Summary: 3rd Ubuntu Developer Week

Daniel Holbach daniel.holbach at
Mon Jan 26 08:07:03 GMT 2009

Hello everybody,

here's a quick summary of UDW3:

Day 1:
We kicked it all off with a two hour session called Getting Started. For
the first time we had the session in English, Finnish, French, German,
Italian and Spanish. We felt it was important to help non-English
speakers into the project. Although it was a bit more organisation than
usual, it was a roaring success. We covered lots of bits and pieces
around Ubuntu development (setting up a GPG key, we toyed around with
pbuilder, etc.), talked about Ubuntu Development in general and of
course: answered myriads of questions. What I liked very much was the
fact that everybody from the local-language sessions were keen to ask
questions in the English sessions afterwards.

The next session was Packaging 101 where we dissected the 'hello'
package. Even though this is a very boring package we managed to cover a
lot of packaging concepts in there and everybody was keen to crack on
and learn more.

Nicolas Valcarcel and Barry deFreese ran the Working Well With Debian
session afterwards which was just awesome. In the sessions I gave before
a lot of people already asked how to collaborate with Debian and how to
be a good neighbour. Barry and Nicolas could easily answer all their

Ted Gould was up next and helped us Understanding GNOME technologies. He
did a great job at explaining the underlying foundation and the interest
and amount of question tells me: we're going to have a bunch of excited
GNOME contributors soon. :-)

Day 2:
First up was Tom 'intellectronica' Berger, who talked about Launchpad
Bug Tracking. He had a nice approach to finding out how experienced
everybody was with our bug tracker, nicknamed 'Malone': he asked
everybody to rate their experience on a scale from 0-10. We had people
at both ends of the spectrum and Tom did a fantastic job delivering
something new to everybody. When Markus Korn said he probably was at a
7.99, this was Tom's reponse: "thekorn: give me a break, you're more
like 11 :)". For those of you who don't know Markus: he wrote
python-launchpad-bugs and is wrapping his head around
python-launchpadlib as well. :-) The session was great - thanks Tom!

Next up was Ara Pulido who talked to us about QA Tools. The BugSquad and
the QA team have done a great job at getting a bunch of tools together
to make life easier when you're inspecting bugs and QA related matters.
Ara was great at explaining everything and being very modest, she
commented the the applause with "ok, enough, I am not Madonna". :-)

Next up was Launchpad developer Leonard Richardson who talked about the
awesome Launchpad Web Service API. There's really little need for
screen-scraping any more, which is great. Leonard also talked about the
roadmap of the project and how it works and got a lot of interesting
questions. Well done Launchpad Team!

The Security team came next and explained how they deliver High-quality
Updates. Marc, Kees and Jamie talked about their workflow, what is most
important when doing security updates and the various initiatives that
we have to make Ubuntu more secure. Rock on everybody, you're doing great!

The last session Debugging Program Crashes was unfortunately cancelled.
Martin Pitt said himself "I just did something *incredibly* stupid - I
deleted my talk! I'm terribly sorry, I'm afraid I have to cancel this
and move it to a later place".  Watch his blog for an update when we're
going to have the session. Make sure you don't miss it!

Day 3:
Sebastien Bacher was the first on that day and he talked about Pushing
out GNOME releases to millions of users. I was particularly excited to
see this session happening as I had been part of the fun for many months
and I learned so much from this great French man, Mr. sebuild. The
Desktop Team is very inviting and doing a great job, there's a lot to do
and a lot of fun to have, join in today!

I had the second slot and I talked about Fixing Bugs in Ubuntu. I
greatly enjoyed the session and my gut feeling told me that everybody
had a lot of fun there as well. We used Harvest to find a few simple
opportunities, all of the category "resolved-upstream". It's important
to me convey that fixing bugs in Ubuntu is not very hard, because it
isn't. If you like improving your detective skills on a day-to-day
basis, like making things work, are not afraid to ask and careful enough
to test things: you're definitely the right person for the team!

Next up was my good friend James Westby, who talked about Bazaar for
Packaging. Good man that he is, he picked one of the bugs I talked about
a bit earlier and demonstrated the sheer power and sheer amount of
awesome that Bazaar has and showcased nice features that make your work
a lot lot lot easier. Awesome!

The friends of the K got all they ever wanted and more in Jonathan
Thomas' excellent Kubuntu Bug Squishing session. He explained very well
how to fix bugs where to look for fixes and how it all comes together in
the form of packaging. Join the team now, Kubuntu needs more hands on deck!

Nick Barcet ran the last session of the day and talked about Using
VMBuilder to create test environment. Unfortunately Søren Hansen got
ill, so Nick was all on his own, but Nick did a fantastic job explaining
why vmbuilder is so awesome and how you can play with the development
release without fearing your precious system to blow up. Fantastic!

Day 4:
Ara Pulido started the day with talking about Automated Desktop Testing.
she shared a secret during her session, it's a very simple truth:
"testing software is *FUN* - not boring, not tedious, but FUN".  The
session was very interesting, take a look at it, find out how it works
and you can make Desktop Software rock even harder.

Neil Patel, Bill Filler and Pete Goodall were up next and did a Ubuntu
Netbook Remix Q&A session. The session promised to be exciting and
exciting it was. Myriads of good questions came up and everybody left
with a much better idea of how netbooks are special, what the plans are
and how things are going to look like. Awesome!

Scott James Remnant came up with the next session and talked about Boot
Performance. He explained very well how things work, mistakes of the
past, what the challenges ahead are and how to measure things. It was a
very informative and very fun session.

Harald Sitter and Steve Stalcup talked about Kubuntu Ninjas in Unicorn
mode. The session started off with the explanation that I promised and
it was "Ninjas are magic blue headed monkeys with batwings and a horn
looking like a gear on their foreheads, who are mostly talking jibberish
so that the other Ubuntu developers don't understand them". Luckily the
session afterwards was much more coherent and showed how to get involved
in packaging Kubuntu goodness. Excellent!

Mirco Bauer and Jo Shields, our good friends in the Mono team talked
about Packaging software for Mono. This session, too, was very
informative and showcased lots of the good work that's going on to
deliver Mono on Ubuntu and Debian.

Day 5:
Lars Wirzenius talked about Testing your .deb with piuparts. It was a
fun session, where major features of piuparts were discussed. Use it as
a health-check for your package's installability and upgradeability.
Thanks Lars!

The unstoppable Michael Vogt talked about Fun with python-apt. He did an
amazing job at explaining the moving parts of apt and how to make use of
them. The examples Michael picked were easy to understand and will
hopefully inspire a lot of new scripts that make all our lives easier.
Great job!

Martin Albisetti and Paul Hummer were next and talked about Bazaar and
Launchpad - How to do it. This session was awesome and showed very
elegantly why the combination of Launchpad and Bazaar is the best thing
since sliced bread. Easy to use, does not get in your way and it does
all the hard work for you. Fantastic! Go and use it! :-)

Ben Collins, kernel hacker extraordinaire, talked about Packaging Kernel
modules with DKMS. Like a true kernel hacker, he kept the session short
and to the point. I hope it'll inspire you to help out in the Kernel
team. They're a fun bunch of guys and don't bite. :-)

Last but not least we had the Cody Somerville and Charlie talking about
the Xfce of Awesome: Xubuntu. Changes for Xfce 4.6 and how Xubuntu QA
works were covered, looks like Xubuntu 9.04 will be excellent!

That concludes our 3rd Ubuntu Developer Week. I hope you enjoyed the
ride and if you're still thinking about what the best way to get
involved might be, it's

Have a great day,

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