It is the week of Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha 2 which is to be released in just a few hours. Everybody has been getting their good work into Ubuntu, so it is a great opportunity for everyone to go check it out and test it. If you are excited by 12.04, just check out our testing pages and report back your results. The earlier we get them, the better!
Currently there is also a test rebuild of the whole archive going on, which will hopefully identify all the build errors early enough. In two weeks time Feature Freeze will be reached, at which point we stop introducing new features, packages, and APIs, and concentrate on fixing bugs in the development release.
Jeremy Bicha, a great contributor to the Desktop team, wrote up a nice explanation of how the components of the Ubuntu Desktop were chosen this cycle. It shows how much consideration goes into putting the release together and how coordination between Ubuntu and its upstreams is important.
It is Ubuntu Developer Week, the event for getting involved, learning more, peeking behind the scences, and learning more from experience developers. Day 1 and Day 2 have already passed, but if you couldn’t make it to the sessions, read the following summaries to find out what happened. They contain links to the logs of the sessions.
Ubuntu Developer Week will only still be today, Thursday 2nd February 2012.
Things which 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 Merges that need to be done (main, restricted, universe, multiverse).
- 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.
- There are bitesize bugs.
<if teams ask us to add more stuff to this list, we’re of course happy to do it>
New contributor: Simon Steinbeiß
Benjamin Kerensa talked to Simon Steinbeiß, here’s what he has to say:
How did you get involved?
I got involved in Ubuntu by starting to use Xubuntu and then hanging out in its IRC channels. I engaged in discussions about Xubuntu’s artwork and default application set. After a while I started bringing in proposals and my own ideas. The developer team was really helpful and that’s how I got involved in the Xubuntu artwork team.
What was your experience like?
Well generally positive. Obviously there are always compromises to be made. When doing a gtk-theme for yourself or a panel-layout you apply different criteria then when doing it for an unkown amount of anonymous users. But I’d say it’s a rewarding job and the reviews of Xubuntu’s artwork have been pretty good since I’ve been involved (*brag* )
What did you like most about it?
The fact that there was a good community and everyone wanted to make Xubuntu better. I have “converted” quite a few friends of mine who formerly used Windows, so I got personally interested in making Xubuntu better. It seemed easier to improve things in Xubuntu itself than going around after each release and fixing things for my all my friends I also liked the fact that my artwork could be seen and used by so many people, it’s always great for an artist to have such a wide audience.
Is there anything that should have been easier? What do you recommend to other contributors who think about starting to get involved?
That is difficult to tell. I have the feeling that with many open-source or community-driven projects it’s about building relationships to people initially and that depends on the structure of the team you want to be a part of. If it’s a good team with good leadership it obviously might be easier to get involved. But it also depends on other factors like your personal motivation – no-one should be trusted with important tasks right from the start, so hanging in there for a bit is a necessary step to build trust.
What do you do in your other spare time?
I’m currently doing a PhD in the humanities. I finished my MAs in Philosophy and Religious Studies (no, not Theology!) and I’m currently conducting research projects in both fields at my university.
- 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.
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, Google+, Identi.ca or Twitter.