Minutes from the Technical Board meeting, 2009-06-16

Colin Watson cjwatson at ubuntu.com
Tue Jun 16 16:57:54 BST 2009

= Attendees =

 * Colin Watson (chair)
 * Matt Zimmerman
 * Scott James Remnant

 * Jordan Mantha
 * Jonathan Carter
 * Stéphane Graber

= Apologies =

 * Mark Shuttleworth

= Minutes =

== Outstanding actions ==

=== mdz to talk to kiko/bjornt to investigate drivers powers ===

Kiko said that he believed that membership of the ubuntu-drivers team
only affected spec approvals and nominations, but that he would
investigate further; Brian Murray believes that it also affects setting
package bug guidelines and setting official bug tags.

[ACTION] mdz to continue investigation of drivers powers with LP team,
and document results.

=== Mono discussion ===

Mono has been the subject of various heated discussions recently. While
there is no urgent question to resolve, it seems appropriate for the TB
to give it some consideration.

We recently considered the topic of alleged patent violations in some
detail. Although the TB meeting in question does not appear to have been
written up, logs are available here:


To summarise briefly, we will of course engage with patent holders who
contact us with a claim of a patent violation in Ubuntu; the technical
board is the correct point of contact for this. Although others are
welcome to inform the technical board of allegations of which they have
become aware, and any developer with a question or concern about a
particular patent should contact the TB who will advise if they are
aware of an issue, we will not in general act solely on third-party
allegations or rumours. In the case of Mono, Canonical (who would bear
most of the liability for any violation) does not currently believe this
to be a major risk, as should be evident from the fact that it has been
shipped in Ubuntu main since 5.10 and in the default desktop since 6.10.

In general, we will ship the best available free software applications,
in the judgement of the relevant development team; the desktop team has
responsibility for desktop application selection, as is natural. In a
small number of cases, Mono applications have been selected there on
their merits. At present, were there to be an issue, Mono would be easy
to extricate. Making it more of a core requirement is likely to
encounter some performance concerns at present anyway, since the budget
for desktop startup is increasingly tight as we work on boot

In short, at the moment, Mono is very well-maintained in Ubuntu and
there appears to be no significant cause for concern over its IP
situation. We will attempt to clarify in suitable places what developers
and/or rights holders should do in the event that they have evidence of
a problem.

[ACTION] mdz to write up patent policy minutes from 2009-03-24 meeting

== Edubuntu Releases for Karmic and Karmic+1 and hosting on Canonical
infrastructure ==

Over the last few months, the Edubuntu development community has been
going through a revitalisation process, with quite a few new potential
contributors and some rethinking.

The add-on CD arrangement has come up as a practical concern for many
new contributors, as it causes issues for easy installation on multiple
computers and makes it hard to produce a single demonstration image
(along the lines of the desktop CD for other flavours). The add-on CD
was originally introduced because Edubuntu was largely an Ubuntu CD plus
some additional education applications, needing two CDs anyway, and
refactoring it as an add-on to Ubuntu seemed a reasonable way to keep
testing requirements under control. The Edubuntu developers would like
to move to a USB or DVD image to address this concern. The TB is happy
for this to be worked out with the CD image team, provided that
consideration is given to effective testing for release; any new image
would supersede previous ones.

In the 9.04 cycle, Edubuntu images were moved from the widely-mirrored
releases.ubuntu.com server to cdimage.ubuntu.com. While this has caused
some issues due to a reduced number of mirrors, releases vs. cdimage is
purely an infrastructural concern (i.e. there's a maximum amount of data
that mirrors are willing to contemplate before mirror administrators
start dropping releases.ubuntu.com or only mirroring it partially), and
does not indicate a status consideration. That decision was taken on the
basis of which images are downloaded most. If there is a need for more
mirrors than are available of cdimage.ubuntu.com, then we encourage the
Edubuntu team to discuss this with mirror administrators on the
ubuntu-mirrors mailing list.

== Inclusion of universe within Edubuntu ==

Jordan and Stéphane expressed concern that the restriction of Edubuntu
images to build only with main leads to a very limited selection of
applications. They would like to expand this to include universe as
well, similar to Xubuntu and other flavours.

Due to pressure of time, the TB moved quickly to vote on this rather
than discussing it extensively, but in any case were happy to approve
this; since Edubuntu now has a broader scope than previously, and
development is much less focused on Canonical, this seems to be a
reasonable change.

== Ubuntu Core Developer application for Stéphane Graber ==

Stéphane's application to join ubuntu-core-dev was approved.
Congratulations and welcome!

== Ubuntu Core Developer application for James Westby ==

James' application to join ubuntu-core-dev was approved (in absentia).
Congratulations and welcome!

Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at ubuntu.com]

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list