Today marks the transition of Ubuntu 12.04 from Alpha Testing into the first phase of Beta Testing as Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 1 is released. Nicholas Skaggs has a number of items you can help out with by simply doing a bit of testing. We still have eight weeks until release, so let’s take a closer look at what the next weeks will bring:
- This week: Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 1 Release
- 3 weeks from now: Freeze for Beta 2, Documentation String Freeze.
- 4 weeks from now: Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 2 Release.
- 5 weeks from now: Kernel Freeze.
- 6 weeks from now: Non-Language-Pack Translation Deadline (Tue), Final Freeze, Language Pack Test Rebuild (Fri)
- 7 weeks from now: Language-Pack Translation Deadline (Tue), Candidate Window Starts.
- 8 weeks from now: Unseeded Universe Final Freeze (Tue) Ubuntu 12.04 Final Release!
This means there is still time to get fixes into Ubuntu, but don’t wait for too long! 🙂
Letting developers speak for themselves
Nicholas Skaggs discusses some new opportunities in QA Testing Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 1.
Jeremy Bicha provides details on why Raspberry Pi cannot support Ubuntu.
Alexander Sack and Kiko Reis were interviewed about what’s going on at Linaro.
Robert Ancell announces the addition of the 101st test case for LightDM. Let’s how long until they hit 200 test-cases.
Ubuntu Global Jam
This weekend (2nd-4th March), teams around the world get together locally to make Ubuntu better together. Translations, testing, documentation, bug work, packaging, development, web development, all kinds of things are being worked on, with two goals: to have fun and to improve Ubuntu even further. There are participating events in: Egypt, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Australia, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Canada, Mexico, USA, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. Awesome and just as diverse as the whole Ubuntu Community is.
Coinciding with Ubuntu Global Jam, the Ubuntu developers have a really nice treat for you on Friday, 2nd March. They’ll make themselves available to answer all your questions on #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net, help you get involved, review your code and upload your changes to Ubuntu. As we are eight weeks away from release, this is just the perfect time to go and fix a few bugs. All you need to do is, check out these articles: Introduction to Ubuntu development, Getting Set Up and Fixing a bug in Ubuntu, and turn up in #ubuntu-motu.
What we are going to work on is
- Packages which don’t build anymore.
If you have worked with compiling source code before, you know that a mistake like a syntax error can get you into a situation where the build is broken and does not succeed. There are lots of other reasons why this might happen, a good idea is usually to review the build log referenced in the link above.
- Bugs which have been fixed elsewhere.
Our bug life cycle works like this: make sure the bug can be reproduced reliably, gather all the information necessary, figure out if it’s an Ubuntu-specific problem or if it happens in the vanilla code of the software authors as well, then forward the bug with all the relevant information upstream. The Launchpad bug tracker is a great tool, which puts us into the situation where we are able to go through bugs which were fixed elsewhere already. Taking these fixes and applying them to Ubuntu is a great target for improvements, especially being eight weeks away from release.
It’s going to be a fun event and maybe your first patch which goes into Ubuntu! 🙂
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 are Merges which need to be done (main, restricted, universe, multiverse).
- Also the Ubuntu Mozilla team is 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 are 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.
- Also did John Lea from the Ubuntu Design team talk to us and mentioned that there are bugs up for grabs, where the design has been decided on and the implementation might need YOUR help. If you want to help improve Ubuntu’s UI, have a look at these!
Interview: Benjamin Kerensa
We had a chat with Benjamin Kerensa from Portland, USA. Read what he has to say:
What interested you to get involved in Ubuntu development?
I feel that it is prudent for more and more Ubuntu Members to try and play some role in Development even if it is minimal work like doing bug fixes because these kinds of contributions bring stability to our distribution which is used by so many millions of people including me.
How did it happen?
I really became more optimistic about being involved in Development shortly after a joint Ubuntu/Debian event we had here in Portland where we worked on transitioning packages to Multi-Arch. I was very impressed by the passion in development that people like Steve Langasek and Kees Cook displayed and ever since that event I have been allocating more and more time towards improving my packaging abilities and also contributing to bitesize bug fixes.
Which bugs or packages did you primarily work on?
I transitioned libaudiofile to Multi-Arch, Fixed Some Bitesizes (Linux-Tools, Liboggz etc) and am now even doing ISO Testing.
What was your experience like?
The experience thus far has been pleasant and I have found plenty of help from MOTU and Core Devs when I have sought such.
What would you recommend to other new contributors?
I would honestly recommend trying to find a current Ubuntu Developer to mentor you and perhaps even meet you at a LoCo event to give you some hands-on learning so to speak.
You are also member of the Ubuntu Developer News team – can you explain a bit what you have been doing there?
I have been helping with the Ubuntu Developer News by doing interviews with various First Time Contributors, Developers and Development Teams and also helping with summaries and providing feedback for future issues of Ubuntu Developer News.
- 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 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.