Washington sprint

In the Community Q&A with Alan and Michael yesterday, I talked a bit about the sprint in Washington already, but I thought I’d write up a bit more about it again.

First of all: it was great to see a lot of old friends and new faces at the sprint. Especially with the two events (14.10 release and upcoming phone release) coming together, it was good to lock people up in various rooms and let them figure it out when nobody could run away easily. For me it was a great time to chat with lots of people and figure out if we’re still on track and if our old assumptions still made sense.  🙂

We were all locked up in a room as well...
We were all locked up in a room as well…

What was pretty fantastic was the general vibe there. Everyone was crazy busy, but everybody seemed happy to see that their work of the last months and years is slowly coming together. There are still bugs to be fixed but we are close to getting the first Ubuntu phone ever out the door. Who would have thought that a couple of years ago?

It was great to catch up with people about our App Development story. There were a number of things we looked at during the sprint:

  • Up until now we had a Virtualbox image with Ubuntu and the SDK installed for people at training (or App Dev School) events, who didn’t have Ubuntu installed. This was a clunky solution, my beta testing at xda:devcon confirmed that. I sat down with Michael Vogt who encouraged me to look into providing something more akin to an “official ISO” and showed me the ropes in terms of creating seeds and how livecd-rootfs is used.
  • I had a number of conversations with XiaoGuo Liu, who works for Canonical as well, and has been testing our developer site and our tools for the last few months. He also wrote lots and lots of great articles about Ubuntu development in Chinese. We talked about providing our developer site in Chinese as well, how we could integrate code snippets more easily and many other things.
  • I had a many chats at the breakfast buffet with Zoltan and Zsombor of the SDK team (it always looked like we were there at the same time).  We talked about making fat packages easier to generate, my experiences with kits and many other things.
  • It was also great to catch up with David CallĂ© who is working on scopes documentation. He’s just great!

What also liked a lot was being able to debug issues with the phone on the spot. I changed to the proposed channel, set it to read-write and installed debug symbols and voilĂ , grabbing the developer was never easier. My personal recommendation: make sure the problem happens around 12:00, stand in the hallway with your laptop attached to the phone and wait for the developer in charge to grab lunch. This way I could find out more about a couple of issues which are being fixed now.

It was also great to meet the non-Canonical folks at the sprint who worked on the Core Apps like crazy.

What I liked as well was our Berlin meet-up: we basically invited Berliners, ex-Berliners and honorary Berliners and went to a Mexican place. Wished I met those guys more often.

I also got my Ubuntu Pioneers T-Shirt. Thanks a lot! I’ll make sure to post a selfie (as everyone else :-)) soon.

Thanks a lot for a great sprint, now I’m looking forward to the upcoming Ubuntu Online Summit (12-14 Nov)! Make sure you register and add your sessions to the schedule!