No UDS For You …

Now that UDS will be purely online, it’s also moved from using tools for remote participation based in FOSS (such as IRC, icecast, and etherpad (previously gobby) to one requiring use of Google+.  So if the Google+ privacy policy is not your cup of tea, then no UDS for you.

Correction: As Jono pointed out in the comments, there will be etherpad and IRC, just Google+ replacing icecast. I don’t think that changes the fundamental point though.

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18 Responses to “No UDS For You …”


  1. 1 Jeremy Bicha February 26, 2013 at 23:13

    Well, it’s definitely possible for someone to re-broadcast an icecast stream from the Google+ audio. The question is whether anyone cares to do that work. And we could still use etherpad since the built-in Google+ collaboration tools don’t work for the people outside the that are directly participating in the Google+ session, right?

  2. 2 jonobacon February 26, 2013 at 23:15

    Scott, your post is inaccurate. As per the announcement:

    “In the new online format the event will make extensive use of Google+ Hangouts On Air split across four channels, Client, Server & Cloud, Community, and App Developers, with each channel having two video streams totalling 8 potential concurrent UDS topics. UDS sessions will be spread across these channels with integrated IRC, Etherpad, Social Media sharing, and links to blueprints and specs”.

    It will include IRC and Etherpad, the only change is that icecast is replaced with Google+ Hangouts.

    • 3 skitterman February 26, 2013 at 23:17

      Thanks for the correction. I’ll fix it. It doesn’t directly affect me for this go-round since I’m not available for random UDS’s on a week’s notice, but I think the move away from FOSS tools, even if it’s only partial is unfortunate, but not at all surprising.

  3. 4 Martin Owens February 27, 2013 at 01:46

    Scott, do you really think that Free Software is valued principly in this community’s zeiguest? Anyone with a strong view was purged by a relentless “whatever works” principle being bashed over their head. I’ve had to develop a very thick skin to cope with some foss beligerents and I don’t even think they know how anti-free software they are.

    My view is to consider the usual suspects to be usually suspect and while I’ll give +100 points of technical competence, that’s along side the -100 points for being able to keep principles with expedience. Because the zeiguest tends strongly towards the easy way out.

    Which kind of makes sense when you consider the pressure everyone’s under. I just wish it was design vision being sacraficed instead of freedom.

    • 5 skitterman February 27, 2013 at 01:56

      I don’t have the impression it’s generally highly valued within Canonical (I know there are many Canonical employees to whom this does not apply – I’m referring to the behavior of the company as a whole). In the broader Ubuntu community, I think it is more so. If, in fact, this change were motivated to provide increased transparency, I think it’s a poor way to go about it.

      I’ve participated in UDS locally and remotely and while locally is definitely more of a first class experience and remote is a bit of a second class experience, I think this new format will make it suck equally for everyone. Personally, I’ve never had trouble remotely participating in UDS sessions I cared about. The one major problem I’ve encountered is that historically, the plenary room was not always broadcast, so when major announcements get made there (unveiling of Ayatana/Design Team for Jaunty at UDS Mountain View #2 is an example) they got missed. I don’t think failing to get microphones in a few rooms is really much of a reason to change the whole format.

      For me, a large fraction of the technical value I got out of UDS was in the hallway/break conversations. That’s all lost now.

      I suspect this is tied to other changes as having a UDS in the middle of the release cycle as has just been announced makes no sense. I expect that eventually, Canonical will deign to inform us and then we’ll know.

  4. 6 Andrea Grandi (@andreagrandi) February 27, 2013 at 05:27

    What’s exactly the problem with Google+ privacy policy?

  5. 8 Stephan Adig February 27, 2013 at 07:46

    I think there is more to it.
    I know that it costs a lot of money and time to plan and execute an event like UDS. And while dancing on many parties now (Tablet, Phone, TV), you need to concentrate the amount of money on something else.

    Regarding the social impact:

    The value of UDS was always to meet your co-workers on Ubuntu in person, and have a good time (professional and social).

    This is gone now, and it will (eventually) block many people working on this project.

    Anyhow, for me personally, I have to make a decision in the near future, and I am carrying this decision with me now for a long time.

    Ubuntu is still one of the best, technical Linux Distributions on the Market. Compared to RHEL it’s 1000x better, regarding Package Management and Support Model.

    But, with some announcement of Robbie W. WRT server rolling releases, with concentration on cloud distribution, instead of bare metal, with concentration on ARM etc. I think we will see a decrease of Quality for the money making distribution (which is still the baremetal server part in the real world, this includes also deployment of HyperVisors and cloud mgmt. platforms).

    Furthermore, I am also more pushed away from the community (not only the Ubuntu community, but the whole fascist Wanna Be FOSS community).
    Reading comments from valued kernel hackers towards other valued kernel hackers about social disagreements, reading a lot of crap about geek feminism, I don’t feel the technical spirit anymore.
    Now someone can say, concentrate on the technical aspects, but you know, most of those people who are writing bullshit, are only writing this bullshit because they have an audience out of their technical community.

    Anyways, the way how this all works, makes me think to concentrate on something else, then on these projects.

    I am sad, that the whole Ubuntu Project goes a different way. I was thinking about Ubuntu, Canonical and Mark a bit different in the beginning. But today, I am thinking that Mark should invest his money into a new spacecraft, not into Canonical or Ubuntu

    • 9 Michael February 27, 2013 at 15:00

      On the other hand, you may see that RHEL is also what permit to Ubuntu to focus on doing stuff on top of the work of others. IE, Ubuntu exist also because people use and pay for RHEL to sustain the work of kernel and low lever stacks. Just speaking of hypervisor, who started kvm, libvirt ?

      • 10 skitterman February 27, 2013 at 15:29

        Free software is all about building on the work of others. I don’t think anyone denys that. Ubuntu builds hugely on Debian. Ubuntu derivatives build on what Ubuntu does. That’s just the way it works.

    • 11 Martin Owens February 27, 2013 at 17:08

      Are social and political issues a problem? When ever you get humans, you get social and political issues, it’s just how it goes.

      • 12 Stephan Adig February 28, 2013 at 07:04

        That’s right. I don’t argue here.
        But having my own share of social and policital issues in a world wide technical community, I do know today, that social and political issues shouldn’t be taken into a technical community.

        For me, I resolve social issues in a pub sitting down with the people and discussing the matters.
        Political Views I really don’t wanna share anymore in a community like this.

        Eventually it’s just me, I am working in a company, where I work with a lot of people all over the world. Some of them share my views (socially and politically) and some of them don’t. When I would start a discussion about gender issues, or other social and political issues I would start making our work environment really difficult.

        But this only concerns me when I’m talking and working with my fellow co-workers while we are doing business.

        After hours, that’s a different story. We are sharing our views, discussing them, arguing etc. But this is only our private environment and doesn’t touch our work life.

        So, in a project like Ubuntu or any other OSS Project, I do see those projects as a ‘job’ which means, my social issues with someone, or my political views or the views of others which are not project related, should not be taken into the project. This distracts and disturbs. And it’s like this: If you are a valued member of a technical project, you have your audience, and when you use this audience to scream out your views, something bad will happen. Discussions are starting, arguing about non-project related topics. People who are pissed because of this, will start to fight, starting to insult etc. (because we are all humans, right?)

        For me, I don’t care about what you are, as long as you concentrate and work on this technical project, and you try to make the project more prominent without using other things but technical awesomeness.

        I don’t care anymore if my co-workers are male or female, fat or slim, demcrats or republicans, I don’t care if you like weapons or if you hate them.
        As long as you, as a project member, do your awesome work, and lead the project to a new technical level, you can do whatever you want in your social and policital life.

  6. 13 Michael Hall March 3, 2013 at 21:38

    For anybody who really cares about Ubuntu using open source software for UDS, there is a Launchpad project, https://launchpad.net/summit , that has powered every UDS I’ve ever participated in (remotely or in person). There are, last I checked, only 23 individuals named in the bzr log, and for the past 2 years there has been only *one* active developer.

    So instead of arguing the relative merits or detriments of using Google+ Hangouts, it would be nice if those advocating open-source-only would instead go lend a hand in supporting the existing open source projects we use. Otherwise you’re demanding an awful lot or work from just one guy.

    • 14 skitterman March 3, 2013 at 23:13

      Nonsense. No one has suggested summit be extended to cover this kind of functionality. Your point is misplaced.

      • 15 Michael Hall March 4, 2013 at 10:33

        On the contrary, Summit has been extended already to integrate with Google+ Hangouts.

      • 16 skitterman March 4, 2013 at 11:55

        OK. Canonical worked in secret on this new plan that is largey reliant on nonfree tools I have never used. I’m not available to drop everything for two days on a week notice, so I didn’t know all the details.

        Someone who was skepticalof Canonical’s motives in all this might consider a no notice UDS just after an announcement of a proposal for fundamentally changing Ubuntu development as a cynical move to claim the proposal had been discussed with the broader community at a “UDS” to both give it the appearance of legitimacy while actually minimizing the chance for meaningful dialogue and input.

        It seems likely that Kubuntu will opt out of this and similar events and do our planning on our own. There really doesn’t seem to be much of a value proposition for the group in participating.

      • 17 Michael Hall March 4, 2013 at 15:09

        If Kubuntu wants to run a separate online developer event, we can accommodate that on summit.ubuntu.com as well. Feel free to have someone email me if that is what you decided to do, and I can get you all set up.

  7. 18 skitterman March 4, 2013 at 19:40

    Thanks. I think we have adequate resources available, but I appreciate the offer.


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