Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beta! Beta!

Last Thursday, the release team announced the Jaunty Beta. I'm actually quite satisfied with the overall quality of the Jaunty Ubuntu Desktop. I have the desktop installed as my production work station now, and also I am running UNR on my eee.

A couple of thoughts:
  1. UNR is the sleeper hit of Jaunty. UNR is offers all the benefits of a full Ubuntu desktop, along with Neil Patel's great launcher experience. For my part, I use my eee in normal deskotp mode, but I now that a lot of people use the launcher. The thing is, the mobile team and the kernel team combined forces to ensure that UNR works on a series of netbooks (including my eee). And also their is a very easy USB stick installation path. So here is a flexible, dependable, functional, full productivity desktop that also works great for typical netbook tasks, available for free and also free to modify, redistribute, etc...
  2. notify-osd and indicator-applet came together nicely for Jaunty. There's some more polish and refinement to be gained in Karmic, but by releasing in Jaunty, the Ubuntu community will be able to see some real usage of the features, and tune based on that real usage, as apposed to the opinion flame wars driving discussion today. Also, the Canonical Design and Ux team continues with a series of great hires (hi ivanka).
  3. is more or less coming together, however, there are a couple of hot spots, especially related to Intel hardware. We're currently thinkng about how to organize in Karmic so that the Ubuntu community can exceed users' expectations related to X. In the meantime, Canonical made a great new hire for X related issues on the OEM team. So in addition to the stellar contributions of Bryce in organizing X, we'll have tselliot contributing in device specific ways as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Goals for Week starting March 9th

First, a little rant - what is the deal with U.S. We don't have the metric system, and our daylight savings dates are totally different than the rest of the world. It's as if we want to be hard to work with.

In the meantime, I am finished with my week of using Kubuntu. Overall, I found it to be a very rich experience. It has really complete desktop functionality. It is certainly a lot "shinier" than GNOME. The KDE folks never miss an opportunity to animate something or make it semi-transparent. The applications are a lot more "power user" focused than GNOME apps. This added a bit more of an initial learning time, though in the end, with a few exceptions, GNOME has the same power user features, you just don't have to learn them before you get started.

Quassel is an example where it was a little harder to get started, but for IRC it had more functionality than Pidgin. For example, it automatically loaded up all the previous chat content that was collected the last time you were online into the buffer automatically. It also drew a line to show where you were when you last looked at the buffer, so it was easy to see what you missed since you last checked in.

So, onto goals for this week:
  • Get a PPA set up for pm-dashboard. I spent hours on this over the weekend, and got close, but I need some more time to focus on it. After I get it working, I will ask pitti to review my packaging. In general, I think the PPA functionality is awesome, just incredibly hard to access. This needs to be fixed, as we are missing a lot of opporutnity for developers to innovate on the platform by making it so hard for them to deploy even simple apps onto it.
  • 9.10 planning meetings. Organize and attend.
  • Orgainze thoughts and people around the whole Ubuntu translation system. Also a topic for UDS.
  • Meet more people in the KDE/Kubuntu community.
  • A couple of blog posts.
  • Do a scrub of the Ubuntu desktop (Jaunty Alpha 5) and look for fit and finish issues that should be addressed before visual freeze/beta.
  • Help pitti ensure that notify-osd and the messaging indicator are working perfectly on Ubuntu.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Goals for Week Starting March 3rd

I've got Kubuntu running on my desktop computer, and I have UNR running on my eee.

* Submit talks for all hands[Edit]I put suggested 3[/Edit]
* Make more progress on UDS topics[Edit]I started on an application programmer oriented topic[/Edit]
* Creating bug filtering ui for pm-dashboard. As I am implementing this I am refactoring it out into a general ability to add a filter UI to a treeview. Everytime I have to create a treeview with gtk, it takes me days instead of minutes due to all the niggly classes that have to fit together correctly. I want to fix this. This is relevant to my UDS work item, as I want to see if we can addrss the topic of making Ubuntu more fun to program on for opportunistic/hobbiest developers.
[Edit]Lots of progress on this. I have a filtering UI almost ready that can be associated with an arbitrary treeview. Encapsulating general treeview functionality appears a little more time consuming, as the gtk.ListStore class does not support some key features, so I'll have to derive from a generic store and manage a list of dictionaries. Should be doable, but time consuming.[/Edit]
* Organize materials for 9.10 planning meetings. This will be time consuming.[Edit]Got the pages ready for the first two, which are on Thursday.[/Edit]
* Orgainze thoughts and people around the whole Ubuntu translation system. Also a topic for UDS.
* Meet more people in the KDE/Kubuntu community.
* A couple of blog posts.
* Get the next hire set up for his London visit (randa helping with this big time).
* Do a scrub of the Ubuntu desktop (Jaunty Alpha 5) and look for fit and finish issues that should be addressed before visual freeze/beta.
[Edit]seb128, asac, and pitti all picked off some bugs that have been bugging me, so good progress there.[/Edit]
* Prepare timeline for facilitating discussion of Jaunty retrospective with my boss and his boss next week (that's mdz and Mark). More importantly, David Barth of #dx fame as well.

I have vowed to use Kubuntu (Jaunty Alpha 5) for this week. This is my first day of full on usage.[Edit]Still on Kubuntu as of Wednesday :) Except that I am running the new mobile image on my eee[/Edit]