For some background, Ashlyn, who is almost 11 now has been interested in programming for quite some time. She spent some time with Scratch when she was 7 and loved it. I installed it on her computer and she just figured it out on her own. She learned some great skills with it, but she did get bored with it quickly. Since then I've been keeping an eye out for something more advanced than Scratch that still seemed like it wouldn't overwhelm her, but hadn't seen anything.
I never thought I would consider Java! I have never liked Java, for reasons we don't need to get into now. My preference used to be C, Vala and Python. Recently I've fallen in love with QML and even come to enjoy C++. I'm sure she could easily learn QML and have fun writing Ubuntu Touch games. But right now her passion is Minecraft.
This year our kids have become addicted to Minecraft (I'll admit it, me too). We even have a dedicated server setup to let our kids play with some of the other kids in the neighborhood. Since they've gotten into Minecraft, she has been really anxious to create mods for Minecraft or even bukkit plugins for the server. This is a real dilemma, Minecraft and Bukkit development both require Java, which I really dislike. Do I really want her first experience writing code to be using Eclipse? Yes, I know, eclipse is a good IDE, but it would really be overwhelming for her. Also, the Minecraft and Bukkit APIs are quite extensive, which is great but too deep to immerse her in right now.
I finally decided to do some more searching for a way to introduce her to coding with Java, let her learn the concepts before trying to tackle Minecraft mods and Bukkit plugins. My top requirement was a tool that would help visualize the concepts, focus on simple game development and provide rapid rewards. She needs to be able to grasp the concepts while quickly getting to the point where she could see what she created. Greenfoot that seemed to meet these requirements nicely. I had actually read about Greenfoot last year, but discounted it when I saw it was Java.
Greenfoot provides a very simple visualization of the classes in your project, clearly showing inheritance, nice drag and drop for creating instances as well as a useful code editor. I was very impressed with the simplicity and the presentation of the class structure. They even have a series of video lessons called "The joy of code". The first two videos explain what Greenfoot is and guides you through installation. I let her skip those and start with lesson 3 and 4. The videos are thorough and explains the concepts in a way that she could easily understand them. She powered through them quickly, in fact I think they moved along too slowly. She started jumping ahead a bit, extending the code of the example he was covering before the video explained them. I quizzed her a bit and she did actually understand the concepts. She ended up going above and beyond what the lesson was covering, and she totally love it!
The tutorial started with a turtle that did nothing. She added movement, edge detection, turns and eating. She created a new Actor subclass, Lettuce and made the turtle eat lettuce whenever it shared the same location on the canvas. After just an hour and a half, she had a basic understanding of objects, inheritance, properties, and method calls. She created her own class for Lettuce and added several methods to the Turtle class. She had to write the code for all of this, which she was extremely proud of and had so much fun she can't wait to do more!
We were ushered into something the size of an aircraft hangar, surrounded by fezzes, buzzing sonic screwdrivers and a variety of Amy Ponds. I have never seen so many Doctor Who fans in one place, and I was only seeing half those at ExCel for the “Doctor Who Official 50th Celebration”. It was similar in feel to the convention in Cardiff last year, but turned up to 11. Only the BBC can bring together so many actors, directors, special effects people, costume designers and so on in one place. People who are actually working on the show now, demonstrating their craft.
Although the main sessions were pretty distant and not really revelatory (although Nick Briggs did a superb job wrangling four Doctors at once), there were so many other events going on in stages and screens that it was impossible to see everything in one day. At 5:15pm the whole convention stopped to mark the moment when, 50 years ago, the opening titles of “An Unearthly Child” appeared on tiny TV screens around the country. I had been speaking to Carole Ann Ford herself just beforehand. While I did spend a fair amount of the day queuing and would have liked to have had more time to spend in the side stages, I am glad that I got the chance to meet some legends of Doctor Who.
As someone who grew up in the wilderness years, I learnt to hide my fandom. It was fantastic to see so many kids running around waving screwdrivers, acting like Daleks and generally revelling the show. There was a small group of teenage girls on the tube discussing Verity Lambert. It reminded me just how far Doctor Who has come since 1989. I hope they go on to take over TV like she did.
How better to watch the 50th anniversary episode than at the BFI, where I have watched screenings almost every month this year? Well, with Matt, Jenna, Steven and John Hurt in the audience. Yup, they were all there for the screening, having also hot-footed it over from ExCel. If you haven’t seen “The Day of the Doctor” go and watch it on iPlayer now.
And if you haven’t seen “The 5(ish) Doctors Reboot”, go and watch that straight afterwards. It it one of the highlights of the anniversary year for me. Superb performances from Messrs Davison, Baker and McCoy and a script worthy of “Extras”.
The BBC 3 after party was held in one of the bars at the BFI right after the screening, but if you weren’t inside the bar area, it was impossible to tell what was going on. Although the twitter commentary showed that perhaps I wasn’t missing very much!
You can hear the podcast we recorded straight after the screening over at The Doctor Who Podcast site. You can also hear our review of “An Adventure in Space and Time”, the superb drama recreating the early days of the show that I wrote about last week, on The Doctor Who Podcast too.Pin It
A fun tongue twister to say, MongoDB MUG March Madness!
Last February, the MUG organisers around the world wanted to compete in a Global MongoDB User Group (MUG) Hackathon. The global challenge event was aptly named MongoDB March Madness. If you’re like me and had never heard of March Madness let me explain:
March Madness is an annual Division 1 college basketball tournament in the U.S. which leads up to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Finals. MongoDB March Madness does not have much to do with the basketball game, however, since the event is happening in March, the name fits quite well!
Seven local user groups got together and hacked away together and built tools to support the growing MongoDB community. This was capped off by having their final products judged by MongoDB Engineers.
This year we’re doing it again and we have even more MUGS to take part, we’re happy to say we’ve 120 MUGs globally. We want the MUGs to join us in our celebration of the second annual March Madness. With that in mind and it being the 2nd year to do this we thought we’d do something a little different but still have fun and madness in the process.
We are going to send a MongoDB engineer to speak at your MUGs in March!
In order to get a MongoDB engineer at your MUG please fill out the following form by November 28. After your submission, we will be in touch to set up the user group meeting and to discuss additional details. It’s going to be epic and I cannot wait to see all the photos in March of the MUGs taking place
Today’s autopilot release provides a new feature for test case writers. Unless the widget you want to test has a direct object name (GtkBuilder ID/Qt objectName), it is often not that easy to find a widget in a deeply nested hierarchy in autopilot vis.
With the new version, if you have some parent widget (like the containing dialog) w in your test, you can now call w.print_tree() to dump the paths and properties of that widget and all its children to stdout. That’s easy enough to grep, so provides a “poor man’s full tree search”. You can also specify a different output sink, like a file object or a file name: w.print_tree('/tmp/dump.txt').
This is a first step towards making it easier to find widgets and properties you are interested in. Arguably this is mostly just a crutch, but I found it to be rather effective. Before this feature I often wrote little snippets like in LP#1241312, now this becomes much easier. A better solution for this would certainly be a “full tree search” in vis itself, but that’s not that easy to implement. It is on the roadmap for this cycle, though.
I am also currently working on a real-time property change monitor for autopilot-gtk, which may also help in some cases. Unfortunately we cannot build such a thing for autopilot-qt, as due to the nature of Qt object properties, changes of them cannot be monitored.
Niamh’s in the local paper! She is the best at drama in the whole of Leicestershire, yes she is. The Coalville Times published an article summarising the 2013 Leicester Competitive Festival of Music and Dramatic Arts, with Niamh’s picture in it. Fame, oh yes!NIAMH TAKES FIRST PLACE AT FESTIVAL School received fantastic results By LAURA EDGAR
STUDENTS at a Coalville dance school have achieved outstanding results at a recent festival.
Elle’s School of Dance and Drama, based at Coalville’s Marlene Reid Centre, competed in the Leicester Competitive Festival of Music and Dramatic Arts.
The school received fantastic results from everyone [who] competed at the festival, which took place on Saturday, November 9 .
In the class Verse Speaking from Memory, age nine years and under, second place went to Harriet Worth, with Tamzin Johnson achieving third place.
Placed first in the Solo Acting class, age 12 to 14 years, alongside winning the Sydney Hickling Memorial Cup, was Niamh Langridge. Niamh, who has been attending drama classes every Tuesday since June, took on the role of Miss Hanigan, performing an extract taken from the musical Annie.
Chantelle Ridout, the principal of the school said: “I am very proud of all the students that competed in the festival. It was the school’s first year competing and we achieved first, second and third place from two of the classes.
“All the students had worked extremely hard to achieve the results they got and they should all be very proud of themselves.
“The students are now looking forward to their LAMDA Drama exams that take place at the end of November.”
For more information regarding the classes that are available in Coalville and Swadlincote, call: 07940999500.
This week's episode is brief but refers to matters raised in a previously posted Post-Meeting Announcement.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.
In response to increased activity on the ubuntu-us-ny mailing list I recently set up a doodle poll in regards to starting up IRC meetings again. The primary goal is to start planning for the Ubuntu 14.04 launch, but I also hope to revive and re-energize the loco team. No matter where you are in New York, from Massena to Cutchogue to Ripley you can take part in helping to reboot New York. Please take the doodle.com poll and join us on irc at freenode.net in channel #ubuntu-us-ny.
In this week’s show:-
- We also take a look at what’s been happening in the news:
- Commenters on YouTube have a whinge…
- CyanogenMod release a “one-click” installer for Android phones…
- Run a Linux home server on the Raspberry Pi…
- Google and Microsoft agree to block child abuse images from search results…
- Symantic report ‘backdoor’ in ‘large Internet hosting provider’…”
- LG send personal data home from TVs…
- Study shows playing games has no negative effect on children’s behaviour…
- We catch up with what’s been happening in the Ubuntu community:
- And not in the Ubuntu community:
- And we mention an event:
- An evening with Richard Stallman – 28th-29th November – School of Computer Science, Lincoln University, UK
- Code Pub Reading – 28th November – Reading, UK
- Code Pub Birmingham – 5th December – Birmingham, UK
- Code Club North West Meetup #4 – 10th December – Manchester, UK
- Code Pub Kent – 12th December – Maidstone, UK
- FLOSS UK – Spring 2014 – 18th – 20th March 2014 – Brighton, UK
Please send your comments and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us on IRC in #ubuntu-uk-podcast on Freenode
Leave a voicemail via phone: +44 (0) 203 298 1600, sip: email@example.com and skype: ubuntuukpodcast
Follow our twitter feed http://twitter.com/uupc
Find our Facebook Fan Page
Follow us on Google Plus
Leave us some segment ideas on the Etherpad
The Blue Mint website is a fun news/blog to help you “Experience the computing nirvana that is KDE and Kubuntu”. Can’t argue with that
Some recent articles..Two Very Good KDE Financial Apps, KMyMoney And Skrooge, Get Recent Updates
Own A Small Business? KDE’s Kraft Is Here To Help With Document And Invoice Generation
KDE Grub-2 Editor: What it is & How To Install It
It’s All About Choice: Alternate Applications For Your Kubuntu / NetrunnerOS / Linux Mint KDE Computer
There is also a The Blue Mint twitter feed which has lots of Kubuntu posts from across Twitter.
So we are all here in Munich doing some bug squishing, and surprisingly we seem to be actually achieving things!
You can see some of what we are doing from Trello plus here are a few pics that help explain
Elodi “organising” tasks
Due to low attendance at the 2013-11-23 meeting, the following issues remain for discussion in a thread on discourse.ubuntu.com by the Ubuntu Ohio community:
- What sort of a mission statement shall we have for our community?
- Where do we want to go in the near term?
- Where do we want to go in the far term?
As you probably all know, today is the airing date of My Little Pony Season 4 opener, and the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special!!
So, I thought: Hey, why not create a track for it? Took me 3 weeks =P But I’m really happy with the result ^^ (and yes, I did create this using linux … and since I’m on vacations, I’m using my mother’s laptop, which uses ubuntu! So this isn’t _that_ off-topic, right? =P Okay, okay, yeah, it is very off-topic anyways =P).
Here is the track:
Quick note, I used Studio One (by PreSonus) to create it … it works pretty well under ubuntu! Some minor issues here and there, but nothing that prohibits you from doing any work =) I highly recommend it (over LMMS and Ableton Live, in fact!)
We're having a great meeting here in Munich, last night we collected a range of topics to chat about and today we've been moving post-it notes about as we discuss topics and fix problems. I'm enjoying it a lot.
Now we're ready for #savetheday, will the war doctor beat the baddies?
Activities are not virtual desktops!
Also #savetheday party 19:50UTC in Munich and #kubuntu-devel.
This is one of those books that is hard to categorize. It is alternately fascinating and disturbing, historically important and tragic, accessible and thought-provoking. This is a perfect mix of what I think we should feel when confronted with the history of The Manhattan Project and the world’s entry into the Atomic Age.
Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb strives and succeeds at two tasks. It tells an accurate history of the facts and events leading up to the creation of the first atomic bomb through its use by the United States in the destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasake. It also successfully prompts the asking of philosophical questions that humanity must wrestle with when faced with such destructive power.
Throughout the black and white illustrated book, the graphics are clear and compelling. You feel the emotions of each moment, the fears and the excitement, the hope and the despair. You look into the eyes of the participants and feel their complexity and depth. This set of people were not monochrome in their beliefs, but complex and this comes through.
The events are told clearly, using a linear style that also incorporates both flashbacks and foretelling. It does so to great effect. Throughout, we get just enough scientific explanation to make the complexity of the topic clearer, using descriptions that are easy to understand while also technically accurate and complete enough to be meaningful.
All this is good. But there is one thing that this book accomplishes that is even better. It makes you think. This is no mere scientific or historic text, although it is both of these. It is also a philosophical springboard to deep meditation. This is a very good thing. You start by feeling alongside the participants the excitement of a scientific quest as they ask, “Can it be done?” You end with the same question most of them ended with, “Should it be done?”
#savetheday party 19:50UTC in Munich and #kubuntu-devel from a project which has always taken inspiration from the Timelord.
As is tradition, this virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit kicked off with an introduction by Jono Bacon and keynote from Mark Shuttleworth. It was at 6AM my time, I shut off my 5:45AM alarm and proceeded to sleep until the first session I had to be at 8:05AM. Hah!
Fortunately it was available on youtube immediately following the broadcast and I was able to Chromecast it up to my TV a few days later: Intro by Jono Bacon, Keynote by Mark Shuttleworth
At 8AM I joined my trusty …tahr at my desk to kick off sessions for the week.
Trusty has a pink dragon friend, I call her Zuul
– Ubuntu Documentation Team Roundtable –
I spent a considerable amount of time with the Ubuntu Documentation team this past cycle, so I was really proud that several of us could get together to have a session and outline what we need to do in the next 6 months.
The focus was primarily on-boarding new contributors. It’s clear that there are portions of our process documentation that still need clean-up and there remains some confusion in the community over what exactly we have for documentation and the focus of each, so defining those more succinctly in all our resources is important, but for reference…
- Managed in bzr on launchpad, lp:ubuntu-docs
- Written in Mallard
- Official and ships with the desktop
- Committed to updating for every release
- Lives at help.ubuntu.com/$release-number/ubuntu-help/
- Managed in bzr on launchpad, lp:serverguide
- Written in DocBook
- Official and is published as html and PDF
- Committed to updating for every release
- Lives at help.ubuntu.com/$release-number/serverguide/
- A MoinMoin wiki, anyone can edit
- Not strictly versioned, no solid committment for updating per release
- Lives at help.ubuntu.com/community/
Then we have flavor documentation. Xubuntu and Kubuntu manage shipped documentation in DocBook.
Oh there’s also this thing called wiki.ubuntu.com that we should only be using for notes related to Ubuntu teams, not documentation. And then there is the Ubuntu Manual which is a completely different project.
All clear? No more confusion? If only it were that easy :) We need some clicky buttons or something on our DocumentationTeam wiki page to make this all easier on the brain.
We came out of the session with several action items for continuing to improve things for new contributors.
IRC Log: /2013/11/19/%23ubuntu-uds-community-1.html#t16:17
– LoCo projects –
I was really excited about this session. There are always “tips” and encouragement going around for LoCo events, but many of us still spend time putting together packs of materials for things like Global Jams (as I did in September last year for our QA Jam), writing presentations for each new release to present at the local LUG (how many of us are doing this same work every cycle?) and more. It would be great if there were defined projects with materials, instructions and desired outcomes that teams could use to take some of the work out of planning events. And so it shall be! Stephen Michael Kellat of Ubuntu Ohio and the LoCo Council is now working with David Planella to begin putting this project of projects together.
Stephen Michael Kellat talks about LoCo Projects!
– Ubuntu Women Trusty Goals –
I already wrote about this over on the Ubuntu Women blog, so I won’t repeat myself here, visit: Ubuntu Women at vUDS 1311 session summary
– Community IRC Workshops and Classrooms for Trusty –
In spite of the rise of Ubuntu On-Air, my heart still belongs to text and IRC-based sessions in Ubuntu Classroom. In this session Daniel Holbach and I talked through some of the events we had planned for the cycle and lamented the inability to get a timely Ubuntu Open Week out the door for Saucy. We sketched out some plans based on our own schedules and now each have a list of folks to contact to firm up the schedule for our events. I’ve also taken some action items to follow up with teams who I hope will host sessions this cycle, including QA and Documentation.
I did land on a proposed date for Ubuntu User Days though: Saturday, January 25th 2014
Unfortunately I slept through the Community Council session due to a scheduling snafu, I could have sworn it was for later! But you can see what my fellow Community Council members Daniel Holbach, Laura Czajkowski, Elfy, Michael Hall, Scott Ritchie and Mark Shuttleworth got up to by checking out the video here: Community Council meeting
I watched the CC session on my TV too
To wrap up vUDS, Jono met with track leads to present results from each of the tracks. It gives a nice overview of the whole summit, check it out here: UDS Nov 2013 – Summaries
All the videos from the summit are available by browsing the schedule here. Click on the title of the session you want to watch, the videos are youtube videos embedded in the page and links are on the page to notes and blueprints.
This is the second virtual UDS I’ve attended, the first being vUDS 1305 which took place at the same time as the in person UDS would have. As someone who had the opportunity to attend the physical summits I still find these virtual summits greatly lacking. Many folks who used to go don’t take the time off of work for them anymore (myself included) so we only specifically target a very small subset of sessions we may have otherwise wandered into. I’ve also found that in the community sessions I was in the attendance was significantly lower than any sessions we had at physical UDS, probably due to the loss of the “wander in if it looks interesting since I’m here already” effect. The Ubuntu Women session is one which has perhaps suffered the most, several of our ideas over the years came from women who had never heard of us but happened to be at the summit and joined our session to offer new ideas and perspectives. So for sessions I was in, these virtual UDSes have only managed to attract a subset of existing contributors who could attend at the time it was scheduled and as a result just felt like just any other team meeting. Sadly, I don’t feel inspired following these new UDSes, instead I feel “wow, my to do list is very long, and I’m sick of meetings.”
That said, I understand Canonical is doing the best they can with their resources so I’ve done my best to take what value I can from this new format. It was great to see the schedule firmed up over a week in advance this time so I was able to adjust my work schedule accordingly. I’m also happy that they made it easier to join hangouts, as in the past it seemed like you had to scramble at the beginning of the session and know who to talk to in order to be a part of the video portion. I had no trouble submitting my blueprints this time around and found they had landed on the schedule through no actions of my own, hooray! Having recordings of every session has also been valuable, as in the past only a handful of sessions were recorded during each time slot and it was always somewhat unclear to attendees whether their session would be one of those select few or what the rationale was behind what got recorded or not.
Oh, and with virtual UDS we can bring our cats!
You may notice that popey did too, and I saw one walk behind Elfy in the Community Council session!
Is your Planet really awesome? Could it be made more awesome by massively growing its audience?
Please click through for Poll Question #9.
Thanks in advance for participating.
I am asking some basic questions in order to gauge the audience, relevance, and usefulness of Planet Ubuntu. I have my opinions, but I would like to see what the data says.
All poll results will be summarized and published here.
Got an idea for an enhancement for Planet Ubuntu? Please share it! Let the world know.
Not an Ubuntu member (and can't post to Planet Ubuntu)? If you have a poll question you'd like me to ask, just ask (in the comments)!