Where’s the Ubuntu (the Linux distribution) in Ubuntu Online Summit?

I was surprised to find that in the UOS announcement there was no mention of work on defining the development of an actual Linux distribution.  Here’s the tracks:

  • App & scope development: the SDK and developer platform roadmaps, phone core apps planning, developer workshops
  • Cloud: Ubuntu Core on clouds, Juju, Cloud DevOps discussions, charm tutorials, the Charm, OpenStack
  • Community: governance discussions, community event planning, Q+As, how to get involved in Ubuntu
  • Convergence: the road to convergence, the Ubuntu desktop roadmap, requirements and use cases to bring the desktop and phone together
  • Core: snappy Ubuntu Core, snappy post-vivid plans, snappy demos and Q+As
  • Show & Tell: presentations, demos, lightning talks (read: things that break and explode) on a varied range of topic
  • App & scope development: Supporting upstream development
  • Cloud: Tools for using Ubuntu in a cloud environment
  • Community: Important, but not distribution development
  • Convergence: Unity upstream development
  • Core: Development of an alternative to Ubuntu
  • Show & Tell: Interesting, but still not development

I’ve been involved in Ubuntu development for over 8 years now.  Except for Community, none of that looks anything like the Ubuntu I knew.

The last few UOS there has been a session to coordination Qt5 planning between Kubuntu and Canonical’s developers that use Qt5 (I’ve lost track of what they’re called and I also know they don’t all work for Canonical, but close enough).  I have no idea what track that would even be a part of now.  Kubuntu has never really used UOS.  It’s simpler for us just to schedule our own online meeting (in addition to in person meetings at Akademy for some of us), but it’s been a useful coordination point with other teams in the Ubuntu ecosystem.  I’m not sure how that’ll even work now.


10 Responses to “Where’s the Ubuntu (the Linux distribution) in Ubuntu Online Summit?”

  1. 1 Stephen Michael Kellat April 24, 2015 at 23:03

    This does seem to look like a world growing out of sync with Debian…


  2. 2 David Planella April 25, 2015 at 02:53

    Hi Scott,

    As announced before, the focus for the next cycles is going to be coming up with a plan and implementing convergence. As many of the discussions at UOS would be centered on that topic, we though it would make sense to have a dedicated track for convergence this time around.

    We can always fit sessions in any track in any case, but if you or someone else has a set of sessions that would like to run at UOS and feel that don’t fit in any of the other tracks, we could always open a new one if there is enough content. I’d encourage you to reach out to the community team mailing list for any suggestion on the organization of UOS.



    • 3 skitterman April 25, 2015 at 11:54

      Which rather makes my point. What used to be the thing Ubuntu was about is now ‘let me know and we’ll add it if you want it’. What track does a session like multiple teams agreeing on what Qt5 version to use for the as yet unnamed “W” fit into? I don’t see one.

  3. 4 Michael Hall April 26, 2015 at 10:46

    “Kubuntu has never really used UOS”

    That’s part of the problem, it’s been increasingly difficult to find people to run the kinds of sessions you want. In the past we’ve had Foundations and Desktop tracks, but people stopped coming to them. We didn’t drop them because we wanted to, we dropped them because everybody else appears to have lost interest in them. If you think we can revive that interest, I’d like to talk to you about how, because I personally have struggled during the last 3 UOS to try and keep them alive.

    Now, for the specific example about Qt5, I would recommend putting that on the convergence track for now, since that is the one that will deal with the combined desktop, tablet and phone efforts. If you have sessions that focus more on using Qt5 to build things, that might be more suited for the App development track, If it’s lower-level than the UI, it should go into the Core track.

    I hope that helps, again please contact me if you want to try and do more, I’m more than happy to open up new tracks if we can find people to run sessions for them. I know that Kubuntu members have acted as track leads in the past, for which I am extremely grateful, so anything I can do to make UOS more useful to you would be my pleasure to do.

    • 5 skitterman April 26, 2015 at 12:21

      Let’s turn it around. What’s the value added for doing a Google hangout that’s part of UOS vice some other time? For Kubuntu planning, we find there’s more flexibility about finding a time that works for more people when it’s independent. What does UOS offer to offset that? For reference, we use a combination of mumble (I think it was) for audio discussion and IRC. Having done UOS sessions in the past, I don’t think video helps anything.

      • 6 Michael Hall April 26, 2015 at 19:58

        > What’s the value added for doing a Google hangout that’s part of UOS vice some other time?

        Having a lot of sessions together at the same place and times bring more people who are interested learning about what’s going on. We do other videos at other times, but they don’t get as much attention as UOS does.

        > or Kubuntu planning, we find there’s more flexibility about finding a time that works for more people when it’s independent. What does UOS offer to offset that?

        UOS spans 6 hours (5 sessions, 1 break) and we will schedule meetings for earlier or later in order to accommodate as many people as possible. That’s about as long a stretch as we can manage before we all get burned out. But yes, you have more flexibility when you’re only scheduling for yourself, there isn’t anything UOS offers you over that.

        > For reference, we use a combination of mumble (I think it was) for audio discussion and IRC. Having done UOS sessions in the past, I don’t think video helps anything.

        Using Hangouts gives us both a live broadcast stream, which means more people can follow what’s happening when it happens, as well as a recording for people to watch later. If there’s an easy way to broadcast mumble (via icecast or something) that would solve part of it. Having the videos recorded for later watching and reference is very important though, and one of the primary reason we use Hangouts still instead of WebRTC.

      • 7 skitterman April 26, 2015 at 20:18

        There are many topics that only have a narrow interest. I don’t think anyone outside the Kubuntu team has a significant interest in what version of Kf5 we think we’ll end up with or similar questions. We can (and do) record the audio of our discussions, so it’s equally recordable with a hangout from our PoV. Also, while it’s not icecast, there’s been so far no issue with the number of people that want to join.

        Where UOS could be useful is coordinating questions that affect multiple teams. Things like Qt5 version (Kubuntu and Ubuntu Next at the very least), Gnome version (Ubuntu desktop, Ubuntu Gnome, and others), what version of the boost libraries will we use, etc. The trick is for someone to be looking across the Ubuntu project to find those points of overlap. I know some of them, but certainly not all. If you want UOS to be more useful, I think that’s where it would be reasonable to focus some effort.

  4. 8 Jojo Carter April 28, 2015 at 06:50

    Hey Scott, isn’t it just better to do disto-level stuff in Debian these days? They end up in Ubuntu anyway and Debian has Debconf!

  5. 10 Nicholas Skaggs April 28, 2015 at 13:30

    For me, the biggest value for teams to participate in UOS is to communicate externally with others in the ubuntu ecosystem. Think about what might be useful and interesting to others, and simply share what you are doing / have done. It’s a once a cycle thing.

    IF you are able to go one step further and plan things at the same event, even better, but it’s not required.

    So then, what’s the value for team who chooses to share with the rest of the community? You may gain some knowledge from others and even a potential new team member who may not have otherwise known about or have been interested in your work. And of course you also get summaries from other teams during UOS, and the connectedness of meeting up with other teams under the same ubuntu umbrella. It’s a chance to touchbase and connect with others.

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