Canonical Voices

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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Daniel Holbach

Next video hangouts

So for the last few weeks we have been doing Ubuntu Development video hangouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it was a lot of fun. We had quite a number of viewers, some new, some coming back for more info and lots of great questions.

Tomorrow we’ll do another one at 15 UTC, but we will skip the one on Thursday, as it will be the day of our Ubuntu Community Team 24 Hour Marathon, where we will stay up for 24 hours, work on Ubuntu and broadcast the video live on the internet.

If you have topics related to Ubuntu development you’d like me to talk about or something you’d suggest I’d have a look into, please let me know and if you’d like to support Oxfam and me in this event, please consider donating at my donations page. If you should need some further decision making help, check out my other blog post.

Working on Ubuntu is already doing good in the world, but doing good while working on Ubuntu is even more awesome. So have a look and enjoy the spectacle. :-)

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Daniel Holbach

On 4th October everyone on our team at Canonical will work for a solid 24 hours period and stream it live to the internet. It will be hard, but it will also be lots of fun and we do it to raise money for charities. We all picked different ones and you can get more info about each of us on the Marathon page.

So a few friends already asked me: “Why Oxfam?” and there are obviously many many fantastic charities to choose from, but I thought I’d go into a bit more detail about why I love the work they’re doing.

Oxfam’s mission statement is “We believe we can end poverty and injustice, as part of a global movement for change.”, which is something I very much identify with.

I have very early memories of my life in which I had seen reports of injustice, poverty or hunger in the news and asked my mom why we let something like that happen. I was appalled, why isn’t everyone having a good life as I did? Even nowadays I find it hard to explain this to kids, which in my mind is the best way to test how much sense you are making.

Learning about organisations which helped to solve some of these problems reinstated my hope in humanity and I’m glad it did, because you’d probably all know a much less cheerful Daniel if that hope wasn’t reinstated back in my early days.

Oxfam makes long-term commitments to areas, so even when the reporters are gone, they stay and help to make these region less prone to catastrophes. They form local partnerships because they know that locals often know best how to address issues – there is no self-righteous sense of mission involved here.

A common garden

A common garden

Watershed in Balandougou, Mali

Watershed in Balandougou, Mali

Take the Sahel region for example. Life is hard there, rainfall is minimal and with climate change life gets a lot harder. Infrastructure and the medical situation can be problems too. So when there’s a drought hunger relief is important, but it’s not everything. You need to invest into education, you need to make sure people can sustain themselves and can find other venues of supporting themselves and others.

Oxfam’s help and support comes in all the forms mentioned above and many more, which is what I love about them. Sometimes it is seemingly small things like “an oven which needs less wood”, which in turn leads to less deforestation (which is a huge problem anyway) and girls (who do most of the wood collecting) having more time for their studies.

While this is all great work already, Oxfam doesn’t stop there. They deeply understand that some of the world’s problems are not made locally, but globally. So they campaign for policy change in lots of relevant areas, be it related to climate change, speculation on food prices, saving energy, issues related to biofuel and many other issues. Demonstrating against a coal power plant in Germany is connected to problems in the Sahel region. Oxfam get this. We’re in this world together.

Oxfam is also creative and fun. Their Unwrapped Store is a great opportunity to give presents and also make the world a better place. What I love most is the pair of goats (picture below) – there were a few weddings where this was part of my gift.

Pair of goats

Pair of goats

Also have Oxfam been around since 1942 and they picked two very important points: poverty and injustice, which if granted to everyone would put them into a position where they can “exercise their human rights, assert their dignity as full citizens and take control of their lives.”

This got more lengthy than I expected, but as you can see I really like what they’re doing. I have been supporting them for a while, getting their quarterly reports and a few of my friends volunteered from them. I’m quite sure you don’t do anything wrong if you support them.

If you want to support Oxfam and think working for 24h for Oxfam is a good idea, please donate here. Thanks in advance, you’re a hero!

See you all on http://marathon.ubuntuonair.com/ on 4th October.

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Daniel Holbach

Ubuntu Dev hangouts

Last week I did two public video hangouts. The first one got a bit full, because I had not made it a hangout-on-air. Unfortunately Hangouts on Air don’t provide a chat widget, which makes communication a bit hard. So in the second one I used ubuntuonair.com which adds an IRC widget to the live stream. You can see the recorded session here. As you can see from the comment on the video (and others told me too), I should have used the Ubuntu on Air account for this. We are constantly improving. :-)

Now I need your advice, requests and ideas. These hangouts are about Ubuntu development, so about packaging, integration of software into Ubuntu and the like. What would you like to see in the next sessions?

The schedule for the hangouts is:

  • Tuesdays at 15:00 UTC and
  • Thursdays 8:00 UTC.

Please comment below and I’ll try to prepare a bit of content for our next sessions.

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Daniel Holbach

I’m quite happy with the progress the Packaging Guide is making. We managed to fix a bunch of bugs this cycle and most importantly we got it into Ubuntu and made it translatable. We only opened translations a couple of weeks ago, but some language teams have been hard at work:

  1. pt_BR.po (18%)
  2. ja.po (14%)
  3. ru.po (9%)
  4. es.po (5%)
  5. id.po (4%)
    de.po (4%)
  6. nl.po (1%)
  7. sv.po (0%)
    fr.po (0%)
    lv.po (0%)
    zh_TW.po (0%)
    hu.po (0%)
    ca.po (0%)

At UDS we decided that for translations which came to a percentage of completion of >= 70% we would build separate packages for those languages. Up until to that percentage we will only keep the translations in Launchpad.

This means there is still some way to go for all of us, but this is a great great step already. Thanks a lot for your hard work on this!

There are obviously many more bugs to fix and we’d love your help.

Bitesize bugs:

Make it prettier:

One bug we’d love to see some help with is #1043232 Packaging Guide FTBFS – it looks like the build fails due to Japanese translations. Right now all translations are disabled, which serves as a workaround for now.

Thanks again to everyone who helped out with the Packaging Guide. Your help has got many many contributors on their way. Keep up the good work!

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Daniel Holbach

We need some feedback. Can you please leave a comment with the information

  • you wish you had had heard when you got involved with Ubuntu development
  • you want to share with new starters in Ubuntu development
  • you learnt and found invaluable

As you can imagine, your feedback is going to make the experience for new contributors even better. Thanks a lot in advance.

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Daniel Holbach

Hanging out with Ubuntu developers

We want Ubuntu development to be as accessible as possible. Ubuntu Developer Week (logs available on the page if you couldn’t make it) was a lot of fun, but now it’s time to take the next steps.

There are around 7 weeks left until our beloved quetzal is released. Now is the best time to get started, help out and fix a couple of bugs. To help you with this, we’ll start a series of Google Hangouts you can join easily. In the hangouts we’ll show you how to easily fix some small bugs, where to get the bugs from and answer all your questions. This is also a good opportunity to get to know Ubuntu developers a bit better.

This guy will be part of them as well.

I won’t be alone in these hangouts and expect other developers to join in.

To get us started, from next week on we’ll do the sessions at:

  • Tuesdays at 15:00 UTC and
  • Thursdays 8:00 UTC.

Session URL will be announced via the {identi.ca,twitter.com,gplus.to,facebook.com}/ubuntudev. Until then I’d recommend you have a look at these articles:

See you there! :-)

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Daniel Holbach

With UDW over, what’s next?

So Ubuntu Developer Week is over (summaries day 1, day 2, day 3), what’s next?

If you enjoyed UDW and want to learn more about Ubuntu Development, I’d recommend reading the Packaging Guide and finding more information and examples to get a better idea.

Then you obviously need some tasks to work on. We identified a number of tasks on the Bug Fix Initiative page along with instructions. Among them are:

For new contributors:

For more experienced contributors:

Also do we have a couple of bugs open for the Packaging Guide, a bunch of them are tagged as ‘bitesize‘.

If you look at any of the tasks and find you need some help, talk to us in #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net or send a mail to the ubuntu-motu mailing list.

We’d love to welcome you to our team, hope to see more of you soon!

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Daniel Holbach

I talked many times about getting involved with developing Ubuntu and how it can seem daunting and that there’s much to learn. When I talked to contributors who had reached the critical point where they understood what they can do, who they can talk to and how the processes roughly work, most of them said that three things helped them to get to the point:

Code review

Today I want to talk about code reviews. It’s probably the most straight-forward way to learn by osmosis: you easily pick up conventions, distinctions which are made and which processes to follow.

Everybody has to go through code reviews, no matter which team they are in, which company they work for or when they joined the project. Up until a point they get their developer application approved and get upload rights.

This is the reason why code reviews in Ubuntu are so important and why we should constantly strive for timely replies and decisions on review requests.

Sponsoring Queue

The sponsoring queue is reviewed by developers with upload rights. Sometimes it’s very easy to approve a request and upload the package, sometimes it takes a bit longer, especially when you have a comment ping-pong between the reviewer and the patch author.

We came up with a number of points in our documentation which should help keeping the queue manageable:

For Bugs fixing small details, you could do the following:

  1. Ask the contributor to forward the patch upstream.
  2. Open an empty upstream bug task.
  3. Mark the Ubuntu task as ‘Fix Committed’.
  4. Unsubscribe ubuntu-sponsors, or mark the merge proposal status as “Work in Progress”. (Be sure to tell the contributor to reverse the process.)

This will get the review item off the list for the time being and once we can import the code from upstream, it will get fully closed.

We also get requests which are not suitable for the current release period. In this case you could:

  1. Let the contributor know that the patch is not suitable for the current release period.
  2. Unsubscribe ubuntu-sponsors, or mark the merge proposal status as “Work in Progress”. (Be sure to tell the contributor to reverse the process.)
  3. Subscribe yourself to the bug report.
  4. Milestone the bug to ‘later’.
  5. Visit https://bugs.launchpad.net/people/+me/+bugs/?field.milestone%3Alist=196 once the new release opens and upload the fix.

This are just some points which help to keep things on the queue relevant.

Patch Pilots

From the Bazaar team we borrowed the scheme of “patch pilots”. Here’s how they explain how it works: “The word pilot is in the sense of a maritime pilot: we help patches come through congested waters safely in to harbour. The main thing to watch is the bzr active reviews page in Launchpad. When you’re piloting, put some concentrated effort into helping people have a good and satisfying experience contributing to Bazaar. Just how you do that is up to you.

Instead of trying to review each and every bit in the queue – sometimes there are packages you know less about and where you can’t make a decision for example – you try to help nudge the patch along. You help to talk to upstream about it, try to find somebody who can make a decision, etc.

Canonical engineers with upload rights who work on Ubuntu are expected to spend an hour per week on the Ubuntu sponsoring queue, so everybody’s on the hook for having a piloting shift 4h every four weeks. This usually works much better, as you have an extended period of time where you do nothing else. Current patch pilots can be seen in the #ubuntu-devel channel topic.

Up until now I mostly noticed Canonical engineers who did piloted. If you have upload rights and are interested, let me know and I can add you to a preliminary schedule, so you get a reminder mail and you can try it out and see if you like it.

Please all help making this work even better. :-)

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Daniel Holbach

Users of Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) now can easily install the Ubuntu Packaging Guide:
daniel@daydream:~$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-packaging-guide
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
ubuntu-packaging-guide-html
The following NEW packages will be installed:
ubuntu-packaging-guide ubuntu-packaging-guide-html
0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B/488 kB of archives.
After this operation, 1244 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?
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daniel@daydream:~$

Of course you can always browse it online here but for all offline use it is now in Ubuntu in PDF, HTML and EPUB formats.

This was only possible through the help of many contributors. Some of them I was able to get together from the bzr log:

  • Alexander Fougner
  • Andrew Starr-Bochicchio
  • Barry Warsaw
  • Benjamin Drung
  • Brian Murray
  • Daniel Holbach
  • Dmitry Shachnev
  • Iain Lane
  • Jamie Strandboge
  • Jelmer Vernooij
  • Jeremy Bicha
  • Jim Campbell
  • Jonathan Jesse
  • Jonathan Riddell
  • Joseph Mills
  • Leo Iannacone
  • Martin Owens
  • Raoul Snyman
  • Ryein
  • Stefano Rivera

Thanks so much for your great work in the Ubuntu Packaging Guide project – you are all heroes!

There is still lots of work to be done. If you want to get involved, because it’s a really nice project, have a look at a list of bugs and please help to get it translated!

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