UDS-M Day 2

I’m posting updates later and later every day. Right now, I’m in community round table and I’m writing a blog post, sigh, procrastination – how I love thee

Community Roundtable

I ran into some audio issues and power went out half an our into the session, had to step out to an internet cafe and get back into the connection. We also reminded ourselves that people who become Canonical employees don’t automatically become ubuntu members or get upload rights. They still have to go through the same process and don’t have corners cut if they don’t have a proper wiki page.

Ubuntu NGO Team

I’ve heard about this team and it was nice to join in to their sessions. We made a bunch of decisions including having more regular meetings, perhaps once a month. Jonathan came up with an idea about Manifest, he’ll be writing to the mailing list about that stuff. I had this idea about having documentation for NGO to set up Ubuntu on their infrastructure and how to migrate to them. Eventually, Penny and I’ve volunteer to do this action. A bunch of more actions were created and assigned out including creating a Facebook group and exploring a planet for NGOs.

Ubuntu Support and Learning Center

I feel that this idea is great. The Ubuntu Manual team intend to put the information from a wiki into a website. This site would also be translatable.  Now, the Ubuntu Manual Project is a direct competition to the doc team. Martin (I think) brought up the point that the manual team should be collaborating with the doc team instead of competing because there would be a bunch of duplication that doesn’t make sense. So, the action plan is to give the feedback to doc team what made the manual team successful and perhaps integrate that into the ubuntu doc practices

Development Workflow Overview

The second session about the development workflow. This was as productive as the first one. Among the suggestions was a tool to make patch from a file on the system:

make-patch /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/foo.py 

So, the proposed tool finds the package that owns the file, grabs the deb, makes a diff of the files installed vs. in the package, and makes a bug/uploads patch against that package. If we have something like it, that would be really cool. Another point was advertising how to get fixes into Ubuntu in Launchpad, a small text showing, “Do you want to fix this bug?” or something to that end.  A lot of the talk was focused on the persona of someone who knows a language and fixes a small bug and wants to get the fix out, but not necessarily interested in ubuntu development.

Diffamation – Plenary

This was a very interesting plenary which I could experience to any extent thanks to James Tatum posting pictures of the slides onto IRC channel. I hope the video team posts videos of this stuff! A lot of the work that Dr. Chevalier presented was using slow animation to display revision changes to code or text. The immediate application I could think of was scanning commits in bzr or git and also looking at wiki edits.

Open Week and Developer Week

Most of the community sessions were very interesting and this was one of them.  I think having folks in the room that you know and know you changes a lot of things. We started with discussing what didn’t work and how we can improve stuff this cycle. Most significant decision was to make Developer Week earlier in the cycle and rename Opportunistic Developer Week to Application Developer Week.

Software Center Roadmap

I was having dinner during listening to this session. It was nice to know what’s coming in the next cycle. The ability to write reviews and have sale of software is very promising.

Review and Planning for Distributed Development

This session was working into thinking what is going wrong with this and who has issues with this processes. A lot corner cases were discussed and it was kind of nice. The best part of UDD is that its easy to get the maverick (or any release) source code.

So, this overview was very late, we’re into half the day 3 and I’m still doing this stuff. If you haven’t looked into the Ubuntu Developer channel on blip.tv, now is the time to do it. New videos are being added daily.

UDS-M Day 1 Overview

No, I’m not in Belgium. I participated remotely and this is a summary of the sessions I participated before fatigue hit me. Being a couple of hours east of Belgium, the sessions start at 12:30 PM for me, which is very comfortable.


Yesterday, we started off with Jono Bacon giving the Introduction plenary. We had some trouble with the audio until Grant Bowmann figured out that the icecast was on the bois_dentelle link. We folks missed out on seeing the slides initially, but some very nice folks in the room posted pictures from their phones or described what was happening out there. Yes, James Tatum, I’m talking about you. Thank you posting those pictures and giving descriptions and helping us out! It made me feel like I was really there. There was this video being played and I really missed it because I could hear the background music and the snickering. Someone was kind enough to post the video on their Ubuntu One account.

Mark Shuttleworth Keynote

He gave a nice talk and also introduced Unity to us. There is a PPA for unit if you’re interested. Thank you Alan Pope for posting the videos. I think he’s got all of them. Also, Canonical video team posted Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote, they are on the blip.tv channel.

Community Roundtable

Again, it took some trouble to get the sound working here, but eventually that got sorted out. Turns out, its easier to go to http://icecast.ubuntu.com:8000/ and select the room you’d want to listen to. The bot which posts the links had a mistake in its link if I remember correctly.

Development Workflow Review

A quick review of the places where we face problems in the development workflow. We made quite a bit of progress. I believe this discussion will be continued further on Tuesday’s session. I lost power in the middle of the session and had to walk to the nearest computer cafe to listen to the session. They had bad headphones too. (I think Ubuntu has a sound boost compared to windows? Untested but my instinct tells me so)

The Design Team Plenary

Ivanka Majic gave a great session. Popey has the videos for these too!. James Tatum helped us on this plenary by posting pictures from his phone.

Qt Overview

A guy from Nokia explained about Qt (pronounced ‘cute’) and their development workflow. Interesting talk. I think Jtatum posted all the slides from his phone for this one. A big thank you from the remote guys. We LOVED it!


Rick Spencer got up there to talk about some of the improvements they have done to Quickly. It was awesome! Popey’s video again save the day.

LP Improvements for Patches

Jorge took the lead on this session. It was very productive session with a room full of some amazing people! People who knew what was the trouble and what needs to be done. I liked a lot of ideas that Jfo had with regard to kernel patches and how they take care of it

LP Improvements for Bugs

Jorge had some crazy ideas at the beginning, which while being crazy was really innovative. Hopefully, we’ll get to see those features pop up. Bryce, you rock! Bryce made a cgi script to post the bug to the upstream bug tracker somehow and I think it was was called “Bryce has implemented Pedro” 😉 Also, I think it was Jfo, who expressed his concern about bug hijacking and what we could do to counter. Some of the proposed ideas looks good like bug supervisors marking comments as useful and being able to see only the useful comments, especially when bugs have 400+ comments and most of them are not useful to the developers or triagers. I feel this is a great step ahead indeed! In other news, Pitti and Bryce and moving out of Desktop and X Team respectively for a rotation. I don’t know where Pitti is rotating to, but Bryce is rotating to the launchpad team and having worked with Bryce once or twice, I know this is going to be the great cycle. By the time this session was over, I gave up and decided to take a break.

Overall, it was a very good day.

The Women in my Life

No, this is not a post about my girlfriends or my love life. Today is Ada Lovelace Day and planet should be filled with blog posts about it. After starting to contribute to Ubuntu, there are are couple of women whom I’d like to appreciate for their contributions to Ubuntu and for mentoring/helping me when I got stuck.

Elizabeth ‘lyz’ Krumbach

The first team that I was part of in Ubuntu was the Beginners Team and from there on I’ve worked with pleia2 (as we all know her) as part of the UCLP, Classroom Team, and User Days Team. Its wonderful how she gives critical input to help see all angles to an idea and make it rock solid. I also wonder how she managed to spend so much time in between work and real life with us online creatures 😉

Mackenzie ‘maco’ Morgan

I would have never known that quilt is something other than a type of bedding if it wasn’t for maco. I just popped by #ubuntu-motu and was looking for some pointers to start motu work. She guided me step by step through my first bug fix, understand the packaging process and quilt, and sponsored the package too. I still use the logs from that conversation way back in October or November when I’m working on quilt. Hugs to you pleia2 and maco for being part of Ubuntu and being there to help.

Backing up with APTonCD

In my previous post about Keryx, I had mentioned there are 3 different ways to bring .debs from another system to your own, but I skipped explaining APTonCD because

  • those packages need to be installed on another Ubuntu system,
  • that system must be running the same release of ubuntu as yours, and
  • it gives an output of an iso file or has to be written to CD.

This makes it non-ideal for bringing specific packages from one system to another system.

APTonCD though is the perfect tool. When you want to reinstall your OS for some reason (like playing with it too much that it does not work), APTonCD is the tool to use. It’s fairly straightforward. Once installed just run it from System > Administration > APTonCD. Click on create and all the applications installed will be listed out. Then click on Burn, and viola all the packages that you’ve installed gets backed up onto a CD, DVD, or ISO.

After reinstalling the OS, pop the CD or DVD that was burned earlier into the CD drive, run APTonCD (install it first), and click restore. Now all the .debs will be copied to apt cache. Now go to System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager and go to Edit > Add CD-ROM. Then click on Origin in the bottom left and all those packages will be listed and can be added.

All the applications installed will be restored. If like me, you have /home on a separate partition, not much configuration required either.

Installing packages without Internet Access

On the Ubuntu desktop, it is difficult for a user stuck without Internet because all packages are directly downloaded by the package manager. In India, unfortunately, Internet is not available for everyone. If you’re is lucky to have a laptop AND have a friendly local Internet Centre where you can connect your laptop, you’re among the few who can browse on Ubuntu (apart from those who have Internet ;)). I’ve been searching for a way to download the packages off-line and then install at home for people from my LoCo.

The latest Full Circle Magazine had an article giving a few workarounds for this, including a script generated by Synaptic Package Manager, APTonCD, and Keryx. The 2 most attractive options are to generate a script from Synaptic Package Manager and Keryx Project. They let you download on systems without Ubuntu and bring the .deb files to Ubuntu.

Generate a Script from Synaptic Package Manager

Start Synaptic Package Manager and mark all the applications that you want to install/upgrade. Instead of clicking the “Apply” button from the toolbar as you would normally do, go to the File menu and select “Generate Package Download Script” menu option to generate the download script. Save the generated script file. Give it a name like ‘ubuntu.sh’ and click the “Save” button. This script file can now be carried to a machine which has a fast Internet connection and it needs to be executed there.

To download the softwares on a Windows machine, use Linkification plugin to convert text links into genuine, clickable links. Then, use DownThemAll plug-in. When the plugin in installed, go to Tools

DownThemAll and include *.deb in fast filtering. If downloading from another Ubuntu machine, just type ubuntu.sh in terminal after changing directory to the folder containing the script.

Keryx Project

The Keryx Project only needs to be installed on the system with Internet connection and it downloads the debs. The best about Keryx is that its compatible with Ubuntu/Debian, Mac, and Windows. Download the Keryx Project from their download page. There is an excellent tutorial on using Keryx by crashsystems on his website.