1st day to the UDS, and as usual, it began with an introduction by Jono Bacon. It’s a quick introduction on how the UDS is working, some advices, and how to use the schedule and the blueprints. It’s followed by the Keynote by Mark Shuttleworth. This time, he talks a lot on the achievements of the last cycle (developer.ubuntu.com, Software-Center, Lightdm …). No big announcement for the next release (as expected, the 12.04 need to focus on polishing). The main announcement was the goal for 14.04 : Ubuntu on everything (Tablets, TV, phones …). And to finish, there was a quick speech about Linaro (introduction to the project, achievements, etc …).
Today Sessions :
As usual, the schedule was quite unstable for sessions I would like to follow (sessions were moving all the time on the schedule, even during UDS itself), but hopefully some doesn’t move :)
Build images :
This session was about how ISO can be build without using the main Ubuntu infrastructure. Progress was made to achieve this goal, like using live-build and ubuntu-defaults-builder. They are used to produce localized ISO (such as the Chinese one, or the French one). But this system lacks some features of the official infrastructure, and doesn’t solve the problem of ARM cases (which use specific file systems on each hardware).
It was a general session about software-center, and some ideas how to improve it :
* Performance : Devs are aware of the performance issues (like startup time), and they planned to improve the situation.
* Unit testing : How to improve unit testing coverage (which is good, but not complete enough)
* Code reviews and documentation : devs will try to improve the documentation for new contributors.
* Improving the integration with Unity (lens)
* Recommendations : Add automatic recommendations of packages that people would probably want to install.
It’s IMO a good balance between new features and quality improvement plan for a LTS
After the lunch, there are plenaries with various topics. There was one about Cloud Foundry, and a more interesting for me, on the relationship between Debian and Ubuntu, made by the Debian Leader. The situation seems to have improved since 2 years ago, and I’m agree that in general, Debian devs seems to be more friendly about Ubuntu contributions. I think current problems are mostly not project-wide, but when people from the different projects have different points of view. It can’t be easily fixed, and certainly not project-wide, but case by case.
Release Process Improvements
This one was about how the release process can be improved. One of the most discussed item was the release candidate images. For oneiric cycle, there was not an official RC ISO, just a moment when images was declared “release candidate”, but without a real milestone. It will be improved in the next cycle (more communication about it). Also, there would be improvements on ISO tracker, when a respin is necessary.
Control panel cleanup
This session was about improving integration of Ubuntu applications to the gnome control center, such as ubuntu one preferences, the language settings (language-selector), additional drivers support (jockey) … The goal is to have them embedded in the control center window, instead of launching another window.
Supporting package to team mappings effectively
The last one was to implement a feature in launchpad to link a package to a team which will be responsible of. The main goal is to have a single point of contact when there is critical bugs, and for statitics. It’s useful for the release team, to be able to affect bugs to the right team (the one which will be in charge to fix it). One of the solution proposed was to used packagesets (group packages used in Launchpad) to achieve it.
That’s all for today, tomorrow there will be the 2 Lubuntu sessions planned for UDS, it’s time to prepare them :)
 Currently, you do ISO testing during several days before the day of the release of a milestoned ISO (Alpha, Beta …). To validate an ISO (saying it’s OK to release this ISO), yu need to do some manual tests (like testing the installation). When a bug is fixed on some specific packages (like ubiquity, the installer), you need to rebuild the ISO to include the fix. After this, you need to do again all the tests to validate the ISO. So, if there are 3 respins, all the tests you have done on the 2 previous ISO are useless, and need to be done again.