Dev Week -- How to help with Xubuntu -- CharlieKravetz -- Thu, Jul 15th, 2010

(03:00:41 PM) charlie-tca: Okay, let me jump in hear then
(03:01:11 PM) charlie-tca: I need somebody to give TheSheep voice if possible. It will make it easier for him to help me out
(03:01:26 PM) charlie-tca: I'm Charlie Kravetz, known as charlie-tca on irc and the mailing lists.
(03:01:45 PM) charlie-tca: It has been a while since I did one of these things, so throw soft stones at me, please :-)
(03:02:06 PM) charlie-tca: I am in a dual role right now, as interim Xubuntu Project Lead and as the lead for Xubuntu QA, Testing and Bug Triage.
(03:03:35 PM) charlie-tca: I am going to keep the "it's easy to help" theme going, but let's apply it to Xubuntu.
(03:03:43 PM) charlie-tca: Thank you, mhall119
(03:03:58 PM) charlie-tca:  Xubuntu needs YOU!
(03:04:16 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu is Ubuntu with the Xfce desktop. Xfce emphasizes conservation of system resources, which makes Xubuntu an excellent choice for any system, new or old.
(03:04:42 PM) charlie-tca: We are an alive and kicking project. We just need some more help.
(03:05:11 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu is an ideal candidate for those who would like to get more performance out of their hardware, thin-client networks, old or low-end machines.
(03:05:57 PM) charlie-tca: <mhall119> QUESTION: I build a custom distro (Qimo) on top of Xubuntu, great work you guys have done (not really a question)
(03:06:18 PM) charlie-tca: Thanks for saying so. For a small team of volunteers, we try hard.
(03:06:45 PM) charlie-tca: <simar> QUESTION: if  Xfce desktop is better than gnome (i'm saying in terms of user experience), then why can't the default desktop of ubuntu be changed?
(03:06:57 PM) charlie-tca: Great question. I am glad you asked.
(03:07:35 PM) charlie-tca: The default desktop for Ubuntu was chosen by Mark Shuttleworth when he started the distribution. Xfce at the time was not advanced enough yet.
(03:08:14 PM) charlie-tca: Now, There is Ubuntu with Gnome, Kubuntu with KDE, and Xubuntu with Xfce. To change Ubuntu to Xfce would negate Xubuntu.
(03:08:55 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu is an official derivative of Ubuntu, built and maintained by volunteers.
(03:09:24 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu is the Xfce-based distribution with a native 64-bit architecture. We produce both a 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
(03:10:56 PM) TheSheep: < Daekdroom> QUESTION: Why is there some talk (and benchmarks) saying
(03:10:56 PM) TheSheep:                    that Xubuntu may actually use more RAM than standard Ubuntu?
(03:10:59 PM) TheSheep:                    What happened?
(03:12:02 PM) charlie-tca: I don't know which benchmarks those are. The phoronx reviews all show Xubuntu using fewer resources, unless the user adds applications such as "OpenOffice"
(03:12:32 PM) charlie-tca: While Xubuntu does use many of the same applications as Ubuntu, we also offer some different choices.
(03:13:21 PM) charlie-tca: We offer Abiword and Gnumeric instead of OpenOffice.org, Thunar file manager instead of Nautilus, and Exaile for playing your music and audio files.
(03:13:40 PM) charlie-tca: Gimp is included by default, for those who need it. Brassero and Firefox are also default applications.
(03:13:56 PM) charlie-tca: Since we are an official derivative, we use the same repositories as Ubuntu and Kubuntu. Any user is free to add applications or remove those applications that they want to.
(03:14:12 PM) charlie-tca: Of course, we believe the applications included by default are the best suited for Xubuntu and it's goals.
(03:14:36 PM) charlie-tca: Those goals are given in the Xubuntu Strategy Document available at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Xubuntu/StrategyDocument and I would urge you to read that if you are interested in helping out.
(03:14:55 PM) charlie-tca: We offer the user many choices. Of course, to offer those choices requires considerable work by volunteers in Xubuntu development.
(03:15:21 PM) charlie-tca: We have many opportunities for those looking to take initiative. There are many possibilities for anybody to make their marks!
(03:16:01 PM) charlie-tca: Getting involved in Xubuntu is easy and fun!
(03:16:47 PM) charlie-tca: And, you do not have to be a developer to get involved! Let's introduce TheSheep to say a few words about non-developer involvement in Xubuntu...
(03:17:08 PM) TheSheep: < mhall119> QUESTION: You've sold me, how do I get involved?
(03:17:36 PM) TheSheep: Hello everyone, I'm Radomir Dopieralski, I'm knowan as TheSheep on freenode.
(03:17:54 PM) charlie-tca: On a related to the above question:
(03:17:55 PM) charlie-tca: <simar> QUESTION: IN what terms can we start help Xbuntu right away.
(03:18:14 PM) TheSheep: I'm an exmaple of a person who doesn't do coding for xubuntu, but does try to help when possible.
(03:18:47 PM) TheSheep: The most basic thing you can do is to just hanf around the #xubuntu channel even after your question has been answered and your issue solved (or not)
(03:19:14 PM) TheSheep: Then you can see a lot of questions answered, and you can repeat those answers to people who just came in and are asking them.
(03:19:34 PM) TheSheep: A lot of questions are repeated, so even a non-exxperienced user can help a lot
(03:20:42 PM) TheSheep: Staying on the channel for a while you gain experience and real-life knowledge, so soon you can start helping people with more complicated problems
(03:21:10 PM) TheSheep: Another area that is an excellent place to help for new people is the bugtracker
(03:21:44 PM) TheSheep: When you use xubuntu for a while, you gain knowledge about which components are responsible for what, so you can start helping triaging bugs
(03:22:20 PM) TheSheep: You can look at the newly reported bugs and assign them to the right components, and also ask people for clarifications when their bug reports are lacking.
(03:23:15 PM) TheSheep: You soon get a feel of what kind of information is useful in a particular problem, so you can ask people for that and let the developers use the time they saved to actual bug fixing
(03:23:42 PM) TheSheep: The next very important way you can help is testing new things.
(03:24:25 PM) TheSheep: A distribution like xubuntu is a huge and complicated system, and the more eyes are looking for defects in it, the less will slip to the actual release.
(03:25:28 PM) TheSheep: If you have non-standard hardware or fancy settings, you will also make sure they won't break after the update -- by checking the testing releases and reporting the bugs.
(03:25:57 PM) charlie-tca: <simar> QUESTION: I think the first step towards contribution is to install xubuntu. Is there a way we could try Xubuntu by removing gnome and installing xfce and also same way to revert back is so we don't like the environment.
(03:26:35 PM) TheSheep: Of course, installing and using xubuntu is the first requirement, that goes without saying.
(03:26:53 PM) TheSheep: as long as you keep using it and report problems, it's going to improve
(03:27:35 PM) TheSheep: if you just drop it at the first sight of trouble, the trouble are likely to stay there
(03:28:17 PM) TheSheep: There are also some areas where you can help by becoming a little more involved.
(03:28:50 PM) TheSheep: Blogging about xubuntu, and generally all kinds of publicity are great.
(03:29:26 PM) TheSheep: Even if your benchmarks show what is not so great in xubuntu -- it's also good, because it shows what can be improved, and it shows people what to expect -- so they won't get disappointed.
(03:30:27 PM) TheSheep: There is a lot of work to do with documentation -- we don't have enough manpower to keep everything up to date
(03:31:34 PM) TheSheep: And, last but not least, if you have any specific skills, you can always use them for helping xubuntu.
(03:32:18 PM) TheSheep: I think that's about it -- everything elase you can pick up on the go.
(03:32:30 PM) TheSheep: Thank you.
(03:32:35 PM) TheSheep: charlie-tca: your stage :)
(03:32:40 PM) charlie-tca: Thanks, TheSheep. That is very insightful!
(03:32:45 PM) charlie-tca: Having different applications means we must have different documentation. Opportunities exist to get started if you enjoy writing!
(03:33:36 PM) charlie-tca: Our artwork is very different from the artwork used in Ubuntu. We use a blue desktop background, and the Xubuntu logo is shades of blue.
(03:34:08 PM) charlie-tca: We also design our own plymouth and gdm screens. Opportunities exist to get involved in artwork and be recognized for your efforts!
(03:35:05 PM) charlie-tca: <simar> QUESTION: If xubuntu is not so great as you said, do you really think that it has the required task (developers) force that it  can improve to the required standards. Otherwise its all not a good thing to shift your focus off 'a single ubuntu'.
(03:35:52 PM) charlie-tca: Actually, focus has never been on a single Ubuntu. Kubuntu was started about the same time, in 2004, and Xubuntu has been around since 2006.
(03:36:15 PM) charlie-tca: <mhall119> QUESTION: the Kubuntu team made the decision to stick with KDE default look, is Xubuntu committed to matching the Ubuntu default look?
(03:37:10 PM) charlie-tca: We are not committed to matching Ubuntu. We do use our own colors and artwork. It also takes some time to integrate the design changes made in Ubuntu. We have to coordinate them with Xfce.
(03:37:26 PM) charlie-tca: As an official derivative of Ubuntu, we maintain the same release schedules as Ubuntu. Being a much smaller, volunteer team, this can put a strain on the testing and bug triage group.
(03:38:00 PM) charlie-tca: <mhall119> QUESTION: are there plans for an Xfce-based Netbook Edition?
(03:38:54 PM) charlie-tca: At the present time, we do not plan a Netbook Edition. We have created ports for the PowerPC and PS3, which we strive to maintain.
(03:39:27 PM) charlie-tca: As TheSheep said, Xubuntu attempts to test its ISO images before every release milestone is announced. Want to help out? We can always use more testing, as can Ubuntu and Kubuntu!
(03:40:24 PM) charlie-tca: PPC and PS3 ports are available at https://cdimages.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/ports/
(03:41:02 PM) charlie-tca: On the development side, we work closely with Debian to package Xfce for use with both Debian and Xubuntu. Since we are an official derivative of Ubuntu, we also use the Ubuntu repositories and packages.
(03:41:24 PM) charlie-tca: If you want to learn packaging, we would suggest following the MOTU (Masters Of The Universe) mentoring program to learn the basics.
(03:41:39 PM) charlie-tca: More information about the MOTU program is available at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU/GettingStarted .
(03:42:18 PM) charlie-tca: After learning the basics, you would focus on Xubuntu packages. Yes, our developers would appreciate your help.
(03:43:10 PM) charlie-tca: Any other questions? Did we answer all your questions for you?
(03:43:58 PM) charlie-tca: Well, then let's get you started!
(03:44:01 PM) charlie-tca: To start, simply sign up on our xubuntu-devel mailing list and join #xubuntu-devel on Freenode.
(03:44:15 PM) TheSheep:  < mhall119> QUESTION: Any specific development focus for Maverick?
(03:45:15 PM) charlie-tca: We are focusing on a well working distribution. There may be some application changes, but we want it to work well for the user.
(03:45:48 PM) charlie-tca: Since all of us run the current stable version to do our work, it is important to us that is not be plagued with issues.
(03:46:09 PM) charlie-tca: <mhall119> QUESTION: What accessibility tools does Xubuntu come with by default?
(03:46:24 PM) charlie-tca: Good one. Thanks for asking that.
(03:47:12 PM) charlie-tca: While we have the accessibility settings for mouse and keyboard installed by default, the speech and other applications must be installed by the user.
(03:48:05 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu uses the standard Gnome applications at this time. They do work, without trouble most of the time.
(03:48:35 PM) charlie-tca: <mhall119> QUESTION: Thoughts on moving window controls to the left to match Ubuntu?
(03:48:49 PM) charlie-tca: Not if I can help it :-)
(03:49:18 PM) TheSheep: < mhall119> QUESTION: LXDE has come out as the new light-weight DE, what
(03:49:21 PM) TheSheep:                   affect do you see that having on Xubuntu's niche?
(03:50:23 PM) charlie-tca: I don't see much effect. LXDE/Lubuntu is aiming at the old pc audience. They use about 30% fewer resources compared to Xubuntu.
(03:50:52 PM) charlie-tca: If your computer does not work well with Xubuntu, by all means, install Lubuntu.
(03:51:39 PM) charlie-tca: Unfortunately, the reviews I have seen all show a great increase in resources when the default applications are replaced with users choices.
(03:52:36 PM) charlie-tca: We're a friendly bunch and enjoy helping folks learn the ropes.
(03:53:23 PM) charlie-tca: Come on down anytime to #xubuntu and #xubuntu-devel on freenode if you have questions.
(03:54:14 PM) TheSheep: ANd #xubuntu-offtopic to just socialize
(03:54:15 PM) charlie-tca: As I stated at the beginning, I am currently the interim Xubuntu Project Lead. Does that mean I am a developer?
(03:54:22 PM) charlie-tca: The truth be told, I can not write code. My brain appears to be "brain-dead" when it comes to learning new programming languages now.
(03:54:39 PM) charlie-tca: I have been trying for about 4 years just to learn bash. The harder I try, the more I "bash" my head. Maybe that counts...  :-)
(03:55:13 PM) charlie-tca: Simply put, if you want to get started in development and don't quite know where to start, come talk to us. We have room for a few good people!
(03:56:08 PM) charlie-tca: I would like to thank everyone for participating! And, a special thanks to TheSheep for helping me out here today. Have a great day!
(03:56:23 PM) TheSheep: Thanks and see you at #xubuntu
(03:59:43 PM) charlie-tca: Well, everybody can take a break for a couple of minutes until the last session of the day. It is going to be another great time with "Merge proposals"

MeetingLogs/devweek1007/Xubuntu (last edited 2010-07-15 20:47:08 by ausimage)