June 9, 2011

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Weekly Ubuntu Development Update

Ubuntu Development Update

Development of Oneiric (Ubuntu 11.10) is in full swing, we just got Alpha 1 out last week and here’s the list of dates that are coming up in the next few weeks:

  • June 30th, Debian Import Freeze which means that packages will not be synced automatically any more, but have to be requested manually.
  • July 7th, release of Alpha 2.
  • July 11th to 15th, Ubuntu Developer Week! A week full of development tutorials, workshops and interactive sessions.
  • August 4th, release of Alpha 3.
  • August 11th, Feature Freeze until which features have to have mostly landed in Ubuntu. They will of course still have bugs that have to get ironed out, but most of the hard work will be there already.

As you can see times are exciting right now. There is a lot of hard work going on, lots is still broken in Oneiric, but it’s a great time to get your feet wet, try out things and fix a few bugs on the way.

I’m very happy to see that Full Circle Magazine is now having a new series about Ubuntu Development. Issue 49 has the first installment of this. Be sure to check it out!

New Contributor

This week I talked to Paolo Sammicheli, who is an Ubuntu Member from the Italian Community. He was involved in several things like translations, marketing, advocacy and testing. He also is an UDS addict and since UDS Jaunty spent his holidays attending it. He says “This cycle I decided to move my interests into development and I’m slowly learning packaging. Spare time is never enough :)”

I asked Paolo what his personal experience of the development was like and he had this to say:

  • Yes, I tried some merges and few sync. The experience was good, also because I’ve found in the Italian Dev Team people willing to mentoring me and being already an Ubuntu Member helped me to find easily who-ask-what.
  • Paolo was struggling a bit to find tasks to work on. Some of the bitesize bugs he tried were solved already, but when he tried a few merges that worked out better for him, because “comparing the previous ubuntu version with the debian version you start understanding how patches works, how tools works and so on.
  • When merging Paolo found it helpful to get in touch with the person who uploaded it last. A bunch of people were happy to review his merge and upload it. In some cases he didn’t get a reply, which was a bit frustrating. Looks like this is something we can all improve!

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. Here’s a few examples:

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

Talk to us in #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net to get all your questions answered.

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