Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'ubuntu'

jono

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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jono

Over the course of the year we have been seeing fantastic progress with Ubuntu and our convergence story. This includes eight carriers in the Carrier Advisory Group, strong interest from hardware manufacturers, significant coverage from press and at shows such as CES/MWC, and an explosion of participation in people writing apps for Ubuntu Touch.

The engineerings team has also been making steady and significant progress on the road to October to have a first cut of the platform available for phones, and a core piece of this work is our Core Apps project.

The Core Apps project is where our community are working on the core applications that we hope to ship as part of the phone. This includes a Calendar, Music Player, Clock, Calculator, Weather App, Sudoku, RSS Reader, File Manager, Document Viewer, Terminal, Dropping Letters game, and a Stock Ticker.

With each of these projects we have been working with our community developers to ensure they have as much support and help to build these apps, and ensuring that our design team are hooked in to provide beautiful designs to help make each of these apps look crisp, consistent, and sleek. Many, many thanks to all of our wonderful contributors who have been driving these apps forward.

Delicious, Delicious, Dogfood

Back in May we had an effort to get Ubuntu for phones to a point where we could use it as a daily driver, to eat our own dogfood if you will. Although we don’t expect the first iteration of the phone to be ready until October, getting it ready as a daily driver helped to expose the system to more people and therefore find more bugs and edge cases that needed resolving. This project was successful and many of us are using the phone as our main handset now; I certainly am. :-)

We would now like to do this for our core apps, to set a goal to have them ready as a daily driver by the end of July. We reached out to the development teams earlier this week and raised this goal as part of the team meetings for each app and the wider teams are supportive of this effort.

Now, many of these applications are pretty much already there, but some others need more work. As usual, I have asked my team to provide as much help and guidance to our contributors for us to achieve this goal, and based on an assessment of the applications as they stand today, this goal is very achievable.

How It Will Work

To get started we created this page to track the Core Apps dogfooding work. The page lists the core features that we think most people will need to use the apps on the daily basis for basic requirements. For those features that are already there we have specified this next to each feature.

We are going to be working with the developers as part of these projects to help achieve this goal, and if you have experience of working with QML, we would love you to participate too. Just drop me an email and I will get you connected to the team.

Anybody can participate in dogfooding the Core Apps though, all you have to do is use them. You don’t need to be a developer, you don’t need to know anything about porting or compiling or packaging. Just fire up one of the apps, on a supported device or on your desktop, and start using it for your daily activities.

The most important thing you can do while dogfooding is to find and report any bugs you find. It’s important to provide as much detail as possible in your bug report, including screenshots and device information, and describing the steps to reproduce the bug. You can find guidance for how to report this bugs by reading this page.

Once again, thankyou to everyone helping to make our core apps a success and we are excited to see the progress made throughout the month. Thanks, everyone!

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jono

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

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

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

You can view it below:

Can’t see the video? See it here!

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

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jono

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

From the announcement yesterday:

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

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

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

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

Testing, Reporting Bugs, and Benchmarks

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

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

Staying Up To Date

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

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

Watch both sessions on Ubuntu On Air.

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jono

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

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

See it below:

Can’t see the video? See it here!

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

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jono

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

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

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

Interviews

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

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

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

Mir Interview

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

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jono

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

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

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

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jono

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David has this to say about the CAG:

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

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

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jono

Last week I had a neat idea. Well, at least I think it is a neat idea. Let me share it with you folks to get your take.

We have been spending a lot of time refining every aspect of the application development process for writing Ubuntu phone/tablet/desktop applications. This has included:

  • Building a simple, and powerful Ubuntu SDK.
  • Building a comprehensive knowledge base on developer.ubuntu.com for getting started writing your first app, and performing common programming tasks.
  • Integrating source control, bug tracking, and more from Launchpad into the SDK.
  • Providing a safe and secure, sand-boxed environment to run apps in, and an automated process for reviewing how these apps come into Ubuntu and are exposed to Ubuntu users.

This is all part of an end-to-end process to make writing apps for Ubuntu fun, simple, and intuitive from the minute you load the SDK to the minute your app appears on a users phone, tablet, or desktop.

Project Websites

One piece we haven’t looked into is how app developers can set up a website for their app.

App websites vary tremendously in size and complexity. Some people just want a single static web page with details of the app and how to get it. Some want a more complex site with integrated forums, bug tracking, and more.

As part of what we can offer with Ubuntu, we should be able to bundle all aspects of your infrastructure too. Need a website? Check. Need a forum? Check. Need a bug tracker? Check.

Fortunately we have a powerful cloud orchestration tool in Juju that can not only simplify the deployment, management, and scaling of the service, but could potentially take virtually all of the pain out of getting the site set up in the first place, and then scale up where needed.

The Idea

Let’s assume I have just published my first version of my app in Ubuntu. I now need a simple website to get my app on the web and known to users. While I want to start simple, there is a possibility though that my project may become hugely popular making me a king among men and require a larger, more expansive web presence.

Let’s start simple though. Ideally, I want to be able to specify some configuration detail like this in a file:

app:
   app-name: Read All About It
   download-archive-name: readallaboutit
   launchpad-project: readallaboutit
website:
   website-strapline: All the headlines in your hand.
   screenshots: ['http://www.myscreenshotonline.com/screen1.jpg',
     'http://www.myscreenshotonline.com/screen1.jpg']
   page-about: True
   page-developers: True
   page-screenshots: True
   page-contact: False

…and then do this:

juju deploy --config myconfig.yaml ubuntu-app-website

The charm would read in the configuration file and generate a set of static web pages based on that configuration.

As an example, it would pre-populate chunks of the page, and generate developer information on the Developer page with details of the main branch, bug tracking, a form to submit a bug, and more (we can pull this from the Launchpad project).

It could look simple like this:

This would mean an app developer could spin-up a super light-weight app website with just a configuration file and Juju on whichever cloud service they prefer. This would be light-weight both in terms of getting up and running and resource usage; you could set this up on a tiny cloud instance. As ever, if my project was to get slashdotted I could scale up the service, as with any other Juju charm.

Now let’s assume I want to add more functionality to my website. This is where the real power of Juju could come in. Let’s assume I want a forum. I should be able to run:

juju deploy ubuntu-app-website-forum
juju relate ubuntu-app-website ubuntu-app-website-forum

This would then spin up a forum (or Discourse site) but the charm would integrate it into the existing website with a navigation link and shared theming. It could then look like this:

We could then conceivably have any number of supported additions (e.g. mailing lists, video streams, event organization, tutorial content, API docs etc) for the website that app maintainers can use to easily expand their service as they see fit.

Next Steps

I shared this idea with Jorge who thought it was a neat idea. He then talked with Marco who has been putting together a first cut that we can experiment with. If anyone is interested in helping to build this, please let me know in the comments.

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jono

Ever since we first announced Ubuntu for phones on January 2nd this year, a fantastic relationship with our friends in the XDA community has formed. For quite some time now we have been releasing daily images of Ubuntu for phones/tablets and our friends in the XDA community have been working to enable these images for a wide range of devices.

Much of this work has been happening on the Ubuntu Touch XDA forums which have seen 4600+ posts from this enthusiastic community.

I wanted to follow up on a few different XDA-related things that are going on.

Participating in and Sponsoring xda:devcon

From 8-11 August in Miami, Florida will be xda:devcon, the very first XDA developer conference. We are sponsoring the event and will be exhibiting there. We are delighted to be supporting such an awesome event. :-)

I will also be speaking at the event and delivering a new presentation called Building a Convergent Future With Ubuntu that will cover the vision and goals of Ubuntu on devices, how our community is right at the core of what we are doing (and accessible to everyone), and how far along we are in this vision.

Michael Hall will be running an app development workshop and showing attendees how to build an application from scratch that runs across Ubuntu phones, tablets, and desktops. More details on Michael’s workshop will be announced soon. Given that we are releasing the beta of our Ubuntu SDK in July, this workshop will be a great opportunity to come and learn how to get started!

We will also be joining the main conference and happy to answer questions, demo Ubuntu on these different devices, and anything else. If you want to set up a meeting, please drop me an email.

Weekly XDA Q&A

We want to ensure our friends in the XDA community have as much information at their fingertips about Ubuntu Touch. As such, Daniel Holbach is collating questions from the community (you can ask your question here) and then posting a weekly summary of questions on this XDA forum thread.

As ever, if anyone has any other questions, be sure to join my weekly live Ubuntu Q&A videocast. This week it will be happening at 6pm UTC on Wednesday 19th June on Ubuntu On Air. Be sure to join me then!

Making Porting Easier

One of the reasons I am so delighted to see the close relationship between Ubuntu and XDA continuing to form is that I feel making Ubuntu available on a range of different devices is a key part of what will help us to be successful.

Although we at Canonical a are currently targetting a very specific set of handsets for our first release of Ubuntu Touch (Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4), the wider XDA community has been working to enable the image on other devices that Canonical is not directly focused on. This is an awesome contribution.

One of the technical challenges here is how we handle firmware and binary blobs to make various hardware components work. Unfortunately, some of this firmware cannot be legally re-distributed by us (although the user can typically download it directly).

I have asked Daniel Holbach to work with the phonedations team to ease this process as much as possible and some work is going into phablet-flash to make it easier to handle these firmware pieces. We should have more on this in the coming weeks.

Onwards and Upwards!

There is lots of fantastic work going on and I am looking forward to continuing to work with the always excellent and approachable XDA community. We look forward to seeing you in Miami in August!

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jono

The Ubuntu community is a core part of what makes us what we are, and right at the center of that are our Ubuntu Members. Ubuntu Members provide significant and sustained contributions over a wide range of areas such as packaging, documentation, programming, translations, advocacy, support, and more. We always want to do our best to recognize and appreciate our many members in the Ubuntu family, across these many different teams and our flavors.

We are pleased to announce a new benefit for new Ubuntu Members. When you become approved as an official Ubuntu Member, you will be mailed a printed certificate signed by Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project to recognize your membership. We hope you put it up on your wall where you contribute to Ubuntu and bring freedom and openness to technology.

To find out more, and find out how to get yoru certificate, see this post on the fridge.

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jono

In recent months we have been seeing tremendous growth and interest in the Ubuntu SDK that is at the heart of building applications for Ubuntu for phones, tablets, desktops, and TVs. The SDK provides the ability to build rich native applications in QML/Qt that hook right into the system, platform services, messaging, social media and more. We will also be providing support for HTML5 apps soon (with deep platform integration), and for OpenGL apps too.

Today you can download the SDK and follow a getting started tutorial to write your app. If you have Ubuntu running on a phone/tablet (find out how to install the daily images here), you can test and run the application the device with just a click. The entire experience is all encased within our SDK IDE. We are still refining and improving many aspects of the SDK, and our Beta release will be in July.

When most developers are learning a new platform or technology, you have lots of questions. How do I do X? How do I do Y? While we can get our new developers up and running quickly with the SDK and tutorial, we also want to help provide as many answers to these common questions too. This is where the new cookbook comes in.

The App Developer Cookbook

Today we are introducing the Ubuntu App Developers Cookbook on developer.ubuntu.com. The cookbook provides a number of different pages (e.g Device Sensors, Files and Storage, Games, General App Development, Multimedia, Networking etc) with a list of common questions and their associated answers.

Instead of building an entirely new piece of infrastructure, we wanted to work with the place where our developers naturally ask their questions; AskUbuntu, the Ubuntu themed StackExchange site we use for all our Q+A needs across the Ubuntu community.

Here’s how it works: when you have a question, simply browse the cookbook to find an answer for your query. If you don’t, simply ask that question on AskUbuntu, and when a question has received two up-votes and an accepted answer, it will be added to the cookbook. This will ensure the very best content appears on the cookbook for current and new Ubuntu developers to enjoy.

What you see today is a first iteration of the cookbook. In the next few weeks we will be making some additional improvements:

  • Refining the questions listed in the cookbook.
  • Enhancing the navigation of the cookbook pages.
  • Adding sub-sections to make content easier to navigate.
  • Having a different cookbooks for Native (QML/Qt apps), HTML5, OpenGL, and Scopes.

If you have any questions or queries about the cookbook, feel free to share in the comments!

How To Help

One of the core foundational strengths of Ubuntu is our community, and we are looking for help in ensuring our cookbook is as capable and comprehensive as possible. As such, we would like to encourage our community to do the following:

  • Be sure to ask questions on AskUbuntu for topics not covered by the cookbook.
  • When you ask a question, be sure to accept the answer when it answers the question otherwise it won’t be accepted into the cookbook.
  • Be sure to upvote questions that you find useful.

Thanks for continuing to help make the Ubuntu App Dev community a fun, dynamic, and innovative place to be!

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jono

Today I recorded a video demo of Ubuntu running on the Galaxy Nexus and showcasing much of the progress in May to turn the phone into a usable daily phone for early testers. The demo shows recieving a call and text, web browser, social networking integration, multitasting, a number of the apps, messaging menu, and more.

Here it is:

Can’t see it? Watch it here.

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jono

Smart Scopes Update

One feature that didn’t land in Ubuntu 13.04 was the new Smart Scopes functionality in the Ubuntu dash. This feature greatly widens the scope (pun intended) of the dash returning results for a wide range of online services as well as local results. The whole system was re-architected to be more efficient, and designed to scale across our multi-device strategy.

Although the feature didn’t land in 13.04, the team assured us that it would land in the 13.10 cycle early yet it hasn’t appeared yet. I reached out to the team to get some clarity on why this hasn’t arrived yet, and Thomas Strehl, engineering manager for the feature has provided an update:

When we tried to complete scopes for 13.04 back in March we also introduced some issues which needed quite some time during April to resolve. Especially, resolving the result update flickering and completing all reviews with design (mostly related to previews) took us until the second week of May; that was after our sprint in Oakland. During a review session with Mark Shuttleworth at the sprint it became also apparent that the current way we do scopes isn’t exactly the right one, so we started investigating the right approach also in preparation for a scopes sprint end of May. That preparation work in combination with some more fixing and a lot of merging (around 10 branches), bumping versions etc and having mhr3 leaving for vacation slowed down the progress until 17th of May.

Trying to get everything landed was then suddenly blocked by too many autopilot failures which then turned out to not be the scopes fault but rather a regression when upgrading autopilot 1.3 (as well as problems in jenkins for a few days). Good news is that all those issues had been resolved last week, meaning that after autopilot was fixed the reported autopilot issues of scopes went below the required threshold.

However, it still hasn’t landed as of today, as everything has been prepared for making the switch from raring to saucy so a big chunk is waiting for landing, including the scopes (as discussed at vUDS, everything needs to be moved at the same time as autopilot 1.3, hud touch are backward incompatible). To land all this all dependencies (libhybris, ofono, …) of the entire stack have to be resolved first and tests need to continue to pass. We will get there soon…didrocks, sil2100, rsalveti, and cyphermox are heavily working on it as we speak.

So, in a nutshell, things have been delayed due to an intricate web of dependencies, the switch to saucy, and some infrastructure gremlins. Fortunately though, we should see this land soon. Thanks to the team for all their efforts, and to Thomas for providing a thorough update!

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jono

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

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

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

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

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jono

A while back I blogged about dogfooding Ubuntu Phone; that is, eating our own dogfood by using it on a daily basis. I have been tracking this here.

The phone team were setting the end of May as a goal for getting the phone into this daily driver state, and they have delivered most of what is needed.

In summary:

  • The phone OS is reliable and doesn’t crash.
  • Making and receiving calls works great. The phone now switches the screen on and off when you get a call/SMS, it switches to the phone app when you get a call, and switches the screen on and off when on a call based upon the proximity of your ear to the screen.
  • Sending and receiving text messages works great.
  • The messaging menu works great. Missed calls and texts appear there and I can reply or call back directly from messaging menu. I can also view my SMSes in the conversations list in the phone app.
  • Connecting to wireless networks works well.
  • Mobile data has landed but currently needs manual configuration to be used. I am waiting on the phone team to publish how to test this. UPDATE: Read how to test this here. They will be working on automating this next.
  • Power management is much better; when the phone is not used for 30 secs the screen is automatically shut off.
  • The camera works great (with flash) and photos appear as expected in the gallery. There is a shortcut from the camera app to the gallery.
  • The browser works well, now has a progress bar and overlayed history based upon the URL entered.
  • Orientation support has been added to a number of apps (phone, gallery, notepad, browser etc) so when you turn the phone the UI adjusts.
  • You can now easily add an unknown number as a contact.
  • Most of the fake apps and contact data have been removed.

All in all great progress is being made and I am continuing to use my Galaxy Nexus full time and now most of the bugs that made it a little difficult are fixed. As soon as mobile data arrives that will make life much easier, and the missing link for me is GPS, but the team are working on a location service to serve GPS needs.

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jono

Recently we had our online Ubuntu Developer Summit where we discussed a range of topics, defined next steps, and documented work items. The very last session at the event was an overall summary of the tracks (you can watch the video here), but I wanted to blog an overall summary too. These notes are quick and to the point, but they should give an overall idea of decisions made.

Client

  • Content Handling -

    • Siloing apps.
    • Main applications will define a “main repo” and provide an API to deliver, share and access the data in the main repo.
  • X.org

    • Want to update to 1.14 or even 1.15 if the video ABI doesn’t change.
  • System Settings

    • Focus on the phone settings defined here.
  • Scopes

    • Scopes that didn’t land in 13.04 should land within 2 weeks.
    • Several scopes will be migrated from Python to either C++ or Go for memory purposes.
  • Chromium

    • Expressed interest in moving to Chromium as default for a better user experience. Gathered feedback on the possible move. Next steps are to take discussion to the mailing list.
  • Unity 8/Mir Preview in 13.10

    • Want to have a preview of Ubuntu 8 (Phablet UI) running on Mir as an optional session (installable from universe or PPA, most likely).

Foundations

  • Reviewed the current 13.10 release schedule found several changes made in 13.04 that mistakenly hadn’t been carried over, such as later freeze dates and one fewer alpha; Adam Conrad will be syncing all this up and sending mail to the ubuntu-release list for review.
  • We discussed the positioning of the development release in light of some conversations last cycle, and put some more flesh on the design for making it easier for people to follow along with the development release all the time.
  • This cycle, we’ll be bringing up a new 64-bit ARM architecture based on cross-building work done last cycle, and we’ll update developers on that once we get closer to the point of starting up builds in Launchpad.
  • Moving forward with click packages. Fleshed out ideas on source package provision, integrating with existing client package management stacks, and clarifying some other things like the security model.
  • For image based upgrades, the team held a demo and Q&A for the current proposed solution, which is split into client, server, and upgrader; client is going well and expected to land by the end of June, server is currently blocked on infrastructure but should be ready around the same time, and Ondrej Kubik has been making good progress at tweaking the CyanogenMod recovery environment for the upgrader.
  • Firmed up the plan for packaging Android components for Ubuntu Touch images.
  • Upstart will be used as the standard way of spawning desktop apps for Unity on touch devices and ideally on desktop too (Unity 7 and 8). This will let us make sure we only have one instance per app, and will make it easy to apply AppArmor, seccomp and cgroup confinement consistently to all apps.
  • Defined a goal to reduce the amount of time it takes to prepare, test and make a Checkbox release, automating more of the process. This will benefit people who use the Checkbox tool as part of their daily work. It’s possible that Checkbox may move to Universe, although this needs some more discussion.
  • The server certification tools are being reengineered to use the new plainbox engine as their core. This will preserve the existing UI, but we’ll have co-installable packages with the new core, and will eventually switch over to the new tools.
  • The cert tools and test suite are being upgraded to work well on ARM for our hyperscale and mobile work, fixing any issues so we can get full, clean test runs on ARM servers. MaaS will be used for provisioning, and tested as a part of the ARM server solution.
  • We will be basing the primary kernels for 13.10 on Linux 3.10, but will strongly consider 3.11 depending on timing. For Ubuntu Touch devices, we already have kernels available for Nexus 4 and 7, and plan to also bring up kernels for Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 10. We’ll provide a 13.04 hardware enablement kernel in the 12.04.3 point release.
  • In terms of Ubuntu Touch power management, we have some preliminary baselines against Android on Nexus 4 and will replicate those on other devices, although they won’t be entirely meaningful until things like Mir land. We’ve written some new utilities such as eventstat to track down problems here. On power management policy, we agreed key requirements for the system power manager and we’ll extend powerd to serve our immediate needs.

Community

  • Community Roundtable:

    • Approved LoCo teams are no more, will be verified teams.
    • Bringing back fortnightly leadership meetings.
    • Ubuntu Advocacy Kit is driving to 1.0.
    • Gathered UDS feedback.
  • Ubuntu Community Website

    • Great discussion which clarified everybody’s involvement in the project.
    • Clear roadmap for completing the content and design in the next few weeks.
    • Design and web team have the templates we need to finish the work.
    • No discussion with IS yet around deployment – this will be coordinated next week.
  • Ubuntu Womens Session

    • Several events planned to get more people involved and the word out (Career Days, UOW, etc.).
    • Discussion about a women in technology themed event at CLS.
  • Ubuntu Status Tracker

    • The status tracker is many things to many different teams, but we managed to figure out a number of issues we can tackle, which should make everybody’s lives easier.
    • Removal of kanban view.
    • Add links from team pages to milestones pages.
    • Set up a meeting to discuss setting up an “ongoing” dev series.
  • Ubuntu On Air! Discussion

    • Issues with supporting multiple hosts.
    • Discussion about building support into summit and re-using vUDS components to support more shows and multiple hosts.
    • We want to open it up to more contributors, so we get more variety into the shows.
  • Development Onramp for Touch / Unity Next

    • Goals to improve docs.
    • We will track contributions to all the projects to see how we improve.
    • Increased focus on testing, coordination with the SDK team.
  • Documentation Team

    • Update Getting Started Page, review current docs and previous mailing list feedback.
    • Regular doc review cadence and more health check meetings.
    • Focus on content in the UAK.
  • Ubuntu Enterprise Desktop Discussions

    • Another meeting will be planned to get more input from users of enterprise desktops.
    • Some common issues were identified and discussed:
    • outdated cfengine package
    • access to Firefox/Thunderbird packages before publication (resolved)
    • support for livemeeting/linc
  • More Ubuntu Touch images

    • We identified the current blockers and will simplify thingsby using an image without firmware blobs, so they can be added by a local tool afterwards.
    • After the rebase to saucy we will also update the docs accordingly.
    • Kernel images for devices will first live in PPA, afterwards probably in universe.
  • Regular Ubuntu Development Updates

    • Organise regular Ubuntu on Air Hangouts to which we invite people from news sites as moderators.
    • Briefly summarise work from the last week(s).
    • Ask engineers to demo/showcase interesting developments.
    • Do Q&A sessions.
    • Also invite members of governance teams along.

Cloud and Server

  • Openstack Next Steps

    • Looked at some high level areas for this cycle, avoiding digging into areas covered by other sessions. We decided that at current, moving over to Git for our packaging work doesn’t add value. We also agreed to clean up on some cruft within the packaging branches.
  • Cloud Archive Status Check

    • Decided we had to support Grizzly for 12 months, which exposes a 3 month support gap from the backing Raring release. Need to discuss with the security team about how to fill this gap. Reviewed proposal for SRU cadence and tentatively rubber stamped.
    • Better co-ordination around trumping by Security dates, specifically if it covers more than one project.
    • Looked at using updates as a reason to increase our messaging.
  • 12.04.x images with LTS Enablement Kernel

    • The cloud images currently only contain the Precise (3.2) kernel. Discussed adding the kernel HWE stack to cloud images. We need to document how to enable backports, clearly state the support, and possibly tool cloud-init to handle updating the kernel on boot if folks need a more recent kernel on boot.
    • We will not be creating new images with the HWE kernel for the default images. The HWE kernel will be used for Clouds that have a high velocity of change in the Hypervisor (i.e. Windows Azure). For the regular images, we will investigate tooling in cloud-init and other places to make the ingestion of the HWE kernels easier, such as enhancing the documentation, allowing for easier enablement of backports, and making it easier to enable the HWE kernel at boot time.
  • Cloud-Init for Vagrant

    • We will create a good Ubuntu development workflow for Vagrant users (cross platform OSX, Windows). Ben Howard will investigate cloud-init tooling as well as the best method to enable the DKMS modules.
  • Cloud Init & Cloud Image Development for Saucy

    • We will define the development work to improve cloud-init and cloud images for the saucy cycle.
    • Discussed work on pre-cloud init phase, vendor hooks, cloud init plugin, and rebuding tools.
  • Juju Core Development

    • 1.10 version of juju available in backports for 13.04, and should be available in precise backports soon.
    • Look for releases in juju/dev ppa updating weekly, juju PPA monthly, and have stable release go into backports (couple of times per cycle).
  • OpenStack Hypervisors

    • HyperV support is currently untested.
    • VMWare support in charms, but not primary supported charms.
    • We need a matrix to demonstrate interoperability and support of each variation.
    • Need to work out additional hardening support.
  • Openstack QA

    • Building on our great history, moving away from per commit hardware testing to a more fluid multi virtualised separated environment, allowing greater interoperability testing. Hardware Cert term showed interest in getting more involved. The scope of this will be ratified when the interop matrix is created.
  • Flag Bearer Charms

    • Will improve flag bearer charm integration testing.
    • Implement list of reference charms.
    • Develop Percona backup XtraBackup flag bearer charm.
    • Document flag bearer and reference charm criteria in best practices.
    • Discuss flag bearer charms on mailing list.
  • Charm Policy Review

    • Add into policy for a charm to provide a config option to specify the version. The other items such as installation location (ie /srv), implementation of common subordinates, backups are to be added to best practices. The 3 ack on charm reviews is still under discussion.
    • Split Juju docs best practices and policy sections.
  • Audit Charms

    • Discussed re-reviewing the current charms in the charm store to ensure accurate readmes, tests, functionality, rating, categories, and icons. The workflow was discussed for queues, and which charms to tackle first.
  • Charm Development Tooling

    • Discussed gathering all the different charm development tools into one central package. These charm development tools include charm-tools, charmsupport, juju-gui,openstack-charm-helpers. Folks also discussed how the tools could be improved, and used as a singular set.
  • Juju Framework Charm for Server Application Technologies

    • Discussed further building out of the Django, Rails, Node.js, and possibly Java.
  • Improve Juju Documentation

    • Make a better user and charm developer experience for juju.ubuntu.com/docs. Discussed getting a permanent beta site going, methods to get documentation contributions. Hopefully a revamped docs will be in production in the next couple of weeks, and if not we’ll have a beta site very shortly (days).
  • Juju Charm Testing

    • Currently jenkins.qu.u.c has graph testing showing reliable results. Marco will be landing integration soon (days), with a more formal testing framework to follow (weeks).
    • Some ideas discussed were to gate charm store commits on testing, showing testing status in the GUI, and pre-deployment testing. Test examples will be made available along with a charm testing school.
  • Add User Feedback loops and Social Networking to Charm Store Charm Pages

    • Discussed making sure users have a method to give and receive feedback on a per charm basis. We currently have social networking (+1s, Likes, Tweets) in addition to downloads, quality rating, bug links, and testing status. Some ideas were to get clarification from design on showing social networking numbers, as well as a ‘leave feedback’ form.
  • Juju GUI Development

    • Discussed development done, and upcoming work. Covered ideas such as design, bundles, diagnostics, user data, juju feature parity, maintenance and support.
  • Improving QA for seeded server packages

    • Established three distinctive areas of testing, these are upstream test suites which typically run at build-time, integration tests via dep8 and service level testing which often requires multiple nodes and is conducted using juju.
    • We established that there is the regression test suite that can be included in many of the packages directly, with the requirement that we package some of the common ubuntu testing libraries.
    • Discussed some areas of standardisation for dep8 testing.
  • Fastpath installer work for 13.10

    • Established what FPI is, and the processes which are part of it.
    • Fast Path installer will be delivered as a installable package in Ubuntu, most likely in python. The interface to it will we yaml formatted configuration.
  • OpenStack Charm work for Saucy/Havana

    • Migrate all charms to be python based.
    • Consolidation into new charm-helpers nextgen library.
    • Complete SSL/HTTPS support into charms.
    • Integration of wiki and help documentation, upstream series aligned with upgrading notes.
    • Design around how proprietary+1 plugins will be integrated into core charms for Cinder and Quantum.
  • Investigate alternatives to mysql

    • Agreed that the best course of action was to maintain mysql for this cycle, and try and support other flavours of mysql getting into Ubuntu via Debian.
  • Ceph activities for Saucy

    • Dumpling release will be out in August (co-incides with FF for Saucy) so will be target for this release.
    • Lots of incremental improvements in efficiency and performance, full RESTful API for RADOS Gateway admin features, block device encryption for data at rest.
    • ceph-deploy (upstream cross platform deploy tooling) will be packaged.
    • Implementation of more automated testing during Saucy.
  • HA Openstack charms V2

    • Reviewed the current state of HA support in Openstack charms. Percona has volunteered to charm their offering, allowing great coverage by their mysql HA variant for active/active clustering.
    • Work also on active/active and brokerless messaging options (ZeroMQ) and incremental improvements for service check monitoring in load balancers.
    • Cluster stack (Corosync/Pacemaker) to be reviewed and upgraded for Saucy in preparation for 14.04.
  • MongoDB activities for Saucy

    • File Main inclusion report for Mongo to support Ceilometer and Juju use cases. Raise a Micro Release Exemption (MRE) to the techboard, as point releases are bug fix only.
    • Upstream armhf enablement patches. Re-sync with Debian. OpenSSL license exception.
  • Virtualization Stack Work for Saucy

    • If debian libcgroup maintainer finds time, we’d like to merge cgroup-lite into libcgroup. For per-user configuration, first make it default-off optional, conditional on userns sysctl being enabled.
    • LXC work is going well on track to 14.04 (and lxc 1.0) roadmaps. For this cycle, we’d like to get user namespaces enabled in the saucy kernel with a new off-by-default sysctl controling unprivileged use, and complete the ability to create and start basic containers without privilege; add console, attach and snapshot to the API, complete the create API function, and convert all of the lxc-* programs to use the API; write a libvirt driver based upon the API, and a patch to enable testing it with openstack; write loopback and qcow2 block device drivers; Get the subuid (user namespace enablement) patches into the shadow package; discuss with the community the maintenance of stable trees; improve the API thread safety; and work our distro lxc tests into the upstream package (akin to how it is done in netcf).
    • In edk2, we want to contribute to the implementation of the ability to save and restore nvvars from the ovmf bios from qemu. We’ll fix the apparmor bug preventing the block device mounting in libvirt-lxc, which is blocking use of that feature by openstack.
    • We intend to merge libvirt at least at version 1.0.6, qemu at 1.5, and hopefully xen 4.3. We’ll follow up on citrix’ plans for xcp. The blueprint lists additional xen work planned. We’ll also look into default use of openvswitch bridges in libvirt.

Quality Assurance

  • Core Apps

    • Autopilot testcases written for ubuntu core applications will be checked to ensure they pass before auto-landing updates in the ubuntu touch images.
    • The quality community team will help core application developers develop a suite of manual testcases for each ubuntu core application. These will be run as part of the verification process for the 1.0 stable release of each application.
  • Testcases

    • Add testcases so all default desktop applications for each flavor are covered.
    • Expand and improve server testcases to allow more participation by those who might lack domain specific knowledge and/or hardware.
  • Growth/Experience

    • Make available documentation more accessible by linking to it from the tools we use for testing, like the qatracker.
    • Continue holding testing ‘how-to’ and knowledge sharing sessions during UDW, UOW, as part of UGJ, and on ubuntu on air.
    • Add testing achievements to the ubuntu accomplishments project.
  • Ubuntu Touch

    • Ubuntu Touch images will be smoke tested using the pending/current model already in use for other images. This ensures no image is published for general consumption that doesn’t pass a set of tests ensuring basic functionality of the image.
    • Current Ubuntu Touch autopilot tests for the core applications will be investigated for use as part of these smoke tests.
    • The concept of smoke test is going to be expanded to cover a no regression build.
  • Autopilot

    • Autopilot 1.3 is now released and will be available in raring and saucy. No quantal support is planned. Precise support is being examined, but requires further investigation and backporting work.
    • Autopilot developers will now be available on #ubuntu-autopilot — no need to always ping thomi! :-)
  • Mir

    • Planned tests for stressing mir to ensure good behavior during stressed conditions for things like OOM, memory leaks and race conditions.
    • Stress tests targeted to be run as often as possible, but might be limited due to time constraints of wanting to run the tests over a longer period of time.
  • UTAH

    • UTAH will be expanded to include automated upgrade testing capabilities. UTAH jobs will be created for bootstrapping base images, for performing upgrades, and running post-upgrade tests. The old auto-upgrade-testing tool can still be used by flavors if desired.
  • Dashboard

    • Create high-level views of the state of quality in ubuntu by aggregating results of test runs. This will allow for ‘problem’ areas within ubuntu to be more easily identified and targetted for further testing or investigation by interested parties. You can follow this work on the QA dashboard here.
  • Upstream

    • autopilot-gtk will now be maintained by the upstream QA team. Bug fixes and outstanding issues will be solved in order to allow for the autopilot desktop tests to run
    • Once running properly, the autopilot desktop tests will become a part of daily image testing
    • Continue development on umockdev to add support for more exotic networking tests (eg, 3G) and research sound testing

As ever, you can track progress on work items on status.ubuntu.com and we hope to see you at the next UDS in three months. :-)

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jono

Recently there was yet another storm in a teacup that distracted us from creating and sharing Ubuntu and our flavors with others. I am not going to dive into the details of this particular incident…it has been exhaustively documented elsewhere…but at the heart of this case was a concern around the conduct in which some folks engaged around something they disagreed with. This is not the first time we have seen disappointing conduct in a debate, and I wanted to share some thoughts on this too.

In every community I have worked in I have tried to build an environment in which all view points that challenge decisions or decision makers are welcome with the requirement that they are built on a platform of respectful discourse; this is the essence of our Code Of Conduct. Within the context of an Open Source community we also encourage this engagement around differences to be expressed as solutions with a focus on solving problems; this helps us to be productive and move the project forward. This is why we have such a strong emphasis on blueprints, specs, bugs, and other ways of expressing issues and exploring solutions.

Within the context of this most recent issue I saw three problems (problems I have seen present in other similar arguments too):

  1. Irrespective of the voracity or content of an opinion we must never forget to be respectful and polite in the way we express and engage with others, irrespective of whether you are a volunteer, Canonical employee, or otherwise. Respect must always be present in our discourse, irrespective of the content of our opinions; without it we become a barbaric people and lose the magic that brought this wonderful set of minds together in the first place. There is simply no excuse for rudeness, and inflammatory FUD that has no evidence to back it up other than presumed ill-intent serves nothing but to demotive folks and ratchet up the flames, as opposed to resolve the issue and make things better.
  2. Trust needs to be earned, but trust should always be built within the wider context of a set of contributions and conduct. Unfortunately some folks consider decisions they disagree with to be a basis for (a) entering into a paranoid debate about the “real reason” the individual or company made that decision (and typically not believing the rationale provided by said decision-maker) and (b) seemingly forgetting about all the other positive contributions that the person or company has contributed. I can assure you there is no nefarious scheme at place at Canonical; our goals are well known in the community. If I felt Canonical was fundamentally trying to demote and shut the community out, I wouldn’t work here; I have no interest in working for a company that doesn’t understand the value of community, and I am not worried about finding suitable employment elsewhere. I work at Canonical because I believe our goals with Ubuntu are just and the company’s commitment to our community is sincere.
  3. Ubuntu is not a consensus-based community. Consensus communities rarely work, and I am not aware of any Open Source project that bases their work on wider consensus in the community. It would be impossible and impractical to notify our community of every decision we make, let alone try to base a decision on a majority view, but we do try to ensure that major changes are communicated to our leaders first (this is something we have been driving improvements in recently). We always need to find the right balance between transparency and JFDI, and sometimes the balance isnt’t quite there, but that does not mean there is some kind of illuminati-ish scheme going on behind the scenes.

Ubuntu is a community filled with passionate people, and I love that we have folks who are critical of our direction and decisions. If everyone agreed with what we are doing, we would not always make the right decisions, and our diversity is what makes Ubuntu and our flavors such a great place to participate.

As I said at the beginning of this post, it is important that all viewpoints are welcome, but we have to get the tone and conduct of some of these debates under control. The sheer level of sensationalist and confrontational language that is often in place in these disagreements doesn’t serve anyone but hungry journalists looking for page hits.

Now, I am not suggesting here that anyone should change any of their viewpoints. If you vehemently disagree with an aspect of what we are doing in Ubuntu or at Canonical, that is fine and of course, welcome. What I am appealing to everyone though is to treat others like you wish to be treated, with respect and dignity, and lets keep the sensationalism out of our community and focus on what we do best…building a world-class Free Software platform and its rich ecosystem of flavors.

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jono

As many of you will know, our goal is to get the Ubuntu phone in a state where it can be used on a daily basis for testing, and importantly, finding bugs, UI issues, and other details that help us to refine the overall Ubuntu Touch experience. Progress is on-track for the end of May.

I decided to start dogfooding a little early (please remember, we are shooting for the beginning of July to be broadly in shape for dogfooding, so if you try, don’t expect things to be ready right now), so today I put my SIM card in my Galaxy Nexus with Ubuntu Touch and things are working pretty well so far. It seems that my data is no longer getting wiped on image updates, which helps testing significantly, so I am regularly upgrading with the daily images.

As ever, if you decide to test, you are doing so at your own risk…don’t be surprised to see bugs, crashes, and potential data loss (although I have not seen any data loss so far).

Some notes about my experience dogfooding:

  • Making and recieving phone calls works well. I am using T-Mobile as my network.
  • Sending and recieving texts works well too. Messages appear chronologically.
  • Contact syncing is not in place but Sergio blogged about how to sync your contacts from Google. This has made my phone infinitely more useful and rather nicely, it pulls in the avatars too so I can see who is calling me. :-)
  • Browsing and connecting to wireless networks works well.
  • The browser works well overall, although currently requires wifi (3G browsing coming soon).
  • Camera works well (for still photos, video not implemented yet) and I can browse my pictures in the gallery.
  • Many of the community-written core apps are present and working. Calendar lets me save and browse calendar events (although syncing with a calendar service is not there yet). Weather shows me the weather for my area right now and a week long forcast. Calculator is working and largely feature-complete. Other core apps are on their way to the daily image soon.
  • Overall the core Unity UI is working well. I can search for apps, load them, quit them, multi-tasting works well, and the indicators work (for adjusting volume etc).

The primary blockers in my way right now for normal use out and about are:

  • The screen does not auto shut-off. This means if the screen gets turned on in my pocket it never turns off and the battery dies.
  • Speakerphone not wired into the UI yet.
  • Can’t set the time on the phone yet. Also, the alarm feature in the clock doesn’t work; I need this to get me up in the morning. :-)
  • Not so much a blocker, but the phone is still filled with example material and contacts. They need to be removed.

All of these are on the TODO list for completion by the end of the month.

I have been filing bugs for a bunch of the issues I am seeing on a day to day basis and the team are working hard to hit the end of May goal. Overall progress is looking good.

Although I have been using the daily images for quite some time on a phone without a SIM card, using as an actual phone is even more motivating than before. I can feel the phone coming together and when we get many of these issues fixed, it is going to deliver a far superior experience than the Android phone I was using before.

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jono

A while back I started a project called the Ubuntu Advocacy Kit. The goal is simple: create a single downloadable kit that provides all the information and materials you need to go out and help advocate Ubuntu and our flavors to others. The project lives here on Launchpad and is available in this daily PPA. If you want to see the kit in action just run:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:uak-admins/uak
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install uak-en

Now open the dash and search for “advocacy”. Click the icon to see the kit load in your browser.

We discussed the UAK this week at UDS and I want to get the kit to 1.0 level of completeness. This doesn’t require a huge amount of work, just getting a core set of content written up in a concise, simple, but detailed fashion. I want to complete this work and then get the kit up on loco.ubuntu.com as something people can download to get started advocating Ubuntu and our flavors.

I have created a blueprint to track this work and I am stubbing out a bunch of pages in the kit for pages that I think we will need as part of a 1.0 release.

And why are you telling me this?

Well, I am looking for help. :-)

If you enjoy writing and have a knowledge of good quality advocacy, I would like to invite you to write some content. If you can just reply to this post in the comments (or anywhere else I tend to look, such as email or IRC), we coordinate who works on what and I will update the blueprint where appropriate.

Thanks for reading!

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