Getting involved in Ubuntu development/testing...
thully at umich.edu
Mon Jul 16 07:43:14 UTC 2007
For the past several years, I have dabbled in Linux/GNU/open source/free
software, starting in 1999 when I managed my first Linux install, which was
Debian 2.0 (now THAT was dependency hell - no apt back then). Since then, I
have always been partial to the "Debian way" of doing things, as compared to
the world of RPMs or building everything from source. However, I have been
frustrated by Debian's somewhat-slow pace of development, occasional
hostility towards new users (both in the system sense and community sense),
and the "free software or no software" mentality some have in the
world-of-Debian. I do, however, greatly appreciate and respect the
contributions the Debian Project has made - it's truly quite amazing for an
Now, Ubuntu has taken the Debian base and added many things to it that I
like - regular releases, support for hardware that doesn't have 100% Free
drivers, ease of use, and a general friendliness towards new users in
general. As such, I have been following Ubuntu since it first came out.
However, though Ubuntu has done a great job overall, I still see many issues
that need desperate attention - laptop support, iPod support, and ease of
application installs/upgrades outside of distribution releases, to name a
few. As a result, I have ended up flip-flopping between Ubuntu and Mac OS X
- which I actually started using after I got sick of Windows and couldn't
get ACPI going well in the very early days of Ubuntu. On OS X, however, I
sorely miss the sense of community and the world of open source/free
software from Ubuntu.
Anyway, I am very interested in helping out with Ubuntu in any way I can.
While I can't code C very well, I have extensive experience beta-testing
software for a couple proprietary OS vendors. I also have a large amount of
general experience, and have managed to do things as weird as putting the
home partition on an HFS+ volume (to keep files in sync with OS X). Also, I
have begun filing bugs in Launchpad for Ubuntu. However, I feel like I can
do much more - as in many of these cases, I have pinpointed the source of
the problem and feel that something could be done about it. Additionally, in
using Ubuntu I have come up with many of my own ideas for improvements.
Filing a bug in Launchpad, however, doesn't seem to result in much in any of
How can I get involved? I've seen some things about the Bug Squad, the
Laptop Testing Team, and Masters of the Universe, and I'm not exactly sure
how it all works. In particular, I'm interested in helping report and fix
bugs (though not in the raw, in-depth coding sense), possibly packaging some
software (I noticed xcalib - a useful CLI tool for adjusting your color
profile/gamma in X using a profile - isn't packaged), and helping identify
issues with Ubuntu and possible solutions to them (such as the
afore-mentioned iPod support).
One issue of mine is that I am somewhat limited in my testing hardware -
currently I have one system - a MacBook - and have waffled between running
Ubuntu natively and on VMware in Mac OS (mostly due to power management
issues). At the moment, I don't run Ubuntu full-time, but I hope things
mature to the point where I feel I can do so without giving up anything.
Furthermore, I want to help towards that goal.
Comments, suggestions, etc welcome... I'm curious from hearing from Ubuntu
developers on this..
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