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Virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit 1311

As is tradition, this virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit kicked off with an introduction by Jono Bacon and keynote from Mark Shuttleworth. It was at 6AM my time, I shut off my 5:45AM alarm and proceeded to sleep until the first session I had to be at 8:05AM. Hah!

Fortunately it was available on youtube immediately following the broadcast and I was able to Chromecast it up to my TV a few days later: Intro by Jono Bacon, Keynote by Mark Shuttleworth

At 8AM I joined my trusty …tahr at my desk to kick off sessions for the week.

Trusty has a pink dragon friend, I call her Zuul

– Ubuntu Documentation Team Roundtable –

I spent a considerable amount of time with the Ubuntu Documentation team this past cycle, so I was really proud that several of us could get together to have a session and outline what we need to do in the next 6 months.

The focus was primarily on-boarding new contributors. It’s clear that there are portions of our process documentation that still need clean-up and there remains some confusion in the community over what exactly we have for documentation and the focus of each, so defining those more succinctly in all our resources is important, but for reference…

Ubuntu Desktop Guide

  • Managed in bzr on launchpad, lp:ubuntu-docs
  • Written in Mallard
  • Official and ships with the desktop
  • Committed to updating for every release
  • Lives at help.ubuntu.com/$release-number/ubuntu-help/

Ubuntu Server Guide

  • Managed in bzr on launchpad, lp:serverguide
  • Written in DocBook
  • Official and is published as html and PDF
  • Committed to updating for every release
  • Lives at help.ubuntu.com/$release-number/serverguide/

Community Help Wiki

  • A MoinMoin wiki, anyone can edit
  • Not strictly versioned, no solid committment for updating per release
  • Lives at help.ubuntu.com/community/

Then we have flavor documentation. Xubuntu and Kubuntu manage shipped documentation in DocBook.

Oh there’s also this thing called wiki.ubuntu.com that we should only be using for notes related to Ubuntu teams, not documentation. And then there is the Ubuntu Manual which is a completely different project.

All clear? No more confusion? If only it were that easy :) We need some clicky buttons or something on our DocumentationTeam wiki page to make this all easier on the brain.

We came out of the session with several action items for continuing to improve things for new contributors.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vb1AIVAsGkE
IRC Log: /2013/11/19/%23ubuntu-uds-community-1.html#t16:17
Notes: uds-1311-community-1311-docteam-roundtable.txt
Blueprint: community-1311-docteam-roundtable

– LoCo projects –

I was really excited about this session. There are always “tips” and encouragement going around for LoCo events, but many of us still spend time putting together packs of materials for things like Global Jams (as I did in September last year for our QA Jam), writing presentations for each new release to present at the local LUG (how many of us are doing this same work every cycle?) and more. It would be great if there were defined projects with materials, instructions and desired outcomes that teams could use to take some of the work out of planning events. And so it shall be! Stephen Michael Kellat of Ubuntu Ohio and the LoCo Council is now working with David Planella to begin putting this project of projects together.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e99_s2rWJbk
IRC Log: /2013/11/19/%23ubuntu-uds-community-2.html#t18:02
Notes: uds-1311-community-1311-loco-projects.txt
Blueprint: community-1311-loco-projects

Stephen Michael Kellat talks about LoCo Projects!

– Ubuntu Women Trusty Goals –

I already wrote about this over on the Ubuntu Women blog, so I won’t repeat myself here, visit: Ubuntu Women at vUDS 1311 session summary

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS22FRgrKe0
IRC Log: /2013/11/20/%23ubuntu-uds-community-1.html#t15:00
Notes: uds-1311-community-1311-ubuntu-women.txt
Blueprint: community-1311-ubuntu-women

– Community IRC Workshops and Classrooms for Trusty –

In spite of the rise of Ubuntu On-Air, my heart still belongs to text and IRC-based sessions in Ubuntu Classroom. In this session Daniel Holbach and I talked through some of the events we had planned for the cycle and lamented the inability to get a timely Ubuntu Open Week out the door for Saucy. We sketched out some plans based on our own schedules and now each have a list of folks to contact to firm up the schedule for our events. I’ve also taken some action items to follow up with teams who I hope will host sessions this cycle, including QA and Documentation.

I did land on a proposed date for Ubuntu User Days though: Saturday, January 25th 2014

Ubuntu User Days

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_Eyhu6JDuo
Notes: uds-1311-community-1311-classroom.txt
Blueprint: community-1311-classroom

Unfortunately I slept through the Community Council session due to a scheduling snafu, I could have sworn it was for later! But you can see what my fellow Community Council members Daniel Holbach, Laura Czajkowski, Elfy, Michael Hall, Scott Ritchie and Mark Shuttleworth got up to by checking out the video here: Community Council meeting

I watched the CC session on my TV too

To wrap up vUDS, Jono met with track leads to present results from each of the tracks. It gives a nice overview of the whole summit, check it out here: UDS Nov 2013 – Summaries

All the videos from the summit are available by browsing the schedule here. Click on the title of the session you want to watch, the videos are youtube videos embedded in the page and links are on the page to notes and blueprints.

This is the second virtual UDS I’ve attended, the first being vUDS 1305 which took place at the same time as the in person UDS would have. As someone who had the opportunity to attend the physical summits I still find these virtual summits greatly lacking. Many folks who used to go don’t take the time off of work for them anymore (myself included) so we only specifically target a very small subset of sessions we may have otherwise wandered into. I’ve also found that in the community sessions I was in the attendance was significantly lower than any sessions we had at physical UDS, probably due to the loss of the “wander in if it looks interesting since I’m here already” effect. The Ubuntu Women session is one which has perhaps suffered the most, several of our ideas over the years came from women who had never heard of us but happened to be at the summit and joined our session to offer new ideas and perspectives. So for sessions I was in, these virtual UDSes have only managed to attract a subset of existing contributors who could attend at the time it was scheduled and as a result just felt like just any other team meeting. Sadly, I don’t feel inspired following these new UDSes, instead I feel “wow, my to do list is very long, and I’m sick of meetings.”

That said, I understand Canonical is doing the best they can with their resources so I’ve done my best to take what value I can from this new format. It was great to see the schedule firmed up over a week in advance this time so I was able to adjust my work schedule accordingly. I’m also happy that they made it easier to join hangouts, as in the past it seemed like you had to scramble at the beginning of the session and know who to talk to in order to be a part of the video portion. I had no trouble submitting my blueprints this time around and found they had landed on the schedule through no actions of my own, hooray! Having recordings of every session has also been valuable, as in the past only a handful of sessions were recorded during each time slot and it was always somewhat unclear to attendees whether their session would be one of those select few or what the rationale was behind what got recorded or not.

Oh, and with virtual UDS we can bring our cats!

You may notice that popey did too, and I saw one walk behind Elfy in the Community Council session!


  • xubuntu-dev

    This is all time waste. Xubuntu should focus on new functionality. I understand if xfce does not release xfce 4.12 then the xubuntu and other teams should wait. I see no point in releasing a LTS just with new wallpapers and some crap documentation

    • pleia2

      Please try to keep your comments civil. Many of our contributors do contribute upstream to make improvements (one developed mugshot to make it easier for folks to change their profile image, which will be included in 14.04, several of us keep an eye on and pitch in with Debian packaging, another contributor maintains the PPAs so when 4.12 is available people will be able to install it in 14.04). Our documentation team also works hard to produce the valuable documentation that we release.

      And it’s important to understand that an LTS is not just packages maintained by Xubuntu, it’s the entire core of Ubuntu that Xubuntu sits on too – display manager, kernel, libraries. So we can’t just arbitrarily decide what release will be an LTS. Now, the Xubuntu LTS is only 3 years and the next LTS opportunity won’t be until after our last LTS has been expired for a year, which doesn’t work for us or our commitment to our users.

      • andrewsomething

        Speaking of mugshot, awhile back I was making a sweep through the debian-mentors archive for packages that have been waiting for a sponsor for a long time. mugshot peaked my interest, but unfortunately there were some packaging issues that a previous reviewer brought up with no response from the Xubuntu dev who uploaded it.

        If ya’ll need a sponsor for uploads to Debian, feel free to email directly. Helping Ubuntu folks contribute back to Debian is something I always try to do…

        • pleia2

          Awesome, thank you Andrew! :)

        • xubuntu-dev

          I don’t understand why you should update documentation when there’s no new functionality getting added. How many releases can you keep showing the same documentation. I truly understand that it’s not a xubuntu problem but you can hardly do anything about it.fedora has a Xfce spin and it does not contain all those cosmetics so even if it’s a LTS release I see no point in doing these wallpaper and color work