Ubuntu Development Update
These are the days where the release team is awake for 24 hour per day. Every issue that comes up on their radar has to be evaluated and checked if it warrants re-spinning all the CD images, re-doing all the testing, or if it should go into a stable release update after the release. It’s a challenging time, but things are looking quite good. (If you ignore the problem of developers just not sleeping.)
Looking at the release schedule, there’s just two weeks left: Release candidate next week, final release the week afterwards. Time to start organising your local release party! Oh, and please help testing! We need to know about the bugs you ran into.
If you want to know exactly which bug fixes are still going in, check out (or subscribe to) oneiric-changes mailing list.
Ubuntu Release Parties
We’re still looking for people who can organise Ubuntu release parties! The Ubuntu Oneiric 11.10 release will get out on 13th October. Why don’t have a release party? Here’s how to organise it and here’s how to register it. There’s 22 events listed right now, these cities are participating:
- Asia: Bangkok (Thailand), Khon Kaen (Thailand)
- Africa: Capetown (South Africa)
- Australia/Oceania: Brisbane (Australia), Sydney (Australia)
- Europe: Hradec Králové (Czech Republic), Dublin (Ireland), Šiauliai (Lithuania), Podgorica (Montenegro), Belgrade (Serbia), Lloret de Mar (Spain), Blackpool (UK), London (UK), Leeds (UK)
- North America: Kitchener (Canada), Toronto (Canada), Mexico (Mexico), SeaTac (USA), Lakeland (USA), Melbourne/Viera (USA) and Philadelphia (USA). (Also there’s the Panama team still looking for a venue.)
It’s just amazing to see how distributed the parties are and how excited folks get together to have a great time together and celebrate this great release.
Ubuntu Open Week
Not finalised yet, but it’s clear that we’re going to have Ubuntu Open Week after release, where we’ll have a very broad spectrum of talks and workshops which showcase all the areas in Ubuntu where you could get involved. Watch out for the official announcement. Leave a comment for a session that you’d like to see!
Things that still need to get done
If you want to get involved in packaging and bug fixing, there’s still a lot of bugs that need to get fixed:
- There’s packages that fail to build.
- There’s bugs with debdiffs.
- Triage Debian RC bugs we’re still lacking in Ubuntu.
- Also is the Ubuntu Mozilla team looking for help, so if you’re excited about Mozilla and what’s happening there, join IRC, talk to the guys on #ubuntu-mozillateam on irc.freenode.net.
- And then there’s Security bugs you can take a look at, the team is a friendly bunch and they’re incredibly helpful in getting your patch reviewed.
- Also is the Server team interested in your help: merges from Debian is one possibility, fixing important bugs another.
I had a chat with Michael van der Kolff from Australia.
It was really a rather minor patch, though – I made a patch for the hylafax package that failed to build on oneiric. The world would be better off without faxes these days, but people still use them – so I can understand that it’s not the most used package in Ubuntu, and so doesn’t really merit a high level of attention. It did take about 3 months to adopt a 10 line patch to the configure script, though…
I was a sysadmin for small businesses, and still get called on to help out at times, but I resumed full-time study at the University of Wollongong. I was the primary Linux guy at a place called “A Perfect PC“. That place has mostly dried up after a couple of the main clients were bought out, and they migrated to their acquiring group’s server OS choices (Win2K3 in both cases). I’m not really a business sort of guy – and the guy whose money it was is an engineer who I have a lot of respect for, but also speaks his mind when perhaps customers would rather he didn’t.
I use Ubuntu as my primary working machine (I typed this up in Chromium on Ubuntu), and use Ubuntu on some servers (though I find Debian a better fit there, most of the time).
I still work with Kevin Loughrey, who is the MD/owner of A Perfect PC, who also uses Ubuntu as his main system, and he does keep backups religiously, as we should – he had a disk failure on his main laptop on Monday, and he was helped through it with my and another chap, Wesley Young’s, help. As a consequence, he observed that most people using PCs don’t really keep backups, and a further advantage to using Ubuntu could actually be keeping a backup script that given USB hard drives, makes a package list and hives away the home directories & /etc. It seems reasonable, and in my Copious Free Time I may write up a proposal. I suppose I really should write up such a proposal – I’ve never done anything like that before.
If there’s a demand for an interesting bit of coding, and I have time, I’m happy to help out.
- Read the Introduction to Ubuntu Development. It’s a short article which will help you understand how Ubuntu is put together, how the infrastructure is used and how we interact with other projects.
- Follow the instructions in the Getting Set Up article. A few simple commands, a registration at Launchpad and you should have all the tools you need, and you’re ready to go.
- Check out our instructions for how to fix a bug in Ubuntu, they come with small examples that make it easier to visualise what exactly you need to do.
Find something to work on
Pick a bitesize bug. These are the bugs we think should be easy to fix. Another option is to help out in one of our initiatives.
- Help out with the dh_python2 porting.
- Help out with fixing packages that don’t build anymore.
- Help out with security bugs.
- Help out with NBS (a more advanced task).
In addition to that there are loads more opportunities over at Harvest.
Getting in touch
There are many different ways to contact Ubuntu developers and get your questions answered.
- Be interactive and reach us most immediately: talk to us in #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net.
- Follow mailing lists and get involved in the discussions: ubuntu-devel-announce (announce only, low traffic), ubuntu-devel (high-level discussions), ubuntu-devel-discuss (fairly general developer discussions).
- Stay up to date and follow the ubuntudev account on Facebook, Identi.ca or Twitter.