We'll see | Matt Zimmerman

a potpourri of mirth and madness

Ubuntu Developer Summit: 10.04 (Lucid)

This week, I’m in Dallas, Texas working at the Ubuntu Developer Summit.  Hundreds of Ubuntu developers and other community members are gathered to discuss the future of the project, particularly the 10.04 release.  Developers are engaged in technical discussions about how to implement new features for the release next April.

Obviously, a week is not enough time to decide, design and plan half a year of work, but we try to fit as much as possible into the week, because it is such a rare opportunity for us to work together face to face.  In order to make the best use of our time, there is a very full schedule of sessions, and we do a great deal of advance preparation.

There is a persistent rumor that UDS is where we decide what to do in the next cycle, but this isn’t quite accurate.  UDS is where we primarily figure out how to do what needs to be done.  Naturally, UDS is a sea of ideas, thanks to all of the creative thinking which happens among attendees, and we do dream up and decide to do new things there.  However, most of this is determined well before we all board airplanes to travel to UDS.

Brainstorm is constantly collecting and ranking suggestions from Ubuntu users.  Ubuntu development teams hold public meetings on IRC where they discuss ideas and plans.  Canonical stakeholders submit requirements for their needs.  All of this information is aggregated, sorted, evaluated and prioritized, largely by the heroic engineering managers at Canonical, who then develop the core of the agenda for UDS.  Additional sessions are then added as they come up during the week, when there is space.

At this particular UDS, I am moderating the server track, where we’re hashing out the details of our projects for Ubuntu Server Edition 10.04.  Being a UDS track moderator makes for a very busy week, with back-to-back sessions all day for five days straight.  It’s only Wednesday, and I’m feeling a bit fried already, having been away from home for over two weeks.

In each session, there is a discussion between the developers working on the project, the other UDS attendees who are interested in it, and any random folk who listen in on the audio stream and add questions or comments via IRC.  The participants take notes using Gobby and then publish them in the Ubuntu wiki, where they are developed into specification documents tracked in Launchpad.

Those specifications are further broken down into work items, which we can use to maintain a burn down chart.  Rick Spencer, our desktop engineering manager, gave a presentation this afternoon about how that process will work.  The burn down chart will give us a tool for establishing whether we are on track to complete our work, or if we are under or over committed, and make adjustments to our plans as needed.

I have a sense of tremendous momentum going into this release cycle, which will culminate in our third LTS (long-term support) release of Ubuntu.

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Written by Matt Zimmerman

November 18, 2009 at 23:40

4 Responses

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  1. […] first (and likely only) blog at #UDS explains what it's all about https://mdzlog.alcor.net/2009/11/18/ubuntu-developer-summit-10-04-lucid/ a few seconds ago from […]

  2. I’m one of those weirdo’s tuning in via audio and asking stuff via IRC. I also was watching in on stuff via gobby until it stopped working for me. I felt like i should’ve worn a name badge, too, to be honest!

    It’s been exhausting for me so far, and i’m not even there, so one would imagine its worse (relatively) actually being there.

    I mainly follow the desktop stuff, so i’m not sure if other stuff is as lively, but even though a summit is the “how to do” i’ve learnt tons of stuff about Lucid i didn’t know from the wiki. Tiny small indifferent things perhaps, but this is all helping to shape my view and involvement in Ubuntu.

    I think the hardest part about not being there was the session today on application changes – where GIMP is dropped and PiTiVi Video Editor is going to trailed during the Alpha’s. The decision to choose PiTiVi over another popular application was an incredibly weak one, and i’d have felt better had i had chance to sound down the points made… but hey!

    I know this turned into an essay, but i hope it’s a warning to others: Go! Go! Go!

    d0od

    November 19, 2009 at 00:55

  3. Hi Matt
    I have also been following the UDS and have learned a lot of stuff that, like dOod said, could not do so with the wiki.

    One thing that has gotten me excited about 10.04 is the possible eviction of that famously ugly GIMP. I hope it is going to be replaced with something better than that.
    I am also very interested in the proposed Ubuntu One music store and look forward to making some suggestions about it in the brainstorm corner.

    ghabuntu

    November 19, 2009 at 09:15

  4. […] que se seguirán a rajatabla todas las decisiones allí tomadas, pero tal y como explica Matt Zimmerman esto no es así: seguirán discutiendo todas las decisiones los próximos meses a través del IRC y […]


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