Thursday, September 3, 2015

The best DebConf 15 videos

I simply cannot take time off work to attend DebConf, so each year I watch the videos instead. It took almost a month, thanks to the back-to-school rush at work, but I finally got through the sessions I wanted to see.

Here are my highlights from DebConf 15:

Cool Stuff

Creating A More Inviting Environment For Newcomers New Experiences From MoM SoB Teammetrics - A detailed discussion of how a mature team with tapering contributions re-energized itself with new enthusiasts. How they were recruited, mentored, trained, and finally assigned key roles in the team. Lots of discussion of mentoring strategies and the costs of mentoring (less time for the work) from the developer/maintainer perspective. Lots of good ideas for any mature team, and thoroughly applicable to Ubuntu teams too.

Linux in the City of Munich AKA LiMux - There has been a lot of FUD written about one of the largest public conversions to an open-source platform, and it was great to see an actual insider talking about the project. Worth a watch.

Lightning Talks 2 - The first Lightning Talk was a proposal to add a new service to Debian. The service tests all uploaded packages for many known faults (using valgrind, infer, etc.), and automatically files bug reports on the faults. This should provide a large number of real bite-sized bugs for drive-by patches, and corresponding hefty improvement in code quality. Most cool.

Under the hood

Your Systemd Tool Box - Dissecting And Debugging Boot And Services - This is a great walk-through of the new (to me) tools. Had a terminal window open alongside to try each of the tools. Saved the video for a refresh, it's a lot to digest in one sitting.

Systemd How We Survived Jessie And How We Will Break Stretch - Fantastic discussion of coming systemd features: Persistent interface names, networkd, kdbus, and more. Also great discussion of how to get involved around the edges.

Dpkg The Interface - A presentation by the current maintainer, explaining how he keeps dpkg stable and the future roadmap. Since Snappy uses dpkg (but not apt), that roadmap is important! I have used dpkg for a decade, but never thought about all the bits of it I never see....

Keeping Free Software Free

Debians Central Role In The Future Of Software Freedom - A presentation by the President of the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), explaining the problems they see, their strategies to attack those problems, and how they try to effectively challenge GPL violations. A bit of Canonical-bashing in this one at a couple points (some deserved, some not).

At 23:30, it introduces the Debian Copyright Aggregation Project, where Debian contributors can opt to revocably assign their copyright to SFC, and can also permit the SFC to enforce those copyrights. This is one strategy SFC is pursuing to fight both CLAs and license violations.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

You should be using Find-a-Task

Find-a-Task is the Ubuntu community's job board for volunteers.

Introduced in January 2015, Find-a-Task shows fellow volunteers the variety of tasks and roles available.

The goal of Find-a-Task is for a volunteer, after exploring the Ubuntu Project, to land on a team or project's wiki page. They are interested, ready to join, and ready to start learning the skills and tools. 

However, it only works if *you* use it, too.

Try it.

Take a quick look, and see the variety of volunteer roles available. We have listings for many different skills and interests, including many non-technical tasks.

Is your team listed?

Hey teams, are you using Find-a-Task to recruit volunteers?
  • Are your team roles listed?
  • Are they accurate?
  • Is your landing page welcoming and useful to a new volunteer?

When it's time to update your postings on the job board, simply jump into Freenode IRC: #ubuntu-community-team.

Gurus: Are your pointing Padwans toward it?

Find-a-Task is a great place to send new enthusiasts. No signup, no login, no questions. It's a great way to survey the roles available in the big, wide, Ubuntuverse, and get new enthusiasts involved in a team.

It's also handy for experienced enthusiasts looking for a new challenge, of course.
  • If you're active in the various forums, refer new enthusiasts to Find-a-Task.
  • Add it to your signature.
  • If you know a Find-a-Task success story, please share.

Improving Find-a-Task

Ideas to increase usage of Find-a-Task are welcome.
Ideas on how to improve the tool itself are also welcome.
Please share your suggestions to improve Find-a-Task on the ubuntu-community-team mailing list.