Monthly Archives: November 2011

UDS-P Day 5

UDS-P Day 5

It’s a sad day, it’s the last day, and I’m still running around like a headless chicken trying to get to meet people I’ve not seen or need to resolve some issues which have come up during the week with the people that are there and in hands reach! Today was the day we confirmed and finalised action items, a day to say goodbye to old and new friends I’ve gotten to know this week.  It’s been great!

The final day kicked off with hanging out in the folks in the community round table. During this final round table  we got around to summarising  many of the topics that we will aim to focus during the Precise cycle and these are the areas we will focus on and get behind and work on.

  • Create and  share opportunities for all levels of skills to help everyone make Ubuntu great.
  • Support , motivate and encourage our leaders and governors to be successful to deliver leadership that furthers the community.
  • Create a better environment of gratitude and appreciation towards our community and Canonical
  • Have a constructive critical environment, where you protect it against anti-social and unconstructive behaviour.
  • Make sure our community are approachable to help our community to contribute and be successful, he us to help others.
Next up was the Community Bug Involvement session, I found this interesting as a person who has done testing  both in my day job and in Ubuntu. There are a few reasons why this session took place, but it boils down to people assume issues are bugs, not everyone realises it could be a configuration issue or something else not working. It’s not a bug till it is confirmed a bug.
  1. Firstly to get involved people are pointed to the ReportingBugs page when they want to report a bug and told to go from there.
  2. It’s not easy to read, it’s long winded, and it’s not really user friendly to understand.
  3. As we grow more people start to use the bug tracker not just to log bugs but this is where they are going to get support which is because they don’t know the issue between a bug and an issue and they don’t know where else to ask for help.
We looked at ways to make support easier to find and shortening the basic ReportingBugs page, all the information is there, but it just spans a very long page and people are not using it correctly.

I attended the next session Ubuntu Accomplishments and Trophies out of curiorsity as me personally I don’t like trophies but was interested in what was being planned and discussed.  The idea being that there would be a number of goals that could be achieved by people but not all people could ever unlock the achievement , but also there would be no pressure put on a person or a team to take part. I’m still not overly convinced on it’s merits but I am interested to see how it pans out.  I can see how they want to drive motivation in the community, but I’m not sure how dangling a carrot in front of people will work. I do wonder will it breed an over competitiveness between some people which could be good, but it could also lead to demonstration to others which is my big fear.

I did some more LoCo Council work for the next session as it’s been very good being here and able to meet people who had questions and it’s nice to bounce ideas off one another and help them with some of the issues they are dealing with.
After lunch today I got to meet and hang out with the Community Council today for an informal met up and come up with a plan for the cycle.  It’s no different from any other governing body and it’s nice to have some goals  to achieve.  If we have nothing to aim for  we won’t improve.  The CC is full of new blood and as leadership was a massive topic at UDS we’re going to be looking at that by bringing each board/council in for a monthly check up over the cycle and just checking in our leaders to make sure things are running smoothly and if we can help in any way offer assistance.

My final sessions was Ubuntu Government Campaigning, this topic came up in Mondays session and Alan Bell had done a brain dump into the etherpad.  It was a good informal discussion where we learned how other teams had been successful in getting Ubuntu into schools.  It was good to hear peoples ideas, and we did think having more case studies of successful stories out there to help locoteams and also encourage new people to try it in their business.  How best LoCo teams could attract and talk to local government representatives, talking to them about Ubuntu and showing them the case studies.

That was it, sessions were all over. The week has flown past.  We had a final wrap up session kicked off  by Jono Bacon who led a moment of silence for André Gondim.  I did find it slightly odd not to hear from all the track leads as usual to hear their plans for the coming cycle from the work they had decided this week.  We did hear from Arm, Desktop and Server, Rick and Jono which was great to hear the plans they are going to be focusing on.

There was an after party, ice cream and hugs goodbye to friends old and new and it was lovely to be here this week.  The week has come and gone so fast but also been really productive and I look forward to the coming months and seeing how the community are going to work on future plans!
Photos from the party are on pix.ie

Members of the Ubuntu LoCo Council

UDS-P Day 4

UDS-P Day 4

Can’t believe the week is almost past, it’s been great fun, really intense at times at sessions, exhausting and brilliant all in one go. People don’t seem to understand you’re in sessions from 9am – 6pm, you start talking and interacting with people from breakfast through lunch and then hang out in the evening.  It can be mentally draining, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for which I am grateful to be here to experience.

This morning at the  round table we started discussing and choosing the  subjects for the Leadership Mini-Summit later on so as to make it more productive. We then spent the rest of the session talk about the BuildingCommunity pages. For me I see them as a collection of pages linking to the main page which is translated, landing on this page it is not currently translated which cuts off a large chunk of the community.  Another concern raised was were they being maintained and how up to date the information realy was. There were some thoughts on could we see if we could find out the stats for those wiki pages and see how often they are used, or change the wiki in some way to allow button type responses. Not entirely sure how this would work.

Next session for me was a hallway session, I was able to catch up with Matthew Garret who I had not properly spoken to since SkyCon back in 2007 so that was rather nice to be able to do.

It was great to be able to have a 2nd LoCo Council session at UDS as it was needed to sit down with people and finalise the last two topics we needed to discuss that have been mentioned on IRC for the last 6 months on 1-1 basis and I really wanted them aired and discussed in public to get a community solution one way or another.  One of the main discussions in this session was the discussion of language-based (locale) teams in the LoCo Team Portal (Locale V LoCo). These teams are translation teams and  don’t have a physically shared location as they could be anywhere in the world they also don’t come under the governance of the LoCo Council.

We all agreed that they will remain in the LTP in spite of not being a LoCo team  with the possibility of  adding a new section on the teams page under this heading to avoid confusion. The second topic which has been on my mind for some time as I’m trying to think past the 6 month goal and plan for the future of LoCo teams and put in measures now to help them in the future so being proactive rather than reactive to the growth of teams.  The  proposal to review some of the larger countries and allow more localised LoCo teams like the United States  which has teams based on states, they all still fall under the parent team. I’m really happy everyone thought this was a good way to proceed I do appreciate people will wonder what is happening.  The idea is to use a teams geographic state/province boundaries and create teams in those areas, and if like USA there is nobody there then no team will be created, however it could be and will be as can be see from USA the driving power behind some new LoCo team blood being created which is good for everyone.

Final session before lunch was Community Participation in user experience this session was talking about the Design team and community involvement. This session followed the one earlier in the week about developing a User Experience that a community team could focus on, so they will be blogging about it more and those features will be on multiple places to read such as the  Ubuntu Fridge and Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter.  There was also a great idea to identify some people who would be willing to help with this community team.

The afternoon was the Leadership summit and having already pre defined the topics made it more productive, but I did find some of the sessions weren’t as focused as others and didn’t stick to the timings which made it difficult at times, so I think having a strong driving person keeping people on track is really necessary.

We discussed the following items and I found it personally interesting hearing the different views on theses areas from people in the room coming from different backgrounds, some in governance and some not and others using work life as an examples leads for lot for food for thought.

  • Growing Motivation
  • Canonical <-> Community Leadership Connection
  • Role of the Canonical Community Team
  • Role of the Community Council
  • Leadership Futures with a growing community
  • How do we grow leaders
Last night we ended up in down town Disney for dinner as I really wanted to eat in Planet Hollywood!  Thanks to Martin Bogomolni who drove  myself, Penelope Stowe, Scott Richie and Elizabeth Krumbach down there for dinner. After dinner we decided t talk a short stroll and walk off the dinner and cocktails and I suggested the  Characters in Flight tethered balloon, now first you must understand something, I am scared shitless of heights and go in planes with no issues, glass elevators and escalators do make me very nervous so I’m trying to get over my fear by trying new things. It was amazing being up so high even if it was a bit bumpy and I perhaps may have sworn a little wee bit on going up, but once we were at the top and stationary looking out over Disney I was able to settle a bit. We were really fortunate to be able to see the fireworks coming both Magic Kingdom and Epcot for the closing ceremonies!  We even ended up being the last ride of the night due to the winds starting to pick up so kudos to me to manage a bumpy ride, not fall out and not pass out!
laura and pen in the character balloon at down town disney

UDS-P Day 3

UDS-P Day 3

The week is flying by and it’s been great to meet new people  I’m really trying to make an effort to sit with new people at breakfast so I can talk about new topics where possible and I do think it’s important to mix it up and meet new people.

I do like having the continuity of having the Community round table sessions each morning and we’re getting some topics discussed that don’t necessarily need a full session, or we are taking the time to plan future sessions later in the week which does help make them more productive.  We have spent a long time discussing the Community Survey results and looking at the feedback which was sent which is worth reading and also to note that this was the Ubuntu members thoughts on the project who are currently active and replied.

The next session for me was talking to Ubuntu attendees and seeing how they are doing and learning what they are planning for the coming cycle which is interesting for me as I’m probably not going to attend a Server or a start up boot session so me talking to them so hall session for me which is good as it’s nice to put the face to the name that I’m interacting with via bugs or on IRC. Today I met Curtis Horvey from the Launchpad team about a bug I’m having issues with and he and I and Mat Revell were able to bouce ideas off one another and possibly come up with a plan B.

Next sit down session for me was the LoCo Team Portal (LTP ) formally the LoCo Directory(LD), was a really  a what you want to see in the LTP that can be possibly developed given the current shortage of developers. Some ideas that were thrown out were replacing Google Maps with OSM, creating a page of where to send people so they can get started on development as the lads are doing a great job but clearly if people want more features but we don’t have enough folks helping them, so if you’re a Python developer please come and help, join #ubuntu-website and volunteer.

The Design and Community round table has been one of my favorite sessions so far.  As far as I can see the design team have a bad name which in my opinion is really unjust.  People really need to realise that design != unity there is a lot more work they do.  I really appreciated them reaching out and wanting to listen to the feedback from community people. So kudos to them!  They have a fantastic detailed blog covering lots of different ideas on their blog and it’s really worth reading.  One great thing that came from that session was creating a channel and mailing list that better describes the design team, so instead of Ayatana you would have ubuntu-design or ubuntu-design-discuss on mailing list and getting the message across that Ayatana is not just unity but there is the design team there.

Reducing Community Bickering is session that came about as a result of the Ubuntu Community Survey (here) began with discussing how to deal with the demotivating nonconstructive criticism on blogs. Me personally while I find the blog comments bad, I find the mailing lists worse from high up people in the Ubuntu community, I find that far more demotivating and frustrating.  When is a good time to step in and diffuse the situation as sometimes coming in too soon can not help also depending on steps in will or won’t resolve issues.

Penelope Stowe is doing a great job with the a11y team and it’s interesting to learn the difficulties people face when simple changes happen or how one new feature can really break a system when a11y issues are not considered.  The Accessibility Team are doing a great job and if you want to join in and help, they’d love people to help with packaging if you can.

Final session for the day was the Leadership Team Session, which I mostly went to sit in but did find extremely frustating, annoying and in the end I ended up having to bite my tongue as I felt I wasn’t being listened to. Which is not a good way to start.  I was under the impression it wasn’t a team more of a focus group, now it seems really formal, not really including the actual governing bodies, and most of the documentation is now on a Google doc being sent off to a locoteam to write, when surely if locoteams issues are being written would it not make more sense to ask the loco council to write that as they deal with it 24/7. My only saving grace is I’m not the only one in the boat who is thinking this way from the session and feeling frustrated.  google documents are great but not what we use in the community use to collaborate on, I wish it was coming from the councils down first.  Also calling it a team in itself was not what I thought it was all about so now they are talking about changing the name. who knows we shall see and keep following the progress of it all.