Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'ubuntu loco teams'


Today we announced the Ubuntu for phones platform.

This is the culmination of an extensive period of work, and pushing Ubuntu another step further in building a consistent, elegant, beautiful Operating System and experience across the desktop, cloud, and devices.

The design and implementation of the phone is beautiful. You can immediately tell it is Ubuntu; the Unity mobile experience looks clean and consistent with the desktop and touch is stunningly integrated. The Ubuntu for phones experience is designed to make all your phone content easier to access and your apps more immersive – every edge has a specific purpose, making all your apps, content and controls instantly accessible, without navigating back to the home screen every time. It’s a uniquely, beautifully converged experience.

Ubuntu, clean and consistent across mobile and desktop.

Ubuntu for phones is not just limited to just the Operating System on the phone screen itself. Ubuntu also has the technology, as demonstrated with Ubuntu For Android, to boot a full Ubuntu desktop from the phone when it is docked with a screen. This provides a complete Ubuntu experience in your pocket, for both your phone and your desktop, with a clean consistent look across both screens, and with all your content available on your phone and desktop using Ubuntu One. This is revolutionary.

To be quite clear, this announcement is not for a physical Ubuntu Phone that you can purchase yet. The announcement is for the Ubuntu for phones platform that we are presenting to handset operators and OEMs as a solution that they can bring to market. The Ubuntu phone offers great performance on handsets with a low bill of materials, while opening up new opportunities for phone and PC convergence at the top end of the market. This is no mockup or flash demo though; this is a real platform, and you have to see it in action…it really is stunning.

As part of this work we will have an extensive presence at the Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas. We will be exhibiting there, demoing Ubuntu for phones and in meetings with OEMs and operators to get this baby in your pocket as soon possible. I will be presenting at the booth for the week too, and I will be discussing the new developer platform that is part of Ubuntu for phones.

For Developers

So that neatly leads me to developers.

The Ubuntu for phones platform does not just present a fantastic integrated phone experience, but we have also been working on a powerful developer platform to make building apps for the phone simple, powerful and fun.

The phone platform supports applications written in QML, HTML5, and OpenGL.

We have been working on an SDK with a special set of phone components (think widgets and other UI elements) that run on top of QML and Qt, and the applications look and feel as beautiful as the rest of the phone platform. Also remember that Ubuntu has great support built in for web apps, which means that taking a web app and building a native phone (or desktop) experience is a piece of cake. Oh, and all those scopes in the Ubuntu desktop, well, they map neatly to the other devices such as TV and now phone too. This is what Unity is all about: a unified experience across all your screens.

This means that developers have choice in how they build their apps and don’t have the overhead of the Java virtual machine when writing and deploying their apps. All in all, Ubuntu for phones offers an awesome developer platform.

Now, the SDK is still very much in active development, but today we are also releasing a developer preview. This preview includes the new Qt 5 which was recently released, as well as the QML Phone Components, and we have a full tutorial that shows you how to get started building a QML app for the phone.

Get Involved

As part of this work, we want to build an awesome library of applications that will run out of the box when a operator/OEM delivers Ubuntu on their handsets. As such, we are keen to work with our community to build out this library of apps, and we are looking to you lovely people to help!

If you have Qt/QML programming experience (or can get up to speed with the platform) and would like to help build these apps that will ship with an Ubuntu phone, we would love you to join us! Simply head over to the phone page and fill in the form. We will then get in touch with you over the coming weeks.

This work will have full support from the design team to help with the design and layout of the apps, and we will also have mentoring and project management to ensure everyone who participates enjoys helping with this wider effort. This is a great way to help get the Ubuntu phone in front of millions of users.

2013 is off to a wonderful start for Ubuntu and continued spread and growth of Open Source and Free Software. Let’s make this year count. Fire up your engines. :-)

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Just a quick post to wish all of you a safe and happy holidays, wherever you may be, and whoever you are spending it with.

This year was a great year for Ubuntu, and a great year for Free Software. Step by step we are bringing freedom of technology to more and more people across the desktop, cloud, and devices, and underlining this freedom with a continued focus on elegance and quality. We still have a long road ahead of us, but our wheels are rolling and we are cranking out some AC/DC for the journey; anything is possible.

On a personal note, I just want to thank all of you for reading my blog and social networks and participating in the conversations therein. I know sometimes my posts have sometimes generated some dissenting views, but I cherish all perspectives that you folks share, both supportive and challenging to the work that we do in Ubuntu and the work I do personally as a community manager. I have always been a firm believer in personal growth and evolution, and this year I have been blessed by many of you providing me with different ways of viewing challenges, and different ways of seeing opportunities. These views help me to be a better person, and do a better job.

This is a very special Christmas for me and my family with our new little addition, Jack, and I hope all of you have an equally special and relaxing break. Thanks!

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Our LoCo Teams are a wonderful part of the Ubuntu community. They provide a fantastic place for Ubuntu users to meet other users locally and enjoy Ubuntu together either online or in person.

LoCo Teams also often get together to help share Ubuntu with others and encourage local schools, charities, businesses and others to use Ubuntu and Free Software. This includes handing CDs out to local residents, organizing release parties, installfests, global jam events and more.

It is pretty common for members of LoCo teams to have questions about how to organize events and spread the word about Ubuntu in different ways, and we want to provide a fantastic resource where our community can both ask and answer questions.

With the tremendous success of Ask Ubuntu in the wider Ubuntu community, we want to help encourage our LoCo Teams to ask these questions there. Ask Ubuntu provides a fantastic audience, and questions answered there can be edited and up-voted to be re-usable when the same question is asked in the future.

To do this we are using the locoteams tag, and here is how you ask and answer questions…

How To Ask a LoCo Question

Simple go to this link and you will see this:

Here you can ask your question. Some tips:

  • For the Title, be as clear as possible about the overall question.
  • In the body of the question provide all the relevant detail. The more detail the better the answer (but also don’t ramble on too much, keep it focused on the question).
  • Raise the awareness of your question by tweeting it and using the #locoteams hash-tag. Also post it on Facebook and Google+.

How To Answer Questions

We are always looking to our community to help answer as many questions as possible.

To answer questions simple go to this link.

Hopefully all questions should be answered and it should look like this:

If there are questions though, please try to answer them and provide as much detail as possible in your response. Remember that the poster may be very new so try not to presume too much in your response (such as any terms/jargon/acronyms that you may think they may know).

I would like to ask you folks to check this page every day or so to help weigh in in the answers so we can ensure all questions get a good, solid response within a day or so. Thanks in advance for your help!

If In Doubt…

This week I have been blogging about the Ubuntu Advocacy Development Kit which is now available for installation.

To make asking and answering questions simple, you can access these pages right from within the kit on the tool-bar:

Thanks in advance for the questions and answers, and for helping to spread Ubuntu further and further afield across the world!

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Earlier this week I blogged about the Ubuntu Advocacy Development Kit; designed to be a simple, straight-forward kit that includes all the documentation and materials that you need to to join and create LoCo Teams and help spread the word about Ubuntu in your area (whether in a LoCo Team or not). This is part of our goals to help grow the ubiquity of Ubuntu around the world.

Thanks to Daniel Holbach, we now have a daily PPA with the kit inside it so you can now find it easily in the dash:

Access the kit easily on your desktop.

Simply click the icon in the dash and the kit will load into your web browser:

The front page of the kit.

The kit also includes PDF and ePub versions of the documentation so you can read how to advocate and spread the word about Ubuntu on your mobile, tablet, and e-book reader!

You can add the PPA by cutting and pasting this command into a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-adk-admins/ppa;
sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install ubuntu-adk-en

In the future we plan on making formal releases of the ADK, but for now the daily PPA will automatically show you the most recent content in the kit as it is developed, conveniently accessible from the dash. Please be sure to report bugs.

Tonight I spent some time expanding the content, fixing up the navigation, removing cruft, and adding project logos to the materials section. The kit is starting to take shape. :-)

Please bear in mind though that the kit is only a few days old, so there is lots to do, and we would welcome anyone who can help! You can find information inside the kit of how to participate by clicking on About.


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Just a quick note for our wonderful worldwide collection of LoCo Teams…you can find out how to order your Ubuntu 12.10 DVDs right here. We look forward to hearing about the wonderful work you are doing to share the DVDs with people. Rock on. :-)

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With the release of Ubuntu 12.04, there have been many different viewpoints on which parts are the most important features and facilities for our users; Unity, the HUD, application choice etc etc.

Let me show you what I consider to be one of the most important parts of Ubuntu:

The Ubuntu Software Center is the doorway to new applications and experiences for our users.

For many years we have had a wonderful archive that we inherit from Debian and expand and refine pieces of for Ubuntu. The Ubuntu Software Center isn’t just a prettier Synaptic; it is a showcase for awesome Free Software and commercial applications, judged by our users in the ratings and reviews, as well as a delivery mechanism for app developers to sell their apps, books, magazines and other content.

While Free Software developers have been able to deliver their apps via traditional repositories for years, the Ubuntu Software Center offers a unique opportunity for both commercial and Free Software applications to deliver their apps in Ubuntu. get great visibility, and be used by millions of Ubuntu users all around the world.

I have had a theory for a little while now: I think a decent chunk of our users (particularly users of Ubuntu for a long time) haven’t really explored the Ubuntu Software Center and what it has to offer. For those of you who have usually relied on apt-get on the command-line to install your software, I strongly encourage you to check out the Ubuntu Software Center; as I have continued to use it more and more, I have discovered new applications, have more informed choices (via ratings and reviews), and bought interesting commercial apps. I see the Ubuntu Software Center as a wonderful market place for both Free and Commercial applications that serve our users well.

Recently I have been talking about the importance of application developers in Ubuntu. A big piece of delivering an awesome platform for application developers is ensuring that all paths that lead to the Ubuntu Software Center are smooth, efficient, and enjoyable, and ensuring that the Ubuntu Software Center itself is a pleasurable experience for users, with a wealth of wonderful content to choose from.

I think we are making good progress here. but I wanted to follow up and talk about some of the work we are doing in growing this app developer community in Ubuntu. This is a longish post, but I encourage you to read it as I think it will give you folks a sense for where we are going and ways in which you can help. Everything we are doing here is Open Source; the Ubuntu Software Center,, Quickly, pkgme and more, and we need your help to continue to move the Ubuntu app developer platform forward.


Quickly is an important part of Ubuntu. In much the way we think of Juju as our cloud orchestration platform for Ubuntu, I see Quickly as our application development orchestration platform for Ubuntu. With Quickly you can create a new application and be up and running in minutes, edit and develop your app, generate packages, and release your packages in a PPA. Quickly does a wonderful job of simplifying these tasks for app developers.

For Quickly to be a comprehensive tool for app developers, it needs to be able to support the kind of applications that people want to write. One area of focus I have been exploring recently is making it easier for Flash applications to be packaged for Ubuntu (this should be as simple as feeding Quickly an .swf file). Stuart Langridge fixed the Quickly Flash template so this works now; Flash packages can now be generated in just a few commands.

Create your Ubuntu app with a single command.

We have also been working with some other developers to help them to get a wider coverage of Quickly templates. Angelo Compagnucci has been doing excellent work on a Qt Quick Python Quickly template and Didier Roche has been working on a HTML5 template. Both work well and are making good progress; this would expand our coverage so that app devs can write GTK, Qt, HTML5, Flash, and Command Line apps. Our goal is to try and get these new templates backported for Ubuntu 12.04.

Another important change is that Mike Terry fixed /opt support in Quickly (this is so applications can install their content to /opt; a requirement for the Application Review Board). This has been fixed and release to Ubuntu 12.04 users. This was important in optimizing the ARB for app submissions.

If anyone is looking for an interesting project to work on, I think one thing we need in Quickly today is a means to import a project into Quickly. Anyone want to give it a shot? :-)


pkgme is a fantastic tool being developed by folks in Canonical to automate packaging. The idea is simple: you can run an application tarball (or otherwise) through pkgme and it will detect what kind of application it is and package it automatically, depositing an Ubuntu package. This tool is being developed to reduce the amount of manual packaging required for applications.

At the Ubuntu Developer Summit there was an interesting session on pkgme and I have had Michael Hall and Daniel Holbach on my team working on supporting the pkgme team in growing community participation in the project. pkgme is built so that it can support multiple backends to detect different types of applications, and Michael Hall is reaching out to the community to encourage folks o write backends to improve pkgme’s coverage and success.

This is something that we would love you folks to help with; see Michael’s blog entry, complete with tutorial for more details. Michael is currently lining up points of contact for different backends so that prospective back-end developers can get all the help you need.

Daniel Holbach also ran the ARB queue through pkgme and this and uncovered a set of bugs that the team are focusing on. A combination of growing community participation in pkgme, growing the number of backends, and exposing it to real world scenarios (such as the ARB and Consumer Apps Team submissions) is going to help further the project more and more.

Interested in helping? Be sure to join #pkgme on freenode IRC and join the mailing list.

Reviewing Submissions

An important part of Ubuntu is the Application Review Board. This is a community board that reviews free applications from app developers for inclusion in Ubuntu. The ARB have faced some challenges in keeping up with the queue of new applications. One of the primary challenges here has been in getting the submitted apps to a point where the packaging works correctly. This challenge has bottlenecked on the existing ARB members, despite their excellent contributions, and we have been working to bring some improvements here.

A big piece of this is building more of a support network for the ARB called arb-helpers. This will be a wider group who can review the queue and help with any engineering tasks.

Unfortunately, in terms of this additional engineering, there was not really a good way for people to collaborate (the queue of applications merely has the submitted content from the developer in a tarball/zip file and no way to submit improvements).

Daniel Holbach has put together a script that sucks in all of the code submissions in the queue and generates bazaar branches. This means that our existing developer base can use the tools they are familiar to help with these submissions. We would like to make motu and core-dev members be automatic members of arb-helpers so that they can submit engineering improvements (as they have the packaging experience).

Upstream Relations

Upstreams are an essential part of Ubuntu. We have a pretty simple goal here: to make the upstream software experience the best it can be in Ubuntu. We want upstreams to feel that their software is delivered well in Ubuntu.

Beatbox, complete with Unity Quicklists for a more integrated desktop experience.

As part of this work Michael Hall has been working with David Planella to reach out to upstreams directly and ensure that they have all the support and guidance needed to deliver their software in Ubuntu. This work is being tracked on a Trello, and Michael also developed Hello Unity as a useful tool to make it easier for upstreams to integrate their apps nicely into Ubuntu.

In addition to these, last week I announced a campaign to encourage Download For Ubuntu buttons on Upstream websites. This is a great project in which everyone can help – just see this wiki page and reach out to the upstream and ask them to put the Ubuntu button on there. This helps to continue to spread the awareness of Ubuntu.

Getting More Developers Involved

An important goal for the coming months is to get more and more developers interested in building applications for Ubuntu. We want app developers to feel at home with the tools, documentation, and community support they need to build applications that run smoothly on Ubuntu.

David Planella has been leading a raft of improvements to, which include additional API documentation, and the creation of a cookbook of recipes and HOWTOs for common programming challenges. We have also been ensuring that the site is up to date for the current platform we have and building an Ask Ubuntu resource for app developer related questions. Have a quesion? Ask!

This week we are also going to be announcing an application development competition, so stay tuned!

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I have something rather cool to show you:

This is a screenshot of Ubuntu Accomplishments with support for Ask Ubuntu badges. This means that when you get an Ask Ubuntu badge, you will see a notification bubble appear on your desktop, and you can see all of your Ask Ubuntu badges with the rest of your trophies.

Currently all the Ask Ubuntu badges are working with Ubuntu Accomplishments, and all have working integration tests.

One of the nice features of Ubuntu Accomplishments is that you can browse documentation for the different Opportunities that you have not yet accomplished. This provides a neat way of learning how to accomplish new things.

As an example, I don’t have the Strunk and White Ask Ubuntu trophy yet. When I click on it I see:

While we have all the Ask Ubuntu accomplishments working and all the tests written, we still need help to get the documentation written for all the badges. This is where we need your help.

How To Help

Helping is simple!

Head over to this page for instructions of how to get started. You will basically grab the accomplishments, pick one from the list that has not had documentation written yet, submit the docs, and then tick it off the list.

We really want to get the Ask Ubuntu accomplishments into the 0.2 Ubuntu Accomplishments release next week, so if you folks can help, that would be awesome!

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We are delighted to announce that the Humble Indie Bundle, that was just announced will have all the games available in the Ubuntu Software Center running natively on Ubuntu.

For the next few weeks you can go and donate whatever you like to buy Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Psychonauts, LIMBO, Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP and if you pay more than the average you also get Bastion.

Remember, you only have a few weeks to go and donate whatever you like to buy the games, and when you have bought them from the Humble Indie Bundle Website you can install them with a single click in the Ubuntu Software Center!

Proceeds go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Childs Play, so snap up these awesome games, running natively on Ubuntu, and help charities and indie game devs!

We have a few other fun things planned over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Go and grab the games!

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Before we get started, I want to offer all of my American friends a thoughtful Memorial Day (I was going to say ‘happy’ memorial day, but there is nothing particularly ‘happy’ about the meaning behind the day). I hope you all have a nice day with family and/or friends.

On an unrelated note, I just wanted to have a quick call for Django web developers to participate in a fun new project as part of the Ubuntu Accomplishments system.

The idea is simple: part of the fun of achieving trophies for things you have accomplished on your computer and in the community is showing your trophies to your friends, colleagues, and other community members.

Fortunately, this is not a particularly complex project to build: it just requires a consistent vision, and plenty of hands on deck to make the magic happen.

To help smooth things along, I wrote a spec complete with mockups and implementation details that explains how the system works, and how some of the functionality could be implemented.

To give you a brief example of how it could work, the idea is that a user can voluntarily show their accomplishments online. When this is enabled you can browse all of their accomplishments on one page:

You can also click on a collection to view the trophies by category:

There are all kinds of other interesting things that we could do too such as showing other people who have accomplished similar trophies, showing statistics, connecting to social media platforms and more.

Getting Involved

Sound interesting? Do you know how to program with Django and want to get involved?

Well, you are a legend. Let me explain how you get started.

  1. First, go and read the spec to get an idea of how the project will work.
  2. Next, join our mailing list and send an email expressing an interesting in participating in the Web Gallery project. You should also read these two threads to get up to sync: 1 2
  3. Now see the Trello board and pick one of the topics that needs completing and assign it to yourself. The Trello provides a nice means to see who is working on what and the status of that work.
  4. Now check out the code with bzr branch lp:ubuntu-accomplishments-web and start hacking.
  5. You can get help on the mailing list as well as in #ubuntu-accomplishments on Freenode IRC.

Thanks and I look forward to you joining our community!

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I just released a new update for the Ubuntu Community Accomplishments collection. This new release (0.1.1) includes the following new community accomplishments:

  • Accomplishments Contributor
  • Attend LoCo Team Event
  • Bug Squad Member
  • Ubuntu Forums Council Member
  • Ubuntu Forums Staff Member
  • Imported an SSH Key
  • Ubuntu Beginners Team Council Member
  • Ubuntu Beginners Team Member
  • Bug Control Member
  • Ubuntu Forums Ubuntu Member
  • Launchpad Profile Mugshot is now fixed too.

Thanks to Silver Fox, Michael Hall, Matt Fischer, Rafal Cieslek, Angelo Compagnucci for contributing these additions! It is wonderful to see our community growing!

If you want to contribute accomplishments, be sure to see our guidelines, some suggestions, and how to get started!

If you are already running Ubuntu Accomplishments 0.1, you just need to do the following to get the new set:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

If you are running the daemon, kill it first with killall -9 twistd and then load Accomplishments Information from the dash.

If you are new to Ubuntu Accomplishments, be sure you have your Ubuntu One set up and running on your computer, and then follow these installation instructions.

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In the Ubuntu world we have some common values that are not just focused on freedom, but also in how we build Ubuntu. Values such as cadence, design, quality and precision help guide us in building the best Ubuntu that we can.

These values continued to be common themes at the recent Ubuntu Developer Summit in California. Today our culture continues to involve important integration work that is a rich and interesting challenge, but this work has also been augmented by us building assurances around Ubuntu too; assurances such as regular releases (cadence), the reliability and quality of the experience (quality), and attention to detail in both design and engineering (precision) are all examples of the strong balance of predictability and innovation that we want to bring.

These values are not limited to Ubuntu though: we want Ubuntu to be a platform where you can get the very best software experience, whether you are using Open Source or commercial applications. In a nutshell, we want to take the lessons we have been learning regarding cadence, design, quality and precision and share them with our upstreams. This is going to be a big chunk of what Michael Hall will be focusing on in the coming months.

One upstream project though that I am actively involved in in my spare time is Ubuntu Accomplishments and I wanted to share some of our plans surrounding our next 0.2 release and how these values are forming an important core of this work. Before I continue though, I just want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has been participating in Ubuntu Accomplishments. Ever since our 0.1 release a few weeks ago we have had over 180 people start using this very early PPA and a number of people have started contributing accomplishments. Thanks to all of you!


With the expanded number of accomplishments being contributed, I started thinking last week about how we could perform better testing around these contributions as well as daily testing reports; I wanted to ensure that our project, even though we are very young and small, demonstrates a level of quality that we can be proud of. To kick this off, this weekend I wrote a small tool called battery that helps us assure quality. I created a validation test for every accomplishment and battery runs all the accomplishments and feeds them this data that will cause an accomplishment to succeed as well as fail. This serves a few valuable purposes:

  • We now have better testing for new contributions and we can test both success and failure more effectively.
  • We can build testing into the accomplishment submission process so that when someone contributes an accomplishment we will ask them to also submit a test file (the test file is extremely simple and just specifies data used for success and data used for failure). This should take a contributor ten seconds to put together.
  • Finally, we can now run battery in an automated environment every day and have it alert us when one of the tests fails. This gives us better visibility on our accomplishments collections to ensure that we can assure quality and resolve issues quickly.

As an important part of building good design into the system, battery was designed to not require any changes to the existing accomplishments sets and require a bare minimum from our contributors who should be spending more time having fun writing accomplishments than caring about tests. I am delighted with the results.

The Road To 0.2

In addition to helping to ensure the accomplishment contribution process is simple (see our list of ideas for accomplishments and how to create them), we have been planning the 0.2 release. This will continue to focus on refinements and building a strong, reliable platform for both community and local accomplishments.

We will be focusing on the following in the 0.2 cycle:

  • Local Accomplishment Support – in 0.1 we focused our efforts primarily on community accomplishments (that is, accomplishments that need to be verified). Although we have always supported local accomplishments (these are accomplishments on your computer such as installing a package for the first time or sending your first email), this local support was a little broken in 0.1. I have already landed a branch from Rafal that fixes these bugs, using GNOME Mines as the test application. We will continue to refine this support.
  • Daemon and API Refinements – this won’t be visible to the user but we are planning a raft of API improvements to ensure that the back-end daemon is precise and high quality. This requires some functional changes, API naming conventions, standardizing on accomplishment IDs and other improvements.
  • Growing Ubuntu Community Accomplishments – we plan on continuing to grow and expand the Ubuntu Community Accomplishments collection. We need help though, and that help could come from you! If you know a little Python and want to help our community, be sure to let me know! You can also join our IRC channel at #ubuntu-accomplishments.
  • Introducing Ubuntu Desktop Accomplishments – we plan on introducing our first set of desktop accomplishments that can be used with the local accomplishments feature in the system. This will help us to start mapping out an awesome journey for how ours users use the desktop, discover things to do, and more!

It was wonderful to see the excitement and interest around Ubuntu Accomplishments at UDS, and I am excited to see where the project can take us. If you want to join us, be sure to join the mailing list and/or join us on IRC on freenode in #ubuntu-accomplishments.

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Some of you may have seen the news of our very first Ubuntu Accomplishments release. Thank-you to everyone for testing the system; the feedback has been wonderful so far. :-)

The power of the Ubuntu Accomplishments system is dependant on the range of accomplishments available to our users; a comprehensive range of accomplishments that span the full Ubuntu community will make the system an exciting and empowering resource. As such, I would like to put out a call to encourage you lovely people to contribute some accomplishments

Fortunately all you need to know is a little Python to contribute here.

How to Participate

This is how you can help:

  1. First, ensure you are running the new release. Find out how to install it by clicking here.
  2. Now familiarise yourself with our guidelines for what makes a great accomplishment (we are looking to avoid the ‘X number of SOMETHING achieved‘ accomplishments as they can be gamed and abused easily. We are instead looking for accomplishments for new experiences and skills such as ‘First Translation Made‘ or ‘First Contribution to the Ubuntu Sponsorship Queue‘. We have lots of ideas available on this page for inspiration!
  3. Now read the tutorial and create your accomplishment (thanks to Rafal Cieslak for his excellent work on the tutorial).
  4. With your accomplishment ready, submit it to the project and we will review it: details of how to do this are in the tutorial.


Importantly, while this blog post is seeking contributions for the Ubuntu Community collection of accomplishments, if you want to create a collection of accomplishments for your community or project (e.g. your software project, distro, local user group etc), you can use the same tutorial and resources to get started! Let us know if you have any questions!

Getting Help

If you have questions, you can get help in a few places:

  • Join the mailing list – we have an active email discussion list and you are welcome to join and post questions.
  • IRC Channel – we have the #ubuntu-accomplishments channel on the freenode IRC network.

Thanks so much for your contributions!

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Yesterday I announced the first Ubuntu Accomplishments release. It is wonderful to see so many of you trying the system; many thanks!

As part of the 0.1 release, we have added David Callé‘s Ubuntu Accomplishments Unity lens to the 0.1 PPA. It looks like this:

The lens neatly integrates into your desktop your trophies and available opportunities. Clicking on an opportunity will show information about how to accomplish it.


To install the lens 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

Ensure you have the full Ubuntu Accomplishments system (including the accomplishments-lens package):

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

You will need to re-login to see the lens.

Please note: you will need to have the accomplishments back-end process running to use the lens. This is simple: just load Accomplishments Information from the dash and this will start the back-end process. You can now view the lens.

As ever, you can report bugs here.

Thanks, David, for your efforts in creating the lens!

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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.


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

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!


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


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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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.


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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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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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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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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At the heart of the Ubuntu Accomplishments system is the idea that you can read documentation in your own language about how to participate in different parts of the community. The motivation here is to provide plenty of help and guidance of how to participate so it makes the Ubuntu experience easier, more fun, and more rewarding.

The idea is simple: each accomplishment outlines a new skill or method of contribution and the user can double-click on it to learn more about how to participate. This puts help, instructions for what to do, links to further reading, and places to find help at the finger-tips of everyone.

This weekend I built translations support for this documentation into Ubuntu Accomplishments and I wanted to reach out to our wonderful translations community and everyone else to ask for help in providing this documentation. Fortunately this is as simple as contributing some text to a web page. :-)

Not just a translation

Importantly, this is not just about word-for-word translation from English to another language, but instead providing awesome documentation designed for people who speak your native language.

As an example, every accomplishment has a Summary section which provides an introduction to the accomplishment, what is involved, and what the jargon means. Feel free to write the most detailed explanation you like in your language, even if the original English version is quite short. The English translation is provided as an example: feel free to improve on the summary in your own language.

Another good example are the Links and Help resources: the original English ones will be English resources – feel free to provide resources and links that are native to your language.

I want to encourage you all to help make the documentation for your language the best possible documentation for new users (e.g. “e.g. our French documentation is the most complete of any of the languages!“). :-)

How to contribute

Contributing is really simple. Just follow these steps:

First, go to

When you go there you might see some languages listed below like this:

If you don’t or would like to select another language, click the Change your preferred languages link and select the languages you want to translate in to. Those languages will now appear like the ones above. The colored bar shows what proportion of the accomplishments are translated (green) and what are not (red).

Now click one of the languages (e.g. if I click on English (United Kingdom)) and you will see the list of things you can translate. Here is an example of one:

The translation of Ubuntu Accomplishments works a little differently. You should IGNORE the English line at the top (e.g. where it says member-loco-team_description) and instead look at the documentation just below. There it tells you which accomplishment you are editing and what the original English translation is. In the above image you can see we are writing German documentation, the accomplishment is ‘LoCo Team Member’ and this specific field in the accomplishment documentation is ‘steps’. More the different fields below.

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.

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 for making Ubuntu easier and more fun to participate in for our community!

Each accomplishment file has the following documentation you can add:

  • Title – the name of the accomplishment (this should be a very short piece of text…it appears under the accomplishment icons).
  • Description – a single-line description of what the accomplishment performs.
  • Summary – a series of paragraphs that introduce the accomplishment, explain some of the jargon (e.g. explaining what a “bug” is), and what is involved in accomplishing this trophy. Always assume the user is quite new when writing this content. You should put each paragraph on a new line in the edit box.
  • Steps – this is a set of instructions that the user can follow to achieve the accomplishment. Don’t include numbers or bullet points and put each step on a new line.
  • Tips – these are a set of tips and tricks that you can recommend to help the user be successful in achieving the accomplishment. Put each tip on a new line and dont include any numbers or bullet points.
  • Pitfalls – these are a set of pitfalls and things the user should avoid when working to achieve the accomplishment. Put each pitfall on a new line and dont include any numbers or bullet points.
  • Links – a series of web address to further documentation (feel free to add links that are specific to your language). Put each link on a new line.
  • Help – this is a set of place where the user can find help. Feel free to include IRC channels, website, or other resources and feel free to use resources in your language. Put each resource on a new line.

Quick FAQ

How can participate here?
Everyone! Everyone is welcome to help.

Do I have to be in an approved translation team to help?
No, everyone can participate.

There are no translations for a language I am interested in. Can I start translating it?
Sure! Go right ahead!

If I contribute a translation and the original English translation has a typo fix or other change, will I lose my contribution in my language?
Nope. The system has been designed so that your contribution to a particular field will not be lost.

How do I search for a particular accomplishment to edit?
When viewing the translatable items for a language, use the Search box in the top right-hand corner.

Why don’t you show the English translation in the actual ‘English’ field?
There are various technical reasons around being able to use Launchpad to translate accomplishments that mean’t I had to put the translation below in the comments.

Any more questions? Feel free to ask in the comments or join the mailing list!

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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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