Releasing Alphas and Betas without "freezing"

Nicholas Skaggs nicholas.skaggs at
Thu Jun 21 19:27:01 UTC 2012

On 06/21/2012 02:46 PM, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On Thursday, June 21, 2012 11:25:09 AM Jono Bacon wrote:
>> On Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 11:11 AM, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at>
> wrote:
>>>> I don't think it is unreasonable for Canonical to focus its resources
>>>> on Ubuntu as opposed to the flavors.
>>> I'm crystal clear that the Canonical community team's QA effort is focused
>>> on trying to get the broader community to do QA on Canonical products.  I
>>> think that's quite unfortunate.  Rather than just trying to get free
>>> labor for Canonical, I would have hoped you wanted to make QA better for
>>> the entire Ubuntu project.
>>> This is in marked contrast to Daniel Holbach's efforts (which I've been
>>> watching and appreciating, but not had much time to get involved with) to
>>> bring new blood into the Ubuntu development process.  He's pursing the
>>> kind of holistic approach I'd hope to see from your entire team.
>> We *are* working to "make QA better for the entire Ubuntu project",
>> but the point is that our focus is on *Ubuntu* and our specific
>> efforts don't extend to coordinating flavor testing. This doesn't mean
>> we are ignoring our flavors, or are not happy to offer advice or
>> guidance, but my team (Daniel included) is not focusing their efforts
>> on helping specific flavors achieve their goals.
>> I myself am surprised that you find this surprising: while many of our
>> efforts and programmes can bring value to the flavors (e.g. general
>> developer growth, working with upstreams, translations work etc), we
>> have rarely if ever assigned staff time to delivering on flavor work
>> items.
>> This is purely and simple about resourcing. Canonical is a company,
>> and it needs to invest its resources carefully: sure, we would love to
>> support all the flavors with more staff time (not just Kubuntu), but
>> we simply don't have the resources to do so. Importantly, though, we
>> are not stopping flavors from doing this work themselves...we are
>> still providing the infrastructure and help and guidance we can offer
>> in doing this work.
> We're talking about two different Ubuntus.  You're talking about Ubuntu the
> product defined by a set of images/metapackages/etc drawn from a subset of the
> Ubuntu Linux distribution's archive.  I'm talking about Ubuntu as a project
> which is bigger than either of those.
> Scott K
If I may speak for myself here, my goal is to encourage ubuntu as a 
project to be a leader in open source in the realm of quality. It's what 
I care about and I hope to be a part of making happen. My work at 
Canonical aligns with that in a very harmonious way. In no way do I wish 
to close out or marginalize flavors or other QA teams -- I trust my work 
has shown this to be quite the opposite.

A brief example for illustration; in the past I have personally helped 
test some flavors images, and during the 'adopt an iso' campaign last 
cycle, while I was campaigning to help ensure a quality iso for ubuntu, 
I helped instruct people who wanted to test flavors images. This grows 
the ubuntu community as a whole and is a positive thing for the project. 
We have things in common and I encourage collaboration across flavors 
and teams (ubuntu included!).

In this example, the important distinction to make is that while I 
helped test or encouraged others to test a flavors image, I won't claim 
responsibility for assuring quality on that image or ensuring it gets 
released. That of course is up to the flavors teams, and I would not 
usurp management or responsibility away from those teams.My primary 
focus is upon ubuntu and ensuring a healthy testing community which is 
able to help assure quality for each ubuntu release. This helps everyone 
who uses ubuntu in direct and indirect ways, including flavors. A 
healthy ubuntu QA community makes for a healthier ubuntu community.


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