Canonical Voices

Daniel Holbach

We all want more quality. We all wasted too many hours trying to fix broken software and we all know that new users struggle the most when facing crashes or other unexpected results. We probably all also agree that testing is a good idea and if it’s automated, then that’s even better.

Automatically exercising large parts of some software’s functionality helps a lot in guaranteeing that things still work, even if the code or some underlying foundations change. The idea is to write the test-case once and have it do its work whenever bits change and let us know if things break unexpectedly – especially before users run into bugs.

Tomorrow, 1st February 2013, we are going to hang out in #ubuntu-quality on irc.freenode.net to have a Hackfest about Automated Testing.

So what’s going to happen there?

  • We are going to have seasoned Ubuntu developers who will introduce you to autopilot (for UI testing) and autopkgtest (for integrating tests with the package in a more general sense).
  • We have a list of tests we want to work on together (but you can work on your own tests if you like as well).
  • We are going to have lots of fun and make Ubuntu a better place.

If you are interested, that’s great, because this is one of the coolest contributions to Ubuntu you can make. For autopkgtest it might be good to have at least a bit experience with scripting or programming, for autopilot less so. Be curious, be there, make Ubuntu better!

Check out our docs here and see you tomorrow!

 

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Daniel Holbach

I mentioned the upcoming Ubuntu Developer Week in my last blog post already, but I thought I’d mention a couple more great sessions we are going to have during the event.

If you haven’t read the original post yet, here’s the quick details: running from 29th to 31st January 2013 we are going to have sessions, mostly on IRC, some on Hangouts-on-Air, where you get a introduction to all kinds of topics surrounding Ubuntu Development. After attending the sessions you will have a good idea how things roughly fit together, how to get started, who to talk to and what’s going on. It’s the perfect opportunity.

Here’s a few quotes from session leaders:

Benjamin Drung

Benjamin Drung

Benjamin Drung and Michael Bienia (of whom the internet does not seem to have any pictures whatsoever) are going to lead the Developers Roundtable and have this to say:

Do you have questions about Ubuntu development? Here you have the best opportunity to ask everything you want to know, because we will have a number of developers there who can answer your questions for you.

 

David Planella

David Planella

David Planella, who will talk about “Writing apps for Ubuntu”, says:

Learn how to use the best open source tools and technologies to write your apps on Ubuntu, both on the desktop and on the phone. You’ll be able to get your first app running in a matter of minutes!

 

 

Michael Hall

Michael Hall

Michael Hall never gets enough, so he’s giving two sessions at UDW this time around. Here’s what he has to say about Ubuntu App Developer tools: “Ubuntu provides a variety of tools to help you write and manage your applications. This session will cover everything from bootstrapping a new project, to making the final packages installable through the Software Center and everything in between.”

He will also talk about Unity integration: “The Unity desktop provides many opportunities for your application to integrate with the full user experience. Learn how to add your Application to the Unity messaging or sound indicators, add your own indicator, extend the Unity Launcher and much more.

Oliver Grawert

Oliver Grawert

We’re excited to have Oliver Grawert here, who will talk about Creating Ubuntu images and the Nexus7 images in particular. He will talk about “[t]he Ubuntu image build infrastructure at a glance, what tools do we use, how do they interact and how is the hardware set up for building the official Ubuntu images” and “[h]ow are the nexus7 images different from “normal” Ubuntu images, what can be hacked to make small modifications, how can they be re-packed or supplied with a different root file system“.

 

Alex Chiang

Alex Chiang

Alex Chiang will introduce us to the world of memory leaks and says:

As we polish and prep Ubuntu for mobile devices, a key activity will be hunting down and squashing memory leaks. This session will discuss the basic theory of leaks, introduce valgrind and our brand new apport-valgrind wrapper, and how to analyze a valgrind log file. A C/C++ background will be helpful to get the most out of this session, but is not strictly required.

Nicholas Skaggs

Nicholas Skaggs

QA mastermind Nicholas “balloons” Skaggs will talk us through “Automated Testing with autopilot” and says:

Learn about how autopilot is utilized by the unity team and quality team to test the ubuntu desktop. We’ll also provide an overview of what autopilot can do, show and run some example testcases, and give you the knowledge needed to get started writing your own autopilot testcases.

 

We are super happy to have brought this line-up of speakers to Ubuntu Developer Week this time around. Head to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDeveloperWeek to review the full schedule, how to join in and find out more.

Share the news with your friends and bring your questions! :-)

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Daniel Holbach

The times for Ubuntu have never been more exciting. Cloud, server, desktop, laptop, TV, tablet, phone – everything runs Ubuntu or is soon going to. This makes developing Ubuntu very special, because fixes which go into Ubuntu in one place will benefit all form factors and all circumstances where it’s used. By improving Ubuntu you make millions of people around the globe happy.

During every 6 month release cycle we run Ubuntu Developer Week. It’s back and we’re going to have it from 29th January to 31st January. During the event we will have online sessions where seasoned Ubuntu developers introduce you to their respective area of expertise or to Ubuntu Development in general.

We will have many great sessions, from hands-on introduction to packaging and Ubuntu development to talks about how to quickly get involved in certain teams and interact with other projects. We will talk about tools and infrastructure, fixing bugs, finding memleaks, working with apps, create Ubuntu images and much much much more. This is the best opportunity to get a feel for how Ubuntu development works, get to know people and ask all the questions you might have.

I talked to a few session hosts, read below what they had to say.

Martin Pitt

Martin Pitt

Martin Pitt, who will talk about Automated Testing, says: “We have been, and are changing the Ubuntu development process to employ automated testing and avoid introducing regressions, and to improve confidence, focus, and development speed. In the first talk I will give an overview about the various kinds of tests that we do, so that you know where to watch out for failures and get debugging information. The second talk focuses on how to write tests, i.e. which technologies are available for e.g. hardware and GUI related behaviour or system-wide integration checks.”

 

Stefano Rivera

Stefano Rivera

Stefano Rivera, who will talk about Upstreams and Debian in particular, said: “So, working effectively in Ubuntu means also working with the teams and people upstream who wrote the software we distribute. I’ll talk about why this is important, when it’s necessary, and how to go about it. In particular, our most important upstream is Debian. Debian has a rather unusual (though powerful) bug-tracker. We’ll cover finding, submitting, and modifying bugs on it.

Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson, project leader of the Hundred Papercuts Team, says: “Unity may be the shiny new thing that everyone loves, but style without substance is only so much fluff, and the substance of Ubuntu is still its GTK-based apps. Once Hundred Paper Cuts focuses it’s attention on that substance, rubbing out the little annoyances that get under our skin every day we’re using Ubuntu. This session will introduce you to the project, how it works, and how to get involved. If you want to contribute to Ubuntu in a way that has the biggest impact on the quality of experience for the end user, then don’t miss this.

 

Bhavani Shankar

Bhavani Shankar

Bhavani Shankar, said about his talk about patch systems: “Many a time we wonder how to integrate a particular fix a particular part of the code in a program and upload into repositories without having to change code each time by hand and making it clumsy. In this session I’m going to show how to use different patch management systems that are in practice now.

About his talk about the app review process in Ubuntu he says: “In this session I’m going to explain the present workflow of reviewing apps and give an introduction into the new app dev upload process to automate reviews.

The forum we use for this is IRC, as it makes it easy to interact for many people without losing track, you can easily copy/paste and we can save the logs as searchable docs afterwards. You join in by simply connecting to #ubuntu-classroom on irc.freenode.net.

Check out the schedule and find more info on the Ubuntu wiki. We hope to see you all there, please let you friends know too. :-)

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Daniel Holbach

Raring!

Many have asked me what’s been going on with the work on Ubuntu on the Nexus 7 recently. A lot of people put work into getting the raring images ready for public consumption. 12.10 worked great on the Nexus, but there were a few blockers on getting 13.04 to work as well. On this road among other things these issues were fixed:

  • A new onboard pre-release made it into 13.04 which fixes many bugs already and makes our on-screen keyboard a lot easier to use. Thanks a lot to the onboard team.
  • The new Unity stack got into raring, which is now automatically tested after commits and auto-released into 13.04. This is a huge milestone from the Unity team. Among the issues fixed was a nux problem, which constituted a blocker.
  • The new raring images use oem-config to present us with an installer window, where you can specify a user name, the wireless network you want to use and other bits.
  • Many many other issues were fixed as well.
Ubuntu on the Nexus 7

Ubuntu on the Nexus 7

So what does this mean for you now? You can now very easily put Ubuntu 13.04 on your Nexus 7. It won’t need any additional PPA, it’s stock raring, you won’t have to reflash, but can just do your regular updates and enjoy the latest and greatest improvements day by day.

This is a huge achievement and will allow us to do better and more immediate testing and hacking on the device.

 

Hacking

One thing we want to improve on the Nexus 7 (and in Ubuntu in general) is memory consumption. Alex Chiang has put together some great blog posts on how to help with finding memory issues and debugging them. They are absolutely worth a read and an effort worth getting involved with. Here are the links:

If you want to make Ubuntu better and have a bit of a development background, be sure to check them out.

 

Meeting the team

Everybody who has been working on Ubuntu on the Nexus 7 has documented things on the wiki pages, so if you are excited about this, be sure head there first. Also does the team hang out in 24/7 in #ubuntu-arm on irc.freenode.net, so feel free to drop by, say Hi and get to know the others.

These are exciting times for Ubuntu and you can be part of it. :-)

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Daniel Holbach

A great way to contribute to Ubuntu is to ensure its functionality always works. What’s even better is that our infrastructure allows us to write tests once and continuously test if the tests still all pass, so whenever a package is updated or changed, we run the tests and can see if the functionality we rely on is still there and working perfectly.

This puts us into a situation where we all can contribute tests once and can basically monitor forever if the code still works. Personally I believe this to be one of the most efficient contributions you can make to Ubuntu (and to Open Source in general).

We want more people to use Open Source software and we all want more quality. We don’t want regressions, we don’t want subtle bugs which nobody ever got around to test. We don’t want anyone (least of all less technical people) to be surprised by bugs.

I hope you are excited about these possibilities as much as I am. If you are, I’d like to invite you to our Automated Testing Hackfest on Thursday, 13th December 2012. Many experts around Automated Testing are going to be hanging out in #ubuntu-quality, there are going to be demos, a lot of talk about automated testing infrastructure and tools and of course a lot of live-hacking!

Jean-Baptiste LallementMartin Pitt

There will be many more, but Jean-Baptiste and Martin already confirmed they’ll be around to help out and get us started! Be sure to join us in #ubuntu-quality on irc.freenode.net and check out the Automated Testing Hackfest page for some more info!

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Daniel Holbach

We have achieved a huge milestone in the development community. For years we wanted translatable packaging and development documentation. It’s there. If you head to http://developer.ubuntu.com/packaging/ you can see the following:


The Ubuntu Packaging Guide (Spanish) – would you like to learn how to package or become an Ubuntu Developer? Here’s a comprehensive, topic-base guide that explores and describes the main concepts of packaging. It is available as


This is absolutely awesome. From now on we will be able to add languages and have up-to-date Packaging and Development docs available whenever they are complete enough.

This work was brought to you by many people who worked very hard to get all the bits right, both on the packaging, integration, beautification and translations sides. You all know who you are. Be proud of your work. This will ease the steps of many people into helping out with Ubuntu!

As always this is ongoing work and the great thing is, you can help out:

This makes me a very happy man and it’s great we finally got there. Now let’s get all the other translations up to scratch! :-D

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Daniel Holbach

Our Ubuntu Development Hangouts have had guests every now and then, but we wanted to get more people on board to talk about what’s going on in Ubuntu development. Many of our viewers asked for more detailed information about specific topics.

So here’s what we’re up to in the next weeks (we’ll add more dates and more sessions):

  • 4th Dec 2012, 15:00 UTC: Rick Spencer, Vice President of Ubuntu Engineering at Canonical will talk to us about 13.04 and the great things which are coming.
  • 11 Dec 2012, 16:00 UTC: Iain Lane, Ubuntu and Debian Developer will chat with us about desktop stuff, motu stuff, release team, backports and all that jazz.
  • 13 Dec 2012, 9:00 UTC: Didier Roche, Unity+Desktop hacker, Unity progress in 13.04, daily builds, automated tests.
  • 18 Dec 2012, 16:00 UTC: Chris Wilson, One Hundred Paper Cuts Team Lead will talk about the One Hundred Paper Cuts project, what the project does and how to get involved.
Your host

This guy will be part of the fun as well. :)

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Daniel Holbach

13.04 progress

We are on the road towards 13.04 where the Raring Ringtail will be released on April 25th. Until then we still have some time, but everybody has made great progress in the last few weeks. The time after UDS is usually the busiest, where people massage the discussions at the conference into specifications and blueprints, but also get busy on figuring out what might and what might not work for the Ringtail.

Here’s a list of great things which happened in the last few weeks in areas I had to do with:

  • The team working on the Nexus7 is very close to releasing a first ‘raring’ image for the Nexus7. This will make life for everyone a lot easier. We will be in a position, where we can immediately see which changes improve the experience and where things need fixing. The current blockers for this is mostly just a nux fix. Some other small pieces of breakage are under investigation as well. (Matt Fischer let us know that the installation problem regarding the “32Gb Nexus7 with 3g” will also be fixed by this image.)
    The team also kicked off work to get the memory consumption on the Nexus (and in general) under control. Alex Chiang blogged instructions to help out with identifying issues in there. (You don’t need a Nexus device for this.) If you want to learn something new and very useful, please read the article since not only the Nexus 7 but Ubuntu on all platforms will benefit from this work. Matt Fischer also blogged a nice overview over the kinds of bugs which were filed on Ubuntu on the Nexus 7.
  • Automated Testing in Ubuntu has seen a huge boost in this cycle already. People following the raring-changes list closely will have seen numerous uploads across many parts of Ubuntu adding or improving tests. Autopilot is also getting closer to generally being usable for Desktop-related testing. We improved our documentation for writing autopkgtest tests to better align with our improved tools. Also go and do read Martin Pitt’s updates to get an idea of how automated tests are used in Ubuntu. Awesome.
  • New contributors should have a much easier time to get involved in Ubuntu Development this cycle. Harvest now lists ‘lintian-easy’ and ‘lintian-very-easy’ opportunities which should be great to get involved. We will soon deliver the Packaging Guide in Spanish as well. We started the planning for Ubuntu Developer Week (January 29th-31st 2013). Last but not least: we are going to have many exciting Ubuntu Development Hangouts on UbuntuOnAir and will invite many developers who talk about what’s going into the Raring Ringtail.

Speaking of which: the dates and times for these hangouts are

  • Tuesdays at 16:00 UTC and
  • Thursdays 9:00 UTC.

This cycle is going to be exciting and you can be part of it! :-)

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Daniel Holbach

Ubuntu Core on the Nexus 7

There was lots of buzz around Ubuntu on the Nexus 7 and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Nexus 7 myself, so I had to try out getting Ubuntu on it. The instructions were incredibly clear and everything worked just perfectly. I couldn’t believe how quickly the the Nexus 7 booted into a standard Ubuntu Desktop.

Ubuntu on the Nexus7

When I started to play around with it, I noticed how much of the vision which shaped Ubuntu in the last years works really well on such a small device. Unity is great, the Ubuntu font looks very crisp, the touch gestures, etc. It was a pleasure to see this and play around with it. Naturally I ran into a couple of issues, which was totally expected. We want to know what these issues are and want to work on them to make Ubuntu ready for ranges of hardware. It was great to see that almost every issue I noticed was filed as a bug report already and the most pressing ones have assignees already.

When I decided to dive into it some more, I was glad I had a a Micro USB Host Cable (OTG Cable) and the small USB hub, Intel gave to UDS participants. I was all set to use the tablet as a small computer. Awesome. (To everyone who has hacked on small devices before, this might be boring – I found it quite exciting to be honest. ;-) )

The current image uses 12.10 plus some patches, but it will soon move over to the 13.04 development release, where we can see bug fixes in a more immediate fashion and benefit from all the new goodness which goes into Ubuntu. Expect an announcement of the move to ‘raring’ very very soon.

This effort is a fantastic opportunity for Ubuntu, as we can all look at one reference device and fix whatever needs fixing and let Ubuntu benefit as a whole. If you think this is a worthwhile project, you can help out. What is most needed right now is people who help test the device, report bugs, triage the list of bugs, forward them to the upstream projects if necessary. If you know how to debug memory consumption and how to improve it, you’d be a great fit for the team as well. Please join #ubuntu-arm on irc.freenode.net and talk to the folks in there.

Our documentation is up at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Nexus7 and there soon will be more meetings, more announces and more chances to get involved. These are exciting times.

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Daniel Holbach

It is another Ubuntu Community Appreciation Day already and although it’s hard to pick just one person, and I’ve worked with many great people and I admire many for what they do and who they are, today I will mention one person I’ve enjoyed working with a lot. To everybody else: you know there’s always enough hugs for you where I am. :-)

Andrew has helped out in many unnoticed places, never claimed much credit and never stood much in the limelight. Andrew, whose last name is pronounced in many different ways (ranging from ‘Starr-Bow-chick-a-wow-wow’ to ‘Something’) has the talent of turning up unexpectedly, picking up some of the hard problems and leaving a fix for it behind. Maybe it’s because our timezones only overlap somewhat and he’s only occassionally on IRC, I often woke up, looked at my inbox and felt like I just found a present in there.

Andrew has been involved in NGOs working in his local area and mailed me after a short absence that he had been busy helping out on the south shore of Staten Island after the hurricane hit. He also became a MOTU and helped out in many teams I’m involved in as well (Dev Advisory Team, Packaging Guide editors, the early NGO team, etc.)

It’s a pleasure to work with Andrew, he’s relaxed, he knows his stuff, he helps with the hard and unrewarding stuff in the beginning to give others the breathing room and open up the field and he has his heart in the right place.

Thanks a lot for your hard work Andrew, it’s much appreciated!

Big hugs to you and everyone else who make the Ubuntu, Open Source and general world a better place. You all rock!

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Daniel Holbach

Restarting the Ubuntu Development Hangouts

For the 13.04 cycle, the Ubuntu Development Hangouts will be back from today onwards and we’ll be live on ubuntuonair.com at

  • Tuesdays at 16:00 UTC and
  • Thursdays 9:00 UTC.

The first one is going to be today, 20th Nov 2012, 16:00 UTC. Can’t wait to see you there! :-D

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Daniel Holbach

For the 13.04 cycle a team of people got together to make sure that the standard Ubuntu Desktop works great on the Nexus 7 device. This is a great opportunity for Ubuntu as we can all refer to one device and one chipset and make sure that Ubuntu is capable of dealing with the device. This will lay the foundations for making Ubuntu ready on many other devices.

The team meets on the 16th November 2012, 16:00 UTC in #ubuntu-meeting.

On the agenda are:

  • general Q&A – the team will answer all your questions,
  • an overview of the current work

We are actively looking for help, we need you to make Ubuntu even better. If you like to test, work with bug reports, measure, debug or fix doesn’t matter, we need you and want you on board.

We put together documentation which should provide pointers to installing Ubuntu on the Nexus 7, how to use it, how to debug and measure certain things like power consumption or memory usage and which bugs we want to fix.

If you have a Nexus 7, plan to get one or are generally excited about the initiative, or just want to find out more, make sure you’re there. Please also let your friends now.

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Daniel Holbach

Our UDS in Copenhagen was the busiest for me ever, but I enjoyed it a lot. There was heaps of energy, good ideas and many good conclusions for the Raring cycle. One thing I really enjoyed was the Leadership Mini-Summit.

We had it at UDSes two times before and what I feel we did better this time around was that we had more concrete examples of Ubuntu teams, their leadership and the challenges we face. It gave us a great opportunity to be together, brainstorm and learn from each other.

I volunteered to give a brief summary for all those who could not attend this time around. The following points are all based on my memory and our notes of the event. Lots of other brief conversations happened there as well.

  • Actively training successors: we discussed a number of interesting experiences in teams and found that some teams had problems finding successors, especially in teams where leadership had been in the same hands for a longer time. We found that when the structures of new team, where things are more open and free-form, slowly moved towards more structure and more processes this might lead to the feeling that things are tedious to main and some fatigue.
    Somebody noted that when finding new leadership and key people in the team, that it’s important to note who has a special skill (maybe presenting or organising or just a special interest), and even if they are a bit reluctant in the beginning, give them lots of positive encouragement and form a personal relationship with them. Their interests are obviously important too.
    Another point mentioned was that sometimes it’s necessary and important to scale back activities if necessary. Also to harness volunteer energy when it’s there.
    Some mentioned that they had been in touch with a new class of contributors: users who need more of a framework, more instructions and were generally less self-starting. Others mentioned they had met people who had misconceptions about involvement in Ubuntu, that there are requirements or they need to be “allowed to” work on something rather than just jumping in. We should definitely encourage these people to get involved. As leaders in the community we should strive to empower others to do things like give the presentations at their events rather than inviting us to do them.
    It’s also important to always provide lists of opportunities (a TODO list basically).
  • Milestones and mid-cycle check points for community projects.
    Some team members found this very useful in watching their team projects progress during the cycle. Most technical teams use work items and blueprints which through our infrastructure are used very well. In less technical teams they are used much less.
    What everybody agreed on was that they’d try to get more team reports and use work items as well.
  • Ubuntu Member “incubator”.
    Some noticed a concern around great contributors who for reasons of their own didn’t want to apply for Ubuntu membership. Sometimes it was lack of knowledge about it, others said they didn’t know why and other just didn’t feel they were ready yet, although they clearly were.
    We will review our Membership documentation to make it clearer what Ubuntu membership is there for and how it is important.
    There were also some related discussions about how some members were just interested in becoming members and then dropped their activities. Discussions around this did not come to any conclusions though.
  • How to respond to “How can I get involved?”
    Some teams mentioned they had had great results with one-to-one mentoring, other teams said they were overwhelmed by requests for 1-on-1 mentoring. Everybody agreed that it was important to not drown potential new contributors with “walls of text”, but that for more diverse projects a simple flow chart could help to explore interests. In there it would be important to define “requirements” for the involvement, but to be encouraging at the same time.
    Some work will go into a proof-of-concept flow-chart which then could then be re-used and translated.
  • Some good ideas for LoCos in general. (These ideas turned up in various discussions.)
    One team had a meeting where lots of people had lots of ideas, but no concrete outcomes or plans of action. Some said that it’d help to categorise the ideas and try to group people into teams who could then collaborate and present their work the next time.
    In another part of the conversation we talked about “official events” and “big events”. Everybody agreed that it’d help to generally try to also encourage small, fun events, like Ubuntu Hours for example.
    Although there were conflicting views on how to organise a big LoCo in general, everybody agreed that it was important to encourage a feeling of one team, no matter which part of the state/country the contributors are from.

Many other topics were discussed as well and it was great to see how we, once we sat together, solve problems together and inspire/help each other. Thanks a lot everyone for turning up.

The work items we agreed on were:

  • Daniel to write a blog post about the Leadership Mini-Summit.
  • Alan to draft proof-of-concept workflow diagram to visualise activities in a team. Daniel to help publicise it and get feedback.
  • José to edit the Question2Answer template and ask to get localized version of a Q&A system.
  • Daniel to add flavour teams to CC checkup schedule and mail CC list about the idea to reach out to regularly teams to check in how they’re doing.
  • Chris to check into automating the team reports by way of the LoCo Team Portal, and try and get it implemented. Pasi to work on a proof-of-concept for a simple website for sending and gathering team reports easily.
  • Daniel to bring up the idea of creating a mailing list for the broader community (we can use it for announcements).
  • Laura to mail all councils/boards who can approve members to notify the CC about new members.
  • Joel to review https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Membership and send suggestion to CC.

Thanks again and good work everyone!

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Daniel Holbach

For me this Ubuntu Developer Summit (http://uds.ubuntu.com) is going to be very special. As always I look forward to meet all you great people again – it’s like meeting “the other party family” again.

Ubuntu Development
A number of development-related sessions are on my list as always and they are going to be very interesting.

We are going to kick off with Ubuntu Development Videos, a session where we’ll discuss how to update our Ubuntu Development videos. This is long overdue, and it might be especially interesting, because I received this very special request on IRC:

<bobweaver> dholbach, if you or others make video tutorial of how to 
            package a updated one I will make video of me shaving my 
            head

Let’s make it happen together! :-D

The next question we’re going to ask ourselves is “What new devs should be doing“. We had some success in the last cycle with proposing a number of categorised tasks to new contributors. Let’s build on that and figure out how we can tell new contributors which tasks they can focus on to have a seamless experience which eases them into our community.

In the last cycles it has become a tradition to look at our Packaging Guide and figure out how to improve it. We are very glad to have received countless fantastic contributions in the last few cycles. This puts us into a great position to provide newcomers with help and with expert up-to-date articles. Here we’ll talk about phasing out the old packaging guide and how to improve our support for translations.

The Developer Advisory Team is alive and kicking and has reached out to many new contributors the last cycle. Still there’s a bunch of things we can improve further. If we want to welcome new folks with open arms and get the best out of their feedback, we need a strong DAT. Help us out.

One thing which never failed to inspire me was whenever work of new contributors was showcased. It’s important because we not only want to show our gratitude by showing off great work done by new people, but also to show others that doing Ubuntu development is no crazy rocket science.

We also plan to have two Ubuntu Development workshops.
Packaging Guide User Testing
Getting Started with Ubuntu Development

New Exciting Stuff
Readers of my blog have probably figured out by now that I got interested in Automated Testing recently. Personally I think it’s one of the best way to be involved in Ubuntu development, because you essentially ensure (theoretically forever) that a given piece of functionality works. To define how we are going to get more people involved in this initiative, let’s meet at the “Automated Testing Community” session.

Also stay tuned for another special announcement with regard to this. :-D

The Community Track
As Jono is busy becoming a father, (All the best man! Big hugs from here!) I will take care of business at Copenhagen and lead the Community track. We have many many exciting things lined up. The Community Roundtables with huge amounts of interesting topics. And sessions about Ubuntu IRC, Ask Ubuntu, juju, translations, Edubuntu, Lubuntu, the Ubuntu Youth team, Ubuntu Accomplishments, more juju, Ubuntu TV, the Ubuntu Data Mining project, the Debian healthcheck, Ubuntu on Air sessions, the Ubuntu Women team, Xubuntu and many other presentations, discussions and meetings. You can very easily see: the Community Track is where it’s at!

One thing I’d like to highlight is the Ubuntu Leadership Mini-Summit because I feel it’s critical to our success as the Ubuntu project that we figure out how we can lead our respective areas of the community efficiently and learn from each other. Drop by and let’s talk.

You can already see: this UDS is going to be quite busy for me, but it’s also clear that it will kick arse. :-)

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Daniel Holbach

Leadership Mini-Summit at UDS

At Ubuntu Developer Summit we are going to have another Leadership Mini-Summit. This time it will only be one afternoon and it’s currently pencilled in for Tuesday afternoon.

One thing we also would like to change since last time is to make it a bit less heavy on governance-related bits and pieces, but more open to general team leadership. This leadership mini-summit we want to share as much experience among everyone interested as possible.

I added a few initial ideas to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UDS-R/LeadershipSummit – please add yours and spread the news.

Hope to see you there! :-)

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Daniel Holbach

It’s time for some Ubuntu Development Events for those of you who are raring to go get started for 13.04 development.

We will be starting the fun today at 13:00 UTC with Ubuntu Open Week. Luckily I still managed to book a double session, so we’ll have plenty of time to get you started and introduced to Development team and what we do.

The Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) will be happening form 29th October to 1st November in Copenhagen and we will have some workshops there as well. If you’re in town, make sure you drop by. Watch the Packaging Guide User Testing and the Get Started with Ubuntu Development workshops. For us it will be great to see how people use the Packaging Guide and what we need to fix. For you it will be great to have people around who are going to help you if you should get stuck. Also it will be a great time to catch up and get to know each other. Thanks a lot to Benjamin Drung (and others) who are going to help with these events.

There will be plenty more activity at UDS which I’ll blog about soon too. :-)

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Daniel Holbach

Packaging Guide: Hablamos español.

One group in Ubuntu which never gets the credit they deserve are the translators. These fine people spend hours smoothing the road for Ubuntu into all the parts of the world. One project where this recently became clear to me again was the Packaging Guide.

Weighing in at 759 strings or 196K of text, and at times very technical text, it’s probably not the easiest document to translate. Still we have a very nice success story to share.

The Spanish team got their translations up to 95% completion. Incredible work! Muchas gracias! The other teams were busy as well, so we have:  Brazilian Portuguese (22%), Japanese (17%), Russian (9%), German (9%), Dutch (3%), along with other teams which are just getting started: Vietnamese, Macedonian, Swedish, Turkish, Indonesian, French, Latvian, Chinese (Traditional), Slovenian, Hungarian and Catalan.

This means that Spanish is the first language which made it past out magic threshold and will soon ship separate packages for the guide in Spanish. Fantástico!

I said “soon” because we are still working out a couple of kinks to do this in the easiest fashion. Thanks to help of many we figured out the following problems:

But we are still struggling with the following ones:

So if you are knowledgeable in this area, please consider helping out.

Thanks everyone for your stellar work on this. You make the lives of new contributors a lot lot easier!

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Daniel Holbach

1308,42€ (£ 1055) raised for Oxfam

Oxfam

I’m going to take a leaf out of Michael’s book who wrote a great blog post about the 24h madness our team was involved in last week.

Many people supported us throughout the event. Friendly comments on IRC and social media, text messages from friends, people helping to organise the event and many many people who donated. I’d like to thank everyone who made this possible in whichever capacity.

I explained already why donating to Oxfam is a good idea, but I want to mention it again: everybody who donated did a good job helping people around the world to have to worry less and be able to grasp opportunities. Thanks everyone again.

Here’s the list of donors. They are all heroes.

  • Michael Hasselmann
  • David Collins
  • Kevin Jackson
  • Sébastien Bacher (seb128)
  • Rouven Sacha
  • William Anderson (neuro)
  • Christel Dahlskjaer
  • Anonymous (x7)
  • Stefan Himpich
  • Lemm Nelson
  • Thomas Kluyver
  • Laurence Saunders
  • Bruno Hildenbrand (w1ngnut)
  • Marcel
  • Tobias Bouchon
  • Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre
  • Arthur Talpaert
  • Sam Hewitt
  • Frau Ka
  • Phillipe Gauthier
  • sebsebseb Mageia contributor
  • Laura Czajkowski
  • Mitsuya Shibata
  • Richard Harding
  • Edeltrud, Klaus & Thomas
  • Daniel Marrable
  • Joel Wir?mu Pauling
  • Benjamin Kerensa
  • Robin Gloster (LocCom)
  • Sam
  • Thijs K
  • Gregor Herrmann
  • Mark Shuttleworth
  • Sebastian Carneiro
  • Bradley Crittenden
  • Tibbo
  • Iain Lane
  • Godmin
  • Jane Silber
  • Martin Pitt
  • Michelle Hall

You’ve all been very generous and I’m sure Oxfam will put it to good use.

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Daniel Holbach

New dev hangouts

After the 24h marathon craziness I promised to get back to a more regular schedule of hangouts, but due to a personal scheduling conflict the next Ubuntu dev hangout is going to be tomorrow, Tuesday, 9th Oct 2012 at 14:00 UTC. The next one afterwards will be at the normal time, Thursday, 11th Oct 2012 at 8:00 UTC again.

See you all on ubuntuonair.com. Follow the ubuntudev account on Twitter/Identica/Facebook/G+ to get more information closer to the time. :-)

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Daniel Holbach

So the Ubuntu Community Charity Marathon is in full swing and we are just getting into the 14th hour. We had a number of challenges posted already:

  • Nick is going to write a manpage for Debian for every 5 donations he gets which have ‘Debian’ in the comment.
  • Daniel is going to send patches to Debian for every donation with the word ‘Debian’.
  • Jono is going to shave his beard off if he hits £3000.

This is all very nice and everything, but now we reached a new point in this craziness: Alan Pope, Elvis imitator deluxe pledged to shave off his hair. Shave off his hair. If all of us get more donations in than Jono.

Popey, Elvis imitator deluxe

Popey, Elvis imitator deluxe

An easy fix for the situation above would be for example: if Jono gets 3000 pounds and each of us gets 3001. Tell you friends, help us out. This is going to be awesome and it’s all for a good cause.

Here to help you out:

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