Ubuntu 12.04 Development Update

Development Update

Only seven weeks until release. If you are excited, you’re not the only one. We still have two weeks until Beta 2 Freeze and three weeks until Beta 2 Release and if you have a look at the release list of the Beta 2 milestone, you can see that a huge number of bugs for this milestone are already resolved.

Afterwards the documentation, the kernel, the translations and everything else will be frozen, but for bug fixes there is still some time. The bug list for the release milestone looks fairly promising too.

This is shaping up to be one of the best releases ever.

Letting developers speak for themselves

This week we found these interesting nuggets by Ubuntu developers for you:



Ubuntu Release Parties
That’s right. We have a bunch of teams putting together their plans for Ubuntu 12.04 Release Parties. If your LoCo doesn’t have a party set up yet, check out our docs and add it to the list above.

Fix-It Friday
Tomorrow is another Fix-It Friday, where Ubuntu developers will help you get started with Ubuntu development. Read more below.

Things which need to get done

If you want to get involved in packaging and bug fixing, there’s still a lot of bugs that need to get fixed:

  • Also did John Lea from the Ubuntu Design team talk to us and mentioned that there are bugs up for grabs, where the design has been decided on and the implementation might need YOUR help. If you want to help improve Ubuntu’s UI, have a look at these!


First timers!

A number of people contributed to Ubuntu in terms of development last week, here are new heroes who got their first upload into Ubuntu: Barneedhar who brought a package in sync between Ubuntu and Debian again, Julien Yann Dutheil who updated a bunch of C++ bioinformatics libraries, Benji York who added some functionality to LXC, Nathan Williams who fixed bugs in inkscape and ubuntu-mono and Jan Simon who fixed a problem in ibus. Thanks a lot everyone. You rock!

We have two developers applying for upload rights: Adam Gandelman is applying for MOTU and Server upload rights and Marcin Juszkiewicz for MOTU upload rights. Good luck to the two of you!


Spotlight: Joining the release rush

Two weeks ago we announced our first Fix-It Fridays. We are obviously interested in bug fixes all the time, but we wanted to create an environment where new contributors can join in and we would focus on answering questions and fixing bugs together. Thus Fix-It Fridays were born. It was great to see how many folks jumped in to help out. Still we had the feeling that some were still a bit intimidated or didn’t feel comfortable to ask their questions. That’s why we started a number of public Google+ hangouts where everyone could just join in and we hang out together a bit and resolve issues they found while getting involved. These hangouts were super interesting and we had (among some small microphone hiccups) a lot of fun. We will continue in this tradition for a while. Follow the @ubuntudev account on twitter.com, facebook.com, identi.ca or gplus.to to find out the next dates.

Tomorrow is another great opportunity to join the release rush. By now it’s fairly safe to upgrade to 12.04 (precise) and play around with the system for developing Ubuntu. All you need to do is:

  1. Read the first few chapters of the Ubuntu Development Guide.
  2. Join us on #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net or join one of our ubuntu-dev hangouts.

For tomorrow we will have a number of easy tasks put together, so you can jump right in and help out. If you get stuck or are confused, please let us know and we’ll help you out.

This Friday = your start into Ubuntu development.

Interview: Thomas Hood

We had a brief chat with Thomas Hood, who told us a bit about his development experience in Ubuntu.

How did you get involved?
I have been a contributor to Debian for many years and maintain a certain package in Debian.  I wanted to have critical bugs fixed in the Ubuntu version of the package in question.  Having waited two years in vain for Ubuntu developers to fix the bugs, I went ahead and fixed them myself.  But that will be my one and only upload since I am not an Ubuntu developer and the Ubuntu version of the package has been added to the Ubuntu core system and will be maintained henceforth by Ubuntu core maintainers.

What was your experience like?
My experience was very satisfactory.

What did you like most about it?
I liked the fact that the Ubuntu developers I dealt with were so co-operative.

Is there anything that should have been easier? What do you recommend to other contributors who think about starting to get involved?
I still don’t know how one gets involved in Ubuntu.  In Debian I got involved by subscribing to the debian-devel mailing list and by triaging bug reports, which anyone can do; then I started contributing patches, then I was invited to co-maintain packages and finally I became maintainer of a package.

Get Involved

  1. Read the Introduction to Ubuntu Development. It’s a short article which will help you understand how Ubuntu is put together, how the infrastructure is used and how we interact with other projects.
  2. Follow the instructions in the Getting Set Up article. A few simple commands, a registration at Launchpad and you should have all the tools you need, and you’re ready to go.
  3. Check out our instructions for how to fix a bug in Ubuntu, they come with small examples that make it easier to visualise what exactly you need to do.

Find something to work on

Pick a bitesize bug. These are the bugs we think should be easy to fix. Another option is to help out in one of our initiatives.

In addition to that there are loads more opportunities over at Harvest.

Getting in touch

There are many different ways to contact Ubuntu developers and get your questions answered.

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