Dev Week -- Introduction to the ServerTeam - Mathias Gug -- Wed, Sep 3

(02:08:19 PM) mathiaz: After this technical session on packaging, I'd like to give an overview about the Ubuntu Server Team, who we are, how you can get involved (and put in practice what norsetto just taught you) and how we work
(02:08:51 PM) mathiaz: Who are we ?
(02:09:08 PM) mathiaz: We are a group of people that have an interest in server related software.
(02:09:39 PM) mathiaz: Most of the information can be found under our wiki pages at:
(02:09:41 PM) mathiaz:
(02:09:57 PM) mathiaz: As an extension we tend also to deal with setups found in corporate
(02:09:57 PM) mathiaz: environments, such as directory services (ldap, AD) web services or network
(02:10:00 PM) mathiaz: authentication.
(02:10:18 PM) mathiaz: Some of us are working for Canonical in the Server team. Others have services
(02:10:22 PM) mathiaz: running on Ubuntu and are interested in fixing bugs.
(02:10:32 PM) mathiaz: The Canonical server team is lead by Rick Clark (dendrobates) and composed of:
(02:10:48 PM) mathiaz: Chuck Short - zul, Dustin Kirkland - kirkland, Mathias Gug  - mathiaz, Thierry
(02:10:51 PM) mathiaz: Carrez - Koon, they have a generalist profile.
(02:11:03 PM) mathiaz: Soren Hansen - soren, our virtualization specialist.
(02:11:16 PM) mathiaz: Kees Cook - kees and Jamie Strandboge - jdstrand, are member of the Ubuntu
(02:11:19 PM) mathiaz: Security Team. They will make a presentation about the Security team later this
(02:11:22 PM) mathiaz: week.
(02:11:36 PM) mathiaz: Nick Barcet - nijaba, is also working for Canonical as the Ubuntu Server product manager.
(02:11:52 PM) mathiaz: Regular contributors takes on important tasks and lead them to completion.
(02:12:03 PM) mathiaz: some of them include (listed in alphabetical order):
(02:12:17 PM) mathiaz: Adam Sommer - sommer - our documentation guru. He's taken the task to review
(02:12:21 PM) mathiaz: and update the Server Guide. Thus he is in contact with the Documentation team.
(02:12:42 PM) mathiaz: Ante Karamatić - ivoks - another long time contributor to the Server Team. Also
(02:12:45 PM) mathiaz: a member of MOTU, he has looked over the apache package and improved the bacula
(02:12:48 PM) mathiaz: package.
(02:13:14 PM) mathiaz: Neal McBurnett - nealmcb - he has multiple interest: documentation,
(02:13:15 PM) mathiaz: virtualization.
(02:13:29 PM) mathiaz: Nicolas Valcárcel - nxvl - lots of work in bug triagging and packaging.
(02:13:40 PM) mathiaz: He is also involved in the Security team and the MOTU team.
(02:13:47 PM) norsetto: nxvl kiks ass
(02:13:56 PM) mathiaz: Scott Kitterman - ScottK - main interest are mail services
(02:14:18 PM) mathiaz: If you're interested in postfix or clamav he is the man to talk to. He is also involved with the MOTU team.
(02:14:34 PM) mathiaz: We are a diverse group that have different interests.
(02:14:49 PM) mathiaz: We're also involved in other teams from the Ubuntu project.
(02:15:05 PM) mathiaz: This is one of the caracteristic of the Server Team:
(02:15:22 PM) mathiaz: we all share a common interest in server technologies, but have differents skills.
(02:15:40 PM) mathiaz: Thus being part of the team often means representing the Server Team in other areas of the Ubuntu project.
(02:16:06 PM) mathiaz: Being a contributor to the server team can be taken under different roles:
(02:16:24 PM) mathiaz: The helpers answers questions on the ubuntu-server mailing list and the #ubuntu-server IRC channel
(02:16:57 PM) mathiaz: Triagers dig into bugs the ubuntu-server LP team is subscribed to.
(02:17:21 PM) mathiaz: Our LP team is a bug contact for a list packages, such as samba, openldap, mysql or apache2.
(02:17:29 PM) mathiaz: The current list of packages can be found here:
(02:17:38 PM) mathiaz:
(02:17:48 PM) mathiaz: A mailing list gathers all the bugs related to the ubuntu-server team:
(02:17:57 PM) mathiaz:
(02:18:08 PM) mathiaz:
(02:18:34 PM) mathiaz: This is a great way to start with the LP bug tracker and doesn't require any knowledge of programming languages.
(02:18:52 PM) mathiaz: We're working closely with the BugSquad team - triaggers participate on their mailing lists
(02:19:18 PM) mathiaz: More information about the BugSquad team can be found here:
(02:19:37 PM) mathiaz: And once in a while with have the honor of having our own HugDay where the whole bug triagger community helps us.
(02:19:58 PM) mathiaz: Once bugs have been triagged, it's time to fix them.
(02:20:09 PM) mathiaz: This is when the packagers
(02:20:10 PM) mathiaz: come into the game.
(02:20:31 PM) mathiaz: This role requires an interest in packaging.
(02:20:39 PM) mathiaz: We maintain a list of bugs that are easy too fix:
(02:20:49 PM) mathiaz:
(02:21:11 PM) mathiaz: harvest is another source of bug lists.
(02:21:34 PM) mathiaz: Fixes can get easily make their way into the ubuntu repositories via the
(02:21:37 PM) mathiaz: sponsorship process.
(02:21:44 PM) mathiaz:
(02:22:15 PM) mathiaz: Doing work on the packaging front leads to a close a collaboration with the MOTU team and is a great way to gain experience to become a MOTU.
(02:22:32 PM) mathiaz:
(02:22:59 PM) mathiaz: Testers are another way to take part of the Server Team activity.
(02:23:23 PM) mathiaz: This role doesn't require a lot of deep technical knwoledge.
(02:23:46 PM) mathiaz: We work with the Ubuntu QA team -
(02:24:13 PM) mathiaz: Now that we've passed Feature Freeze, new features and new packages are available in the archive and need to be tested before released for wide spread consumption.
(02:24:29 PM) mathiaz: Here is an example: AD directory integration with likewise-open.
(02:25:21 PM) mathiaz: If you have access to an AD domain, installing ubuntu and testing if you can join the domain with likewise-open is an easy way to contribute to the Server Team right now.
(02:25:45 PM) mathiaz: Testers are now taking a more and more important role as we're approaching release:
(02:25:59 PM) mathiaz: alpha5 and 6 will be followed by Beta on October, the 2nd then RC up to Final on October, the 30th.
(02:26:16 PM) mathiaz: We're responsible for ensuring that the ubuntu-server isos are working correctly, which involves performing a dozen of tests for two isos.
(02:26:39 PM) mathiaz: The list of tests can be found in the wiki:
(02:26:42 PM) mathiaz:
(02:26:58 PM) mathiaz: Server hardware support is another area where testing is welcome.
(02:27:24 PM) mathiaz: We're trying to make sure that ubuntu can used on the main server hardware, so if you have access to such hardware, popping a cd into the machine, installing a standard ubuntu server and reporting that whether it has successfully installed or failed is an easy way to contribute to the server team.
(02:27:36 PM) mathiaz: This work is coordinated in the ServerTesting Team wiki pages:
(02:27:54 PM) mathiaz: ttps://
(02:28:41 PM) mathiaz: There are also the Documentors
(02:29:05 PM) mathiaz: Browsing the ubuntu-server mailing list archive, lurking in the #ubuntu-server irc channel or going through the forum posts shows patterns in user's questions.
(02:29:13 PM) mathiaz: Recurring themes are identified and turned into documentation.
(02:29:23 PM) mathiaz: A wiki page in the community section of is first created.
(02:29:55 PM) mathiaz: Once the quality has improved, a new section is added to the server guide.
(02:30:17 PM) mathiaz: All this work is undertaken by the Documentors of the Server Team.
(02:30:54 PM) mathiaz: Collaboration with the Documentation team is done on a daily basis to achieve consistency with other help resources.
(02:31:19 PM) mathiaz: More information about the Documentation team:
(02:31:41 PM) mathiaz: Adam Sommer leads the update and review of the Ubuntu Server guide.
(02:31:50 PM) mathiaz: The document is maintained in a bzr tree.
(02:32:17 PM) mathiaz: Helping Adam will introduce you to docbook and distributed versioning with bazaar.
(02:33:00 PM) mathiaz: Getting started involves following 3 steps outlined in the Server Team Knowledge base:
(02:33:07 PM) mathiaz:
(02:33:26 PM) mathiaz: There is also the option to go over server related wiki pages on the community  help pages.
(02:33:32 PM) mathiaz: A good starting point is the Server page that has pointer to lots of howtos.
(02:33:41 PM) mathiaz:
(02:34:02 PM) mathiaz: Another hat you can wear in the Server Team is the Developer one.
(02:34:28 PM) mathiaz: They develop new features usually specified during the Ubuntu Developer Summit that takes place at the begining of each release cycle.
(02:34:33 PM) mathiaz: Tracked by a blueprint we have around 3 months to get a new feature into Ubuntu.
(02:34:48 PM) mathiaz: Now that Feature Freeze is in place, we've moved our focus to testing and bug
(02:34:51 PM) mathiaz: fixing.
(02:35:11 PM) mathiaz: Thus the developer roles won't be very active until we release intrepid at the end of october.
(02:35:41 PM) mathiaz: As you can see, contributing to the Server Team can be undertaken in more than one way.
(02:36:06 PM) mathiaz: t usually involves a lot of interaction with other teams from the Ubuntu project.
(02:36:53 PM) mathiaz: It's also a good way to show your contribution to Ubuntu and helps getting Ubuntu membership.
(02:37:12 PM) mathiaz: The GettingInvolved page gives an overview of the roles I've talked about above:
(02:37:28 PM) mathiaz:
(02:37:45 PM) mathiaz: So how do we work ?
(02:38:04 PM) mathiaz: We track our progress on the Roadmap and meet once a week to discuss outstanding issues.
(02:38:29 PM) mathiaz: Our current work can be tracked on the Roadmap wiki page:
(02:38:34 PM) mathiaz:
(02:39:07 PM) mathiaz: We use the ubuntu-server mailing to coordinate our activities, discuss policy change in the team as well as helping out users.
(02:39:51 PM) mathiaz: How to join the Server Team and start contributing ?How to join the Server Team and start contributing ?
(02:40:28 PM) mathiaz: Joining the ubuntu-server team on LP is as simple as subscribing to the ubuntu-server mailing list and applying for membership on LP:
(02:40:35 PM) mathiaz:
(02:41:27 PM) mathiaz: If you already know which role you'd like to contribute as, you can find a list of tasks in the Roadmap.
(02:41:57 PM) mathiaz: Don't hesitate to ask one of the team members involved in your area of interest.
(02:42:23 PM) mathiaz: Most of the information related to the ServerTeam can be found in the ServerTeam wiki pages:
(02:42:36 PM) mathiaz:
(02:43:15 PM) mathiaz: If you're overwhelmed by all the available information and you're lost, come talk to me.
(02:43:33 PM) mathiaz: I'll help get out of the mist and we'll find a way you can get involved in the Server Team.
(02:43:51 PM) chombium: QUESTION: what do developers do during the freeze time? fixing bugs?
(02:44:14 PM) mathiaz: chombium: yes - we switch to bug fixing mode.
(02:44:51 PM) mathiaz: chombium: all of the members of the server team actually take part of the different roles
(02:45:14 PM) mathiaz: chombium: they should be thought of as hat rather then just a unique role
(02:45:23 PM) RoAkSoAx: QUESTION: "<mathiaz> They develop new features usually specified during the Ubuntu Developer Summit ..." Does this involves involves knowing some kind of programming language? (If Yes, which are the most common?))
(02:46:05 PM) mathiaz: RoAkSoAx: new features don't necessarly involve programming langages
(02:46:30 PM) mathiaz: RoAkSoAx: for example, we discuss during last summit migrating openldap to use cn=config instead.
(02:46:48 PM) mathiaz: RoAkSoAx: that involved mainly packaging work (in this case shell scripting).
(02:46:51 PM) RoAkSoAx: mathiaz, so might involve just configuration changes?
(02:46:55 PM) RoAkSoAx: oh ok
(02:46:58 PM) RoAkSoAx: :)
(02:47:15 PM) mathiaz: RoAkSoAx: there are some features that require development work with programming langages
(02:47:45 PM) mathiaz: RoAkSoAx: for example pitti wrote the jockey utility - it was speced out during uds
(02:47:55 PM) mathiaz: RoAkSoAx: and he coded it using python
(02:48:56 PM) chombium: QUESTION: is there any preferred programming language for implementation of the features, or its up to the developer to decide?
(02:49:25 PM) mathiaz: chombium: python tends to be the prefered programming language used by the Ubuntu developer community
(02:49:48 PM) RoAkSoAx: QUESTION: And what about requesting or suggesting new howto's for the server guide? For example, what if i would like to contribute with a howto of how to install DRBD?
(02:50:00 PM) mathiaz: chombium: but we're gladly accepting contributions coded in other langages
(02:50:36 PM) chombium: mathiaz: i'm searching for a hole which I can fill :)
(02:50:43 PM) mathiaz: RoAkSoAx: I'd suggest to start with a wiki page on
(02:51:03 PM) mathiaz: RoAkSoAx: once it has matured, you can branch the server guide and add a section about it.
(02:51:29 PM) RoAkSoAx: mathiaz, perfect, thanks. :)
(02:51:33 PM) mathiaz: RoAkSoAx: then you'd send your merge request to the ubuntu-doc mailing. sommer will probably have a look at it and review it.
(02:52:22 PM) mathiaz: RoAkSoAx: <- outlines how to contribute to the Ubuntu Server Guide.
(02:54:02 PM) RoAkSoAx: ok cool :)
(02:56:01 PM) arquebus: mathiaz- some very important information here, you should post a log of this lecture in a wiki
(02:56:55 PM) mathiaz: arquebus: IIRC the logs will be posted somewhere on the wiki
(02:57:02 PM) arquebus: ok
(02:57:16 PM) laga: mathiaz: great session, thanks
(02:57:22 PM) chombium: arquebus:
(02:57:34 PM) arquebus: chombium: thx
(02:58:23 PM) mathiaz: If there are more questions, feel free to email me or ping me in #ubuntu-server

MeetingLogs/devweek0809/ServerTeam (last edited 2008-09-03 19:55:13 by ausimage)