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Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick) Developer Summit

I spent last week at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Belgium, where we kicked off the 10.10 development cycle.

Due to our time-boxed release cycle, not everything discussed here will necessarily appear in Ubuntu 10.10, but this should provide a reasonable overview of the direction we’re taking.


While most of our time at UDS is spent in small group meetings to discuss specific topics, there are also a handful of presentations to convey key information and stimulate creative thinking.

A few of the more memorable ones for me were:

  • Mark Shuttleworth talked about the desktop, in particular the introduction of the new Unity shell for Ubuntu Netbook Edition
  • Fanny Chevalier presented Diffamation, a tool for visualizing and navigating the history of a document in a very flexible and intuitive way
  • Rick Spencer talked about the development process for 10.10 and some key changes in it, including a greater focus on meeting deadlines for freezes (and making fewer exceptions)
  • Stefano Zacchiroli, the current Debian project leader, gave an overview of how Ubuntu and Debian developers are working together today, and how this could be improved. He has posted a summary on the debian-project mailing list.

The talks were all recorded, though they may not all be online yet.


The Foundations team provides essential infrastructure, tools, packages and processes which are central to the development of all Ubuntu products. They make it possible for the desktop and server teams to focus on their areas of expertise, building on a common base system and development procedures.

Highlights from their track:


The desktop team manages both Desktop Edition and Netbook Edition, on a mission to provide a top-notch experience to users across a range of client computing devices.

Highlights from their track:


The server team is charging ahead with making Ubuntu the premier server OS for cloud computing environments.

Highlights from their track:


Kiko Reis gave a talk introducing ARM and the corresponding opportunity for Ubuntu. The ARM team ran a full track during the week on all aspects of their work, from the technical details of the kernel and toolchain, to the assembly of a complete port of Netbook Edition 10.10 for several ARM platforms.


The kernel team provided essential input and support for the above efforts, and also held their own track where they selected 2.6.35 as their target version, agreed on a variety of changes to the Ubuntu kernel configuration, and created a plan for providing backports of newer kernels to LTS releases to support deployment on newer hardware.


Like the kernel team, the security team provided valuable input into the technical plans being developed by other teams, and also organized a security track to tackle some key security topics such as clarifying the duration of maintenance for various collections of packages, and the ongoing development of AppArmor and Ubuntu’s AppArmor profiles.


The QA team focuses on testing, test automation and bug management throughout the project. While quality is everyone’s responsibility, the QA team helps to coordinate these activities across different teams, establish common standards, and maintain shared infrastructure and tools.

Highlights from their track include:


The design team organized a track at UDS for the first time this cycle, and team manager Ivanka Majic gave a presentation to help explain its purpose and scope.

Toward the end of the week, I joined in a round table discussion about some of the challenges faced by the team in engaging with the Ubuntu community and building support for their work. This is a landmark effort in mating professional design with free software community, and there is still much to learn about how to do this well.


The community track discussed the usual line-up of events, outreach and advocacy programs, organizational tools, and governance housekeeping for the 10.10 cycle, as well as goals for improving the translation of Ubuntu and related resources into many languages.

One notable project is an initiative to aggressively review patches submitted to the bug tracker, to show our appreciation for these contributions by processing them more quickly and completely.


Written by Matt Zimmerman

May 17, 2010 at 12:01

14 Responses

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  1. The Diffamation link points to the French Wikipedia page on defamation, which isn’t probably what was intended. I found the following link for the actual tool:


    Martín Soto

    May 17, 2010 at 12:30

    • Thanks for the correction. I’ve fixed the link in the post.

      Matt Zimmerman

      May 17, 2010 at 12:37

  2. Very nice overview. UDS surely has become a very interesting place where things happen :-)

    Martin Pihl

    May 17, 2010 at 12:57

  3. Will the ten second boot time again be a goal? Boot time was greatly reduced, but ten seconds wasn’t reached by far in lucid.


    May 17, 2010 at 12:59

    • Actually, we did hit 10sec with the Unity-based Netbook Launcher prototype on a Dell Mini 10, but we wanted to wait until Mark announced Unity at UDS before claiming it. Once we realized we could hit 10 secs with Unity UNE, we stopped pursuing 10sec on the standard UNE. So to be clear, a Dell Mini 10 running the Unity-based **Lucid** UNE starts in 10 seconds.


      May 17, 2010 at 16:55

    • Lucid Netbook Edition already boots in 10 seconds when the new Unity launcher is used, so I think that should be achievable.

      Matt Zimmerman

      May 17, 2010 at 17:04

      • Very nice, but I thought booting the full desktop in 10s was the target? These charts show especially the desktop part is still way off:

        Apart from that, congratulations with the release of Lucid and it looks like Maverick is going to be at least as awesome!


        May 17, 2010 at 19:29

      • It starts in less than 10 sec on my Thinkpad X40 with ssd. But only because I’m using btrfs with compression. Manual setup, because Ubiquity is garbage and developers didn’t care about leaving that particular choice to users. (oh, till suddenly)


        May 18, 2010 at 03:11

  4. Thanks for the overview. One of the most complete onces covering technical aspects of maverick ;-)

    Dmitrijs Ledkovs

    May 17, 2010 at 17:44

  5. I’m really looking forward to btrfs! Hopefully by 11.04 there are some really user friendly tools that allow you to add more space/redundancy to your file system (think about what drobo offers).

    Eric Pritchett

    May 17, 2010 at 17:55

  6. I just saw your presentation on UDS and your name caught my attention, since it had to be from ex-Yugoslavia. There are no words to describe how proud I am. Thank you for your amazing work and warmest of greetings.

    Lijep pozdrav iz Slovenije


    May 17, 2010 at 21:11

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