Looking Ahead: Xubuntu Feisty+1, Part 1

Vincent imnotb at gmail.com
Wed Mar 28 14:40:14 UTC 2007

On 28/03/07, Cody Somerville <cody.somerville at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> I'd really like to thank everyone for being so supportive while I've been
> in the hospital. Everyone has done an amazing job and I really regret not
> being around during such a critical part of the release cycle. However, I
> want to let you know that I'm pumped for Feisty+1 release cycle and I've
> taken some time out of my busy schedule (haha, I joke, I joke) to write out
> some thoughts about Xubuntu and what we can do to improve the distribution
> and it's community for the next release cycle. As I'm sure you already know,
> I'm always open and happy to get feedback (it lets me know that people
> actually read my ramblings, haha) – so, please, feel free to discuss, tear
> apart, and dissect the following mumble jumble of thoughts and ideas.
> In this e-mail, I'll be tackling the social/community issues. My next
> e-mail will be tackling development related issues.
> == Marketing ==
> Xubuntu Marketing is lacking attention right now. I think the first step
> to remedying this issue is to find a volunteer who is interested in taking
> charge of Marketing for Xubuntu. This person would need to be confident in
> communicating with the public (of course), creative, not afraid to get their
> hands dirty, an excellent team-worker, and all that good stuff. The
> individual would need to be a person who doesn't need someone to hold their
> hand. They would need to be able to take charge and start initiatives (like
> Jim has with the testing team).
> Once we get a person filling this role, they would want to get very comfy
> with the ubuntu-marketing team (if they haven't already) to allow us to hook
> into Ubuntu marketing initiatives (ie. Avoid duplicating efforts,
> joint-initiatives, etc.).
> They'd have to brainstorm with the community for sure about things such as
> "How do we want to market Xubuntu?", "Do we want to try and give Xubuntu an
> appeal to the commercial market?".
> Their first project might be working with our resident artist to make some
> artwork which people can use to represent their Xubuntu pride on their
> websites and blogs. From there, the sky is the limit. :)
> Oh, and of course they would help write release announcements, etc. etc.
> == Documentation ==
> Documentation is an interesting creature. We had some pretty lofty goals
> for Feisty documentation which we didn't meet but we did do a million times
> better then Edgy (which used the documentation from Dapper unmodified).
> As for Feisty+1, I think that with a bit of leadership, our documentation
> could easily become stellar. There seems to be several individuals
> interested in assisting with Documentation but more direction is needed for
> these people's interest to be actualized into hard work <g>. If there is
> anyone interested in taking the initiative to take a leadership position in
> the Xubuntu documentation effort, feel free to let me know and we can see
> about accelerating the process of getting you svn commit access.
> Question: What needs to be done for Documentation?
> Answer: A lot but it can't be articulated in a few words. We need to ask
> ourselves questions like "What information would users most likely find
> helpful? What do we know can be tricky about a certain default program? How
> would I go about instructing a friend to do a task like setting up the
> printer or installing new software?".
> We also need to apply the topic-based help specification to our
> documentation which means major restructuring.
> It would most likely also be beneficial to give the look and feel of the
> documentation an update.
> We might also consider different Xubuntu specific guides we could offer
> such as a migration guide (Ubuntu offers one).
> == ISO Testing ==
> I think Jim is doing an AMAZING job with this. He is the perfect example
> of an excellent Open Source Leader!
> So, what is this section about? Well, maybe we should discuss what testing
> team will do after the final release of Feisty. Maybe they could continue to
> do QA testing of Xubuntu packages and daily builds? What are your thoughts
> Jim?
> == Support ==
> I think it would be interesting if we could get some sort of
> community-focused effort on providing support on IRC and Launchpad Support
> Requests. I know a lot of people already do this regularly but I think they
> deserve recognizability for their awesome efforts. Maybe we could form a
> xubuntu-support team on launchpad? I know we need to be careful when
> creating groups to avoid making a mess of things but I also think that by
> being a member of a team helps make helping out more fun and also offers the
> benefit of raising awareness of the dedicated effort.
> Jani likes to help out in the IRC #xubuntu chatroom regularly. VS John is
> a member of the Xubuntu support team and makes an active effort as a member
> of that team to provide support on IRC and on Launchpad.
> == Bug Triage ==
> Bug Triage is very important but can be harder to get involved with
> because, IMHO, it is a skill you have to learn. Luckily, it is very easy to
> learn and there is lots of documentation to refer to that is ubuntu-flavor
> unspecific. The best part is that if you do something wrong, some will let
> you know and correct it for you. :)
> Do I think we need an xubuntu-bugsquad team? Even though you might focus
> on Xubuntu bugs at first, you'll soon get so proficient at bug triage that
> you'll want to help out with all the packages (don't let the karma bug
> consume you though!). However, maybe the logic I used above still applies
> here and other people might feel an xubuntu-bugsquad (as a member of the
> ubuntu-bugsquad team) team would be a good idea. The question is: How do get
> people to help triage bugs AND continue to work at it? Maybe instead of a
> team to help promote it, a weekly bug report/summary for Xubuntu would be
> helpful. Maybe we could get some sort of competition going? What other ideas
> can we brainstorm?
> == Website ==
> The Ubuntu website has just migrated to Drupal and apparently the web
> engineers responsible are going to make the Drupal theme available. Lucky
> us, we use Drupal too! I think it would be a good idea to consider adapting
> the theme (ie. Changing colors, etc.) and using it for the Xubuntu website.
> If we don't go down this road, then I think we need to look at spicing up
> our theme anyhow and rewriting parts of the website to be more helpful and
> more professional.
> We need more brainstorming! :)
> == Mailing List ==
> In this release cycle, we created a new mailing list called xubuntu-users
> for Xubuntu User Support and Discussion. I think it would be hard to argue
> that this hasn't been a huge success.
> At this time I don't think we need anymore mailing lists but I'd still
> like to hear from people about this issue.
> == IRC Channels ==
> Several weeks before I disappeared off the face of the earth, there was
> some trouble brewing in ubuntu-irc team. Before the incident, I was the
> contact for the Xubuntu channel namespace. Long story short, I'm no longer
> the contact and there is no one in the Xubuntu community currently filling
> this position. However, I think that it is important that the xubuntu
> namespace be under xubuntu community control. However, since I've been in
> the hospital, I haven't had the chance to resolve this issue. I'm not sure
> what will be required to resolve the issue but if it does require going
> before the CC, I'd want the support of the Xubuntu community. If the Xubuntu
> community feels that I'm "unfit" to fill the position, then I'd ask that we
> select someone within the Xubuntu community to be my successor.
> == Getting Involved ==
> I've already tackled this for specific groups but I think we should
> evaluate how we can improve the process of "getting involved" in regards to
> the entire project. I know from personal experience that sometimes the
> hardest part of getting involved in what you want to get involved with is
> getting in contact with the right person. Maybe some sort of "contacts" page
> would be appropriate?
> Any other ideas?
> == Meetings ==
> I think it would be nice if Jani could show up to these. ;)
> I would also like to see these meetings become more productive. How do you
> think we can accomplish this?
> == Xubuntu Council ==
> This has been brought up before and as our project grows we should,
> naturally, discuss it again. It would be hard to argue that Xubuntu has not
> grown in size over the last six months and hence I'd like to propose that we
> discuss this more formally. Direction is VERY important – even in Open
> Source Projects – and I think this would assist in making "getting involved"
> easier which is critical to the success of Xubuntu at this point.
> Is an Xubuntu Council similar to the Edubuntu and Kubuntu Councils
> required?
> Please refrain from discussing who might be on the council or what the
> exact mandate of the council would be. I think it is first important to
> simply discuss if it is required at this point and time or not.
> == Conclusion ==
> I've *lightly* touched in this e-mail on several important
> social/community topics. Hopefully it will spark discussion that will be
> productive and meaningful. I'd encourage you to discuss the points I've
> brought up here in IRC and then try to be as comprehensive as possible with
> your e-mail replies. :)
> Thank you for your time (please excuse my typos),
> Cody A.W. Somerville
> --
> xubuntu-devel mailing list
> xubuntu-devel at lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/xubuntu-devel
I don't have much to comment, except for that I stand 100% behind you
regarding that IRC thingy ;)
Plus, I think assigning "contacts" for certain areas of the Xubuntu
development is an excellent idea!

Thanks for your efforts,

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