Ubuntu 11.10 Development update

Ubuntu Development Update

With Alpha 2 out of the way, loads of new things are getting into Ubuntu: the first cut of the Unity greeter landed, lots of projects get ported to GTK3, bugs get fixed, etc. These are definitely exciting times. As always: the status overview should give you a very detailed look on how each feature is progressing.

What’s also happening this week is Ubuntu Developer Week. Every day from 16:00 UTC to 21:00 UTC we have excellent tutorial sessions on IRC that explain lots of different aspects of Ubuntu Development. Join in, learn, ask and discuss. Logs of sessions that already happened are linked from the timetable. What’s still to come? Today: Writing apps with QML, deploying to the cloud using Ensemble, fixing build failures on ARM, visual rendering with the nux library, Java library packaging. Tomorrow: fixing bugs in compiz, hacking on Ubuntu websites, triaging bugs, Lubuntu development and project lightning talks. Awesome!

If you want to get involved in packaging and bug fixing, there’s still a lot of bugs that need to get fixed, particularly packages that fail to build.

Since last week a bunch of people got their first upload into Ubuntu! I’m thrilled! This time it’s four gentlemen who deserve a round of applause! Alexander Fougner (who now got busy helping retheme the Ubuntu Packaging Guide), Christian Titze, Kent Baxley and David Smith. Good work everyone, keep it up!

New Contributor

This week I talked to Juan Negron from the USA, here’s what he has to say:

Juan NegronWhat was your experience like?
It was very smooth as I had a lot of support from my co-workers at Canonical and the Ubuntu community as well. There are a lot of smart (and patient) people hanging out on IRC able (and willing) to help out when needed.

Did you run into any problems?
Most of the problems that I ran into were due to inexperience, and for those, the people around me (Canonical/Ubuntu) where there to help.
A few examples:

  • The induction into using the wiki as the first place to look for information.
  • best practices when working with bzr and launchpad (bikeshed helps a lot with release-test, release-build and release)
  • lintian on my side: How to use lintian to help you clean up your packages before uploading.

…. some other that don’t come to mind right now.

Fortunately, there has always been someone there to help me so I have been able to overcome those quickly enough where I can get the job done and now (thanks to all of the people that have helped me in the past), I am now in a position where I can pay it forward to those in need.

What do you think could have been easier?
There are some things in the packaging and its approval process that could be made easier but, so far, I think it to be a painful but necessary step to ensure that all the developers pay enough attention to details to maintain the high quality of Ubuntu. Going through that learning curve and process has forced me to be more detailed oriented… and that’s always a good thing!

How did you generally like it?
So far, I’m loving it!! I have been able to meet and work with some of the smartest people on the planet so, I feel more empowered to tackle more ambitious challenges due to the support that the community provides.

Get Involved

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, Identi.ca or Twitter.
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