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Ubuntu 12.04 Development update

We are almost there.

Tomorrow language packs will be test-built.

Next Tuesday we will hit the deadline for translations for language packs and from next week on Ubuntu 12.04 images of the release candidate will be built and extensively tested. Make sure you give the candidates a spin and report issues as you find them.

On Tuesday, the 24th Universe packages will be frozen as well, so there are still 12 days for you to fix pet peeves. Read our spotlight below to find out what to bear in mind when fixing bugs in Ubuntu 12.04 at this stage.

April 26th will be the day when Ubuntu’s 16th release and 4th LTS release gets released.

Letting developers speak for themselves

Events

Ubuntu Algorithms Team Class
Marek Bardo?ski has been spearheading the Ubuntu Algorithms team. The team will hold a classroom session tomorrow, Friday 13th April. Be sure to check it out and get started with the team.

Ubuntu 12.04 Release parties
The whole world seems to be celebrating Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Teams in South Africa, Malaysia, Palestinian Territory, Thailand, Australia, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Switzerland, the UK, Canada and the USA are getting together locally to hang out, learn and party.

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:

  • There are Merges which need to be done (main, restricted, universe, multiverse).
  • Also the Ubuntu Mozilla team is looking for help, so if you’re excited about Mozilla and what’s happening there, join IRC, talk to the guys on #ubuntu-mozillateam on irc.freenode.net.
  • And then there are Security bugs you can take a look at, the team is a friendly bunch and they’re incredibly helpful in getting your patch reviewed.
  • There are bitesize bugs.
  • 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!

Spotlight: What to do toward the end of the release cycle?

Everybody’s busy at the end of the release, everybody is testing, fixing small bugs, translating or otherwise preparing the release of our next LTS release. If you are interested in Ubuntu development, the question is: what can you still work on and stand a chance to get it into Ubuntu? This is one of the key questions for new contributors. As Ubuntu has such a tight release schedule it’s important for us all to focus on stabilising things after Feature Freeze.

New releases with huge features. Wait for Q (the yet to be named 12.10 release). It’s no use trying to cram them still in. Even if it’s just a tiny less-exposed package, better go with stability because we have no time to test it properly. Get it into Q and consider a backport if you feel users of Precise should get it. In the meantime you can upload it to a PPA and ask for fellow users of the package to test it.

Bug fix releases. Here you have multiple options. If it’s a package in Universe, you can ask for a freeze exception and try to get it still in. The backport option above might make sense too. If the exception should not be granted by the release team, you could try to extract patches which fix specific problems and get those in.

Bug fixes. We obviously want those to get still in. For packages in main, the window is closing very fast, for universe packages you still have a tiny bit more time. If the release team should feel it’s better to give the fixes (if they are not really obvious) some more testing, have a look at our SRU (Stable Release Updates) procedure.

Summing it up, the more obvious the fix, the smaller the risk to create unrelated breakage, the better. Less important bugs, like typo fixes might be deemed not important enough to fix at this stage. One course of action might be to create a fix and submit it to upstream, so it will trickle back into Ubuntu in the next release.

So where to find suitable bugs? Daniel Holbach blogged about Harvest recently, a site which makes finding development opportunities easier. On the site you can select sets of “opportunity types” and sets of packages to narrow down the search somewhat. Simply check out our docs before, pick something from Harvest and get going.

If the first opportunity you find is too hard or not what you enjoy doing, pick another. Also: we’re hanging out in #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net where we help you, if you should get stuck.

Happy last-minute bug fixing everyone!

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.

(Cross-postedhere)