community

Orlando and UDS-P, Here I Come!

This blog post is the fourth in a series of many that I will be posting about UDS, the Ubuntu Developer Summit. It is inspired by "Is This The World We Created" by Queen.

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A short hop from Vancouver to Seattle while the west coast slept, and here I am sitting in the "beautiful" Sea-Tac Airport. In a few minutes I'll be on the jet headed for Orlando.

Seattle (my home for 5 years before moving to Vancouver) brings back a lot of memories for me, many happy, some sad. So it's always a trip down memory lane to be here. And. even though it's just a short layover, I'm reminded of all the times and trips I took from this airport and the people I took them with. (I must say, I miss them all.)

Okay. Enough reminiscing. We have free software to build and to bring to the masses. And, we don't have much time to do it.

"Is this the world we created?" Someday we'll be able to ask that question and smile with the response.

See you in Orlando tonight! If you want to find me, just look for the guy in the Vancouver t-shirt, generating maximum buzz.

Raging About Things in Non-Constructive Ways

This blog post is the third in a series of many that I will be posting about UDS, the Ubuntu Developer Summit. It is inspired by "Is This The World We Created" by Queen.

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Today's theme is rage.

Exhibit A: "Why Ubuntu 11.10 fills me with rage" (or "Mr. Shuttleworth, Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.")

Exhibit B:"Disunited" or "Please stop wrecking Ubuntu."

What is driving the apparent rage that rhymes with "{Some aspect of} Ubuntu sucks and I'm unhappy and I am so outta here. How dare they"?

I think the answer is nearly self-evident:
We (by we, I mean the majority) are immersed in a culture where "software is done TO us by those we don't know" and we are used to that paradigm. There are few counter-examples in the technology industry to draw from. People are struggling as the proprietary technology world clamps more tightly every day.

There is a new paradigm taking root in the world, and many people reading this blog are a part of it. This paradigm is one where "software is done FOR us BY us."

To all the ragers, in Ubuntu there is no THEY. There is only US. Unity is not only software but is also a concept. Ubuntu is not only software but is also an ethos.

Now, let's come together as one and make great software.

UDS is the place to do it. I hope you'll join your community and focus your energy in constructive places like UDS.

Blueprints Can Change the World

This blog post is the second in a series of many that I will be posting about UDS, the Ubuntu Developer Summit. It is inspired by "Is This The World We Created" by Queen.

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Yesterday, I challenged you to participate in the growth of Ubuntu (the project). When we all participate to our fullest capability and with positive intent, Ubuntu (the product, the platform, and the project) gets better.

The Ubuntu Developer Summit begins next Monday Oct 31. Leading up to that, Ubuntu contributors around the world create, review, and refine the blueprints that will drive the development of Ubuntu into the next cycle. Then, beginning Monday, they gather in meeting rooms (both physically and virtually) to discuss and make decisions.

All blueprints are public and are posted here:

https://blueprints.launchpad.net/sprints/uds-p

Here's something important: Blueprints are not only about code. Ubuntu is not just software. Ubuntu is also a thriving, lively, and fun community. So, many of the blueprints you'll see are about community and making it the best in the world.

Community blueprints are public and posted here.

Have you reviewed the blueprints? Have you created any? Do you have a serious gripe with Ubuntu? Do you have the next "killer feature" in your mind that would help take Ubuntu mainstream? We (the Ubuntu community) need you to speak up.

Help change the world, one blueprint at a time.

Is This the World We Created?

This blog post is inspired by "Is This The World We Created" by Queen.

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Ubuntu (the project) is collaborative. We all make it what it is. Many of you know that, but I still encounter people on a daily basis both online and off who have not realized this (yet). I often hear gripes about Ubuntu not being this or that, but I don't hear enough constructive discussion and "creation" of the Ubuntu we want.

Let's change that. Ubuntu is what we make it. Do you want to live in a world where you have no say in your technology? (Redmond and Cupertino come to mind. I've been to both, and they're *not* fun.)

So, why post this now? Well, we're coming up to the Ubuntu Developer Summit (Precise Pangolin edition) where the future of Ubuntu will be discussed.

The Ubuntu community (of developers, designers, artists, advocates, community leaders, translators, managers, documenters, hackers, and others) comes together at UDS-P to collaborate. To do this they use Blueprints. The Blueprints are public and are posted here:

https://blueprints.launchpad.net/sprints/uds-p

Please take a look. Read through them. See what the Blueprints say. Add your thoughts. Join the discussion. Help change the world.

Instant Ubuntu Group: Just Add Water

Opening salvo: Posts on a mailing list asking for technical help are indicative of a broken local community.

A thought experiment: What if each one of us who post to mailing lists, forums, and other online places to ask for Ubuntu help were to do one extra thing: State your town/city in the post?

An extension: What if each tech-savvy person encountering a plea for help in their (now recognizable) town/city were to offer assistance over a coffee/tea, in person.

The result: Instant formation of a new Ubuntu group in your town. Ubuntu becomes more fun! Parties!

The pleasant side effect: Less chatter and noise about Ubuntu problems, errors, bugs, and Unity-hate on the interwebs.

It only takes two people and 20 minutes to start an Ubuntu group in your town. I hope you'll give it a try. JUST ADD WATER!

...from Vancouver.

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image (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) eraine

My Ubuntu Open Week Session

This morning I presented "Contributing to Ubuntu at a Local Level: A Roadmap" as part of the ever-popular and inspiring Ubuntu Open Week.

This session was for anyone who wants to make a difference and help move the Ubuntu project forward without writing a single line of computer code (unless you want to.)

The punch line: Find a group. Start a group. Grow a group. Have more fun!

The much-sought-after and often-controversial session logs are here:

http://irclogs.ubuntu.com/2011/10/17/%23ubuntu-classroom.html#t15:00

I hope you enjoy! And if you were there, I hope you enjoyed :P

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Special thanks to everyone who was there, especially the rockin' Ubuntu Classroom Team, and the ever-friendly Open Week organizers Amber Graner and Jorge Castro!

Diaspora. Join Us!

In a previous post, I declared the site that likes to throw BOOKs at people's FACEs to be dead. Though that may be a premature statement, I think we've got a shot.

Just like Ubuntu has a Bug #1 that will be fixed in my lifetime, so will Diaspora (or something very similar to it) fix the current sorry state of centralized data collection.

Join Diaspora. Liberate Your Social NetworkJoin Diaspora. Liberate Your Social Network

Diaspora is not done yet. In fact, it has only just begun. And, it needs us to help make it awesome, just like Ubuntu.

Want to join Diaspora and see what all the fuss is about? Send me an email: randall at executiv dot es and I'll send you an invitation. Easy stuff.

Ubuntu developers: I'd love to get rolling on tighter integration of social networks like Diaspora with Ubuntu. If this appeals to you too, please send me a note and let's start changing the world.

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Thanks everyone who already emailed me. You should all have your invites now and be enjoying Diaspora. Please remember to share the fun with your family and loved ones too. Diaspora thrives when everyone is there.

Facebook is Dead

This has been a long time coming.

Good riddance Facebook. You will not be missed.

Join Diaspora. Liberate Your Social NetworkJoin Diaspora. Liberate Your Social Network

Yes, this is a re-post. I didn't realize that the Alpha was closed. Want an invite? Send me an email: randall at executiv dot es

Ubuntu Software Center: Streamline Your Software Experience

Welcome to the continuing story about what happens when an Ubuntu local community meets great software and decides to help make it more accessible.

The Ubuntu Vancouver Local Community believes that one barrier to the widespread adoption of Ubuntu's ethos and its collection of outstanding software is a shortage of well-written and accessible user guides. Guides that make people say "Wow! I didn't know Ubuntu is that easy. I didn't know Ubuntu could make my life easier and more fun!"

The Ubuntu Software Center is one of the most important components of Ubuntu. It's the entry point for new users into the universe of excellent software that is written with freedom in mind. It's our delivery channel. It's an Ubuntu first (now copied by a fruit company), and it's full of amazing.

With that in mind, back in the winter of 2011 I set out to catalyze the creation of the first comprehensive guide to the Ubuntu Software Center written primarily for the benefit of those coming from the world of proprietary, community-less software where random apps are downloaded from random web sites. My second small spark to hopefully light a massive bonfire. (Unity was the first in this one-two punch.)

With the help of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) we, Charlene Tessier and I, identified a talented technical writer, Courtney Loo, to partner with us and to help new users get software the easy and fun way.

Many months later, dozens of edits, a few curve-balls thrown at us by the world, and here we are! I am happy to announce that our first Ubuntu Software Center guide is complete and ready for you and the people you know that are new to Ubuntu. The creation of this guide really was a second labour of love, and I hope the results will speak accordingly.

Get a copy here. Read it. But more importantly, give our guide to someone who is trapped on the other side. They are stuck and they need our help. This guide is really more for them:

Credits

Please join me in thanking Courtney Loo and Charlene Tessier for their terrific effort. And, please send them a note.

Special thanks to the Ubuntu Software Center Team for making USC a delight.

This guide is dedicated to Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt), Ubuntu visionary. Thank you for helping to make the world a better place.

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Want to Help?

All Ubuntu community members are invited to help make UVLC's guides even better and to help get them into the hands of even more people. The Ubuntu Software Center team needs you, and so does your own Ubuntu local community. Join one today and help change the world.

Unity. Simplify Your Life.

Welcome to the continuing story about what happens when an Ubuntu local community meets great software and decides to help make it more accessible.

The Ubuntu Vancouver Local Community believes that one barrier to the widespread adoption of Ubuntu's ethos and its collection of outstanding software is a shortage of well-written and accessible user guides. Guides that make people say "Wow! I didn't know Ubuntu is that easy. I didn't know Ubuntu could do that!".

Unity is most new users' entry point into Ubuntu, and first impressions count. Unity is the ethos of Ubuntu. Unity is our "secret sauce".

With that in mind, back in the winter of 2011 I set out to catalyze the creation of the first comprehensive guide to Unity on Ubuntu written for the benefit of a person that had previously been trapped in the world of proprietary, community-less software. My small spark to hopefully light a bonfire.

With the help of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) we, Charlene Tessier and yours truly, identified a talented technical writer, Pritpaul Bains, to partner with us and to help new users adopt Ubuntu, not only in Vancouver, but everywhere on earth.

After many months of blood, sweat, and tears (literally), I am happy to announce that our first Unity guide is complete and ready for your enjoyment. The creation of this guide really was a labour of love, and I hope the results will speak accordingly.

Get a copy here. Read it. But more importantly, give our guide to someone who is trapped on the other side. This guide is really more for them:

Credits

Please join me in thanking Pritpaul Bains and Charlene Tessier for a job well done. Please send them a note.

Special thanks to Jason Smith, Manish Sinha, Rick Spencer, and Jorge
Castro for their contributions to this document.

Special thanks to the Unity Team for making Unity amazing.

This guide is dedicated to Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu visionary and founder of the Ubuntu project. From the bottom of our hearts thank you for making the world a better place.

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Want to Help?

All Ubuntu community members are invited to help make UVLC's guides even better and to help get them into the hands of even more people. Unity needs you, and so does your own Ubuntu local community. Join one today and help change the world.

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