Last week I attended my first Ubuntu Developer Summit! It was a pleasure to be sponsored for this trip, so thanks again to Canonical for handling travel expenses, and to LinuxForce and my boss for allowing me to take the time off to attend.
My flight came in Monday evening, grabbed a taxi and checked in to my room (very nice, on the 29th floor!). Then headed down to the bar where I was grabbed by Mackenzie Morgan and finally was able to meet Mark Shuttleworth, Laura Czajkowski, Jono Bacon, Alan Pope, Dave Walker, Mike Basinger and others over dinner. It ended up being quite a late night!
Tuesday morning I woke up bright and early to have a delicious breakfast (they feed us a lot at UDS!) and was able to finally meet Martin Owens, all decked out in his hat and suit. After breakfast the sessions started! I ended up mostly on the Community Track, so attended the Community Roundtable each morning first thing. I’m going to try to give key highlights from sessions for each day, but I’m sure I’ll miss some important things, so be sure to follow up with blueprint for more details on each of these sessions.
UDS Day 2
The Linux Terminal Server Project is a really great one and one we’ve used in the Ubuntu Pennsylvania Team. One of the things the team is working that caught my interest on a LiveDVD version of LTSP on Ubuntu so an instant LTSP server could be created by popping a DVD into a networked server. Very cool.
In the first of several sessions during the week, several of us on the Ubuntu Community Council were able to sit down with a couple members of the Ubuntu IRC Council and discuss the status and future of the Ubuntu IRC community. Over 3 formal sessions, and several less formal discussions throughout the week the Councils made considerable progress in both professional and personal relations between the Councils. It’s really a testament to the value of these real life UDS meetings, being able to talk through differences and misunderstandings in the same room really gave us a clear path forward and it was a real pleasure to work with everyone involved to make progress.
I have to admit, with the major discussions surrounding Women in F/OSS this year I was nervous about this session. This first session was recorded on video (hopefully will be online soon over at http://ubuntudevelopers.blip.tv/!) and had outstanding attendance. We had voices from several women within the project who have not been very involved with the Ubuntu Women project, and Mark Shuttleworth joined us shortly after we began to offer some viewpoints regarding project goals and team resources. I left this first session feeling refreshed and much more confident about the future of the project.
By the end of the week (we had 3 sessions in total) we had a solid Road Map for the Lucid Cycle. Huge thanks to Amber Graner, Laura Czajkowski, Mackenzie Morgan and Jono Bacon for being instrumental in planning, hosting and making these sessions a success and to everyone who joined us throughout the week to offer support, observations, encouragement and suggestions.
There are a few formal boards and councils exist within the Ubuntu project for handling major segments of the Ubuntu community so that the Community Council can balance the load some. Most of these were created approximately two years ago and we’ve started to have members expiring from the teams and have been working toward finding the best ways to restaff them. We tend to want to lean toward votes from the community in all cases we can, but sometimes the pool of members is unclear (who can vote for LoCo Council? IRC Council?). Further solid structure surrounding restaffing also needed to be discussed (What steps are required? How long should we leave open nominations, shortlisting and voting? etc). This session was the first of a few Governance sessions throughout the week.
The new IRC Ban/Issue tracker is going to ROCK! The current one is still functional isn’t very scalable (so the number of people who can use it is limited) and there are a lot more features that the IRC Team wants to see. This was an exciting session where a lot of ideas for the new tracker, including some ideas that could make the Appeal Process within IRC a more obvious process. Benjamin Rubin details some of the new Bantracker ideas here, as well as other things discussed during the IRC sessions.
This was a really interesting session regarding improving relations with upstream projects by “adopting” an upstream project to act as a bridge and help handle relations and tasks. It’s detailed on the Ubuntu wiki here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Upstream/Contacts. Fascinating idea, and one that has been done informally for a very long time, it’s great to see a structure and expectations document in place.
This second day was the first for me, and quite a whirlwind! We wrapped it up by having an Ubuntu Women dinner at Monica’s Aca Y Alla Restaurant. We ended up having about 23 people came out (and no one got pictures, d’oh!) and the vast majority of them were women within the project. It ended up being a really fun dinner, after which I turned in a bit early at the hotel to be ready for UDS Day 3!
UDS Day 3
I was very happy to attend this session on collaboration upstream with Debian and to see so much work being put into this collaboration. The projects have always been very closely linked, with a lot of folks like myself coming into Ubuntu with a history in Debian, and Ubuntu developers becoming Debian Developers to contribute directly upstream. It was great to see a concerted effort for Ubuntu folks to contribute directly to Debian and to get a review of some of the current technical things being done to track bugs and patches between the projects.
If there were more hours in the day, I’d totally be working hard on the Ubuntu Non-Government Organization Project. This session covered a lot of the early efforts of solidifying a path forward for this team. Results of this session are up on the blueprint, but their Software and papercuts initiatives particularly caught my interest. Maybe I can find more hours in a day…
This was a really interesting session discussing some of the issues with software versioning between Lucid and Squeeze with particular focus on the challenges facing Python versions between the two distros. This is also the session where I learned that they’ll be going with the 2.6.32 kernel for Lucid.
– Ubuntu Americas Board Meeting –
Not actually a session, but we hosted a “live” North and South American regional approval board meeting at UDS – which means a bunch of us board members sat together in the Grand Ballroom and spoke in real life about the membership candidates coming before the board in IRC. This was a blast, and talking in real time gave us the chance to move through more candidates than usual. Results have been posted here.
– Next Steps For The Ubuntu Women Project (2nd Session) –
– IRC Council Lucid Plans (2nd session) –
These two sessions were continuations of ones discussed above. I was really pleased with how flexible the scheduling for core community projects was during this UDS, Jorge Castro and Jono Bacon did a phenomenal job with this for us.
We wrapped up the day and a whole bunch of us headed out to The Galleria mall for dinner and… ice skating! Dinner was at Five Guys, yum! And I hadn’t ice skating in years. I was bad at it the last time I did it over a decade ago and I’m still pretty bad at it. At least I didn’t fall down at all, and I did manage to skate without holding on to the railing …eventually!
Unfortunately there were a couple injuries related to ice skating, a concussion that was discovered the next day, and a fellow who ended up limping through the rest of UDS due to what he later discovered was a chipped bone (ouch!).
I’ll be posting about the rest of the week in the coming days, since returning home I’ve been pretty busy between work, MJ visiting, Thanksgiving plans, PLUG and a thousand little things I’m following up with post-UDS.