Nov 17, 2009

UDS - day one

I’m at the Ubuntu Developers’ Summit (UDS) in Dallas. If you don't already know what UDS is, please read Alan Popes blogpost which describes it rather well here...

Remember you can easily participate even if you're not here.

The sessions

Every day I read, write and listen to English, and yet I rarely speak it. This trip to UDS in Dallas has been really challenging for both my tongue and my English vocabulary.
I've been meeting some very nice three dimensional people with full-sized human bodies and their hackergotchis sitting on top. Today I attended four sessions besides the joint ones in the Grand Ballroom. I'll try to describe some sessions below.

UDS name badges

Opening Plenary
The day kicked off with Jono Bacon, who made an introduction in the Grand Ballroom at 9:00 am. Besides a lot of practical details, Jono told us to eat healthy food, get enough sleep and be awesome! He pointed out that it is important that we stay on topic and that we get the most out of the one hour we're given in each session. Mark Shuttleworth also spoke briefly about Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

Desktop round table
At this session we talked about what's important to focus on in this LTS release. Should the choice of applications remain the same to give users a feel of consistency, when moving from one release to another - or should we simply ship the best application for the job to deliver the best desktop experience. Banshee vs. Rhythmbox was brought up as an example.
Although this case was only a thought experiment, I should add that it is not likely that Lucid will be shipped with Banshee. Rick Spencer, the desktop team leader, also brought up the controversial idea of removing the GIMP in favor of a video editor, but he wanted to save the juicy details for the Wednesday session Application selection in the default install.

Boot preformance
Scott James Remnant talked for two hours about the plans for further improvements and about how to achieve it. He started the session by giving a short introduction to how to read boot-charts – mainly because people often get it wrong. To sum it up shortly, there are two graphs, the CPU graphs is how hard the CPU is working, the second is the disk being used. On the CPU blue is the CPU working hard, idle is generally bad. Disk utilization, we want the disk to be used as hard as possible for as short a time as possible; red is bad.
Even though we haven't seen much improvement in Karmic, all the under the hood work done in Karmic will shine though in Lucid. Scott talked about having budgets for each section of the boot. If all the teams all hit their budgets, the goal is achieved. He then gave a list of specific tasks to work on for each team to meet the goal. This was a very interesting session indeed.

Short joint sessions
After lunch we all meet back in the Grand Ballroom where Jono talked shortly about how to run a good session. He had created some pretty slides and remembered to recharge his laptop.

MPT explained the future plans for the Software Center. Throughout the week there will be some Software Center sessions, so I won't go into details here. I'm really looking forward to seeing the application mature.

Didier Roche (didrocks) and Rick Spencer did a demonstration of Quickly by writing a small application, building it, testing it and uploading it to a PPA in like five minutes. A fantastic usability improvement if you're writing applications on Linux. The videos aren’t up yet, but there are previous screen-casts showing it off.

Boot experience work
This session focused on the technical how to of the boot experience. Here Scott James Remnant again did much of the talking (along with Collin) and demonstrated his Plymouth dancing monkey animation. The plan for Lucid is to introduce Plymouth, although the details on how everything will fit together isn't entirely clear to me yet. Mat Tomaszewski had a list of technical issues that he wanted to discuss solutions for. Like; Removing the semi hidden and currently flickering mouse cursor and the fade in/out during startup and shutdown, etc..

Looking forward to tomorrows sessions.

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