your content with images illustrating what you are discussing, or just amusing images to make a joke (example). If you want to display images, I recommend you upload them to Flickr and then link directly to the images. For videos you can usually embed them directly from YouTube or other video sharing sites, but aggregators such as Planet Ubuntu often strip out the embedded videos, so be sure to provide a direct link underneathe the embedded video (example).
  • Link to interesting things – if you are discussing something online, always provide a link to it. This helps the user get access to the information quickly and easy.
  • Be professional – always keep your posts professional and thorough. Ensure your writing is clear and that you have spell and grammar checked it.
  • Be fun – being professional doesn’t mean you can’t be fun. Writing in a fun and amusing way is a great way to keep your readers interested.
  • Invite discussion – if your blog has a comments feature, always end your posts and ask for input and opinions from your readers. This provides a wonderful way to trigger some discussion around your post.

In terms of blogging more and getting more eyeballs on your posts, here are some tips:

  • Get into the habit – to become a regular blogger you need to get into the habit of thinking “this is cool, I should blog about this“. This can take a while to get used to. If you are in a team, it is helpful to suggest to others when they should blog about something; this keeps us all regularly posting. If you are struggling with getting into the habit, put a reminder in your calendar to remind you.
  • Ensure you are aggregated – if you are an Ubuntu Member, be sure to add your post to Planet Ubuntu. Add your post to other appropriate aggregators (e.g. Canonical staff should add their blogs to
  • Use social media – post a link to your post on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and other social media accounts.

I am sure there are plenty of other suggestions from you folks; please add them to the comments!

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Ubuntu Global Jam: Call For Events!

From 2nd – 4th March 2012 we will be running the Ubuntu Global Jam. This is a global event in which we ask Ubuntu users and contributors to organize events in their local areas to meet other Ubuntu people and help contribute to Ubuntu.

The Ubuntu Global Jam is a fun event, and a great way to meet other Ubuntu and Free Software folks. It is also really easy to organize an event if there is not one near you.

To explain more, tonight I created a video explaining what the Ubuntu Global Jam is, and how to organize an event:

Can’t see it? Click here!

We are going to be encouraging you good folks to start organizing your events. You can find out more about the events here at and more information on the wiki.

Please feel free to ask whatever questions you like about how to organize an event in the comments here. Do let me know if you organize an event!

Mike is also working on some website updates on that will make the event a little more interested both before and when the event is running.

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On Friday we had the first Google+ Hangout with the full Canonical Community team. To observe this important moment we all showed how happy we were:

Sponsored by Colgate.

L-R: Daniel Holbach, David Planella, Yours Truly, Jorge Castro, Michael Hall, and Nicholas Skaggs.

Google Hangouts are awesome for team meetings.

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Today (1st Feb 2012) I will be doing my live Ubuntu Q+A session at 12pm Pacific / 3pm Eastern / 8pm UK / 9pm Europe. You can join the videocast here (anyone can view, but if you want to ask a question you should register an account with first).

All questions are welcome!

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A new Unity has been pushed into the Unity team’s PPA and we need testers to help give it a run for it’s money before it is accepted into Precise. Nick has all the details of how to participate in the testing right here. You will need to be running Precise to participate in the testing.

You can also find help if you get stuck in #ubuntu-unity on Freenode. Happy testing!

I am running it now and the multi-monitor improvements in Precise are so much better than they used to be.

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Can’t see the video? Watch it here.

Just a quick note to let you know that this Friday, 3rd February in San Francisco we will be having the Severed Fifth CD Release Party. The new album ‘Liberate’ was funded by donations from the Severed Fifth community and will be released soon under a Creative Commons license.

As such, on Friday we will be releasing the album at Cafe Cocomo, 650 Indiana St, San Francisco, CA where we will perform a full, live set of the new record. We will also be supported by Ulysses Siren and My Victim. Not only this but everyone who comes to the show will get a free copy of the new album on CD and there will plenty of give-aways and prizes.

Tickets are $10 advance ($12 on the door). You can buy tickets for the show here as well as buying tickets on the door. Doors open at 8pm.

I would love to encourage you to come out to support Creative Commons and local music and have a great time. :-)

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I spent some more time this weekend hacking on the Ubuntu Accomplishments spec I blogged about recently. I just wanted to provide a little more eye-candy of some of the progress.

When you load the app it shows you a list of the available opportunities you can achieve:

(obviously a bunch of these are dummy ones).

You can use the combo boxes at the top to choose which types of opportunities (e.g. Ubuntu Community, Ubuntu UK LoCo Team) you want to view, as well as their category (e.g. Ubuntu Community could have categories such as QA, Development, Advocacy).

Some of the opportunities have padlocks on them. This means that you need to complete another opportunity before that one is unlocked. This helps provide more of a logical journey of things that you can do.

Part of the goal of the accomplishments project is to provide better, more contextual information for how to get started doing something. As an example, if you are curious about the Filed First Bug opportunity, you can double-click it to read information about how to complete it and where to find help:

Obviously this information can be improved (and particularly the links, they are just dummy links). We would also want to add nice things like clicking on an IRC channel and it loading in an IRC client.

The Filed First Bug is a real working accomplishment. When you run the scriptrunner (part of the prototype, but not tied into the GUI yet) it will run the accomplishment’s script and check Launchpad to see if you have filed a bug. If you have, a small notify-osd bubble appears and you can see your trophy in the My Trophies view:

In the real implementation the scriptrunner would run as a service without you having to run the app to start it.

I am pleased with the progress I am making. Next I want to get some more example accomplishments tied in and then I am going to start looking at building the verification service. Should be fun!

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After my recent blog post about the lack of Python GTK documentation since the new era of GIR bindings, I was delighted to find this awesome online documentation.

I am certainly not presuming that this documentation was as a result of someone reading my blog post; I assume I didn’t see it online before, but thankyou to everyone who has contributed to it.

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