Hardy Release Party in Boston

April 16, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 the Hardy Heron is coming out, and we are celebrating!
Ubuntu Hardy 8.04 Release Party in Boston
You can find details here.


Amarok Hug Day is done

March 13, 2008

…and not because the day is over, but because it’s all green!
“New” bugs in Amarok:
amarok hugday new bugs
This is what a little teamwork and a couple dedicated people can do!

13:53 < Nightrose> yuriy: ;-) - skype session ftw
13:54 < Nightrose> and teamwork ftw

Just so the statistics don’t lie too much (we didn’t actually fix all those bugs) here is the graph for bugs in incomplete status:
amarok hugday incomplete bugs
Thanks to Parthan, santiago-ve, jjesse, and especially to apachelogger and Nightrose for participating. Hope to see some more new faces || screennames next week.

An advantage of designing for costomization

February 24, 2008

An advantage of designing for customization

Bryce Harrington writes about a simplified version of Inkscape. Sounds great, and it reminded me of Thomas Zander’s post about a simplified KWord interface for kids. The thing that struck me though is the implementation. From Bryce’s post:

“So, I think we could quite easily support an ‘inklite’ version of inkscape, built from the same codebase. Implementation-wise, it’d be easiest to do it as just two different executables via a #define INKLITE type thing; a lot of the menu code and stuff uses structs and static strings that can’t be modified at runtime. This is analogous to what we already do for inkview.”

#ifdefs to change some toolbars and menus around sounded a little strange to me, considering KDE menus and toolbars can be changed around through the user interface and through XML. Indeed from Thomas’s post:

“The simple-text plugin, like all other plugins can be enabled/disabled (or simply not be installed) for people that want a certain look. This makes it possible for one application to be used by all users in the market. The more the user needs, the more plugins he enables. Or in the case of our educational setting we disable most plugins and hide the default dockers.”

So, letting the interface be simplified with user controls compared to using #ifdefs… kudos to KOffice and KDE developers on creating flexible libraries.

Note: I hope this doesn’t get interpreted as a flame, I really like inkscape, this just pointed out to me what a great job KDE devs have done.

P.S. It’s a relief to use wordpress on >350MHz.

KDE 4 on old hardware

February 23, 2008

KDE 4 on old hardware
I am typing this post using KDE 4 on Kubuntu Hardy on the following hardware:
350MHz AMD K6-2
256mb RAM
4GB hard drive
wireless (atheros, madwifi driver)

…and it’s usable enough to type that and then freak out and lose half my post. But some of the little animations actually work!

kde4 on 350mhz

5-a-Day and Hug Days

February 21, 2008

5-a-Day and Hug Days*

Some updates to my previous post. Pedro tells me there are two Hug for a Bug days a week now:

  • Tuesdays for some category that applies to all of Ubuntu, such as this Tuesday’s day for printing bugs.
  • Thursdays for desktop bugs. This will now include a separate page for KDE bugs. So Kubuntu users: every Thursday come to #ubuntu-bugs to collaborate on improving bug reports for a Kubuntu Desktop package. It’s not too late to join in today to work on powermanager bugs!

So what’s this Hug Day thing I’m rambling on about anyway?
There are thousands of bug (problem) reports filed for (K)ubuntu in Launchpad. Far too many for the small group of developers to handle. People are needed to look through them, make sure everyone reporting a problem gets a response and make sure the reports are useful for developers. You don’t need to be a developer to participate!
This task can be much more efficient if done in an organized manner. That is what the BugSquad is for. Hug for a Bug days are a chance for you and the bug squad to work together, on one day, concentrating on one component, so you can collaborate and ask questions, and at the end of the day have a noticeable contribution to the quality of the set of bug reports, and thus to the quality of Kubuntu. For example, today the bug squad managed to get the 200 or so untouched Gnome Power Manager reports down to less than 30! Oh and, of course, if you work on a bug, you get a [virtual] hug! (This idea can be improved upon by getting a partner to work with you next to you)
Hugs to the bug squad for the great work today!

Of course, Tuesdays and Thursdays aren’t the only time to work on bugs. That’s what the new 5-a-Day initiative is all about. Just like an apple a day will do for you, helping with 5 bugs a day will keep Kubuntu healthy. And you can show off a nice little signature with your contributions, like so:

My 5 today: #177504 (kde-guidance), #96290 (kde-guidance), #174574 (kde-guidance), #79225 (kde-guidance)
Do 5 a day – every day! https://wiki.ubuntu.com/5-A-Day

(OK, for those counting, I need to do a little more work today.)

In other news, the Massachusetts LoCo Team will be hosting an InstallFest this Saturday at MIT and I will be showing off KDE 4.0.

*Planet seems to be hungry for wordpress blog titles, so for now I’m going to add the titles to the top of the posts.

Getting Kubuntu and other derivatives in on the QA initiatives

February 20, 2008

Hug Days have been frequent lately (8 already this year!). However, instead of the previous general Hug Days, these usually come with a specialty. Some particular package or area is picked to be looked at for the day. This is a great idea and I think it should be much more effective than attacking bugs at random. However, often the category ends up being Gnome specific (5 of the aforementioned 8 have been). No problem with that, but derivatives should participate in these types of events as well. I’ve gotten the impression that while there are people doing hard QA work on their own, or when someone asks to test something, these organized events are often ignored by Kubuntu people (please correct me if you’ve been participating!) (how about Xubuntu and others?) If the gnome testers are spending a day looking through desktop bugs, then KDE/xfce/etc users/testers can spend their day looking at packages related to their respective desktop.

What’s missing are the resources that the bug squad guys and other teams have set up and set up for each hug day to help manage and improve the bug reports. Namely:

  • A list of bugs to be worked on for the Hug Day. Here’s the one for Gnome Power Manager for Hug Day on Feb. 21 (that’s today in some time zones!). Here’s an analogous page for KDE Guidance Power Manager so this time Kubuntu folks can participate. I don’t know if other derivatives use a different power applet, but if so, then it would be appropriate to make a similar page for it for this Hug Day. And so on for future bug hunting events.
  • Debugging procedures. There are pages there for many parts of GNOME on how to improve bug reports and none for KDE or other desktops (if you know of some pages and they just aren’t linked there (or anywhere) please add them!). This certainly needs some work to make bug management effective. To start building up the resources, maybe next time you work on a bug, add a wiki page for that component to tell others what sort of information was required. Combined with 5-a-Day, that should get some decent resources up pretty fast to make the process more efficient in the future.

That’s just a start to some more organized QA for Kubuntu, which I think would help a lot in getting it as polished as Ubuntu is.

One day left!

January 10, 2008

One day left!
Very exciting. 4.0.0 packages are going in kubuntu-members ppa for gutsy (thanks to stdin and Riddell and others) and will be included in hardy alpha 3. Some of the bugs that were bothering me in the last snapshot have been fixed, so I am now running KDE 4.0.0 as a full session and loving it. Most importantly, konqueror-kde4 now works nicely for web browsing, including WordPress.

In related news, work has started on an all new version of Adept for KDE4. It’s in very beginning stages right now, and I’ll try to find time to help out with it. Comment here if there is some specific feature you’d like to see in the new version, but please no rants, and bugs go on Launchpad

Happy New Year!!!

December 31, 2007

Well it’s almost 2008 and just 11 days away from the release of KDE 4.0. It’s sure to be a great year.

Since the kubuntu team is concentrating on KDE4 for the 8.04 release, I’ve spent some of the free time I finally have over break to work on porting the Adept package manager to KDE4. If nothing else, it’s a chance to learn CMake, bazaar, and practice my C++. So far it builds with qt3/kde3support and almost runs, but crashes right away. Here is as far as it gets:
Adept kde4
The goal is to port it to the new API, then to clean up the code to make it maintainable, then clean it up to make it more user friendly. Any help is appreciated, the code is in bzr: https://code.launchpad.net/~yuriy-kozlov/adept/adept-qt4

Have a great 2008!

MA Team Approved!

October 9, 2007

14:22 < sabdfl> +1 from me, it’s clearly a very well-organised team that’s aware of the social context within which they rock

The Massachusetts Local Community Team was approved today by the Community Council!
And one of our members, DPic was approved as an Ubuntu member at the same meeting. Congratulations Danny!

In other news, the team will be hosting an install-fest at the MIT media lab this Saturday. All are invited.

“The Future of Desktop Linux”

May 24, 2007

On the day that Dell starts to sell consumer laptops and desktops with Ubuntu, Kristian Hermansen brings us an ode to local visionaries, the current users and future developers of Linux. Great to know that UMass has been officially supporting Linux for years already.