Friendly Kubuntu Team [UDS Edition]

This blog post is dedicated to the most awesomest, most fantastic, most imaginative, most enjoyable and most friendly team I ever had the pleasure working with – The Kubuntu Team.

Last week I had the opportunity to meet some of these fine contributors at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, held in Orlando, FL. Thanks to Canonical for sponsoring and organizing the event.

For five years or so I have been contributing to Ubuntu and Kubuntu, yet this UDS was the very first one I was able to attend. Suffice to say I was very much looking forward to it. But even with the doubtlessly high expectations I had, the Kubuntu team managed to amaze me, made me speechless and at times even see the greatness of our fantastic Linux distribution from a whole new angle.

So many things happened in just one week that I am right now, as I am writing this very line, afraid that I will end up rambling over a couple thousand words about stuff that might seem boring to everyone who was not there. I will do my best to not let this happen, but in case it does please take at least the following from this blog post: I ❤ Kubuntu and I ❤ the Kubuntu Team.

First let me outline the general daily work schedule for UDS:

  • UDS schedule starts
  • Apachelogger consumes vast amount of coffee
  • Discussion until everyone got a sore throat or apacheloggers passes out from all the caffeine
  • Lunch
  • Apachelogger goes crazy and asks Riddell to schedule more sessions
  • Discussion until everyone got a sore throat again or apachelogger passes out from all the caffeine
  • UDS schedule ends
  • Everyone rushes to entertainment
  • Apachelogger tries to get ScottK to say “It is late, we should go to bed.”
  • Sleep at some point

I’ll cover (some) discussed topics in separated blog posts, here I really want to focus on the Community Building we did. Yes, I also make evening entertainment about work 😛

I arrived Sunday late in the evening, and after getting rid of my luggage I met with quite a few Ubuntu people in the hotel’s bar. Very awesome to meet the whole gang!

Yes we met Mickey!!! zOMG!! *faint*

Rodrigo, Harald, Rohan, Dylan and Pluto

Dylan, Jussi, Rodrigo, Rohan and yours truly set out to Walt Disney’s EPCOT park with the targets of having fun and getting me to meet Mickey. After 20 minutes waiting in an uberlong queue we at least archived the latter. However the pic is not terribly great and (c) by Disney, so I shall instead promote our self-made picture with Pluto (also Pluto I always found much better than Mickey anyway). Other than that we had pretty much had a truly terrific evening and I am sure that Dylan is jealous of me for having such a magnificent team, now if only he wanted to join us additionally to his awesome activities in the ubiquity slideshow magic, since it is terribly easy anyway 😀

At the end of the week it seems very common to throw a party. Simply called “UDS Party”.

Rohan, Jussi and Jonathan partying

What a crazy party this was, not entirely unrelated to the fact that we were supposed to dress up as movie characters. While not many of our large Ubuntu community actually focused on the “movie” part I spotted quite some interesting costumes. For example Rohan dressed up as Indian and Jonathan as Scot. Very surprising I must say.

I personally went for something more edgy: A Disney Mouse Princess who’s on the UDS crew…

Martin going WTF about my outfit…

Apparently there was also dancing on the tables and light saber fights, if you want to see more of this madness you should really head on over to Sean Sosik-Hamor’s photo set.

“Ahoy me landlubbers!” we said as Jonathan, Jussi, Mackenzie and me set sail to Wekiwa springs (near Sanford) for a moderate paddle trip down and up Wekiwa river. Unfortunately, even though Jussi wished for it very badly, we did not get so see any Gators. Possibly they were all hangover, after all it was Saturday. But we saw plenty of birds and plenty of stuck Mackenzies.

It was teh beautiful

Having paddled around for about 4 hours we end up being super hungy and went looking for a most American piece of culture. Kentucky Fried Chicken! Yes right, we went for super fast fast food. And no, we did not stop there, we got the biggest bucket they had, some 16 pieces IIRC (some as large as half a chicken!). We did not get to eat all of it (we also hade side dishes), so Jonathan got a nice breakfast, lunch and tea out of it too. Also I think I had a nightmare where a gigantic chicken was chasing after me.

Proper Americans!

One thing I have learned though: You do not want to have Jonathan behind a wheel on the wrong side of the road with an automatic. Of near death experiences we surely were not short…

Other than these great events we also had plenty of off-site discussions about random topics that came up now and then.

Jonathan and Martin playing “I broke your software, find the bug!”, Valorie is judge

One of the primary objectives I personally had, was to get Scott Kitterman, to agree that it is late and probably time for bed. The reason for this was that apparently Scott has a very strange understanding of “late”. In the end it turns out, if you want to be at a venue at 9:00 (which mostly means getting up at 7) the state of lateness is reached somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00.

Needless to say we also visited to hot tub at times – unfortunately once our Irn-Bru supplies (thanks Jonathan Mackenzie) ran out it was a bit less enjoyable. Help was near however, Jussi had delicious Salmiakki with him, which helped a bit. Also it made me try the scary water slide!!!!

Martin, Scott, me and Jonathan in the hot tub with Irn-Bru

Thank you Kubuntu! Thank you Ubuntu! Thank you Canonical!

For an awesome UDS!

Stay friendly 🙂

Identi.ca and WordPress.com Sharing Service

As I recently discovered WordPress.com has a pretty neat sharing service support. It essentially adds a bunch of social network links to the bottom of your pages. Which makes a lot of sense, because every content provider (e.g. a blogger) would like their content to be spread to the world and what better way to archive this than by giving the user the means to easily share something they like or find interesting.

One problem though. Since I am a free software advocate and suppose that you, my readers, are too, I prefer Identi.ca (which is using a free software microblogging software) over Twitter. Yet WordPress.com does not have a share button for Identi.ca…

What a shame! A fixable one though, as one can add own services.

How to do that:

  1. Get a 16×16 version of the Identi.ca icon. I personally like the one used in Gwibber (in lack of an Oxygen icon ;))
  2. Go to Media → Add New
  3. Upload the Identi.ca icon and note its URL
  4. Go to Settings → Sharing
  5. Click on ‘Add a new service’
  6. Enter ‘Identi.ca’ as service name
  7. As sharing URL use the following
    http://identi.ca/index.php?action=newnotice&status_textarea=%post_title%:%20%post_url%
  8. Add the URL of your icon from 3.
  9. Click on ‘Create Share’
  10. Now simply drag it to your shares and you are done.

Have fun 🙂

KDE MM + Edu Sprint 2010 in XRandr

And what a sprint that was!

To only mention some of the highlights:

Now for the exhausting details… 😉

On Wednesday 19 May I left for one of the most awesome trips ever. Destination was Randa, somewhere in the .ch alps (Marble can show you). After a night without sleep in a very crowded and stuffy train compartment with 5 rather sleepy Hungarian dudes  I arrived in Zurich (which also happens to be somewhere in .ch I have been told) where I met emonkey (from the german Kubuntu team) and had loads of coffee, until I finally departed to Randa itself. Now let me tell you one thing: if you want to see .ch properly, go through it by train. On a day with good weather it is pure awesome.

At some point I actually arrived in Randa and guess what … no Internet!!! OMG!!! … so while we were waiting for supper we did a bit of socalizing outside – community bonding one might say. The rest of the evening I spent worring about how we did not have a schedule and how some people failed to come up with one. The next morning we still didnt have one, so I came up with one which promptly got overpopulated with sessions. Having that tight a schedule I was sort of running around taking part in the most interesting sessions 😉

I have learned about QML, Pulse, distribution problems, Marble’s awesomeness and a lot more…

As a Kubuntu dev  I fortunately  think that I was able to get rid of some myths about Kubuntu and Canonical and Ubuntu. Also we took a look at a proposal from Canonical regarding a central point of management for audio related activites (including volume and music player controls). Resulting from our discussion we already started discussion on how to implement this in a KDE software context.

Additionally Frederik and I started working on a new Linux distribution, called Fluffy. I highly recommend that you like it on Facebook until Ian comes up with a MySpace page for us. Clearly we are going pink and fluffy with it (hence the name). It originated from our desire for a working fluffy bunny Plasma theme, and the fact that I created a Parley theme out of the fluffy sources I had lying around. Fluffy is in a pretty awesome state already and if I knew what distribution to use as a base we would already have released an alpha, therefore I would very much appreciate input on what distribution to use 🙂

It was one awesome sprint, with awesome people, loads of discussion, loads of fun and apachelogger. Can’t wait to see everyone again!