I’m on Chaosradio, a podcast done by the
famous Chaos Computer Club. The podcast is in German, so probably not suitable for the complete
audience of planet.(kde|kubuntu).

FrOSCon — wrap-up.

Drafting creating Kubuntu's Edgy Eft

So FrOSCon is over, everone is tired — especially after
last night’s social events (500l of fine German beer sponsored by O’Reilly). For me it’s the 7th
night in one go ‘doing event’, so I’m becoming a bit tired. It was great though, played dirty games
with “Saint Hermann” (\sh, evidence), took care that Jutta can get drunk (she doesn’t like beer, other than beer,
there were only softdrinks, but we managed to get a bottle of Vodka from the nearby store), teamed
up with the Xorg guys, the Debian guys and a couple of others — all in all well done. A big thanks
to the people who organised it and helped to make it a smooth, relaxed, interesting and productive
event: You guys did great work, I’d love to attend again next year.

My talk yesterday went very well and it was followed up by interesting discussions. Today, I’ve
discussed a couple of the non-developing contributors issues with an employee of MySQL AB, Lenz
Grimmer and that was pretty interesting and reassured me that there’s more people around that think
it’s important to reach out of the geek world.

Tonight, we went out to eat with some guys
from the OpenSuse team, the duck I had was good, the espresso
sucked badly, the discussions were interesting and it was fun.
My eye starts to recover, parts begin to turn brown. It looks like shit, but doesn’t ache. I
rather look like shit than feel like it, so that’s fine with me. Tomorrow, I’ll travel back to the
Netherlands, after one week one the road for the sake of the Free Desktop. I’m starting to getting
used to travelling a lot, and I very much enjoy the opportunity to meet all those nice, smart and
interesting people.

When we went to the conference venue yesterday morning, I was pretty lucky to take a nice photo
of a cornflower, enjoy!

FrOSCon — first morning.

I’m at FrOSCon right now, which is a community event in Western Germany.

Attended the keynote by Martin Michlmayr (former Debian dude). He’s talking about quality in
Free Software projects, which is pretty interesting for my “work-work” (as opposed to just “work”).
As some people know, I’m a researcher in software quality. Let’s see what this guy has to tell us.
Interesting talk, certainly useful for our research. I need to find him later on to exchange
emailaddresses and ask a couple of questions. A lot of the talk was certainly nothing new to me, but
I guess some input from a research.

My talk Roadmap to World Domination is right now scheduled at 17:00 which in fact is a
good slot. Annoying detail: The german soccer team will play against Sweden at
exactly the same time. We already talked to the organisation team (which is friendly, helpful and
does obviously does an excellent job here), and we might be able to schedule the talk after the
match, right before the social event. Drop by in Bonn if you have some time!

Update: My talk has been re-scheduled to 19:00h. Phew.

Ubuntu Dev Summit in Paris.

Drafting creating Kubuntu's Edgy Eft

So this release cycle’s Ubuntu Dev Summit has ended. 60 people from the wider Ubuntu community
gathered in Paris to draft the next release, Edgy Eft — and it will be rocking (although probably
edgy, as its name says). Some highlights are an event-based replacement for the init system, SysV
init does not fit today’s use cases very well anymore, a system nowadays is almost never booted with
all kinds of pluggable hardware, suspend and resume functionality. Speaking of
suspend, I’ve talked to Ben Collins, Ubuntu’s kernel maintainer about integrating
suspend2 in Edgy’s kernel. He had a quick look at the patches
and was quite surprised by the improved quality. Nigel Cunningham, suspend2’s main developer has put
quite some work in making the patches less intrusive and more mergeable. Last week, I benchmarked
both, suspend2 and vanilla’s software suspend. The results were simply amazing: swsusp needs 45
seconds to bring the machine back up, whereas suspend2 does that in 25s (mainly caused by image
compression). suspend2 also adds a nice userinterface (framebuffer splash, textmode progress bar —
pick your poisoln) and is much more reliable under high memory load. The least
thing you want is a system not suspending when you run away in a hurry and drop your laptop in a
train. That’s definitely a big plus. Hope Ubuntu will be the first distro shipping this cutting edge
technology by default.

We also talked about the benefits and disadvantages of decoupling Ubuntu’s and Kubuntu’s
release schedules
. It would make sense from a branding point of view. Putting out a press
release of Ubuntu and Kubuntu at the same time doesn’t make sense, it’d only harm the clarity of the
message to the outside. That is mainly why Kubuntu didn’t have a separate press release. To create a
stronger brand, however, it’d make sense to have a real opportunity to notify the public. From a
technical point of view, releasing for example 3 weeks after a Ubuntu release makes it possible to
get the first wave of bugfixes onto the CD, so one might expect to be of higher quality. I talked
about that with Jonathan of Kubuntu fame, and also with a couple of guys that’d probably be affected
by it, notably Daniel Silverstone from the Soyuz team (package archives infrastructure), and Colin
Watson and Matt Zimmerman from the release team. They were not directly opposed and certainly see
that it’d add benefit. The details however need to be sorted out first.

One thing I’m really excited about is the level of cross-desktop collaboration
I was confronted with last week. On Thursday, we had a BoF that was called gst-umbrella. We talked
about how GNOME system tools could be improved, and how we can share more code between the three
desktops living in the Ubuntu world — KDE, GNOME and XFCE. The atmosphere was really relaxed and we
were very much on the same line. There is quite an opportunity to use the same configuration
manipulation backends for all those desktops. Currently, according to the GNOME guys, the GNOME
system tools source package is a tarball of 12MB of perl backends, C frontends and XML-based GUI
files. Feel the pain. There is a common understanding that it makes sense to move that stuff to
Python in the future. Those issues have to be checked back with GNOME-upstream. We might even have
the first results of that ready for edgy, which has a pretty tight release schedule — feature
freeze in 11 weeks.

The people that might worry about me after Ken’s
report from wednesday night in Paris
: I’m fine. Only have to wear my (prescribed)
sunglasses now all day (and night!) which makes me look a bit stupid. Can’t say I’m
unhappy with that acutally, people should basically never expect me to be too serious. :P Still a
good thing that it’s really summer here in Western Europe.

Myriam from the FSFE was kind enough to take me to Germany, we had a nice chat in the car
about Freedom, messaging, the Free Software world in general, buy in from other organisations,
political stuff …

That’s about it for now, I’ll probably blog some about FrOSCon more later on. Ow, thanks to \sh (who’s also here at FrOSCon) and it seems I’m now also
aggregated on Planet Kubuntu, so hi there!