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Kubuntu: KDE Applications and Development Platform 4.14.2

Wed, 2014-10-15 00:21

Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.14.2 are available for Kubuntu 14.04LTS and our development release. You can get them from the Kubuntu Backports PPA, and the Kubuntu Utopic Updates PPA

Bugs in the packaging should be reported to kubuntu-ppa on Launchpad. Bugs in the software to KDE.

Julian Andres Klode: Key transition

Tue, 2014-10-14 21:46

I started transitioning from 1024D to 4096R. The new key is available at:

https://people.debian.org/~jak/pubkey.gpg

and the keys.gnupg.net key server. A very short transition statement is available at:

https://people.debian.org/~jak/transition-statement.txt

and included below (the http version might get extended over time if needed).

The key consists of one master key and 3 sub keys (signing, encryption, authentication). The sub keys are stored on an OpenPGP v2 Smartcard. That’s really cool, isn’t it?

Somehow it seems that GnuPG 1.4.18 also works with 4096R keys on this smartcard (I accidentally used it instead of gpg2 and it worked fine), although only GPG 2.0.13 and newer is supposed to work.

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1,SHA512 Because 1024D keys are not deemed secure enough anymore, I switched to a 4096R one. The old key will continue to be valid for some time, but i prefer all future correspondence to come to the new one. I would also like this new key to be re-integrated into the web of trust. This message is signed by both keys to certify the transition. the old key was: pub 1024D/00823EC2 2007-04-12 Key fingerprint = D9D9 754A 4BBA 2E7D 0A0A C024 AC2A 5FFE 0082 3EC2 And the new key is: pub 4096R/6B031B00 2014-10-14 [expires: 2017-10-13] Key fingerprint = AEE1 C8AA AAF0 B768 4019 C546 021B 361B 6B03 1B00 -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v2 iEYEARECAAYFAlQ9j+oACgkQrCpf/gCCPsKskgCgiRn7DoP5RASkaZZjpop9P8aG zhgAnjHeE8BXvTSkr7hccNb2tZsnqlTaiQIcBAEBCgAGBQJUPY/qAAoJENc8OeVl gLOGZiMP/1MHubKmA8aGDj8Ow5Uo4lkzp+A89vJqgbm9bjVrfjDHZQIdebYfWrjr RQzXdbIHnILYnUfYaOHUzMxpBHya3rFu6xbfKesR+jzQf8gxFXoBY7OQVL4Ycyss 4Y++g9m4Lqm+IDyIhhDNY6mtFU9e3CkljI52p/CIqM7eUyBfyRJDRfeh6c40Pfx2 AlNyFe+9JzYG1i3YG96Z8bKiVK5GpvyKWiggo08r3oqGvWyROYY9E4nLM9OJu8EL GuSNDCRJOhfnegWqKq+BRZUXA2wbTG0f8AxAuetdo6MKmVmHGcHxpIGFHqxO1QhV VM7VpMj+bxcevJ50BO5kylRrptlUugTaJ6il/o5sfgy1FdXGlgWCsIwmja2Z/fQr ycnqrtMVVYfln9IwDODItHx3hSwRoHnUxLWq8yY8gyx+//geZ0BROonXVy1YEo9a PDplOF1HKlaFAHv+Zq8wDWT8Lt1H2EecRFN+hov3+lU74ylnogZLS+bA7tqrjig0 bZfCo7i9Z7ag4GvLWY5PvN4fbws/5Yz9L8I4CnrqCUtzJg4vyA44Kpo8iuQsIrhz CKDnsoehxS95YjiJcbL0Y63Ed4mkSaibUKfoYObv/k61XmBCNkmNAAuRwzV7d5q2 /w3bSTB0O7FHcCxFDnn+tiLwgiTEQDYAP9nN97uibSUCbf98wl3/ =VRZJ -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Filed under: Uncategorized

Randall Ross: Why Smart Phones Aren't - Reason #3

Tue, 2014-10-14 17:44

I love movies. I especally love seeing movies in an old-fashioned movie theatre. The smell of popcorn. The immersiveness. The whole sensory experience. Well, almost...

Why oh why must I, my friends, and my family be subjected to nonsense warnings that precede every movie shown in a theatre? You know the ones: "Silence your phone", "Silence is golden", "It only takes one phone call to ruin a movie", etc, etc.

Even with all that preamble, there is inevitably someone at the theatre that ignores it, or is too distracted by their phone to see the warning. So, the messages are largely ineffective. Oh, the irony!

Let's think about this for a minute. According to the MPAA, "More than two thirds of the U.S./Canada population...227.8 million people went to the movies at least once in 2013"
(Source: http://www.mpaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/MPAA-Theatrical-Market-St...)

Let's take the most conservative view of this statistic. Assume that the total number of person-movies that year was 227.8 million. And, let's also assume that each one of these movies was preceded by a 10-second "Silence your cell phone" message.

That amounts to over 632,000 hours , or 26,365 days, or 72 years of lost time, in one year. "Smart" phone manufacturers, this is a problem you could have solved years ago. For just how many years has this been a solvable problem? My guess is 10.

"Smart" phone manufacturers, you are wasting my time. You are forcing theatres to air useless reminders and distractions. In economic terms, that's called an externality: pushing the costs onto others so you don't have to incur them yourself.

That's right. 720 years lost, in North America alone.

Stop this nonsense. Humanity has better things to do.

I'm sorry "smart" phones. You are as dumb as the day you were born. Think about it. It's really not that hard. Don't be fooled by the name. Movie theatres don't move. You know when you're inside one. Maybe it's time to pay attention?!

With the upcoming Ubuntu Phones, perhaps we, the people that believe in our shared humanity, can give back humanity this precious time it needs to get on with life and perhaps the chance to use this time to solve just one problem to make the world a better place...

---
Our best chance at a phone that respects humanity is here:
http://www.ubuntu.com/phone

More reasons "smart phones aren't are here:
http://blog.josephliau.com/documenting-the-death-of-the-dumb-telephone-p...
http://randall.executiv.es/dumbphones02
http://randall.executiv.es/dumbphones01

---
image by daniel
https://www.flickr.com/photos/number657/

Michael Hall: Unity 8 Desktop

Tue, 2014-10-14 16:42

This is a guest post from Will Cooke, the new Desktop Team manager at Canonical. It’s being posted here while we work to get a blog setup on unity.ubuntu.com, which is where you can find out more about Unity 8 and how to get involved with it.

Intro

Understandably, most of the Ubuntu news recently has focused around phones. There is a lot of excitement and anticipation building around the imminent release of the first devices.  However, the Ubuntu Desktop has not been dormant during this time.  A lot of thought and planning has been given to what the desktop will become in the future; who will use it and what will they use it for.  All the work which is going in to the phone will be directly applicable to the desktop as well, since they will use the same code.  All the apps, the UI tweaks, everything which makes applications secure and stable will all directly apply to the desktop as well.  The plan is to have the single converged operating system ready for use on the desktop by 16.04.

The plan

We learned some lessons during the early development of Unity 7. Here’s what happened:

  • 11.04: New Unity as default
  • 11.10: New Unity version
  • 12.04: Unity in First LTS

What we’ve decided to do this time is to keep the same, stable Unity 7 desktop as the default while we offer users who want to opt-in to Unity8 an option to use that desktop. As development continues the Unity 8 desktop will get better and better.  It will benefit from a lot of the advances which have come about through the development of the phone OS and will benefit from continual improvements as the releases happen.

  • 14.04 LTS: Unity 7 default / Unity 8 option for the first time
  • 14.10: Unity 7 default / Unity 8 new rev as an option
  • 15.04: Unity 7 default / Unity 8 new rev as an option
  • 15.10: Potentially Unity 8 default / Unity 7 as an option
  • 16.04 LTS: Unity 8 default / Unity 7 as an option

As you can see, this gives us a full 2 cycles (in addition to the one we’ve already done) to really nail Unity 8 with the level of quality that people expect. So what do we have?

How will we deliver Unity 8 with better quality than 7?

Continuous Integration is the best way for us to achieve and maintain the highest quality possible.  We have put a lot of effort in to automating as much of the testing as we can, the best testing is that which is performed easily.  Before every commit the changes get reviewed and approved – this is the first line of defense against bugs.  Every merge request triggers a run of the tests, the second line of defense against bugs and regressions – if a change broke something we find out about it before it gets in to the build.

The CI process builds everything in a “silo”, a self contained & controlled environment where we find out if everything works together before finally landing in the image.

And finally, we have a large number of tests which run against those images. This really is a “belt and braces” approach to software quality and it all happens automatically.  You can see, we are taking the quality of our software very seriously.

What about Unity 7?

Unity 7 and Compiz have a team dedicated to maintenance and bug fixes and so the quality of it continues to improve with every release.  For example; windows switching workspaces when a monitor gets unplugged is fixed, if you have a mouse with 6 buttons it works, support for the new version of Metacity (incase you want to use the Gnome2 desktop) – added (and incidentally, a lot of that work was done by a community contributor – thanks Alberts!)

Unity 7 is the desktop environment for a lot of software developers, devops gurus, cloud platform managers and millions of users who rely on it to help them with their everyday computing.  We don’t want to stop you being able to get work done.  This is why we continue to maintain Unity 7 while we develop Unity 8.  If you want to take Unity 8 for a spin and see how its coming along then you can; if you want to get your work done, we’re making that experience better for you every day.  Best of all, both of these options are available to you with no detriment to the other.

Things that we’re getting in the new Ubuntu Desktop
  1. Applications decoupled from the OS updates.  Traditionally a given release of Ubuntu has shipped with the versions of the applications available at the time of release.  Important updates and security fixes are back-ported to older releases where required, but generally you had to wait for the next release to get the latest and greatest set of applications.  The new desktop packaging system means that application developers can push updates out when they are ready and the user can benefit right away.
  2. Application isolation.  Traditionally applications can access anything the user can access; photos, documents, hardware devices, etc.  On other platforms this has led to data being stolen or rendered otherwise unusable.  Isolation means that without explicit permission any Click packaged application is prevented from accessing data you don’t want it to access.
  3. A full SDK for writing Ubuntu apps.  The SDK which many people are already using to write apps for the phone will allow you to write apps for the desktop as well.  In fact, your apps will be write once run anywhere – you don’t need to write a “desktop” app or a “phone” app, just an Ubuntu app.
What we have now

The easiest way to try out the Unity 8 Desktop Preview is to use the daily Ubuntu Desktop Next live image:   http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-desktop-next/daily-live/current/   This will allow you to boot into a Unity 8 session without touching your current installation.  An easy 10 step way to write this image to a USB stick is:

  1. Download the ISO
  2. Insert your USB stick in the knowledge that it’s going to get wiped
  3. Open the “Disks” application
  4. Choose your USB stick and click on the cog icon on the righthand side
  5. Choose “Restore Disk Image”
  6. Browse to and select the ISO you downloaded in #1
  7. Click “Start restoring”
  8. Wait
  9. Boot and select “Try Ubuntu….”
  10. Done *

* Please note – there is currently a bug affecting the Unity 8 greeter which means you are not automatically logged in when you boot the live image.  To log in you need to:

  1. Switch to vt1 (ctrl-alt-f1)
  2. type “passwd” and press enter
  3. press enter again to set the current password to blank
  4. enter a new password twice
  5. Check that the password has been successfully changed
  6. Switch back to vt7 (ctrl-alt-f7)
  7. Enter the new password to login

 

Here are some screenshots showing what Unity 8 currently looks like on the desktop:

The team

The people working on the new desktop are made up of a few different disciplines.  We have a team dedicated to Unity 7 maintenance and bug fixes who are also responsible for Unity 8 on the desktop and feed in a lot of support to the main Unity 8 & Mir teams. We have the Ubuntu Desktop team who are responsible for many aspects of the underlying technologies used such as GNOME libraries, settings, printing etc as well as the key desktop applications such as Libreoffice and Chromium.  The Ubuntu desktop team has some of the longest serving members of the Ubuntu family, with some people having been here for the best part of ten years.

How you can help

We need to log all the bugs which need to be fixed in order to make Unity 8 the best desktop there is.  Firstly, we need people to test the images and log bugs.  If developers want to help fix those bugs, so much the better.  Right now we are focusing on identifying where the work done for the phone doesn’t work as expected on the desktop.  Once those bugs are logged and fixed we can rely on the CI system described above to make sure that they stay fixed.

Link to daily ISOs:  http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-desktop-next/daily-live/current/

Bugs:  https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity8-desktop-session

IRC:  #ubuntu-desktop on Freenode

Serge Hallyn: Live container migration – on its way

Tue, 2014-10-14 12:42

The criu project has been working hard to make application checkpoint/restart feasible. Tycho has implemented lxc-checkpoint and lxc-restart on top of that (as well as of course contributing the needed bits to criu itself), and now shows off first steps toward real live migration: http://tycho.ws/blog/2014/09/container-migration.html

Excellent!


Ubuntu Server blog: Server team meeting minutes: 2014-10-07

Tue, 2014-10-14 06:51
Agenda
  • Review ACTION points from previous meeting

ACTION: all to review blueprint work items before next weeks meeting

  • U Development
  • Server & Cloud Bugs (caribou)
  • Weekly Updates & Questions for the QA Team (psivaa)
  • Weekly Updates & Questions for the Kernel Team (smb, sforshee, arges)
  • Ubuntu Server Team Events
  • Open Discussion
  • Announce next meeting date, time and chair
Minutes Final Freeze 9 days out
  • Check on FTBFS packages — seems like there has been good progress
  • Make sure are up to date, if resources are needed now is the time to ask.
  • Release bugs, no high priority ones, juju mirs and openstack bits are being worked.
  • kickinz1 brought up two bcache bugs (LP #1377130 and LP #1377142) to the kernel team for help.
Meeting Actions

None

Agree on next meeting date and time

Next meeting will be on Tuesday, Oct 14th at 16:00 UTC in #ubuntu-meeting.

IRC Log

http://ubottu.com/meetingology/logs/ubuntu-meeting/2014/ubuntu-meeting.2014-10-07-16.03.html

The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 387

Tue, 2014-10-14 03:55

Joe Liau: Documenting the Death of the Dumb Telephone – Part 1: Unnecessary

Tue, 2014-10-14 03:49

Source

The gig is up: our telephones aren’t smart, and they can’t save themselves. But, maybe you can!

By far, the dumbest feature of today’s “smart” phones is the phone itself. There is a growing number of people who never use their mobile devices to make calls. This begs the question of whether or not the feature should exist at all (or why even call them phones?). “How silly,” you say; of course, there are justified applications for calling someone who is in the middle of dinner or on a crowded train. However, there is a lack of control over (loco) this function.  Your phone doesn’t know how to suitably deal with and classify a call event (i.e. call-typing beyond known and unknown numbers) and this makes it both not smart, and not safe (for itself).

How many phones have been physically harmed due to phone-call malpractice?
They fly out your car window. They drop from your ear. They get thrown across the room. All because of the wrong call at the wrong time.

You can prevent this, and you can save the phone feature of your mobile device. You can have a say in how your mobile device is programmed.

Opt in to the Ubuntu project today, and SAVE OUR PHONES

 

Lubuntu Blog: Happy Samhain!

Mon, 2014-10-13 21:06
As our tradition rules, here's this year's Samhain wallpaper. This pagan fest ritual makes us, the northern sons, being one with Nature again, serve it and get back its fruits, in a year of hope. Enjoy!



Randall Ross: Why Smart Phones Aren't - Reason #2

Mon, 2014-10-13 19:45

I ride public transit, a lot. This gives me the "privilege" to (too often) overhear important matters that are being discussed over the phone.

Can you guess the most common use case for "smart" phones? Apparently it's to obtain the answer to the world's most important question: "Where are you?"

Really? We can send a rover to Mars but we can't solve this problem. Is the world engaged in one giant game of "where's Waldo?" I have yet to meet a phone that is smart.

Phones have GPS, wifi, and of course cellular signalling. They also are programmable. One would think that an off-the-shelf "smart" phone would eliminate the "Where are you?" call once and for all. Or, could it be that the mobile carriers love to prey on people by forcing them to consume and be billed for lots and lots of extraneous voice minutes? Hmm...

So, I'm sorry phones. You are *not* smart. You are still as dumb as the first feature phones.

I remain optimistic that the Ubuntu Phone will overcome this issue. In my lifetime, I hope to be riding a bus, a subway, or a streetcar never to hear the words "Where are you?" uttered again.

---
"Where's Waldo" image by William Murphy
https://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/

Ubuntu App Developer Blog: Write a scope in C++ for JSON data – SoundCloud tutorial

Mon, 2014-10-13 17:29

A scope is a tailored view for a set of data, that can use custom layouts, display and branding options. From RSS news feeds to weather data and search engine results, the flexibility of scopes allows you to provide a simple, recognizable and consistent experience with the rest of the OS.

Scopes can also integrate with system-wide user accounts (email, social networks…), split your content into categories and aggregate into each others (for example, a “shopping” scope aggregating results from several store scopes).

In this tutorial, you will learn how to write a scope in C++ for SoundCloud, using the Ubuntu SDK. Read…

Canonical Design Team: Designing machine view

Mon, 2014-10-13 12:19

A few weeks ago we launched ‘Machine view’ for Juju, a feature designed to allow users to easily visualise and manage the machines running in their cloud environments. In this post I want to share with you some of the challenges we faced and the solutions we designed in the process of creating it.

A little bit about Juju…
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Juju, a brief introduction. Juju is a software tool that allows you to design, build and manage application services running in the cloud. You can use Juju through the command-line or via a GUI and our team is responsible for the user experience of Juju in the GUI.

First came ‘Service View’
In the past we have primarily focused on Juju’s ‘Service view’ – a virtual canvas that enables users to design and connect the components of their given cloud environment.

This view is fantastic for modelling the concept and relationships that define an application environment. However, for each component or service block, a user can have anything from one unit to hundreds or thousands of units, depending on the scale of the environment, and before machine view, units means machines.

The goal of machine view was to surface these units and enable users to visualise, manage and optimise their use of machines in the cloud.

‘Machine view’: design challenges
There were a number of challenges we needed to address in terms of layout and functionality:

  • The scalability of the solution
  • The glanceability of the data
  • The ability to customise and sort the information
  • The ability to easily place and move units
  • The ability to track changes
  • The ability to deploy easily to the cloud

I’ll briefly go into each one of these topics below.

Scalability: Environments can be made up of a couple of machines or thousands. This means that giving the user a clear, light and accessible layout was incredibly important – we had to make sure the design looked and worked great at both ends of the spectrum.

Glanceability: Users need simple comparative information to help choose the right machine at-a-glace. We designed and tested hundreds of different ways of displaying the same data and eventually ended up with an extremely cut back listing which was clean and balanced.

The ability to sort and customise: As it was possible and probable that users would scale environments to thousands of machines, we needed to provide the ability to sort and customise the views. Users can use the menus at the top of each column to hide information from view and customise the data they want visible at a glance. As users become more familiar with their machines they could turn off extra information for a denser view of their machines. Users are also given basic sorting options to help them find and explore their machines in different ways.

The ability to easily place and move units: Machine view is built around the concept of manual placement – the ability to co-locate (put more than one) items on a single machine or to define specific types of machines for specific tasks. (As opposed to automatic placement, where each unit is given a machine of the pre-determined specification). We wanted to enable users to create the most optimised machine configurations for their applications.

Drag and drop was a key interaction that we wanted to exploit for this interface because it would simplify the process of manually placing units by a significant amount. The three column layout aided the use of drag and drop, where users are able to pick up units that need placing on the left hand side and drag them to a machine in the middle column or a container in the third column. The headers also change to reveal drop zones allowing users to create new machines and containers in one fluid action keeping all of the primary interactions in view and accessible at all times.

The ability to track changes: We also wanted to expose the changes that were being made throughout user’s environments as they were going along and allow them to commit batches of changes altogether. Deciding which changes were exposed and the design of the uncommitted notification was difficult, we had to make sure the notifications were not viewed as repetitive, that they were identifiable and that it could be used throughout the interface.

The ability to deploy easily to the cloud: Before machine view it was impossible for someone to design their entire environment before sending it to the cloud. The deployment bar is a new ever present canvas element that rationalises all of the changes made into a neat listing, it is also where users can deploy or commit those changes. Look for more information about the deployment bar in another post.

We hope that machine view will really help Juju users by increasing the level of control and flexibility they have over their cloud infrastructure.

This project wouldn’t of been possible without the diligent help from the Juju GUI development team. Please take a look and let us know what you think. Find out more about Juju, Machine View or take it for a spin.

Valorie Zimmerman: Heroes

Sun, 2014-10-12 09:25
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, ages and nationalities.

The Nobel Peace Prize was inspiring to see this week. A young Pakistani girl who was already known locally for supporting the right of girls to attend school was shot by the Taliban to shut her up. Instead, she now has a world stage, and says that she is determined to work even harder for the right of girls to go to school. I really liked that Malala shares the prize. CNN:
Awarding the Peace Prize to a Pakistani Muslim and an Indian Hindu gives a message to people of love between Pakistan and India, and between different religions, Yousafzai said. The decision sends a message that all people, regardless of language and religion, should fight for the rights of women, children and every human being. - http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/10/world/europe/nobel-peace-prize/index.html
Another of my heroes spoke out this week: Kathy Sierra. Her blog is reprinted on Wired: http://www.wired.com/2014/10/trolls-will-always-win/. After the absolute horror she endured, she continues to speak out, continues to calmly state the facts, continues to lead. And yet the majority lauds her attackers, because they are Bad Boyz! I guess. I don't agree with her that trolls always win, because I can't. Kathy Sierra is still speaking out, so SHE wins, and we all win.

I just finished a lovely book by Cheryl Strayed: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Cheryl isn't my hero, but during her journey she became her own hero, so that's OK. My husband is going to walk that trail next year, and reading her book makes me so thankful that he is preparing and training for the journey! Her honesty about the pain she endured when her mother died, and her marriage ended, brought to mind many memories about the death of my own mother, and the death of another of my heroes, my cousin Carol.

Carol died 11 years ago, and I still painfully miss her. I know that her son grieves her loss even more deeply. I hope your journey has taken you to a place of rest, my dear Carol.

Randall Ross: Why Smart Phones Aren't - Reason #1

Sun, 2014-10-12 07:43

I was ranting to some of my colleagues the other day about "smart" phones, and just how really dumb they are. The topic generated a lively discussion so I thought I'd share the fun!

I have yet to meet a phone that is smart.

Phones have GPS, motion sensing, and NFC, yada yada, yet they still alert/ring when someone is driving. Has society not learned that distracted driving kills people? Not cool.

So, I'm sorry phones. You are *not* smart. You are as dumb as the first feature phones.

Having said that, I still have optimism that the the Ubuntu Phone will become the world's first truly smart phone, respecting its owner and "doing the right thing".

---
dumb phone image by Tom Hoyle
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomhoyle1985/

Forums Council: Support for Other Operating Systems

Sat, 2014-10-11 13:32

Some time early in 2011, support for other operating systems was curtailed due to the prevailing server issues we were dealing with at that time.

Since then, we have moved on and the outlook is looking better server space wise.

Given that, and for the recent 10 year anniversary we’ve just seen – what better time than now, we’ve rebuilt support forums for selected operating systems.

You can see what we have done here.


Nekhelesh Ramananthan: Clock App Reboot Backstory

Sat, 2014-10-11 12:28

This week while reading Michael Hall's blog post about 1.0 being the deadliest milestone I couldn't help but grin when I read,

1.0 isn’t the milestone of success, it’s the crossing of the Rubicon, the point where drastic change becomes inevitable. It’s the milestone where the old code, with all it’s faults, dies, and out of it is born a new codebase.

This was exactly the thought that crossed my mind when I first heard about the Clock Reboot at the Malta Sprint.

Let me share how Clock Reboot came to be :). At the start of the Malta sprint I was told that the Clock app would receive some new designs that would need to be implemented for the Release-To-Manufacture milestone (RTM) which at that time was 4 months away. And on the eve of the meeting, we (Canonical Community team and the Core Apps team) rush into the meeting room where you see Giorgio Venturi, John Lea, Benjamin Keyser, Mark Shuttleworth, and other department heads looking over the designs.

Giorgio goes over the presentation and explains how they are supposed to work. At the end of the presentation, I am asked if this is feasible within the given timeframe and everyone starts to look at me. Honestly, at the moment I felt a shiver run down my spine. I was uncertain given that it took the clock app almost a year to buckle down and get to a point where it was useable and I wondered if the 4 months time was sufficient.

Strangely enough, during the presentation I recollected a conversation I had with Kyle Nitzsche a few days before that meeting, where he asked if the clock app code changes started to stabilize (no invasive code changes) considering we are this close to RTM.

Fast-forwarding to today, I think that the Clock Reboot was a blessing in disguise. I have been working on the clock app since the beginning which was somewhere in the first quarter of 2013. And I can confidently say that I have made a ton of mistakes in the so called 1.0 milestone. The Clock Reboot gave me the opportunity to start from scratch and carefully iterate every piece of code going into the trunk while avoiding the mistakes from the past.

And I like to think that it has resulted in the codebase being much more clean, lean and manageable and in a more reliable clock experience for the user.

The Music App is going through that same transition and I wish them the best since and I think it will make them stronger and better.

I like to end this blog with a blast from the past since it is a one year anniversay for the clock app! ;) It was first released to the Ubuntu Touch store on the 10th of October 2013.

Diego Turcios: Central America is discovering BeagleBoard!

Sat, 2014-10-11 07:32
The title is clear enough! I was on the VI Encuentro Centroamericano of Software Libre and gave a presentation about what is Beagleboard.org and showing some small demos of the BeagleBone Black.

Important refereces about Central America and Open Hardware/Single Board Computers & Microcontrollers

All of this data is according to what people said on Panama.
  • Arduino it's used in 6 countries of Central America as part of their computer science studies or electrical engineer
  • Raspberry Pi is also use on the 7 countries of Central America
  • Just 2 countries of Central America have listen about the BeagleBone Black. (Costa Rica & Honduras)
  • Just 1 country of Central America has work with a BeagleBone Black. (Honduras)

What was my talk about?

Basically my talk was about, what is the Beagleboard.org community and the Beaglebone Black.

  • I did a presentation on HTML explaining the BeagleBoard.org history and goals. Check the presentation here
  • I show some slides of Jason  Kridner presentation.
  •  Run a small demo on how to build a traffic light with leds, showing how to use the bonescript library. Here
What did people said?
They love it!

  • I will said it again, people love it!
  • They were surprise about the bonescript library,
  • That's basically one of the major problems of other platforms. How to involved Web with Hardware platform.
  • The University of Costa Rica will buy BeagleBone Blacks for next years. (They have listen about the project and were interested on it, but didn't knew about all the capacities it had)
  • Some professors of Panama universities were quite happy to see that they could use this tool on their courses, this is thanks to the bonescript library, it is now easy to request project involving web applications and hardware combined thanks to the BeagleBone Black.

Some images of the event :











Diego Turcios: In the Encuentro Centroamericano de Software Libre!

Fri, 2014-10-10 19:05
Currently I'm on the city of Chitre in Panama for the VI Encuentro Centroamericano de Software Libre.

This has been an excelent experience. I met several friends and community members I meet on the Primer Encuentro Centroamericano in the city of Esteli Nicaragua and of course new persons from central america.

Something new the ECSL has, is the presence of several recognize people of the open source community. We had the presence of Ramon Ramon, a famous blogger in the latin america. Guillermo Movia Community Manager for Latin America for Mozilla and other people of the Open Source Community in Central America.

I'm going to write in future post about my presentation of the BeagleBoard.org and other talks I have with the Mozilla people. By the way I got the opportunity to know Jorge Aguilar founder of the Mozilla Community of Honduras.

Some images.
If you want to read this presentation in spanish click here.






Michael Hall: 1.0: The deadliest milestone

Fri, 2014-10-10 18:49

So it’s finally happened, one of my first Ubuntu SDK apps has reached an official 1.0 release. And I think we all know what that means. Yup, it’s time to scrap the code and start over.

It’s a well established mantra, codified by Fred Brooks, in software development that you will end up throwing away the first attempt at a new project. The releases between 0.1 and 0.9 are a written history of your education about the problem, the tools, or the language you are learning. And learn I did, I wrote a whole series of posts about my adventures in writing uReadIt. Now it’s time to put all of that learning to good use.

Often times projects still spend an extremely long time in this 0.x stage, getting ever closer but never reaching that 1.0 release.  This isn’t because they think 1.0 should wait until the codebase is perfect, I don’t think anybody expects 1.0 to be perfect. 1.0 isn’t the milestone of success, it’s the crossing of the Rubicon, the point where drastic change becomes inevitable. It’s the milestone where the old code, with all it’s faults, dies, and out of it is born a new codebase.

So now I’m going to start on uReadIt 2.0, starting fresh, with the latest Ubuntu UI Toolkit and platform APIs. It won’t be just a feature-for-feature rewrite either, I plan to make this a great Reddit client for both the phone and desktop user. To that end, I plan to add the following:

  • A full Javascript library for interacting with the Reddit API
  • User account support, which additionally will allow:
    • Posting articles & comments
    • Reading messages in your inbox
    • Upvoting and downvoting articles and comments
  • Convergence from the start, so it’s usable on the desktop as well
  • Re-introduce link sharing via Content-Hub
  • Take advantage of new features in the UITK such as UbuntuListView filtering & pull-to-refresh, and left/right swipe gestures on ListItems

Another change, which I talked about in a previous post, will be to the license of the application. Where uReadIt 1.0 is GPLv3, the next release will be under a BSD license.

Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S07E28 – The One with the List

Fri, 2014-10-10 10:59

We’re back with Season Seven, Episode Twenty-Eight of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Laura Cowen, Mark Johnson, and Tony Whitmore! We ate this carrot cake from the Co-op. It’s very tasty.

 Download Ogg  Download MP3 Play in Popup

In this week’s show:

  • We also discuss:
  • We share some Command Line Lurve which saves you valuable keystrokes: tar xvf archive.tar.bz2 tar xvf foo.tar.gz

    Tar now auto-detects the compression algorithm used!

  • And we read your feedback. Thanks for sending it in!

We’ll be back next week, so please send your comments and suggestions to: podcast@ubuntu-uk.org
Join us on IRC in #uupc on Freenode
Leave a voicemail via phone: +44 (0) 203 298 1600, sip: podcast@sip.ubuntu-uk.org and skype: ubuntuukpodcast
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