Canonical Voices

Daniel Holbach

One class of new contributors has always been successful: self-starters who knew what they wanted to do, where to get involved, with possibly some already existing experience or knowledge. For others it’s been a tougher ride.

To remedy some of this, we set up the Developer Advisory Team. We figured that (among other things) reaching out to new contributors who just got their first fix into Ubuntu to thank them, encourage them and ask for their feedback would help us a lot in terms of bringing them into the fold and finding out what current stumbling blocks are.

The team consists of Andrea Colangelo, Andrew Starr-Bochcchio, Bhavani Shankar, Christophe Sauthier, Evan Broder and myself. We’ve been working together for a few weeks now and been reaching out to many contributors to Ubuntu development.

We collected the feedback and put together a report which summarises the experience of new contributors. If you’re in the thick of process definitions, documentations, backlog of review queues and the like it’s very easy to only concentrate on things which are broken or could be improved.

I’d like to take the time to quote a few of the super positive responses we received:

  • “Developers always respond very friendly.”
  • “I’m also very much impressed by the smoothness of online collaboration through launchpad and bzr (wow, would not have thought I’d be praising bzr at some point ). Branching a project to fix a bug and getting that visible to the project’s developers is effortless and lets me concentrate on the actual work.”
  • “Had heard about reviews taking a long time, but didn’t find it to be the case.”
  • “I really enjoyed getting to see my contributions go through the whole cycle from inclusion to available update. Seeing the process was interesting, as I had not known the different stages previously, and it was exciting to realize that a bug fix (simple, but there nonetheless) could go from a proposed fix to being available for installation in just over 24 hrs.”
  • “Much easier than I had expected. I had always assumed that one had to be an official packager to apply a patch to a package and submit it. Overall, it was a surprisingly painless process.”
  • “I think the most positive part of the experience to date has been the realization that the Ubuntu community cares enough to engage in this kind of feedback solicitation. That is simply unparalleled in other projects, and a testament to the many solid reasons so many prefer Ubuntu.”
  • “Overall, the entire was quite enriching and engaging. To be frank, I was desperately waiting for an opportunity to fix an easy bug for quite some time. And, so when I eventually found one, I was overly joyed. Given another opportunity, I will surely contribute again to Ubuntu development.”
  • “The people. Good response from other people, great impression about the whole community.”
  • “Contributing to free and open source projects makes me excited. It is great that I can paticipate and improve Ubuntu. I feel awesome when my work is released. Also I was glad when people found out their problem doesn’t exist in new release.”

Everybody who helps make this happen on a daily basis: give yourself a pat on the back. I’m proud of what we achieve together, and so should you! :-)

Check out the full report if you want to get into the details of the feedback.

If you have comments yourself or suggestions for improvements, leave your comment below.

Read more
Daniel Holbach

I just went over the soon-to-be-released report of the Developer Advisory Team, where we sum up feedback from first-time contributors to Ubuntu Development and many noted that they found developer documentation easily and things generally worked out for them, but they struggled finding stuff to work on.

The Ubuntu Development team has always been good at creating new TODO lists (merges, Debian RC bugs, build failures, heaps of different bug lists and much much more), but you need to know what you are looking for.

Enter Harvest. We created it so it merely aggregates opportunities for Ubuntu developers in a simple web interface. You can select opportunity types and specific sets of packages to narrow down opportunities based on your interests.

If you got some spare time, are interested in Ubuntu development and would like to help, you would do the Ubuntu world a great favour by doing one of the following:

If you are an Ubuntu developer or would like to become one: trying it out and commenting below with your experience. (Bugs can be filed here.)

If you have a great idea on how it could be further simplified, extended or improved, write up your idea and link to it in the comments.

If you are a web developer: please get in touch. Harvest is written using Django and Python and it’s super-easy to extend, improve and fix it – so if you are looking for something to help out with, this might be a great opportunity for you.

Please consider helping out, your contributions will not only help you make better use of Harvest, but many other developers and new contributors as well. :-)

(If you tried it out and it works perfectly for you, let us know too. :-) )

Read more
Daniel Holbach

New contributors who don’t have upload rights to Ubuntu yet get their code reviewed and their packages uploaded by Ubuntu developers. This process is called “sponsoring” and our current process has been in place since pretty much forever. It has even gotten easier over time, so new branches or patches show up on our review queue.

Two years ago when we were struggling with getting code reviewed, we put in place “patch pilots”, a great concept we borrowed from the Bazaar team. We set up a monthly schedule and Canonical provided 4 hours per month per engineer with upload rights to make sure code gets reviewed. This has helped a lot.

Getting closer to the 12.04 release, it looks like we need to put some extra effort in and need some help.

Sponsoring Stats

That’s right we have been hovering around 50 for a while now, dealt with many incoming new requests, but still we don’t get down to 0. If you can review code, please help out.

We all are interested in getting new developers on board. This only works if we review each other’s work, gain each other’s trust and give each other advice.

The Sponsorship queue is where a lot of exchange about this happens and where knowledge is passed on. Help out by reviewing today and help grow our community this way.

This is one of the most valuable contributions to Ubuntu! This matters to all of us.

If you want to see at once glance how we are doing and who’s all helping out, head over to our one glance sponsoring page. (Patches to make it look more Ubuntu-y are very welcome!)

Check the instructions for code review (with lots of tips and tricks) and get your name on the page as well!

Read more
Daniel Holbach

Many engineering teams in the Ubuntu world have made extensive use of User Testing in the last years. This is an important reality check for everyone defining the experience of users. Do my assumptions still hold true? What do users expect? Are there use-cases we never considered? Which steps confuse our users?

The Ubuntu developers, so everyone who builds Ubuntu, integrates pieces to work nicely with each other, maintains packages and produces the distribution we all love, everyone is interested in this kind of feedback.

User testing of the Ubuntu Development process has, if it happened, always been ad-hoc and isolated. This is the reason why we want to look into this again and figure out which parts of the work-flows need to be improved.

Have you thought about contributing to Ubuntu Development before? Did you like the thought of helping improve the distribution millions of users love? If you did, you might be interested in this User Testing initiative. You will only have to read our documentation and send your feedback to Ubuntu Dev email. We in turn will make sure your feedback is put up for discussion and fixed eventually. Also will we will help you on your way if you should get stuck.

This initiative is not to be confused with mentoring. We are not going to do your homework for you or package your app. :-) Instead this will provide a great way for you to get started where you can share your experience with Ubuntu developers, who can help you along, while you provide valuable feedback. Your feedback will be treated confidentially and only published in an anonymised and summarised fashion.

What you need to do? Simple:

This is an experiment we will do until the release of Ubuntu 12.04 (April 26th). This should give us food for thought for the upcoming Ubuntu Developer Summit and depending on the success of the initiative, we will continue it.

Follow @ubuntudev on twitter.com, identi.ca, Google+ or facebook.com to find out more about this initiative and others.

Read more
Daniel Holbach

Ubuntu Dev Hangouts this week

We had some excellent Google+ Hangouts last week, where everyone who was interested in getting involved in Ubuntu Development could join in and we had a nice chat in a very relaxed atmosphere. This week we are going to do some more. Here’s the times:

If you haven’t dived into Ubuntu Development yet, but you’re interested, please check out our Ubuntu Development guide! Hang out with us here.

Read more
Daniel Holbach

I’ve been using Google+ Hangouts for a while and some of you might have seen that Jono posted some evidence of these. Mostly I just used them for team calls with a fixed agenda or to keep in touch with friends.

Yesterday I did a free-for-all hangout, using the new “named hangout” feature of Google+. It’s basically like a chat room with a fixed URL, where you can discuss whatever is on your mind. The idea was to create an opportunity to ask and answer questions in a more personal way without having the feeling of interrupting “more important” discussions.

This was a great experience! I didn’t count all nationalities, but I picked up we had people from South Africa, India, Taiwan, Bulgaria, USA at the same time. This was simply awesome.

Ubuntu Developer Hangout

Above it looks like I was hanging out with 35 people at the same time. This wasn’t the case. Unfortunately the hard limit is still 10 people at a time. There are “celebrity hangouts”, where you can record the event and have more people listening in, but unfortunately this takes away the opportunity to get involved.

Sometimes I did have to mute people whose microphone was not set up properly (one time I think heard a rooster in the background), but generally I feel we fared very well.

Many of the people in the hangouts were great Ubuntu fans and thanked for the work Ubuntu developers and contributors in general are doing. It was really heart-warming. Some had programmed before, even in Open Source projects and were keen to help out. So with the screen-sharing functionality I was able to demo how to fix a simple bug which was great.

Thanks also to Evan Broder and Andrew Mitchell who jumped in and answered a few questions as well.

I think I will keep these as an institution for now and announce events over the @ubuntudev twitter/identi.ca/facebook/google+ accounts. If you should ever want to do a hangout session, use the ubuntu-dev hangout, do it and let me know in advance, so I can post this more publicly.

If you have any experience with events like this and have some new ideas, please comment below!

Thanks again every one – this is just a great way to be in touch with the world-wide community of Ubuntu lovers!

Read more
Daniel Holbach

Today is a good day to join Ubuntu development. Here’s your own, personal checklist:

  • You like doing some detective work.
  • Reading some docs or using the terminal does not scare you.
  • You might have tinkered with some source code before.
  • You love Ubuntu and want to help improve it!

Here’s how we are going to help you:

  • We have a bunch of friendly people on #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net who are going to answer all your questions.
  • We have prepared a list of easy tasks for you.
  • We are going to review your changes and help you when you might get stuck.

What you need to do:

It’s a great feeling to fix bugs for millions of users, especially in this release which will be an LTS and used on lots of new devices.

We are looking forward to seeing you there! Just join the channel and say Hi!

 

Read more
Daniel Holbach

As part of our Fix-It Fridays we saw many many new faces joining the #ubuntu-motu IRC channel which always has many helpful developers who are there to answer questions and help if you should get stuck. Still it seems like some feel uncomfortable asking questions or getting their feet wet in this forum.

After some discussion we thought it might make sense to have an additional low-key event where you can show up, get to know everyone and ask whatever you have on your mind. With Google+ Hangouts becoming more and more popular, we will offer a couple of hangouts tomorrow where you can get easily involved and in touch with us.

Daniel hanging out

Building up to this week’s Fix-It Friday, we will be there for you tomorrow, 8th March 2012 at:

in the ‘ubuntu-dev’ hangout.

We are looking forward to seeing you there to give you a warm welcome to our Ubuntu development community. To get an idea of how things work, you might want to check out the first few articles of our Ubuntu Development Guide.

Read more
Daniel Holbach

Welcoming Monday is a lot easier if you have a great weekend to look back to. 32 LoCo teams in 23 countries definitely had a great time at Ubuntu Global Jam.

The Fix-It Friday activity continued for hours and I thought it’d be a nice idea to go through just a few bits that came in and showcase what exactly was done, so it becomes a bit clearer what all constitutes as a “fix” for Ubuntu 12.04.

Before we dive into discussing fixes, I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the event. The atmosphere was great and super-productive. I hope to see you all next Friday again! :-)

  • Barneedhar had a look at the list of release-critical bugs which were fixed in Debian that haven’t made it to Ubuntu yet. On the list was a motion upload (3.2.12-3.1) which (among other things) fixed Debian bugs 640562 (build failure with libav/0.7.1). This was fixed in Ubuntu as well before, but differently. What Barneedhar did was: review the differences between Debian and Ubuntu and make sure nothing of importance was dropped, then kick off a test-build of the Debian version in current Ubuntu, see if everything still works. The test results were positive, so we could sync the package from Debian and eliminate the delta between Debian and Ubuntu. Excellent work!
  • Leo Iannacone had a look at a bug report about librsvg failing to build. When looking at a bug report, it’s a good idea to first check if you can reproduce it. Leo checked and found that it  still builds on i386 and amd64. Great – the bug could be closed! (Just a tip while we’re at it: If you have an amd64 machine, you can easily build i386 packages, by running ‘pbuilder-dist precise i386 build …’ instead of the regular ‘pbuilder-dist precise build …’.)

A lot of other bug fixes were contributed, patches were reviewed and upload, questions answered, and lots more. Some bug fixes are still being reviewed, some weren’t mtnentioned on the etherpad we used during Fix-It Friday, but lots and lots of new contributors showed up in the last few days (expect an update as part of the weekly “Ubuntu 12.04 Development update”).

Thanks a lot everyone for your great work. You all make Ubuntu as great as it is! :-)

Read more
Daniel Holbach

This is going to be a real Ubuntu weekend. Not only is Ubuntu Global Jam kicking off today, but there is also Fix-It Friday going on and the Linaro/ARM teams are having an ARM Porting Jam.

If you always felt like getting more involved in Ubuntu, this weekend might be just the right opportunity.

The Ubuntu Global Jam page lists a number of events in all parts of the world, on the list of countries there are: Egypt, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Australia, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Canada, Mexico, USA, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. If you can’t find an event near you, check out the general Jam page to find a number of things you can get involved with in any case.

If you know the ARM architecture well and want to get involved, get in touch with the fine people organising the ARM Porting Jam.

If you were always interested in Ubuntu development, I have very good news for you. Here’s the details:

Great times ahead everyone, let’s make Ubuntu better together!

Read more
Daniel Holbach

A lot of really great things are coming together right now: tomorrow we kick off Ubuntu Global Jam for the 12.04 cycle, additionally we will have Fix-It Friday tomorrow!

The Ubuntu developer community is putting a lot of effort into this event. There will be experienced developers who

  • take the time to answer all the questions you have,
  • help you fix problems,
  • review code for you,
  • use the time to clear up the sponsoring queue.

Here’s something you can do for us: get involved! Seriously, the more people show up, the more fun it will be, so if you are still hesitant, just show up: We are friendly, we’ll help out and we will have a great time.

If you want to prepare yourself a bit, check out these articles first: Introduction to Ubuntu development, Getting Set Up and Fixing a bug in Ubuntu. Please also give us feedback about them. If there’s anything unclear, wrong or confusing, we will fix it. We not only want a precise 12.04 release, but also precise Ubuntu development docs!

I’m looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow! :)

Read more
Daniel Holbach

Since I heard it, I always like the idiom “to hit the ground running”. There’s no really good German translation of it, but the thought of arriving somewhere, knowing what to do and how to do it definitely has its charm. In practical terms it’s often hard, especially if there’s complicated rules, tools and processes.

I won’t deny that there’s an interesting learning experience involved if you want to get into Ubuntu development. The experience will involve a couple of round-trips, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution to every single package or piece of software.

The good news is though[1]: it’s a lot easier than you think and we’re there to help you.

On Friday, 2nd March 2012, a lot of Ubuntu developers and contributors are going to be there to actively help you get started with Ubuntu Development. This is a great opportunity to ask all your questions, get to know a bunch of really friendly and helpful people and learn lots and lots about Ubuntu and Open Source development. It will almost be like hitting the ground running.

So you like the idea to help make Ubuntu better for millions of users on servers, desktops, laptops, TVs, phones and elsewhere?

There are two lists of items we want to look into fixing together:

  1. Packages which don’t build anymore.
    If you have worked with compiling source code before, you know that a mistake like a syntax error can get you into a situation where the build is broken and does not succeed. There are lots of other reasons why this might happen, a good idea is usually to review the build log referenced in the link above.
  2. Bugs which have been fixed elsewhere.
    Our bug life cycle works like this: make sure the bug can be reproduced reliably, gather all the information necessary, figure out if it’s an Ubuntu-specific problem or if it happens in the vanilla code of the software authors as well, then forward the bug with all the relevant information upstream. The Launchpad bug tracker is a great tool, which puts us into the situation where we are able to go through bugs which were fixed elsewhere already. Taking these fixes and applying them to Ubuntu is a great target for improvements, especially being eight weeks away from release.

There’s only two things you need to do:

  1. Make yourself familiar with Ubuntu development. Just these three articles will give you a good start: Introduction to Ubuntu development, Getting Set Up and Fixing a bug in Ubuntu. (Feel free to read more if you like. ;-) )
  2. Join us in #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net on Friday, 2nd March 2012 and we will answer all your questions, hang out with you, review code for you and have a good time.

The great thing is: this also coincides with Ubuntu Global Jam, so expect people from all around the globe to hang out and make Ubuntu better.

[1] … and this is where the actual blog post starts. :-)

Read more
Daniel Holbach

WOW. So this was our first Fix-It Friday and there’s still a few to come until release. Here’s what we collectively got through:

What the people above can do, you can do easily! Just make sure you’re there next time. I’m super super happy about Fix-It Friday turned out the first time and as I said above: there will be more… and this one isn’t even over yet! :-)

Thanks everyone and ROCK ON!

Read more
Daniel Holbach

Every Friday
Every Friday…
we hack with you

...we hack together with you...

on Ubuntu

...on Ubuntu.

It's no Rocket Science

It's no Rocket Science...

but rather a lot of fun

...but rather a lot of fun!

Join us

Join us and...

...you'll make lots of friends!

...you'll make lots of friends!

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Read the first few articles.
  2. Join us in #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net on Friday.
  3. Have fun and start making Ubuntu better!

More info here.

Read more
Daniel Holbach

Making Ubuntu better: the Italian team

From 2nd-4th March 2012 we will hold an Ubuntu Global Jam again. This is an event where Ubuntu teams around the world come together, meet locally and together make Ubuntu better. We have a number of events and teams already lined up, among them: the Italian team.

I had a chat with Andrea Grandi and Paolo Sammicheli, here’s how they organised everything.

How did you organise the event?
Paolo Sammicheli: Andrea is the president of the Pistoia LUG. They normally organize events so we’ll be using their big space.
Andrea Grandi: Basically:

  1. Asked in PtLUG mailing list how many people would like to help organizing the event and how many people were interested in.
  2. I contacted the owners of the venue where is our Linux User Group and asked them to reserve it for saturday march 3rd.
  3. I contacted Paolo Sammicheli and the other people of #ubuntu-it-promo to ask them to join us.
  4. I contacted Marco Trevisan to ask him to join us and lead the bug-fixing group during the event.

About the venue: our LUG has a small room with two desks and 4 PC, wifi connection ecc… we normally use it for our meeting. Next to this room there is another one capable of about 100 seats. It’s located inside a big structure few km far from the center of Pistoia.

What’s going to happen in Italy at the UGJ?
Paolo Sammicheli: We’ll start with an introduction about how to start contributing in Ubuntu. Then we’ll split in two team: the beginners team will do testing with me, the experts team will work on unity with Marco.

There will be also a translation session over IRC. So people will jam remotely with us helping translating big tasks (ie: package descriptions)
Andrea Grandi: I confirm this and talking about this to some friends their response was: oh I’ve never used Linux, but I’d like to help testing and translating, it looks funny!

How did you find people who were willing to help with the event?
Paolo Sammicheli: The Pistoia LUG gave all the support.
Andrea Grandi: I asked in our LUG mailing list and in #ubuntu-it-promo IRC channel.

How did you announce the event?
Paolo Sammicheli: We published in the loco directory, we announced in our weekly newsletter and Andrea just blogged about it. Few more blog posts in Italian will follow next week.
Andrea Grandi: using Facebook (inviting all friends), blogging about it and spreading the news on out Twitter and G+ accounts. We also have a local mailing list with about 100 people subscribed.

Did you run UGJ events before?
Paolo Sammicheli: Yes we made few already. Some times we had a peer to peer jam. We met in 3 different cities in small groups (2/3 people) and we worked together through IRC.
Andrea Grandi: personally this is the second UGJ I attend to. Here’s a picture of the last event we had in Pistoia.

Ubuntu Global Jam in Italy

How many people do you feel will attend this time?
Paolo Sammicheli: I don’t know, Andrea?
Andrea Grandi: I think about 12 / 15 people at the moment, but if we can do something more to spread the event we could have more people attending.

Do you have any good tips for anyone planning to organise an event
Paolo Sammicheli: Keep it simple, keep it fun!
Andrea Grandi: Oorganize it in collaboration with other Linux User Groups. Did you know that in Italy there are more than 100 Linux user groups?

 

Thanks a lot guys! Have a great time at Ubuntu Global Jam! :-)

Read more
Daniel Holbach

Making Ubuntu development more personal

Getting involved in Open Source development can seem a bit daunting, first you have to go through the documentation, then find a task you are interested in, then work on a fix and then, although the first parts might have been hard enough already, either go public with questions you have or a fix you have worked on.

From my own experience I can say that it is daunting. The good thing like with all other learning experiences, especially the social ones, you often find out afterwards: “all my worries were unfounded, this is actually pretty cool and the people I interact with are actually pretty nice”.

We improved our documentation and now it’s time to improve the social bits too. We recognised the need to do this before and we felt that 1-on-1 mentoring was the answer. Unfortunately it turned out that we could not satisfy the demand easily, also did we have many mentees who never turned up again, thus blocking “mentoring slots”.

After lots of discussions, we made the following observations:

  • we work hard on improving our documentation
  • we work on improving the tools
  • somebody is always around to answer questions (be it on IRC, on the mailing list or on AskUbuntu)
  • we got better at doing code reviews and providing feedback this way

This in some cases is unfortunately not sufficient. Therefore we founded the Developer Advisory Team. Its agenda is clear-cut and a lot more light-weight than doing 1-on-1 mentoring: We reach out to

  1. new contributors, thank them for their work and get feedback,
  2. people who might be ready to apply for upload rights and help them and also
  3. contributors that went inactive and get feedback from them and offer help.

This is no magic bullet to fix every kind of problem in the Ubuntu development world, but it will help to find shortcomings in our processes and also make the whole interaction more social.

If you are interested in helping with this effort, please get in touch with Christophe Sauthier or myself. You actually just need some interest in Ubuntu Development and an active interest in making Ubuntu an even more social experience.

Stay tuned for updates on this initiative! :-)

Read more
Daniel Holbach

New Ubuntu developers in the making

Ubuntu has always tried to attract more developers making Ubuntu even better. In doing so it’s always good to try to cover the following points:

  1. Outreach – you want many people to fully realise they can be part of the effort.
  2. Documentation – interested new contributors need a good place to learn.
  3. TODO lists – you need easy tasks new contributors can sink their teeth in.
  4. Feedback loop – give new contributors feedback and allow them to learn from more experienced team members.
  5. Joining the ranks – with some experience they can join the team.

Since Ubuntu exists we have been constantly improving bits in all these categories and I’m quite happy to say that this cycle we improved things quite a bit again.

In terms of outreach we

  • extended the team of people working on Developer news significantly. Benjamin Kerensa and Cody Smith have joined me in bringing weekly updates out there. It has been a fun experience to work together on this and we improved out team infrastructure quite a bit over time. If you ever wanted to be part of a fun team which brings development news out there, comment bellow.
  • had a fantastic Ubuntu Developer Week. 32 sessions, speakers from 15 different countries and about 350 attendees, lots of action, lots of smart question and fun people.

Our documentation has seen a lot of updates: thanks a lot to Barry Warsaw for UDD updates, Andrew Starr-Bochicchio for various fixes and Alexander Fougner for an update of the look (this is still work-in-progress). There are still a number of bugs which can be easily fixed if you don’t mind writing a bit of documentation – so jump in and help improving it even more! (Also do some work items still require help.)

Coming to the point of TODO lists: unfortunately Harvest was broken for quite a while. Thanks to our sysadmin team, I managed to get access to the server logs and identify a couple of problems and fix them. Harvest now works again and thanks to the unstoppable Andrew Starr-Bochicchio we have Fedora patches in Harvest again. Awesome! (There’s still a number of things we want to improve, so if you enjoy web development, check out our TODO list.)

Our feedback loop has become a lot tighter again: not only has the effort to keep the sponsoring queue under control continued (hey, it’s still Sponsorship Friday!), but also have Christophe Sauthier and I set up a team call the “Developer Advisory team“. The task of the team is to reach out to different groups of developers and get their feedback and help them along. One group is new contributors who just got their first contribution in, another group is developers who might be able to apply for upload rights soon. Also do we want to reach out to inactive developers and see what we can do to help. I’m very happy this team is finally up and running, because it makes our development experience a lot more social and puts us into a position where we get more valuable feedback. Christophe and I are still looking for helping hands, so let us know if you want to help.

The Developer Membership Board has been doing a good job this cycle, they have regular meetings and on top of things. Thanks a bunch for your good work.

All in all, I’m quite happy with how we are all moving forward and am thankful for all the great work everybody has put into making things better. There are still lots of things we can improve, so I was wondering if we could get a team of people together who like the idea of bringing more new developers into the fold, people who like the social aspect of Ubuntu, who like teaching, who enjoy making the whole experience more seamless and more fun. Let me know what you think and I can set up a couple of meetings so we can see what we all can do together.

In addition to all the bug lists and blueprint work items I mentioned above, here’s another idea, which David Henningson mentioned to me: wouldn’t it be great to have a script which goes through all Launchpad PPAs to identify people who have been doing great work? As all of these PPA users have mastered one of the big hurdles (packaging and getting a package to build reproducibly), wouldn’t it just be great to get in touch with them and see if they would like to maintain their work in Ubuntu?

The post already got longer than I expected and it’s a mixed bag of updates, but please leave a comment if you have any ideas about the above or would like to help.

Big hugs to everyone! Keep up the good work!

Read more
Daniel Holbach

Meeting friends in Morocco

One thing I love about Ubuntu is that Ubuntu fans and contributors are spread around the whole globe. So when I started planning holidays in Morocco it was almost certain that we’d meet somebody from the LoCo team there.

When I let everyone know about my plans, Adnane Belmadiaf immediately came up with dozens of ideas what I could go and visit in his country. For those who don’t know Adnane, he is one of the heroes behind many of our Ubuntu web projects, for example the LoCo Team Portal, Summit or cloud.ubuntu.com. Adnane is easy to work with, fun and as I found out in Rabat, he’s also a great tour guide.

We arrived in Rabat around noon, quickly found a hotel and got a text message by Adnane saying that he took off the afternoon off work to show us around. Walking around was loads of fun as we not only saw lots of the city, but also because Adnane explained to us a lot about what’s going on in the country.

The second person who contacted me was Hassan, who is member of the Moroccan and Swiss LoCo team. He said:

First, I wish you a Merry Christmas. I know that you’ll be in Morocco. You can have a look on my albums maybe you can see some good plans to visit.

Have a nice trip and in case of any help needed in Morocco you can inform me at <phone number> and I’ll take care.

The Ubuntu community are simply the friendliest bunch on the planet. Amazing, isn’t it?

Two weeks unfortunately isn’t enough to see everything, so we “just” visited Málaga in Spain, took the ferry to Tanger, went to Rabat and Marrakech, did a tour through the desert and flew home from Casablanca. We had a great great time.

Thanks again everyone for making these holidays even more enjoyable!

Big big hugs! ???? ????!

(I still haven’t looked through all the pictures yet, but I’ll upload a few quite soon.)

Read more
Daniel Holbach

Syncing from Debian

A few days ago I read the mail from Iain Lane on ubuntu-devel-announce, which announced that ‘syncpackage’ is now able to directly perform syncs for you (if you have sufficient upload rights), without having to get the sync through the archive admin queue first. Great work to everyone involved, both in the Launchpad and the ubuntu-dev-tools team. Awesome!

Of course I had to try it: I had a look at the sponsoring queue, picked a sync request for projectm (among others), reviewed it, test-built it and finally ran:

syncpackage -d unstable -b 916955 -s ximion -v projectm

Here’s what the parameters mean:

  • -d unstable: sync from Debian unstable
  • -b 916955: close the Launchpad bug with number 916955 during the process
  • -s ximion: sponsor upload for Launchpad user ‘ximion’
  • -v: verbose output please
  • projectm: package we’d like to sync

The whole thing worked flawlessly. Great work everyone!

Read more
Daniel Holbach

Morocco

Aït Ben Haddou [HDR]

Aït Ben Haddou (Photo by Oscar Gomez - CC-BY-NC-ND)

See you back on 9th January 2012. :-)

Read more