Looking Ahead: Xubuntu Feisty+1, Part 1

Jelle de Jong jelledejong at powercraft.nl
Wed Mar 28 14:50:58 UTC 2007

Vincent wrote:
> On 28/03/07, *Cody Somerville* <cody.somerville at gmail.com
> <mailto: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 <mailto: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,

Good points, I like the ideas. I also have a lot of ideas of my own. And
I feel attracted to lead a bug team and/or marketing team for xubuntu,
However currently I have 6 project running, and being human I need to
sleep to survive. I can't do anything more on this moment. Also I have
the feeling that when I point out nasty problems in packages I am
ignored due to the complication of the problems. Leaving me with
problems I am very unhappy with.

Also I think there should be a big skill management system for
linux/ubuntu. That makes it possible to form groups with good contact
persons for specific problems and requests.

Just some thoughts, have some more but time is missing right now.

Best regards,


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