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Daniel Pocock: Pruning Syslog entries from MongoDB

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-07-29 18:27

I previously announced the availability of rsyslog+MongoDB+LogAnalyzer in Debian wheezy-backports. This latest rsyslog with MongoDB storage support is also available for Ubuntu and Fedora users in one way or another.

Just one thing was missing: a flexible way to prune the database. LogAnalyzer provides a very basic pruning script that simply purges all records over a certain age. The script hasn't been adapted to work within the package layout. It is written in PHP, which may not be ideal for people who don't actually want LogAnalyzer on their Syslog/MongoDB host.

Now there is a convenient solution: I've just contributed a very trivial Python script for selectively pruning the records.

Thanks to Python syntax and the PyMongo client, it is extremely concise: in fact, here is the full script:

#!/usr/bin/python import syslog import datetime from pymongo import Connection # It assumes we use the default database name 'logs' and collection 'syslog' # in the rsyslog configuration. with Connection() as client: db = client.logs table = db.syslog #print "Initial count: %d" % table.count() today = datetime.datetime.today() # remove ANY record older than 5 weeks except mail.info t = today - datetime.timedelta(weeks=5) table.remove({"time":{ "$lt": t }, "syslog_fac": { "$ne" : syslog.LOG_MAIL }}) # remove any debug record older than 7 days t = today - datetime.timedelta(days=7) table.remove({"time":{ "$lt": t }, "syslog_sever": syslog.LOG_DEBUG}) #print "Final count: %d" % table.count()

Just put it in /usr/local/bin and run it daily from cron.

Customization

Just adapt the table.remove statements as required. See the PyMongo tutorial for a very basic introduction to the query syntax and full details in the MongoDB query operator reference for creating more elaborate pruning rules.

Potential improvements
  • Indexing the columns used in the queries
  • Logging progress and stats to Syslog


LogAnalyzer using a database backend such as MongoDB is very easy to set up and much faster than working with text-based log files

Ubuntu Server blog: Server team meeting minutes: 2014-07-29

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-07-29 17:46
Meeting Actions

None

U Development

The discussion about “U Development” started at 16:00.

  • Feature freeze is August 21. Note Debian Import Freeze is coming up
    • as well.
  • The mysql /var/lib/mysql discussion is proceeding, but it seems
    • unlikely that this will happen by feature freeze now. Nevertheless, we expect to land 5.6 in main in the same manner as 5.5 is currently on schedule.
  • http://status.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-u/group/topic-u-server.html – please

    • remember to keep your blueprints updated with work item progress and re-plan milestones if things slip.
Server & Cloud Bugs (caribou)

The discussion about “Server & Cloud Bugs (caribou)” started at 16:03.

  • No updates
Weekly Updates & Questions for the QA Team (psivaa)

The discussion about “Weekly Updates & Questions for the QA Team (psivaa)” started at 16:05.

  • No updates
Weekly Updates & Questions for the Kernel Team (smb, sforshee)

The discussion about “Weekly Updates & Questions for the Kernel Team (smb, sforshee)” started at 16:05.

  • James Page reports that iscsitarget 12.04 DKMS updates for HWE
    • kernels are ready and uploaded to trusty-proposed awaiting SRU team review (bug 1262712)
  • The KSM on NUMA + KVM bug (1346917) is making great progress, driven
    • by Chris Arges. Brad Figg reports that an upload to trusty-proposed is imminent, and it should land on August 8th (the day after 12.04.5). 12.04.5 (for the HWE kernel) won’t include the update, but one will be available for it the next day.
  • For kernel SRU cadence updates, see
Ubuntu Server Team Events

The discussion about “Ubuntu Server Team Events” started at 16:17.

  • rbasak noted that the Canonical Server Team have been sprinting in
    • #ubuntu-server on Fridays to complete merges, including mentoring and sponsoring, and that all are welcome to join them.
Open Discussion

The discussion about “Open Discussion” started at 16:18.

  • James Page reported that there are plans to SRU docker 1.0.x to
    • 14.04 in bug 1338768. The proposed uploaded is in a PPA and awaiting review from the SRU team. Testers are encouraged to try it out.
Agree on next meeting date and time

Next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 4th at 16:00 UTC in #ubuntu-meeting. Note that this was stated incorrectly in the meeting itself. The chair will be Liam Young.

Ubuntu Kernel Team: Kernel Team Meeting Minutes – July 29, 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-07-29 17:18
Meeting Minutes

IRC Log of the meeting.

Meeting minutes.

Agenda

20140729 Meeting Agenda


Release Metrics and Incoming Bugs

Release metrics and incoming bug data can be reviewed at the following link:

http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/reports/kt-meeting.txt


Status: Utopic Development Kernel

The Utopic kernel has been rebased to v3.16-rc7 and uploaded to the
archive, ie. linux-3.13.0-6.11. Please test and let us know your
results. I also want to mention 14.04.1 released last Thursday
July 24 and 12.04.5 is scheduled to release next Thurs Aug 7.
—–
Important upcoming dates:
Thurs Aug 07 – 12.04.5 (~1 week away)
Thurs Aug 21 – Utopic Feature Freeze (~3 weeks away)


Status: CVE’s

The current CVE status can be reviewed at the following link:

http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/cve/pkg/ALL-linux.html


Status: Stable, Security, and Bugfix Kernel Updates – Trusty/Saucy/Precise/Lucid

Status for the main kernels, until today (Jul. 22):

  • Lucid – Released
  • Precise – Released
  • Saucy – Released
  • Trusty – Released

    Current opened tracking bugs details:

  • http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/reports/kernel-sru-workflow.html

    For SRUs, SRU report is a good source of information:

  • http://people.canonical.com/~kernel/reports/sru-report.html

    Schedule:

    14.04.1 cycle: 29-Jun through 07-Aug
    ====================================================================
    27-Jun Last day for kernel commits for this cycle
    29-Jun – 05-Jul Kernel prep week.
    06-Jul – 12-Jul Bug verification & Regression testing.
    13-Jul – 19-Jul Regression testing & Release to -updates.
    20-Jul – 24-Jul Release prep
    24-Jul 14.04.1 Release [1]
    07-Aug 12.04.5 Release [2]

    cycle: 08-Aug through 29-Aug
    ====================================================================
    08-Aug Last day for kernel commits for this cycle
    10-Aug – 16-Aug Kernel prep week.
    17-Aug – 23-Aug Bug verification & Regression testing.
    24-Aug – 29-Aug Regression testing & Release to -updates.

    [1] This will be the very last kernels for lts-backport-quantal, lts-backport-raring,
    and lts-backport-saucy.

    [2] This will be the lts-backport-trusty kernel as the default in the precise point
    release iso.


Open Discussion or Questions? Raise your hand to be recognized

No open discussions.

Kubuntu Wire: Rohan on ubuntuonair.com

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-07-29 16:07

Kubuntu Ninja Rohan was on today’s ubuntuonair talking about Plasma 5 and what is happening in Kubuntu.  Watch it now to hear the news.

 

Svetlana Belkin: Ubuntu Leadership Team:Team Leaders Wanted

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-07-29 15:39

On the behalf of the Ubuntu Leadership team, I’m doing a call for the team leaders of the various teams that make Ubuntu and its flavours possible.  The reason for this call is simple- (as a team) to find what problems in that teams’ leadership and what works.  In turn, these problems can be talked about in order for a solution to be found and that solution can be then shared via the Ubuntu Leadership wiki for other folks to read.

What teams are needed:

  • Ubuntu and the flvours developer, translation, marketing, and the other teams that are key to the success
  • LoCo Leaders/Point of Contacts
  • Ubuntu Women Elected Leaders
  • And other team leaders can of course join in!

How to join:

It’s your choice if you want to join the Ubuntu Leadership team on LaunchPad, it’s the the mailing-list that is important!  What you need to put in for your message is: who you are, what team that you are a leader to, what problems in leadership that you are facing or what is working for you, and what sort of questions/comments do you have about the problem that you are facing.  For the subject, your standard new member introduction or maybe say “Leader from [insert team name here]“.

Extra Links:

Ubuntu Leadership mailing-list idea on this


The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 376

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-07-29 04:45

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #376 for the week July 21 – 27, 2014, and the full version is available here.

In this issue we cover:

The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Elizabeth K. Joseph
  • Jose Antonio Rey
  • And many others

If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License

Lubuntu Blog: Lubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-07-28 20:24
It's already available Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS, the first update on Trusty Tahr, a recommended by-default setup for all flavours including, of course, Lubuntu. This comes with extended support (until 2019). Various bugs that required updates are rolled into this update: A bug for btrfs has been found, this is scheduled to be fixed in 14.04.2 A bug affecting Alt-F2 is still present For PPC the bug

Duncan McGreggor: The Future of Programming - Adopting The Functional Paradigm?

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-07-28 13:00
Series Links
Survivors' Breakfast
The previous post covered some thoughts on the future-looking programming themes present at OSCON 2014.
Following that wonderful conference, long-time Open Source advocate, Pythonista, and instructor Steve Holden, was kind enough to host his third annual "OSCON Survivors' Breakfast" with tens of esteemed attendees, speakers, and organizers enjoying great company and conversation, relaxing together after the flurry of conference activity, planning a leisurely day in Portland, and -- most immediately -- having some much-needed breakfast.
The view from the 23rd floor was quite an eyeful, and the conversation ranged across equally panoramic topics. Sitting with Alex Martelli, Anna Ravenscroft, and Katie Miller, the conversation inevitably turned to thoughts programmatical. One thread of the discussion was so compelling, that it helped crystallize this series of blog posts. That was kicked off with Katie's question:
Why [have some large companies] not embraced functional programming to the extent that other large ones have?
Multiple points of discussion spawned from this, some of which still continue. The rest of this post explores these. 

Large Companies?
What constitutes a large company? We settled on discussing Fortune 500 companies, which, by definition are:
  • U.S. Companies
  • Ranked by gross revenue (after adjustments for excise taxes).

Afterwards, I looked up the 2013 top 25 tech companies in the Fortune 500. I've listed them below; in parentheses is the Fortune 500 ranking. After the dash are the functional programming languages used on various company projects -- these are listed only if I have talked to someone who has worked on a project (or interviewed for a job that used the language), or if I have read an article by an employee who has stated that they use the listed language(s) [1].
  1. Apple (6) - Swift, Clojure, Scala
  2. AT&T (11) - Haskell
  3. HP (15) - F#
  4. Verizon Communications (16) - ?
  5. IBM (20) - ?
  6. Microsoft (35) - F#, F*
  7. Comcast (46) - Scala
  8. Amazon (49) - Haskell
  9. Dell (51) - Erlang
  10. Intel (54) - Haskell, SML, PLT Scheme
  11. Google (55) - Haskell [2]
  12. Cisco (60) - ?
  13. Ingram Micro (76) - ?
  14. Oracle (80) - Scala
  15. Avnet (117) - ?
  16. Tech Data (119) - ?
  17. Emerson Electric (123) - ?
  18. Xerox (131) - Scala
  19. EMC (133) - ?
  20. Arrow Electronics (141) - ?
  21. Century Link (150) - ?
  22. Computer Sciences Corp. (176) - ?
  23. eBay (196) - Scala 
  24. TI (218) - ?
  25. Western Digital (222) - ?

The companies which have committed to projects guessed to be of significant business value written with languages of a  include: Apple, HP, and eBay. Possibly also Oracle and Intel. So, a rough estimate of between 3 to 5 of the top 25 U.S. tech companies have made a significant investment in FP.
Why not Google?
The next two sections offer summaries of some views on this.

Ideal Use Case?
Is an FP language suitable for large organisations? Are smaller companies better served by them? During breakfast, It was postulated that dealing with such things as immutable data, handling I/O in pure FP languages, and creating/using higher order functions is easier for small startups due to the shorter amount of time required to hire or train a critical mass of skilled programmers.
It is certainly true that it will take larger organisations longer to train its personnel simply due to sheer numbers and, even with enough trainers, logistics. But this argument can be made for any corporate level of instruction; in my book, this cancels out on both sides and is not an argument unique to hard topics, even less, specifically pertinent to FP adoption.

Brain Fit?
I've heard this one a bit: "Some people just don't think in FP terms." They need loops and iteration, not higher order functions and recursion. Joel Spolsky makes reference to this in his article The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing. In particular, he says that "For some reason most people seem to be born without the part of the brain that understands pointers." This has been applied to topics in FP as well as C.
To be fair, Joel's comment was probably made with a bit of lightness and not meant to be a statement on the nature of mind or a theory of cognition. The context of the article is a very practical one: hiring. When trying to identify whether a programmer would be an asset for your team, you're not living in the space of cognitive theory, rather you inhabit the realm of quick approximations, gut instincts, and fast, economical decisions.
Regardless, I find this perspective -- Type Physicalism [3] -- fairly objectionable. This is because I see it as a kind of intellectual "racism." Early social sciences utilized this form of reasoning to justify all sorts of discriminatory thinking in the name of "science", reinforcing a rigid mentality of "us" vs. "them." In my own experience, I've seen this sort of approach used to shutdown exploration, to enforce elitism, and dismiss ideas that threaten the authority of the status quo.
Rather than seeing the problem of comprehending FP as a physical limitation of the individual, I see instructional failure as the obstacle to overcome. If we start with the proposition that certain brains are deficient, we are essentially abandoning education. It is the responsibility of the instructor to engage creatively with each student's learning style. When adhering to the idea that certain brains are limited, one discards creative engagement; one doesn't even consider working with the students and their learning styles. This is a view that, however implicitly, can be used to shun diversity and dismiss potential.
I believe the essence of what Joel was shooting for can be approached in a much kinder fashion (adapted for an FP discussion):
None of us was born knowing GOTO statements, global state, mutable data, or for loops. There are many programmers alive, though, whose first contact with programming involved one or more of these. That's their "home town", as it were; their programmatic birth place. Having utilized -- as well as taught -- imperative, OOP, and functional styles of programming, I do not feel that one is intrinsically any harder than another. However, they are sometimes so vastly different from each other in style or syntax or semantics that once a student has solidified around the concepts of a particular paradigm, it can be a challenge retraining to work easily in another.

Why the Objections?
If both "ideal use case" and "brain fit" are given as arguments against adopting FP (or any other new paradigm) in large organisations, and neither are considered logically or philosophically valid, what's at the root of the resistance?

It is not uncommon for changes in an industry or field of study to be met with resistance. The bigger or more different the change from the status quo, very often is proportional to the amount of resistance. I suspect that this is really what we're seeing when companies take a stance against FP. There are very often valid business concerns: "we've made an investment in OOP" or "it will cost too much to train/hire/migrate to FP." 
I would remind those company leaders, though, that new sources of revenue, that product innovation and changes in market adoption do not often come from maintaining or enforcing the current state. Instead, that is an identifying characteristic of companies whose relevance is fading.
Even if your company has market dominance or is a monopoly, there is still a good incentive for exploring alternative paradigms. At the very least, one can uncover inefficiencies and apply new knowledge to remove duplication of efforts, increase margins, etc.

Careers
As a manager, I have found that about half of the senior engineers up for promotion have very little to no interest in taking on different (new to them) programmatic paradigms. They consider current burdens sufficient (or too much) and would rather spend what little free time they have available to them in improving existing systems.
Senior engineers who have a more academic or research bent (or are easily bored) are much more likely to embrace this sort of change. Interestingly, senior engineers who have little to no competitive drive will more readily pick up something new if the need arises. This may be due to such things as not perceiving accumulated knowledge as territory to defend, for example.
Younger engineers with less experience (and less of an investment made in a particular school of thought) are much more willing to take on new challenges. I believe there are many reasons for this (including an interest in becoming more professionally competitive with their peers)
Junior or senior, I have found that programmers who are currently looking to find new employment are nearly invariably not only willing to take on the challenge of learning different paradigms, but are usually going about that proactively and engaging in self-study.
I want to work with programmers who can take on any problem space in any paradigm and find creative solutions, contributing as valued members of a team. This is certainly an ideal set of characteristics, but one that I have seen in the wilds of the workplace on multiple occasions. It has nothing to do with FP or OOP paradigms, but rather with the people themselves.
Even if a company is locked into well-established processes and views on programming, they may find it in their best interests to provide a more open-minded approach with their employees who would enjoy that. Their retention rates could very well increase dramatically.

Do We Need To?
Philosophy and hiring strategies aside, do we -- as programmers, software projects, or organizations that support programming -- need to take on the burden of learning or adopting functional programming? Quite possibly not.
If Google's plans around Go involve building a new operating system (in the spirit of 1970s C and UNIX), the systems programmers may find pure functions too cumbersome to work with. FP may be too burdensome a fit for that type of work.
If one is not tied to a historical analogy with UNIX, as Mozilla is not with Rust, doing something like creating a new browser engine (or running a remote services company) may be a good fit for FP, especially if one has data showing reduced error counts when using type systems.
As we shall see illustrated in the next post, the usual advice continues to apply: the decision of which paradigm to employ for any given project should be dictated by the best fit and not ideological inflexibility. The bearing this has on programming is innovation: it is the early adopters who have the best chance of leading us into the future.
Up next: Retrospective on Programming Paradigms
Previously: Themes at OSCON 2014


Footnotes
[1] If anyone has additional information as to which FP languages are used by these top 25 companies, please let me know, and I will include that information. Bonus points for knowing of business-critical applications.
[2] Google Switzerland are using Haskell.
[3] Type Physicality is a form of reductive materialism, also known as the Mind-Brain Identity Theory that does not allow for mental states to be realized in organisms or computational systems that do not have a brain. See "Criticisms of Type Physicality" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_theory_of_mind#Multiple_realizability.

Benjamin Kerensa: Until Next Year CLS!

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-07-28 12:00

Community Leadership Summit 2014 Group Photo

This past week marked my second year helping out as a co-organizer of the Community Leadership Summit. This Community Leadership Summit was especially important because not only did we introduce a new Community Leadership Forum but we also introduced CLSx events and continued to introduce some new changes to our overall event format.

Like previous years, the attendance was a great mix of community managers and leaders. I was really excited to have an entire group of Mozillians who attended this year. As usual, my most enjoyable conversations took place at the pre-CLS social and in the hallway track. I was excited to briefly chat with the Community Team from Lego and also some folks from Adobe and learn about how they are building community in their respective settings.

I’m always a big advocate for community building, so for me, CLS is an event I try and make it to each and every year because I think it is great to have an event for community managers and builders that isn’t limited to any specific industry. It is really a great opportunity to share best practices and really learn from one another so that everyone mutually improves their own toolkits and technique.

It was apparent to me that this year there were even more women than in previous years and so it was really awesome to see that considering CLS is often times heavily attended by men in the tech industry.

I really look forward to seeing the CLS community continue to grow and look forward to participating and co-organizing next year’s event and possibly even kick of a CLSxPortland.

A big thanks to the rest of the CLS Team for helping make this free event a wonderful experience for all and to this years sponsors O’Reilly, Citrix, Oracle, Linux Fund, Mozilla and Ubuntu!

Michael Hall: Who do you contribute to?

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-07-28 12:00

When you contribute something as a member of a community, who are you actually giving it to? The simple answer of course is “the community” or “the project”, but those aren’t very specific.  On the one hand you have a nebulous group of people, most of which you probably don’t even know about, and on the other you’ve got some cold, lifeless code repository or collection of web pages. When you contribute, who is that you really care about, who do you really want to see and use what you’ve made?

In my last post I talked about the importance of recognition, how it’s what contributors get in exchange for their contribution, and how human recognition is the kind that matters most. But which humans do our contributors want to be recognized by? Are you one of them and, if so, are you giving it effectively?

Owners

The owner of a project has a distinct privilege in a community, they are ultimately the source of all recognition in that community.  Early contributions made to a project get recognized directly by the founder. Later contributions may only get recognized by one of those first contributors, but the value of their recognition comes from the recognition they received as the first contributors.  As the project grows, more generations of contributors come in, with recognition coming from the previous generations, though the relative value of it diminishes as you get further from the owner.

Leaders

After the project owner, the next most important source of recognition is a project’s leaders. Leaders are people who gain authority and responsibility in a project, they can affect the direction of a project through decisions in addition to direct contributions. Many of those early contributors naturally become leaders in the project but many will not, and many others who come later will rise to this position as well. In both cases, it’s their ability to affect the direction of a project that gives their recognition added value, not their distance from the owner. Before a community can grown beyond a very small size it must produce leaders, either through a formal or informal process, otherwise the availability of recognition will suffer.

Legends

Leadership isn’t for everybody, and many of the early contributors who don’t become one still remain with the project, and end of making very significant contributions to it and the community over time.  Whenever you make contributions, and get recognition for them, you start to build up a reputation for yourself.  The more and better contributions you make, the more your reputation grows.  Some people have accumulated such a large reputation that even though they are not leaders, their recognition is still sought after more than most. Not all communities will have one of these contributors, and they are more likely in communities where heads-down work is valued more than very public work.

Mentors

When any of us gets started with a community for the first time, we usually end of finding one or two people who help us learn the ropes.  These people help us find the resources we need, teach us what those resources don’t, and are instrumental in helping us make the leap from user to contributor. Very often these people aren’t the project owners or leaders.  Very often they have very little reputation themselves in the overall project. But because they take the time to help the new contributor, and because theirs is very likely to be the first, the recognition they give is disproportionately more valuable to that contributor than it otherwise would be.

Every member of a community can provide recognition, and every one should, but if you find yourself in one of the roles above it is even more important for you to be doing so. These roles are responsible both for setting the example, and keeping a proper flow, or recognition in a community. And without that flow or recognition, you will find that your flow of contributions will also dry up.

Kubuntu: New Kubuntu Plasma 5 Flavour in Testing

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-07-28 10:33
Kubuntu Plasma 5 ISOs have started being built. These are early development builds of what should be a Tech Preview with our 14.10 release in October. Plasma 5 should be the default desktop in a future release.

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

Jonathan Riddell: Kubuntu Plasma 5 ISOs Rolling

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-07-28 10:20
KDE Project:

Your friendly Kubuntu team is hard at work packaging up Plasma 5 and making sure it's ready to take over your desktop sometime in the future. Scarlett has spent many hours packaging it and now Rohan has spent more hours putting it onto some ISO images which you can download to try as a live session or install.

This is the first build of a flavour we hope to call a technical preview at 14.10. Plasma 4 will remain the default in 14.10 proper. As I said earlier it will eat your babies. It has obvious bugs like kdelibs4 theme not working and mouse themes only sometimes working. But also be excited and if you want to make it beautiful we're sitting in #kubuntu-devel having a party for you to join.

I recommend downloading by Torrent or failing that zsync, the server it's on has small pipes.

Default login is blank password, just press return to login.

Rohan Garg: Plasma5 : Now more awesome as a Kubuntu ISO

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-07-28 09:39

The Kubuntu team is proud to announce the immediate availability of the Plasma 5 flavor of the Kubuntu ISO which can be found here. Unlike it’s Neon 5 counterpart , this ISO contains packages made from the stock Plasma 5.0 release . The ISO is meant to be a technical preview of what is to come when Kubuntu switches to Plasma 5 by default in a future release of Kubuntu.

A special note of thanks to the Plasma team for making a rocking release. If you enjoy using KDE as much as we do, please consider donating to Kubuntu and KDE :)

NB: When booting the live ISO up, at the login screen, just hit the login button and you’ll be logged into a Plasma 5 session.


Benjamin Kerensa: Mozilla at O’Reilly Open Source Convention

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-07-28 01:48

Mozililla OSCON 2014 Team

This past week marked my fourth year of attending O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON). It was also my second year speaking at the convention. One new thing that happened this year was I co-led Mozilla’s presence during the convention from our booth to the social events and our social media campaign.

Like each previous year, OSCON 2014 didn’t disappoint and it was great to have Mozilla back at the convention after not having a presence for some years. This year our presence was focused on promoting Firefox OS, Firefox Developer Tools and Firefox for Android.

While the metrics are not yet finished being tracked, I think our presence was a great success. We heard from a lot of developers who are already using our Developer tools and from a lot of developers who are not; many of which we were able to educate about new features and why they should use our tools.

Alex shows attendee Firefox Dev Tools

Attendees were very excited about Firefox OS with a majority of those stopping by asking about the different layers of the platform, where they can get a device, and how they can make an app for the platform.

In addition to our booth, we also had members of the team such as Emma Irwin who helped support OSCON’s Children’s Day by hosting a Mozilla Webmaker event which was very popular with the kids and their parents. It really was great to see the future generation tinkering with Open Web technologies.

Finally, we had a social event on Wednesday evening that was very popular so much that the Mozilla Portland office was packed till last call. During the social event, we had a local airbrush artist doing tattoos with several attendees opting for a Firefox Tattoo.

All in all, I think our presence last week was very positive and even the early numbers look positive. I want to give a big thanks to Stormy Peters, Christian Heilmann, Robyn Chau, Shezmeen Prasad, Dave Camp, Dietrich Ayala, Chris Maglione, William Reynolds, Emma Irwin, Majken Connor, Jim Blandy, Alex Lakatos for helping this event be a success.

Duncan McGreggor: The Future of Programming - Themes at OSCON 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-07-27 21:33
Series Links

A Qualitative OSCON Debrief

As you might have noticed from the OSCON Twitter-storm this year, the conference was a blast. Even if you weren't physically present, given the 17 tracks, you can imagine that the presentations -- and subsequent conversations -- were deeply varied.

This was the second OSCON I'd attended; the first was was in 2008 as a guest of Michael Bernstein, a friend who was speaking there. OSCON 2008 was a zoo - I'm not sure of the actual body count, but I've heard that attendees + vendors + miscellaneous topped 12,000 people over the course of the week (I would love to hear if someone has hard data on that -- googling didn't reveal much). OSCON 2008 was dominated by Big Data, Hadoop, and what seemed like endless posturing by all sorts. The most interesting bits of that conference were the outlines that formed around the conversations people weren't having. In fact, over the following 6 months, that's what I spent my spare time pondering: what people didn't say at OSCON.

This year's conference seemed like a completely different animal. It felt like easily 1/2 to 1/3rd the number of attendees in 2008. Where that had all the anonymizing feel of rush-hour in a major metropolitan hub, OSCON 2014 had a distinctly small-town vibe to it -- I was completely charmed. Conversations (overheard as well as participated in) were not littered with buzzwords, but rather focused on essence. The interactions were not continually distracted, but rather focused, allowing people to form, express, and dispute complete thoughts with their peers.


Conversations

So what were people talking about? Here are some of the topics I heard covered during lunches, in hallways, and at podiums; at pubs, in restaurants and at parks:
  • What communities are thriving?
  • Which [projects, organisations, companies, etc.] are treating their people right?
  • What successful processes are being followed at [project, organisation, etc.]?
  • Who is hiring and why should someone want to work there?
  • Where can I go to learn X? Who is teaching X? Who shares the most about X?
  • Which [projects, organisations] support X?
  • Why don't more [people, projects, organisations] care about [possible future X]?
  • Why don't more [people, projects, organisations] spend more time investigating the history of X for "lessons learned"?
  • There was so much more X in computing during the 60s and 70s -- what happened? [1]
  • Why are we reinventing X?
  • When is X going to be invented, and who's going to do it?
  • Everything is changing! I can't keep up anymore.
  • I want to keep up, but how?
  • Why can't we stop making so many X?
  • Nobody cares about Y anymore; we're all doing X now.
  • Full stack developers!
  • Haskell!
  • Fault-tolerant systems!

(It goes without saying that any one attendee couldn't possibly be exposed to enough conversations to form a perfectly accurate sense of the total distribution of conversation topics. No claim to the contrary is being made here :-))
After lots of reflection, here's how I classified most of the conversations I heard:
  • Developing communities,
  • Developing careers and/or personal/professional qualities, and
  • Developing software, 

along lines such as:
  • Effective maintenance, maturity, and health,
  • Focusing on the "art",  eventual mastery, and investments of time,
  • Tempering bare pragmatism with something resembling science or academic excellence,
  • Learning the new to bolster the old,
  • Inspiring innovation from a place of contemplation and analysis,
  • Mining the past for great ideas, and
  • Figuring out how to better share and spread the adoption of good ideas.


Themes

Generalized to such a degree, this could have been pretty much any congregation of interested, engaged minds since the dawn of civilization. So what does it look like if we don't normalize quite so much? Weighing these with what may well be my own bias (and the bias of like-minded peers), I submit to your review these themes:

  • A very strong interest in programming (thinking and creating) vs. integration (assessing and consuming).
  • An express desire to become better at abstraction (higher-order functions, composition, and types) to better deal with growing systems complexities.
  • An interest in building even more complicated systems.
  • A fear of reimplementing past mistakes or of letting dust gather on past intellectual achievements.

As you might have guessed, these number very highly among the reasons why the conference was such an unexpected pleasure for me. But it should also not come as a surprise that these themes are present:

  • We have had several years of companies such as Google and Amazon (AWS) building and deploying some of the most sophisticated examples of logic-made-manifest in human history. This has created perceived value in our industry and many wish to emulate it. Similarly, we have single purpose distributed systems being purchased for nearly 20 billion USD -- a different kind of complexity, with a different kind of perceived reward.
  • In the 70s and 80s, OOP adoption brought with it the ability to create large software systems in ways that people had not dared dream or were impractical to realize. Today's growing adoption of the Functional paradigm is giving early signs of allowing us to better integrate complex systems with more predictability and fewer errors.
  • Case studies of improvements in productivity or the capacity to handle highly complex or previously intractable problems with better abstractions, has ignited the passions of many. Not wanting to limit their scope of knowledge or sources of inspiration, people are not simply limiting themselves to the exploration of such things as Category Theory -- they are opening the vaults of computer science with such projects as Papers We Love.


There's a brave new world in the making. It's a world for programmers and thinkers, for philosophers and makers. There's a lot to learn, but it's really not so different from older worlds: the same passions drive us, the same idealism burns brightly. And it's nice to see that these themes arise not only in small, highly specialized venues such as university doctoral programs and StrangeLoop (or LambdaJam), but also in larger intersections of the industry like OSCON (or more general-audience ones like Meetups).

Up next: Adopting the Functional Paradigm?
PreviouslyAn Overview


Footnotes

[1] I strongly adhere to the multifaceted hypothesis proposed by Bret Victor here in the section titled "Why did all these ideas happen during this particular time period?"


Duncan McGreggor: The Future of Programming - An Overview

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-07-27 21:31
Art by Philip StraubThere's a new series of blog posts coming, inspired by on-going conversations with peers, continuous inspection of the development landscape, habitual navel-gazing, and participation at the catalytic OSCON 2014. As you might have inferred, these will be on the topic of "The Future of Programming."

Not to be confused with Bret Victor's excellent talk last year at DBX, these posts will be less about individual technologies or developer user experience, and more about historic trends and viewing the present (and near future) through such a lense.

In this mini-series, the aim is to present posts on following topics:

I did a similar set of posts, conceived in late 2008 and published in 2009 on the future of cloud computing entitled After the Cloud. In general, it was a very successful series and the cloud industry seems to be heading towards some of the predictions made in it -- ZeroVM and Docker are an incremental step towards the future of distributed processes/functions outlined in To Atomic Computation and Beyond
In that post, though, are two quotes from industry greats; these provide an excellent context for this series as well, hinting at an overriding theme:
  • Alan Kay, 1998: A crucial key to growing large systems is effective communications between components.
  • Joe Armstrong, 2004: To effectively model and solve problems in a distributed manner, we need concurrency... this is made easier when we isolate processes and do not share data.

In the decade since these statements were made, we have seen individuals, projects, and companies take that vision to heart -- and succeeding as a result. But as an industry, we continue to struggle with the definition of our art; we still are tormented by change -- both from within and externally -- and do not seem to adapt to it well.
These posts will peer into such places ... in the hope that such inspection might guide us better through the tangled forest of our present into the unimagined forest of our future.
Up next: Themes at OSCON 2014 ...


Xubuntu: Xubuntu 14.04.1 released

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 2014-07-25 18:55

Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

The Xubuntu team is pleased to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 14.04.1 Xubuntu 14.04 is an LTS (Long-Term Support) release and will be supported for 3 years. This is the first Point Release of it’s cycle.

The final release images are available as Torrents and direct downloads at http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/trusty/release/

As the main server will be very busy in the first days after the release, we recommend using the Torrents wherever possible.

For support with the release, navigate to Help & Support for a complete list of methods to get help.

Bug fixes for the first point release
  • Black screen after wakeup from suspending by closing the laptop lid. (1303736)
  • Light Locker blanks the screen when playing video. (1309744)
  • Include MenuLibre 2.0.4, which contains many fixes. (1323405)
  • The documentation is now attributed to the Translators.
Highlights, changes and known issues

The highlights of this release include:

  • Light Locker replaces xscreensaver for screen locking, a setting editing GUI is included
  • The panel layout is updated, and now uses Whiskermenu as the default menu
  • Mugshot is included to allow you to easily edit your personal preferences
  • MenuLibre for menu editing, with full Xfce support, replaces Alacarte
  • A community wallpapers package, which includes work from the five winners of the wallpaper contest
  • GTK Theme Config to customize your desktop theme colors
  • Updated artwork, including various enhancements to themes as well as a new default wallpaper

Some of the known issues include:

  • Window manager shortcut keys don’t work after reboot (1292290)
  • Sorting by date or name not working correctly in Ristretto (1270894)
  • Due to the switch from xscreensaver to light-locker, some users might have issues with timing of locking; removing xscreensaver from the system should fix these problems
  • IBus does not support certain keyboard layouts (1284635). Only affects upgrades with certain keyboard layouts. See release notes for a workaround.

To see the complete list of new features, improvements and known and fixed bugs, read the release notes.

Ronnie Tucker: Ladies and gentlemen, Full Circle #87 has arrived.

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 2014-07-25 16:47


This month:

* Command & Conquer
* How-To : Python, LibreOffice, and GRUB2.
* Graphics : Inkscape.
* Book Review: Puppet
* Security – TrueCrypt Alternatives
* CryptoCurrency: Dualminer and dual-cgminer
* Arduino
plus: Q&A, Linux Labs, Ubuntu Games, and Ubuntu Women.

Get it while it’s hot!
http://fullcirclemagazine.org/issue-87/

Canonical Design Team: Bringing Fluid Motion to Browsing

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 2014-07-25 11:42

In the previous Blog Post, we looked at how we use the Recency principle to redesign the experience around bookmarks, tabs and history.
In this blog post, we look at how the new Ubuntu Browser makes the UI fade to the background in favour of the content. The design focuses on physical impulse familiarity – “muscle memory” – by marrying simple gestures to the two key browser tasks, making the experience feel as fluid and simple as flipping through a magazine.

 

Creating a new tab

For all new browsers, the approach to the URI Top Bar that enables searching as well as manual address entry has made the “new tab” function more central to the experience than ever. In addition, evidence suggests that opening a new tab is the third of the most frequently used action in browser. To facilitate this, we made opening a new tab effortless and even (we think) a bit fun.
By pulling down anywhere on the current page, you activate a sprint loaded “new tab” feature that appears under the address bar of the page. Keep dragging far enough, and you’ll see a new blank page coming into view. If you release at this stage, a new tab will load ready with the address bar and keyboard open as well as an easy way to get to your bookmarks. But, if you change your mind, just drag the current page back up or release early and your current page comes back.

http://youtu.be/zaJkNRvZWgw

 

Get to your open tabs and recently visited sites

Pulling the current page downward can create a new blank tab, and conversely dragging the bottom edge upward shows you already open tabs ordered by recency that echoes the right edge “open apps” view.

If you keep on dragging upward without releasing, you can dig even further into the past with your most recently visited pages grouped by site in a “history” list. By grouping under the site domain name, it’s easier to find what you’re looking for without thumbing through hundreds of individual page URLs. However, if you want all the detail, tap an item in the list to see your complete history.


It’s not easy to improve upon such a well-worn application as the browser, it’s true. We’re hopeful that by adding new fluidity to creating, opening and switching between tabs, our users will find that this browsing experience is simpler to use, especially with one hand, and feels more seamless and fluid than ever.

 

 

Kubuntu: Kubuntu 14.04 LTSUpdate Out

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 2014-07-25 10:35

The first update to our LTS release 14.04 is out now. This contains all the bugfixes added to 14.04 since its first release in April. Users of 14.04 can run the normal update procedure to get these bufixes.

See the 14.04.1 release announcement.

Download 14.04.1 images.

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