Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'people'

Daniel Holbach

Daunted

… was probably written across my face when I first got involved in Ubuntu and contributed my first patch. I wasn’t quite sure if I had followed the right procedure or if anything else was wrong, but luckily I found a lot of very friendly people who helped me out and got my contribution in.

That was almost 8 years ago. Today it’s a lot easier. There is good documentation, there are more consistent processes and better tools.

If you have pondered getting involved for a while, I’d like to invite you to check out our Bug fixing initiative. We singled out a number of issues in Ubuntu which we feel are appropriate to whetting your appetite and sorted them, so the most easy tasks are at the top.

Let us know how this works for you and ask all the questions you might run into on #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net.

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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!

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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.)

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Daniel Holbach

Don’t you love it when you get contributions to your project when you didn’t expect them at all?

By reaching out to contributors, thanking them and welcoming them to the Ubuntu community you do a lot to encourage them and help them integrate into your team more quickly. Generally I feel this is part of our culture already.

Discussions at UDS indicated what we probably could do better is:

  • do this even more, try to be more personal,
  • talk about it more, because it encourages others and motivates others who might still be a bit unsure about getting their feet wet,
  • generally talk more about what we’re doing and what’s going on, to explain where you need help.

To help with this, we set up a team of people who work on weekly development news to get the word out. The only thing you need to do is send a quick mail to ubuntu-news-team AT lists dot ubuntu dot com with “[dev]” in the subject if it’s about Ubuntu development.

Feel free to send a just few lines about

  • what you (or your team) is currently working on and where you might need help
  • a new contributor who just helped your team out

In addition to this, this will give your work the publicity it deserves.

You can also tweet/dent/google+ with the hashtag #thxubuntu.

Thanks in advance! :-)

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Daniel Holbach

It’s human beings who make Ubuntu!

Ubuntu Community Appreciation DayToday is Ubuntu Community Appreciation Day, which is excellent. It’s the first time we do it and from now on 20th November will be a day to remind ourselves that Ubuntu is put together by humans and not “fabricated somewhere”.

The human aspect of Ubuntu was what instantly won me over in 2004. This comes in multiple facets: From a product point of view, that computers stopped being dull and grey boxes, but devices I use to interact with the people I care about. The vision of Ubuntu, that it would always stay free and empower millions of people out there.

I care a lot about the points above, but the most important point to me is “Ubuntu” itself, the recognition that “I am what I am because of who we all are“, which always at the center of all we did. Since day 1 of my participation in the Ubuntu community I was surrounded by people who became friends and it amazes me to see through how many ways I benefited: the amount of encouragement I got, the positive vibes, the uncountable learning experiences, the common feeling of making the world a better place together is something that still drives me and even on some of my slower days will bring an involuntary smile on face.

The list of people I should thank is very very long, I can’t and won’t try to list everyone. I know that I will leave people out, but I can only hope I thanked you all enough in our conversations already. Big hugs to you all, you know who you are! :-)

First I’d like to thank our mustachioed leader. A lot of you will probably know Mark as the founder of the project and somebody who is involved in some of the difficult decisions. I admire the vision and energy with which he has been driving the project for seven years now, especially staying focused after all the shouting and swearing on the internet. Mark gets much less credit than he actually deserves. On a more personal note, I got lots of encouragement from Mark over the years, which I appreciate. Also I’m still glad Mark gave me the opportunity to come to Sydney and do much more.

Also would I like to thank everybody who is involved in making more Ubuntu community happen. This obviously not only this bunch of hippies, but many many more who put a lot of work into organising meetings and events, thinking about how to get more people involved, dealing with conflict, getting the message out there and loads loads more. It often is a thankless task, it doesn’t come with fortune and fame, but is still rewarding to see if your part of the community is thriving and awesome things happen. If you are not there already, make sure you join #ubuntu-community-team and get a hug! :-)

Another group of people I deeply appreciate and would like to thank is: first-time contributors! I know how hard it is to get involved for the first time. It’s not only the steep learning curve, but also that you don’t know anybody in the project yet and you might be worried that you make a fool of yourself. Still there is lots of new contributors and their level of excitement about having gotten their first contribution into Ubuntu is just fantastic. It never ceases to make me smile if I get a mail where people write about their experience. Thanks for sharing your energy and being awesome!

A big big hug to everyone who helps to make Ubuntu happen. You rock!

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Daniel Holbach

Where’s Chuck?

If you lack context, here you go.

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Daniel Holbach

Remarkable people

You don’t see me blogging about things outside the Ubuntu world very often. OK, an occasional mixtape every now and then or some holiday pictures, but I generally try to stay away from topics such as politics or things that happen in the world elsewhere. This is not because I don’t care or don’t have an opinion – it’s quite the opposite. I just prefer to not get drawn into huge arguments about who’s right and I try to avoid writing about and singling out particular events and miss to mention others.

By now most of you will have heard about the horrible events in Oslo. As my girlfriend is from Norway, I paid even more attention to the news. The reason I’m writing about this is that among all the usual suspicions and noise in the news a few people stood out and truly impressed me.

We will stand by our democracy. The answer to violence is more democracy, more humanity.

Jens Stoltenberg, Norwegian PM

I don’t think security can solve problems. We need to teach greater respect.”

Oslo Mayor Stang when asked whether Oslo needs greater security

We had been discussing on the island, how to tackle extremism and racism. We will continue this.

Youth leader who escaped Utøya

If you haven’t read much about Oslo and Utøya in the last days, read these two chilling first-hand accounts of people who survived Utøya: from Khamshajiny Gunaratnam and Debian contributor Tore Sinding Bekkedal.

After all of this, it would have been very much understandable to show any signs of knee-jerk reactions. The people I mentioned above reacted remarkably to the situation. It’s very inspiring how they chose to stand with their humanitarian values. It’s unfortunately very uncommon nowadays, especially for politicians, who in situations like this are under a lot of pressure. These leaders have my deep respect for choosing to do otherwise.

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Daniel Holbach

I love my team…

 

Community team

From left to right: Jorge, me, Jono, Ahmed, David

(Picture by the unstoppable Graham Binns.)

Update: there’s more pictures.

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Daniel Holbach

As part of the Ubuntu Development videocast, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Jani Monoses, Michael Vogt and Oliver Grawert yesterday. We are all together here in Dallas and I successfully managed to drag them out of meetings and away from work and talk to them about Ubuntu Development and how they got involved.

Unfortunately we kind of messed this up. Up until 8 minutes, 10 seconds you will only be able to see us gesturing, there’s no sound. So at 8 minutes 10 seconds into the video we figured out the problem and started from scratch.

What I’m really happy about is that Jani, Michael and Oliver all are great friends of mine and I all got to know them early on when I got involved in Open Source development. They all supported me and helped me out.

Go here to watch the video.

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Daniel Holbach

Christmas video cast

As I mentioned earlier, today I’m working with Ara, Matthias, Michael and Yaiza at Büro 2.0 and we just finished a very funny video cast together.

Matthias ‘doko’ Klose made sure to arrive AFTER the video cast was done, but rest assured he can not evade. In recompensation he brought Father Christmas hats, so to you here’s from the Canonical Berlin team:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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Daniel Holbach

Normally I would’ve done the next video cast next week, but with slowly approaching Christmas everybody has probably better things to do than watching Daniel rambling on about Ubuntu Development.

So we’ll instead do the “Christmas special” this week. Tomorrow, 16th December, 12:00 UTC.

This time I won’t be sitting at home in front of bookshelves, but I’ll be at Büro2.0, Berlin’s fantastic Open Source coworking place. I’ve been working from there for about a year now and I love it. Lots of fantastic people there, all working with Open Source things.

In addition to Büro2.0 awesomeness, I’ll be joined by my Berliner colleagues from Canonical, not only heroes but also awesome friends. It should be a lot of fun, so make sure you tune in.

Ara Daniel

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Daniel Holbach

Below the magic 40

I’m incredibly happy with how the patch pilot programme is working out. We’ve been making steady progress at reducing the number of items up for review.

Sponsoring queue

Sponsoring queue

Looking at the sponsoring queue there are still a few older items that we should clear out. I’m convinced it would make us feel better about the state of things and make it easier for us to stay on top things. Old patches often don’t apply any more, require more work, etc.

The graph above seems to say “we never really get below 40″. Can we do it? I’m sure we can! Let’s all try to clear out the old ones. It’ll make the world a better place! :)

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Daniel Holbach

In last week’s videocast we talked about “getting set up” for Ubuntu Development. Everybody had a gpg key, ssh key, all the tools, a pbuilder and settings in Launchpad sorted out afterwards, which was great.

If you want to have a look at the video again, you can do so.

Up until now I didn’t find a good way to show links/terminal output yet. Are there any suggestions to do this in a better way? If you check out the video above you’ll notice the old-fashioned way how I worked around the problem. :-)

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Daniel Holbach

dholbach TV

dholbach TV

Thursday, 9th December at 16:00 UTC* I’ll be online with another installment of “Ubuntu Development with Daniel Holbach”.

If you haven’t seen the last session yet, I’d encourage you to do so, it was an introduction to Ubuntu Development. This time we’ll talk about getting set up for Ubuntu development. I’ll show you how to

  • install all necessary tools
  • configure them correctly
  • introduce yourself to the Ubuntu infrastructure

On ustream there’s a chat window next to the video, but you can only participate in the discussion if you sign up. (Luckily the process just takes a minute.)

Please help to spread the news about it… and bring questions! :)

* That’s Beirut Thu 18:00, Bogota Thu 11:00, Darwin Fri 01:30, Guatemala Thu 10:00, Hanoi Thu 23:00, Islamabad Thu 21:00, …

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Daniel Holbach

I blogged about the new Harvest a couple of times already. Yesterday we released 0.2.4 which fixed a bug which was filed more than a cycle ago… it merely said: “import json”.

The way Harvest works is that it reads a list of URLs that list opportunities, so Harvest is very easily extensible. It doesn’t need to know about bug reports, merge requests, upstreams, downstreams and the like: it just knows about packages and opportunities.

The old format for opportunities was:

<sourcepackage>,<url>,<description>

It was only a matter of time that this wasn’t enough any more. Some people suggested to add something like “long description” or “severity” to opportunities to make it clearer what they are about or to make an informed decision. So we moved to JSON where it’s very easy to add optional arguments and you don’t have to guess arguments based on their position.

If you wrote a script that spits out .csv files, that’s fine – it’s still supported. In the new world you’d do it like this:

[{"source_package": "xine-lib", "short_description": 123456, "link": "https://launchpad.net/bugs/123456"},
{"source_package": "zope-archetypes", "short_description": 54321, "link": "https://launchpad.net/bugs/54321", "description": "Please sync zope-archetypes 1.3.9-2 from Debian unstable", "severity": "undecided"}]

Only “source_package”, “short_description” and “link” are required. Everything else is optional.

I’d LOVE to see more opportunities for Harvest coming up. Once you got your script set up, just bzr branch lp:harvest-data add the URL to the JSON output, and propose a merge.

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Daniel Holbach

So you like Ubuntu, enjoy “making things work again”, like to work with others, don’t mind reading a bit of documentation, you’re exactly the person we need.

If you were always wondering “what can I work on?” I suggest you have a look at http://harvest.ubuntu.com/opportunities/.

Harvest

Harvest - finding development opportunities

If you have a look at the page you’ll see that it’s divided into two parts: on the left side you can control which kind of development opportunities are shown: you can limit the results to packages (or package sets) and to certain types of opportunities. The results will be shown on the right side.

I want to highlight two types of opportunities that might be interesting for you:

  • ‘bitesize’ – bugs that are marked as ‘bitesize’ in Launchpad and deemed to be good targets for beginners
  • resolved-upstream‘ – bugs that have been fixed by the software authors but we don’t have the fix yet
  • lots and lots of others…

So once you picked an opportunity that looks interesting to you and made it work, you can propose the change for inclusion in Ubuntu. The great thing is that we have patch pilots working every day to get your changes reviewed and into Ubuntu. If you need help, just head to #ubuntu-devel (on irc.freenode.net) and check who’s piloting right now, the information is in the topic.

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Daniel Holbach

Patch Pilot Disco!

Patch Pilot Disco!

I’m very happy with how the “Patch Pilot” programme is coming together: it’s just been a week where in addition to people who do reviews of branches and patches every day, we have patch pilots who spend time in #ubuntu-devel reviewing code.

If we keep up the good work, it seems like we can get the number of waiting requests down to 0!

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Daniel Holbach

First ustream show

So I did my first videocast yesterday. I had a lot of fun doing so and from the comments I got, which ranged from “well done, really informative” to “I didn’t understand the technical bits, but nice haircut” (a friend of mine who’s not really part of the Ubuntu world), everybody else enjoyed it too.

The most comical moment was when a friend decided to visit me, rang the doorbell and my dog started barking and I had to rush out to open the door. (Around minute 53 if you want to see it too.) Lots of folks demanded to see the dog afterwards.

I had a good time and am really happy there were quite a bunch of people attending who enjoyed it too and asked some good questions.

The topic I chose for the first session was “Introduction to Ubuntu development”. Because I’m a very lazy person I used a piece of text I had written up before, that I want to go to ubuntu.com/developer at some stage and decided to see how understandable it is. Judging by the questions I got yesterday it should be alright. If you want to give me any more feedback on it, please check it out and comment below.

The next show will be happening in around two weeks, so stay tuned for more news. If you have suggestions for the next one, please also comment below. THANKS! :)

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Daniel Holbach

dholbach tv

Jono spilled the beans already. I’ll be taking a leaf out of his book and start a ustream.tv show called “Ubuntu Development with Daniel Holbach”. The first show will be tomorrow, 25th November 16:00 UTC*.

What I’ll talk about will be all kinds of things related to Ubuntu Development: how to get started, interesting new things that are happening, I’ll (try to) answer all kinds of questions, we’ll do some tutorial sessions, and whatever crazy new things we come up with together.

Bring your friends, bring your questions and join the show!

dholbach TV

I’m really excited to see how this works out. :-D

*That’s Addis Ababa Thu 19:00, Adelaide Fri 02:30, Almaty Thu 22:00, Beijing Fri 00:00, Bogota Thu 11:00, Honolulu Thu 06:00, Istanbul Thu 18:00, Reykjavik Thu 16:00, Tegucigalpa Thu 10:00, Tehran Thu 19:30, …

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Daniel Holbach

We all know how important code review is for Ubuntu. It’s not only about spotting mistakes, but also about teaching new contributors how things are done. There’s always been busier times when we fell back in terms of code review and times where we did better.

At UDS we discussed this fairly extensively and decided we want to make code review a more central activity of Ubuntu development. We’d like to borrow an idea from the Bazaar team: the patch pilot programme.

Patch pilots essentially make themselves available in #ubuntu-devel, add their names to the topic and spend their time helping patches “come through congested waters safely in to harbor”. The goal is not
necessarily to do the upload, but help as good as they can to get the patch right and into a state where all conventions are followed.

Important points are:

  • thank the person for their work and time, make them feel welcome
  • help get it upstream
  • if you’re unfamiliar with a certain package, review as good as you can and get the contributor in touch with somebody who knows more - establishing contacts is very helpful
  • communicate clearly what needs improvement
  • you can improve the patch yourself if you like, just be clear on what you do
  • if you notice things that should be improved in the review process or in the tools, please speak up

Important links:

I’m incredibly happy to also let you know that Canonical made it a requirement for Ubuntu Platform members that can do reviews to spend at least 4 hours per month on being patch pilots.

If you want to add yourself for the programme, please feel free to update the wiki schedule.

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