Fixing Launchpad Bugs

At UDS, I met the Launchpad folks, who encouraged contributions to Launchpad itself in a couple of sessions. I’ve tried twice before and always get stuck with the getting a virtual machine set up stage. This time, I decided that I’m going to skip that step and go ahead and install it on my lucid laptop. As soon as I got back, I looked at getting the launchpad source code. rocketfuel-setup is a 400-line shell script that does the heavy lifting of the installation for the user. After having written such a script at work, I have huge respect for the author of this script 🙂

After installing, I looked around for a simple bug to fix and picked [bug1][bug 645825]. The bug appeared easy enough to fix and I had a fix ready in a few minutes. I proposed a merge and was told that it needs work. It needs test cases! Another day I spend with poolie, jml, and gmband a few hours of learning to write test cases for Launchpad. Gmb and I used etherpad to collaboratively write the test and I’ll be honest, that was great fun and very productive. Multiple tries and we finally got it right and he landed it in ec2 for the entire set of tests to run. The tests failed.

I quickly popped by #launchpad-dev and wgrant and mwhudson helped me fix and wgrant landed it into ec2 for me. It passed and I did a qa on! I’ll be honest that it was an extremely proud moment. This kind of made me want to fix another bug and I found bug 203478. This was something that did irk me before UDS. This time, [deryck][deryck] helped me with writing the test cases correctly first, watching it fail, fixing the bug, and then watch the test succeed. Did something hugely silly this time. I was running the test in a new branch and writing code in the devel branch, which would lead to test not being found, fix not being effective and a bunch of problems. Lesson learned is to use only my branch never the devel branch.

Overall, I liked fixing LP bugs though I’ve been told that its a brave move. The Launchpad developers have been extremely friendly and welcoming for new community developers. I think I’ll take more time to figure out the more complex bugs, but its fun helping fix the ones I can.

Edit: I missed mentioning – Launchpad can’t take a patch until you’ve signed the contributor agreement.

Ubuntu Developer Day!

A long awaited blog post about the Ubuntu Developer Day. [Jorge][jorge] has been saying ‘PICS OR IT DIDNT HAPPEN!’for a while now. Anyway, I got all the pictures today morning finally. I don’t remember how I first heard of Ubuntu Developer Day, but I remember registering within minutes of it being announced. I got a text the previous night reminding me that the registrationswould start at 8:15 am and the sessions would start at 9 am. The area where the conference was happening was quite close to my place, but with the morning traffic, it took almost 30 minutes for me to get there. I went along with 3 of my colleagues who’d also signed up.

Once we got our ID cards, we had a cup of coffee (the daily caffeine dose 😉 ), and moved into the conference hall to get good seats. I’m guessing there were enough chairs for at least 450 people there. I’m guessing there were a few people backing out, because later we saw a ID cards that weren’t claimed. Still the crowd was BIG!

John Bernard from Canonical acted as the MC for the event and we started with Prakash Advani welcoming us. We learned that people had come from Sri Lanka and Himachal Pradesh (that’s 2400 km away!) to be here. After the welcome was John Bernard’s where we are. He started with the Discover Ubuntu commercial. I’m guessing a lot of people have already seen it. It set the mood for the rest of the day I guess.

Then came Jon Melamut’s keynote. He talked about the chasm among other things. The talk was mostly things I’d heard of before and for my colleagues it was very interesting to hear about it. I don’t remember a lot of the talks. I should perhaps have taken notes. The talks were too interesting to take notes and I’m hoping the slides will be up some time today.

After Jon, Dipankar Sarma from IBM’s Linux Technology Center talked about the work IBM has been doing in the Linux space. His talk was at the kernel level and perhaps went a bit over my head. After his talk, I saw Ritesh, a Debian Developer I know, standing up and asking a few questions. We broke for coffee and I chatted with Ritesh for a minute or two before getting back in.

After the break, Chase Douglas talked about the work on touch support in Ubuntu. This was a talk I was looking forward to. I had demo’d the touch devices there and it was really cool to try it out. Chase did a really nice session and kept things interesting.

Nick Barcet took over for the next 2 sessions. He took the pre-lunch and post-lunch session. Now those are the traditionally more difficult sessions to keep people interested. I have to say, he did a marvelous job of it. It was great to see the work Canonical has been doing in the cloud and server and how things are going.

After Nick, we had a talk from Freescale and then another talk by Chase about Launchpad and Bazaar. I had fond memories of doctormo teaching me about Launchpad and bzr about 2 years back or so. During lunch earlier, I’d met Hardik and he showed me the multi touch demo. I got to see a number of computer manufacturer’s in India selling with Ubuntu pre-installed. Now, I know how which laptop to buy if I buy a new one. We also got goodies! Everyone got a bag which had a T-shirt, a pen, a CD, a sticker, a notebook, and a few of the handouts about Unity.

Then came the Marvel Keynote. It was mostly talking about products that Marvel has developed and how its used in a lot of places. Then came the session perhaps everyone where looking forward to, ‘Getting commercial applications to Ubuntu users’ by Randy Linnell. Most of the talk wasn’t something new to me, but the audience was quite interested in the talk. I was tweeting quite a bit during a few of the talks. We didn’t have access to the hotel wifi, so I was using my colleague’s internet connection to tweet.

Finally, we had a wrap up from Prakash and the audience started trickling out. I stayed back a bit and talked to the Canonical team who’d come down. Later, I grabbed a cup of coffee down at Barista and probably left the hotel at closer to 7 pm 😉

Ubuntu Hour in Bangalore

Woo! After a while, the Ubuntu loco community is awakening in Bangalore again. I had announced a meet up on the mailing list a while back. I had my fingers crossed as to how many would turn up and how it would be. Most people assured me if there are 2 people and the other person isn’t your imaginary friend, its a success!

I’m glad to report that we ended up with 7 people coming in. It started out a bit slow with just me sitting alone in Cafe Coffee Day on Richmond Road. To be a little more noticeable I opened up the laptop and sat in such a way I could see everyone who walked in. Anyone who looked lost was definitely looking for the Ubuntu Hour (note to self: Sticker on laptop sounds like a good idea now).

Ganesh walked in first followed later by Harish and Arjun almost at the same time. We sat chatting for some time until I saw noticed another guy looking lost and Manish joined the party. Later on Venkatesh also joined us giving us more life!

We talked for quite a bit about what we do for a living and what we do for the free software community. All of the people seem to be contributing in one way or the other and it was fun to hear about what others do. We packed up at around 5 and walked out to run into a DD, Ritesh, who was planning on making it but got late.

And we ended up talking for some more time outside the coffe shop. Meeting geeks is fun! We’ve plan to meet up every on the last Saturday of every month with announces sent to ubuntu-in and ilug bangalore list. As soon as the venue for the next one’s confirmed I’ll blog and tweet about it! Thank you all for coming 🙂 The pictures are all on my flickr.

UDS-M Day 5

Phew, finally I get down to writing day 5 overview, a few days after UDS. Generally, I write the previous day’s blog post on the next day. After day 5 though, I had to get work (yeah, on a Saturday). On Friday, I decided to tackle my power trouble by going outside for the hours that I know in advance I won’t have power. Overall, good idea, but they decided to cut power at different times. Sigh.

First thing in the morning was a call with Daniel Holbach to discuss about the Cleansweep Project. Skype kinda gave us trouble and we ended up using Facebook chat in the end to discuss stuff.

Community Roundtable

A round up in the morning of all the community stuff including what we have to go ahead. My memory is faint about what we talked, but I vaguely remember everyone summing up the week and the progress that was made. Also, someone was playing music from Benjamin’s laptop, which included the Titanic song. Fun times 😉

Ubuntu Women Session

A session I didn’t want to miss. This session was very goal oriented from all the other sessions. I liked the mentorship discussion and revival of the whole thing. I’ll probably sign up to be a mentor. I’ve already helped a few friends that I know through UW in other teams like Bug Squad. The idea was not to replace the other mentorship options but to work with the others and to give a list of folks on the UW wiki who can be contacted for particular stuff.

I decided to take a break from the nest session to plan for Operation Cleansweep, a project that I have volunteered to coordinate. I put up wiki pages and came to the realization that we needed more time to get things together. I’d rather have a proper start with documentation everything ready rather than having to wait. I pinged Daniel and we decided to postpone start date to May 24th, 2010.

Lightening Talks

As usual James Tantum rocked us with pictures of slides since most of it were using slides. I forgot a lot of them, but ones that rocked including one by Jonathan from Launchpad team about ‘How to be an evil overlord’ or something to that extent, Popey’s Momubuntu talk, James Westby’s talk about launchpadlib (and yes, try try try until you succeed), a talk from Google Chrome guys about how speed matters, Chris Johnston talked about Classbot, Alan Bell about etherpad (we overloaded the pad 😉 ), and more that I’ve forgotten. I’ll wait for the videos.

Travis Hartwell talked about how he wanted a way to pull the source for all the dependencies of a package with one command instead of typing out many different commands. I was pretty sure sed or awk could do something coupled with apt-cache. My sed foo is pretty low and I asked my good friend Mackenzie Morgan wrote something up for this. Travis, this one’s for you buddy

apt-get source $ (apt-cache depends gwibber | awk '/Depends/{ print $2  }') 

That command would get you all of Gwibber’s dependencies. You can change that package name to get the source of dependencies for any package. This source will be downloaded into the current folder when you’re running it from a terminal. Perhaps someone could make the whole thing more prettier, but hey, this is a start 🙂 Thanks again maco!

Advocate the use of daily builds

One of the projects that Daniel Holbach has been assigned for this cycle. Its been given a high importance and I realize the reason. A daily build means every time you write new code, it will be built for you and a whole lot of folks can test it for you and give you bug reports. Various improvements to LP were discussed including a rollback option among the others.

Ubuntu News Team

Amber is the chief editor of the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, so I attended this one hoping it would be interesting and it was! A lot of discussion about unifying teams, etc. There was a thought of doing away with Fridge which I stopped right away. Reminding you folks again, We WANT the Fridge! Well, it wasn’t a serious consideration but a thought someone had. All in all, they made some tough calls, which will happen internally. Also, Fridge is going to be in WordPress soon, so that should help make a lot of things easier. I don’t remember who, I think Joey, will be working with the Design Team for a new theme, etc for the Fridge.

Closing Session

Finally, the UDS comes to a close. Everyone had great fun for a week and did lots of work. Most people were tired and close to burn out (yeah, from all the staying up late in the bar or out partying 😉 ). Seriously, it was tiring. Even from remote, I was burned out. Last 2 days I’ve been so tired. Hopefully I can recharge this week. All the track leads summed up their tracks. Important stuff include Robbie confirming that 10.10.10 could be a release date, pending TB approval. He was talking about how much time each cycle has had and it seemed okay. Jaunty cycle only had 25 weeks, so for 10.10.10, we’ll have only 23 weeks and it seems possible. Scott, talked about btrfs and how it may be the default option for Maverick. Keyword there being ‘may’. Scott blogged about what needs to happen for that. Leann summed up the kernel track decisions. I didn’t understand much of it, so skipping that. Design track, Desktop track, and cloud track also had a small summary which I don’t particular recall. This why I should perhaps write blog posts then and there. Oh yeah, now I remember one decision from desktop, Chromium will be the default browser for the netbook edition. Finally Jono summed up the community track. A huge list of summing up. Most of which I think I’ve already written in the previous posts. He announced Project Cleansweep. Well, he announced it as Project Babu and how it was renamed to Project Cleansweep. Well, I wonder why I even bothered to oppose if he was going to call it Project Cleansweep a.k.a. Project Babu 😀

The final quote from Jono ‘Lets get seriously drunk people.’ He did say he was kidding, but the tone he said it in, was awesome. Marianna arranged for a treasure hunt and she was given a small token of appreciation from the community for all the hard work she did over the week. Finally UDS is over!

Now, time to get to work.

UDS-M Day 4

I’m probably taking the blogging thing too far with 3 back-to-back posts, but whatever. One big reason I missed out on going to this UDS was my passport had expired and I hadn’t renewed. I finally decided, it was time to re-apply and set out to the nearest Bangalore One to get a form.

It took me 1 whole hour and around 20 km of roaming around to find the place. Absolutely no one knew the place when I asked around. Even a policeman I asked gave me wrong directions. Eventually, I ended up doing everything else on my things to do and was on the verge of giving up when I located the place. Turns out, its less than 4 km from my place. Sigh. I circled around for an extra 10 km. Before you talk about Google Maps, yes I tried it out there and it didn’t know what I was talking about.

Overall, Thursday was frustrating in terms of power availability. I kept on getting power cuts and missing sessions. The first half of the day was pathetic. I lost power halfway through the community roundtable and could get back online during the Maverick Governance Changes and Needs session. I can’t believe I missed the BugSquad Roadmap! Again, I lost power halfway through Debian Healthcheck. Sigh. Today, I’ll just go outside to some internet cafe for the first half. I have a call scheduled and after that I’ll just go some place for 4 hours.

Community Roundtable

Another general discussion at the roundtable, I lost a bit of that thanks to the power situation.

Maverick Governance Changes And Needs

This session was very interesting. Though I’m not on any councils, we had a lot of folks from different councils and we were exploring the possibility of working the CIVS system into Launchpad. Jono has a task for that and perhaps we’ll have an awesome voting system by the end of the cycle. Most of the council elections use the CIVS system. We even used the same system for the Beginners Team Council voting.

Debian Healthcheck

This session started with Jorge introducing the good parts and the bad parts. Zack, the DPL, was in the session and he gave some good suggestions on how to go about uploading to Debian. A lot of packages designed for Ubuntu don’t go into Debian and Zack particularly said that they wanted them. He explained how we could upload to experimental and sync from there. We’ve agreed to do this. Personally, I agreed to work on Gwibber in Debian sometime back, I guess its time to actually start working on it. In this case, I had spoken to Ken earlier and he specifically said he was happy to help me. Any delays are my fault and my lack of time. As I said earlier, I lost power halfway through this session.

‘Collaboration with Ubuntu’ Plenary

Stefano Zacchiroli, or Zack, the current DPL, talked about Collaboration with Ubuntu from the Debian point of view for the first plenary. This was the most awesome plenary. Zack totally changed my vision of Debian Developers. There are more than 1000 Debian Developers and he mentioned that though the option against Ubuntu exists, its a corner case. His talk encouraged Ubuntu to collaborate with Debian all the time. Yes, you heard me right. Debian wants us. Uploading to Debian would give all the other distros that fork from Debian a chance to get those packages. He also mentioned that if we have a bug and patch, he wants Debian to get the patch too because DMs and DDs are the people who know the package best. A growing trend that is being noticed is Ubuntu developers being Debian maintainers and Debian developers! Wow, that’s interesting. All in all, it was a very impressive talk and I’m waiting for the videos to be uploaded to watch them. Again, special mention to James Tatum for the pictures. We all love you James!

‘What does this bit do?’ Plenary

James Scott a.k.a. Keybuk talked about the plumbing layer. The past, the present, the future. Yes, it was like sitting in ‘A Christmas Carol’ about the plumbing layer. Some of the stuff flew about my head since I didn’t know much about it. But it was nice listening to it all the same. He explained about upstart and how its planned to be awesome in the coming releases. Can’t write more since I didn’t understand much about it.

In between this session, I was also in the Ubuntu Women Project meeting, so I was only listening in partly.

Crystalizing Project Cleansweep

I’ve agreed to coordinate this project. Project Cleansweep is about cleaning up all the bugs with patches by Maverick release. It needs a lot of work and lot of identity to be successful. Stephan and Daniel Holbach is going to be helping me along with Brian Murray and Jono and everyone else. We want to get a lot of community attention to this project and use the ‘buckets’ that we use in Reviewers Team into coordinating patch review for all the patches in Ubuntu. I’ve arranged for a call with Daniel to discuss the specific actions that we need to be taking. I’ll be posting more updates as time goes on.

I gave up after this. All the roaming around in the morning and the 4 days was too much for me. I switched off IRC, got off the audio feed, and started planning for Project Cleansweep and what needs to be done. I hope to have a productive call with Daniel today.