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Ubuntu 11.10 Development Update 3

This is a guest post from Daniel Holbach, who will be posting updates about Ubuntu Development. (Original Post).

Ubuntu Development Update

We are one week away from Alpha 2, so right now you can see lots of developers trying to get as many things into Ubuntu Oneiric as possible: AirPrint, theme changes and loads of other stuff. After this milestone we will have only 4 weeks left until Feature Freeze at which stage most of the features should have have landed. As always: the status overview should give you a very detailed look on how each feature is progressing.

I’m very pleased about the number and turnout of initiatives we have to allow new contributors to get involved in Ubuntu Development easily.

  • The dh_python2 porting jam was very successful. Up until now we managed to convert 44% of all the packages on the CD. There is still quite a bit to do. Here’s instructions, talk to Barry on IRC how to best help out.
  • Nigel Babu and Stefano Rivera organised a FTBFS jam to fix packages that fail to build from source. A number of packages have been fixed, but there’s still quite a few that need to get sorted out. Catch Nigel and Stefano on IRC and talk to them about it!
  • Ubuntu Developer Week is very very closed to being finalised. Put 11th to 15th July into your diary and make sure you’re there. It will be awesome!

Last week I pointed out five different bitesize bugs. I’m happy to report that two are currently under review (thanks Alexander Fougner and Ben Tucker) and two had been fixed in Oneiric already.

New Contributor

This week I talked to Alexandru Cucu from Romania, here’s what he has to say:


Alexandru CucuI’m close to having a bachelor’s degree in computer science but I’m not that much into software development.

I have started using Ubuntu in 2007, on a virtual machine running under MS Windows. Ubuntu was love at first sight! After a couple of weeks of working in a virtual machine, it was installed as the only OS on my machine. I was looking for free (as in “free beer”) software as my budget was very low. I had discovered more than that, it was free as in “free speech” software, most of it at a couple of clicks away, in the Ubuntu repository. Since then, I have dedicated my spare time for spreading the word about the free software movement.

The best things about Ubuntu are the freedom and the large community. It’s impossible not to find someone able to help you.

I use Ubuntu for:

  • programming (mostly Java, but there were some C, C++ and C# projects – I know .NET/Mono is not a good choice if you are into FLOSS, but I had some school projects that required it)
  • hosting web, email, file and database servers (learned many useful thing about how GNU/Linux works while configuring my first server)
  • usual stuff as web browsing, watching movies, document editing, instant messaging …

Most of my contribution to Ubuntu is inside the Romanian LoCo Team. I’m offering technical support on the Romanian web forums and I am now a moderator.

Other small contributions are:

  • translations
  • holding presentations at conferences and workshops
  • LoCo website editing
  • sending free Ubuntu stickers to users around the country
  • spreading the word about Ubuntu in other informal ways

About my contribution you wrote about, I have read your article where bug #785052 was mentioned. It just looked too simple not to fix it. I’m not familiar with the Ubuntu development process, but your tutorials guided me through the entire thing.

I plan looking for projects written in Java (since I have some experience) and contribute some more, also planning a translation of your tutorials as this might attract people interested in developing free software.


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.

  • Be interactive and reach us most immediately: talk to us in #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net.
  • Follow mailing lists and get involved in the discussions: ubuntu-devel-announce (announce only, low traffic), ubuntu-devel (high-level discussions), ubuntu-devel-discuss (fairly general developer discussions).
  • Stay up to date and follow the ubuntudev account on Facebook, Identi.ca or Twitter.