Ubuntu Open Week - Staying up-to-date with what is going on in the community - Nathan Handler - Wed, Apr 29th, 2009

(06:02:56 PM) nhandler: Hello everyone. My name is Nathan Handler. Today we will be learning about how to stay up-to-date with what is going on in the Ubuntu community.
(06:03:25 PM) nhandler: This session will only briefly explain the various methods of staying up-to-date. If you have a question, please ask in #ubuntu-classroom-chat. Be sure to preface it with 'QUESTION: '
(06:04:23 PM) nhandler: I have some content prepared that I will be discussing. However, I have left plenty of time to discuss additional topics. If there is something that you want to learn more about, please let me know in #ubuntu-classroom-chat.
(06:04:43 PM) ChanServ has changed the topic to: Welcome to Open Week || Session: 2200 UTC: Staying up to date in the community  || || All questions to #ubuntu-classroom-chat
(06:05:11 PM) nhandler: One of the key ways that different people in the community communicate with each other is through the mailing lists.
(06:05:32 PM) nhandler: Some of these mailing lists can be found at However, now that Launchpad supports mailing lists, some teams are choosing to use that instead.
(06:06:20 PM) nhandler: I would suggest that you start by subscribing to all of the -announce mailing lists on These lists are usually low volume, but they provide very important announcements about their relevant topics.
(06:07:16 PM) nhandler: QUESTION is there any chance that we'll see new interface for mailing lists on LP?
(06:07:18 PM) mgunes left the room.
(06:08:39 PM) nhandler: I haven't heard about any changes to the mailing lists that will be taking place in the next few weeks. However, Launchpad is under constant development. Changes get made all of the time. I also know that there are several issues that need to be sorted out. You can ask the people in #launchpad to get a better estimate about when these changes will be made
(06:09:35 PM) nhandler: QUESTION How can devel branch testers keep up with most upstream changes, and even ubuntu internal, to packages, and features, and even policy? and please don't send me read .changelogs... not as easy to read!
(06:10:42 PM) nhandler: Most of the tools that I am going to be discussing can be used to keep up with the changes that are being made. These changes are all public. Most developers also send out messages to various sources prior to making the changes. If you wait a little bit, I think by the end of the session, you will have an answer to this question
(06:10:58 PM) nhandler: Continuing with the session...
(06:11:18 PM) nhandler: If you subscribe to ubuntu-announce, you will be notified whenever a new version of Ubuntu is released.
(06:11:27 PM) nhandler: Besides the -announce mailing lists, I would also suggest that you subscribe to ubuntu-news.
(06:12:04 PM) nhandler: The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter (https://wiki.ubuntu.comUbuntuWeeklyNewsletter) is sent out each week to this mailing list.
(06:12:25 PM) nhandler: These lists should help keep you up-to-date with the big events that happen in the community. However, they are not enough if you are an active contributor.
(06:13:01 PM) nhandler: As a contributor, you are most likely part of one or more teams. Most of these teams will have their own mailing lists that you will want to subscribe to.
(06:13:23 PM) nhandler: For example, I am a MOTU. So I subscribe to ubuntu-motu, ubuntu-devel, and motu-council (among many others).
(06:13:50 PM) nhandler: If you are unable to find your team's mailing list on, it might be on Launchpad. You can contact another member of that team to verify where the mailing list is located.
(06:14:29 PM) nhandler: If you are part of a LoCo, you will want to subscribe to your Loco's mailing list.
(06:14:53 PM) nhandler: I am located in Chicago, so I subscribe to ubuntu-us-chicago.
(06:15:06 PM) nhandler: QUESTION: why not also subscrubite to -devel-discuss
(06:16:09 PM) nhandler: -devel-discuss does contain good discussions and information about changes. However, it will cause you to receive a lot of mail. Since it is for active discussions, you really need to read a lot of the messages to get a good idea about what is going on
(06:16:30 PM) nhandler: I prefer some of the other lists, which are used to send out emails once a decision on -devel-discuss is reached
(06:16:55 PM) nhandler: Once you start subscribing to lots of lists, you will notice a significant increase in the amount of mail in your inbox. Most of these messages will not interest you.
(06:17:30 PM) nhandler: I would suggest reading up on how to create filters in your email client. They can help keep the unimportant messages out of your inbox, so you do not need to worry about them.
(06:17:54 PM) nhandler: talks about creating filters in gmail for bugmail from Launchpad.
(06:18:12 PM) nhandler: That about covers the mailing lists, any questions?
(06:19:04 PM) nhandler: The next area we will discuss is IRC. IRC allows teams to carry out live meetings and discussions without the delay that mailing lists cause.
(06:19:36 PM) nhandler: For instance, we have #ubuntu-meeting and #ubuntu-classroom, which are used for team meetings and educational classroom sessions respectively.
(06:20:29 PM) nhandler: Just like with mailing lists, most teams and LoCos have their own IRC channels.
(06:21:02 PM) nhandler: I would suggest that you read up about how to make your IRC client automatically join certain channels on start-up. That way, you won't need to remember which channels you need to join.
(06:21:35 PM) nhandler: Once you start joining lots of IRC channels, it will become impossible to read every message that is sent. You will want to configure your IRC client to display a notification whenever someone says your name.
(06:22:23 PM) nhandler: This will allow you to quickly respond to questions or comments that people might be directing at you.
(06:22:58 PM) nhandler: If you miss a meeting that takes place in #ubuntu-meeting, or a classroom session in #ubuntu-classroom, those channels, along with many others, are logged. These logs are publicly available at
(06:23:49 PM) nhandler: That concludes the section about IRC, any questions?
(06:24:12 PM) nhandler left the room (quit: " ajax IRC Client").
(06:25:05 PM) nhandler [i=63156b5e@ubuntu/member/nhandler] entered the room.
(06:25:41 PM) nhandler: QUESTION: how do I cope with #ubuntu?
(06:26:02 PM) LjL: ? :)
(06:26:07 PM) nhandler: There is an #ubuntu-meta channel that you can use. That channel displays questions that are asked in #ubuntu and other channels
(06:26:30 PM) nhandler: Now we will talk about blogs.
(06:26:50 PM) nhandler: A key blog to follow is the Fridge ( That is where all important notices concerning Ubuntu will be posted. It is also where a calendar of all Ubuntu meetings ( is kept.
(06:27:20 PM) nhandler: One of the privileges gained from becoming an Ubuntu Member ( is that you get to have your blog listed on Planet Ubuntu (
(06:28:01 PM) nhandler: Most developers and team leaders are Ubuntu members. As a result, they use Planet Ubuntu as a way to send news and announcements to the community.
(06:28:52 PM) nhandler: For users who are not Ubuntu members yet, there is Ubuntu Weblogs (, which serves a similar purpose as Planet Ubuntu.
(06:29:20 PM) nhandler: It would not be practical to visit all of these blogs everyday to check for updates. There are many reader applications that you can use instead.
(06:30:22 PM) nhandler: These reader applications will give you access to all of your favorite blogs from one place. They will also tell you when a new article has been posted.
(06:30:35 PM) nhandler: Any questions about blogs?
(06:31:47 PM) nhandler: Since you seem to be interested in UWN, I think it might be worth mentioning that a Developer News wiki page was created:
(06:32:02 PM) nhandler: The idea was to send out a newsletter every few weeks explaining what changes have been made that affect developers
(06:32:17 PM) nhandler: QUESTION: How on-topic or off-topic are blogs on planet supposed to be?
(06:32:35 PM) elk80: QUESTION: and dealing with the 'noise' that so many blogs, feeds, etc. brings...
(06:32:41 PM) nhandler: In theory, they should be at least *loosely* related to Ubuntu. However, this has never really been enforced
(06:33:16 PM) nhandler: elk80: Please ask in -chat, but I personally skim my reader application. I only read the articles that catch my attention
(06:33:23 PM) elk80: k
(06:33:34 PM) nhandler: I will now be discussing the forums.
(06:34:07 PM) nhandler: The Ubuntu community has an excellent forum ( This forum is filled with thousands of users. As a result, it is an excellent place to look at if you are interested in seeing how well the latest development release is working for people, or what the best way to accomplish foo is.
(06:34:50 PM) nhandler: The Karmic forum ( will be the place to check for the results from tests of Karmic Koala.
(06:35:23 PM) nhandler: You can also subscribe to threads/boards on the forum to be notified via email whenever someone replies.
(06:36:21 PM) nhandler: Friday, bodhi-zazen will end Open Week with a session about the forums. If you are interested in them, I strongly urge you to attend his session
(06:36:33 PM) nhandler: In the mean time, does anyone have any questions about the Ubuntu Forums?
(06:36:48 PM) nhandler: QUESTION: can i reply by email?
(06:36:55 PM) nhandler: No, you can not reply to a forum post via email
(06:37:02 PM) nhandler: However, you can do that with bugs on Launchpad
(06:37:36 PM) nhandler: QUESTION: With all the mails, and blogs and your normal work, how important are the forums really for you (personally). Do you grap ideas, problems whatever and use it? Is it a real "source of inspiration" for the developers?
(06:38:29 PM) nhandler: I personally try to stop by the forums at least every other week to answer posts about development for Ubuntu and/or the devel release. I would love to be able to spend more time there, but there are only so many hours in the day.
(06:39:02 PM) nhandler: In terms of using it as an inspiration, I really haven't done much application creation (which is what a lot of posts are about). So I don't really take much inspiration from there
(06:39:13 PM) nhandler: However, I do use it as a way to see what things need to be worked on
(06:39:49 PM) nhandler: The next topic for this session is the wiki.
(06:40:03 PM) nhandler: Many teams use the wiki ( for organizational purposes. They might list meeting agendas, upcoming events, or keep track of current activities on the wiki.
(06:40:33 PM) nhandler: By going to, you are able to view and modify your subscriptions.
(06:41:19 PM) nhandler: You can subscribe to an individual page, such as 'UbuntuOpenWeek', or a group of pages, such as 'ChicagoTeam/.*'. That will subscribe me to all wiki pages related to the Chicago Team.
(06:42:00 PM) nhandler: I personally am subscribed to most of the wiki. I subscribe to most meeting agendas, meeting logs, team pages, development pages, and many other pages.
(06:42:22 PM) nhandler: By subscribing to all of these pages, I get notified via email about new topics that will be discussed at meetings, who is interested in joining various teams, what freezes are currently in affect for development.
(06:42:50 PM) nhandler: Any questions about the wiki?
(06:44:24 PM) nhandler: The last thing I want to discuss today are Microblogs.
(06:45:17 PM) nhandler: Microblogs such as and Twitter are beginning to gain popularity in the Ubuntu community.
(06:45:30 PM) nhandler: QUESTION: How do you subscribe to a group of pages like say Karmic/.* ?
(06:45:49 PM) nhandler: You need to subscribe based on the page names
(06:46:21 PM) nhandler: For instance, we keep all of our Ubuntu Development related stuff under UbuntuDevelopment
(06:46:38 PM) nhandler: We have UbuntuDevelopment/NewPackages and UbuntuDevelopment/CodeReviews
(06:46:48 PM) nhandler: So I can add UbuntuDevelopment/.* to subscribe to all of these
(06:47:12 PM) nhandler: QUESTION: where can I get a list of interesting Blueprints to track for each devel cycle?
(06:47:28 PM) nhandler: I would suggest subscribing to the blueprints developed at/for UDS
(06:47:38 PM) nhandler: Those are the ones that are going to be (or attempted to be) implemented
(06:48:02 PM) BUGabundo: nhandler: and where is that list?
(06:48:38 PM) nhandler: BUGabundo: UDS hasn't taken place yet. And since LP is offline, I can't get you the URL for blueprints that will be discussed there
(06:48:42 PM) nhandler: I can get you a link later though
(06:48:48 PM) BUGabundo: thanks
(06:49:11 PM) nhandler: Back to discussing Microblogs... Many people use these microblogs as a quick way to post updates about their current activities.
(06:49:50 PM) nhandler: There are also groups on these sites that correspond with many of the teams in the Ubuntu communtiy. These groups are used to quickly send out notices to all interested people.
(06:49:51 PM) jcastro: (UDS blueprints are here:
(06:50:28 PM) nhandler: Thanks for the link jcastro. I didn't have it bookmarked ;)
(06:51:02 PM) nhandler: On the microblogging sites, there are groups that correspond with many of the teams in the Ubuntu communtiy. These groups are used to quickly send out notices to all interested people.
(06:51:35 PM) nhandler: Finally, there are also some special accounts. For instance, during UDS Jaunty, they had accounts for each of the different sections that were used to post updates about what was happening.
(06:52:20 PM) nhandler: One of those accounts, @udscommunity, is actually sending out messages every hour during Open Week, announcing what session is about to begin.
(06:53:06 PM) nhandler: QUESTION: Is there a place to find all those accounts during UDS? They are very hard to find when you are not there.
(06:54:11 PM) nhandler: During Jaunty, we had an account for all of the tracks:
(06:54:48 PM) nhandler: I can pull up a list of all of the accounts after the session is over
(06:54:54 PM) nhandler: Besides the UDS accounts, there are also accounts that post security notices (@usn), ideas from brainstorm (@brainstormnews), Ubuntu news (@ubuntunews), new posts on Planet Ubuntu (@planetubuntu), and much, much, more.
(06:55:04 PM) nhandler: QUESTION: the fridge hosts a calendar. is there any way to get events into evolution?
(06:55:31 PM) nhandler: At the bottom of, there is an ical link that you can use in evolution
(06:56:07 PM) nhandler: Any questions about Microblogs?
(06:56:48 PM) nhandler: That about wraps up all that I wanted to talk about today. Are there any more questions?
(06:57:57 PM) nhandler: QUESTION: how much time / day do you spend "catching up"?
(06:58:45 PM) nhandler: I am not the most efficient person at "catching up". I enjoy reading the emails and blog posts. I never really kept track of the time, but I would estimate 1-2 hours a day
(07:01:08 PM) nhandler: Ok, thanks everyone for your participation

MeetingLogs/openweekJaunty/Community (last edited 2009-04-29 23:00:13 by pool-70-16-48-183)