Ubuntu Open Week - Xubuntu QA - CharlieKravetz - Thu, Apr 30th, 2009

(02:00:31 PM) charlie-tca: I'm Charlie Kravetz, known as charlie-tca on irc and the mailing lists. I am Xubuntu Quality Assurance Lead.
(02:01:34 PM) charlie-tca: We are going to talk a bit about Marketing, Testing, and Bugs in Xubuntu. We will take your questions in #ubuntu-classroom-chat, and
(02:02:10 PM) charlie-tca: will have a few minutes at the end to answer questions you hold on to. Feel free to ask questions at any time, but start them with QUESTION:
(02:02:20 PM) charlie-tca: so they easy to spot
(02:03:04 PM) charlie-tca: For example, QUESTION: What is Xubuntu?
(02:03:18 PM) charlie-tca: The answer would then be
(02:03:28 PM) charlie-tca: ubuntu is Ubuntu with the Xfce desktop. Xfce emphasizes conservation of system resources, which makes Xubuntu an excellent choice for any system, new or old.
(02:03:58 PM) knome: *Xubuntu is
(02:04:38 PM) charlie-tca: Yeah, that too. Missed that X
(02:05:26 PM) charlie-tca: As a ubuntu derivative, Xubuntu maintains the same high standards and quality that Ubuntu has. We still have bugs to track down and resolve, and we do help with the bugs in Ubuntu also. Testing is a combined effort, since the releases are on the same schedule.
(02:06:03 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu is an ideal candidate for older hardware or low-end machines, thin-client networks, or those who would like to get more performance out of their hardware.
(02:06:27 PM) charlie-tca: Also, Xubuntu is the Xfce-based distribution with a native 64-bit architecture. We produce both a 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and ports for the Mac PowerPC and Sony PlayStation 3.
(02:07:15 PM) charlie-tca: And, since Xubuntu is a dirivative of Ubuntu, we use the same repositories, and many of the same applications
(02:07:33 PM) charlie-tca: Along with producing those versions comes testing to make sure the distribution actually works. The goal is to have each image tested thoroughly before release. Being a small group, that becomes difficult at times.
(02:07:41 PM) knome: *derivative
(02:08:25 PM) charlie-tca: To accomplish this testing, almost any hardware will work. If you don't have spare hardware, you can test in a virtual machine. VMware, VirtualBox, and KVM can all be used to test software.
(02:08:48 PM) charlie-tca: Some of the testing must also be done on hardware. I personnally favor a PIII myself. I do not use any restricted drivers, and normally get 1400x900 resolution out of these machines. The cpu is only 866MHz.
(02:09:10 PM) charlie-tca: To help insure Xubuntu is lightweight and functional, testing is done using a PII, also. It is a 400MHz cpu with 256MB ram. This system insures the latest version still works using minumum hardware.
(02:09:35 PM) charlie-tca: Tests are run using both the desktop/live cd and the alternate cd with both systems, and even with 128MB and 192MB ram in the PII. This helps let the developers know what the minumums are that actually work.
(02:10:06 PM) charlie-tca: I am one of those people that really believe the stated minimums should be real! If I can't run what the minumums say, I question it. Granted, I don't expect perfect performance from it, but I should be able to use the system.
(02:10:40 PM) charlie-tca: Using Xubuntu, I expect to be able to run the applications provided, one at a time with the minumum hardware. As the hardware increases, I would expect the performance to increase.
(02:10:52 PM) knome: That's what the what the complete Xubuntu team thinks.
(02:10:53 PM) charlie-tca: Thanks to the hard work by Ubuntu, the startup times have decreased remarkably, even with low-end hardware.
(02:11:23 PM) charlie-tca: We have information on the xubuntu developers wiki at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Xubuntu/Testing/TestingInfo for testing Xubuntu. Since it is Xfce-based, many of the tests are unique to Xubuntu.
(02:12:04 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu testing team is https://launchpad.net/~xubuntu-testers on launchpad. As testing and QA lead, I try to keep the test cases up to date on both QA and Xubuntu wikis.
(02:12:25 PM) charlie-tca: I do send out notices to the the xubuntu-testers launchpad team when a milestone is ready to be tested. More testers are always welcome.
(02:13:04 PM) charlie-tca: We maintain a test case for daily images, to allow a quick test to be done. There is a test used for the liveCD testing and neither test should take more than 5-10 minutes to complete.
(02:13:27 PM) charlie-tca: Admittedly, it does take a little more time on the PII then on more modern equipment.
(02:13:49 PM) charlie-tca: We also maintain a longer, more involved test for milestone releases. This allows more thorough testing before the users get the image.
(02:14:22 PM) charlie-tca: This test is just as important as the short tests, since it does test all the applications and settings
(02:15:09 PM) charlie-tca: When testing the images, results are reported on the qa tracker. This allows the Ubuntu QA team to know the images are good or bad, also. Any bugs found in testing need to be reported so that the developers know what the current issues are.
(02:15:42 PM) charlie-tca: At this time, I think we will let knome step in and say a few words
(02:16:03 PM) knome: OK, so quality assurance is more than just making sure that applications work
(02:16:29 PM) knome: It's also about letting out the best artwork for our users
(02:16:51 PM) knome: In Xubuntu, we have some guidelines for artwork which can be found in https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Xubuntu/Artwork/Guidelines
(02:17:33 PM) knome: For every release. we also make some kind of general directions, which we try to follow as good as we can in the time we have
(02:18:18 PM) knome: Anyway, since I began the Xubuntu Marketing Lead, I've been keen on keeping consistency around the Xubuntu artwork
(02:18:49 PM) knome: That means we use the latest logo everywhere and try to get any page with the old logo updated, even if we don't have the permissions ourselves.
(02:19:08 PM) knome: A developer reported to me that he has become a great distunguished between the new and old logo ;)
(02:19:34 PM) knome: In addition to that, I prefer vector graphics in anything we do.
(02:20:08 PM) knome: For example, the complete Jaunty artwork cycle is in SVG, excluding the "mist" in the images.
(02:21:13 PM) knome: The final judgement and approval on artwork of course relies on the (developer) community or me as the Marketing Lead, but anything that is consistent with rest of the release cycle artwork should be OK.
(02:21:41 PM) knome: You are welcome to submit your artwork and marketing ideas!
(02:21:51 PM) knome: Now I'll pass the ball back to charlie-tca. Thanks for listening
(02:22:05 PM) charlie-tca: QUESTION: What effect does using vector graphics and SVG format have compared to the old png files?
(02:22:15 PM) knome: Right.
(02:22:38 PM) knome: As we do our graphics in vector, it leads to artwork reusability and flexibility.
(02:22:51 PM) knome: Anyone can take the file and edit it further.
(02:23:04 PM) knome: Anyone can modify it relatively easily.
(02:23:24 PM) charlie-tca: Thank you, knome
(02:23:38 PM) charlie-tca: Any other questions at this time?
(02:24:07 PM) hemanth: nope
(02:24:13 PM) charlie-tca: Well, lets cover a little about bugs, then.
(02:24:39 PM) charlie-tca: We report bugs found through launchpad. They can be reported at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xubuntu-meta/+filebug . I do much of the bug triage for Xubuntu, and most of our bugs in Xfce are forwarded upstream.
(02:25:33 PM) charlie-tca: We do verify a number of the bugs reported to Xfce from other sources.
(02:26:18 PM) charlie-tca: We work very close with upstream xfce, abiword and gnumeric bug teams to help resolve the bugs found. Once you report a bug, it goes through a process called bug triage. Bug triage is simply the process of determining that there is a bug, how important is the bug to the overall scheme, and is there enough information for a developer to resolve the bug.
(02:27:03 PM) charlie-tca: You will find that I often triage the Xfce, AbiWord, and Gnumeric bugs for this reason. I am also the bugsquad contact for these bugs.
(02:27:21 PM) sebsebseb: Abiword :)
(02:27:30 PM) charlie-tca: We will work very closely to the Ubuntu bugsquad when triaging, and follow the guidelines set in https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/HowToTriage. A very important idea in triaging is that just because only one person had a failure, that does not make it invalid.
(02:27:57 PM) charlie-tca: <rufong> QUESTION:do some de-bugging tools work better than others with xfce/xubuntu?
(02:29:15 PM) charlie-tca: I use the same tools as the bugsquad. The procedures at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DebuggingProcedures work very well.
(02:30:12 PM) charlie-tca: One thing is to learn to use strace. Most of the gnumeric developers will request a backtrace, which we have under strace in the procedures
(02:30:37 PM) charlie-tca: <hemanth> QUESTION : Default file browser ??
(02:31:04 PM) charlie-tca: Xfce comes with Thunar instead of Nautilus for a file manager. Most functions are the same.
(02:31:18 PM) charlie-tca: <hemanth> QUESTION : How can I downgrade from ubuntu to xubuntu?
(02:31:33 PM) charlie-tca: We actually prefer to call that an upgrade!
(02:31:37 PM) knome: ;)
(02:32:11 PM) charlie-tca: You can run both gnome and xfce desktop environments by install "xubuntu-desktop" to Ubuntu.
(02:32:17 PM) sebsebseb: heh heh,  well people can have,  Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu, all in the  same install
(02:32:38 PM) charlie-tca: <drostie> QUESTION: When I asked the Kubuntu dev who spoke a couple days ago about what sets KDE apart from the other environments, he pointed to its shininess. How do we make Xubuntu shinier?
(02:32:59 PM) knome: We make Xubuntu shinier by a fantastic Marketing team!
(02:33:30 PM) knome: We are emphasizing on the artwork on the next release and pushing out completely new GTK, GDM, wallpaper, etc. themes.
(02:33:35 PM) charlie-tca: We don't actually aim for "shininess". We would prefer to know the artwork is the best of all, and that you can use Xubuntu on your hardware.
(02:33:58 PM) knome: That too. It's a combination of good-lookingness and working on low-end artwork.
(02:34:47 PM) charlie-tca: When you, as a user, file a bug on launchpad, it goes through several stages. Somebody is going to review the bug report. The first person to review will decide if the report is filed to the correct package, and if there is enough information for the developers.
(02:35:24 PM) charlie-tca: <BobJonkman> QUESTION: Does Xubuntu have LTS releases like mainstream Ubuntu?
(02:36:49 PM) charlie-tca: Since we are an Ubuntu derivative, we use the same release schedule as Ubuntu. We did release 8.04 as an LTS version
(02:37:02 PM) BobJonkman: tkx
(02:38:16 PM) charlie-tca: At this time, if Ubuntu 10.04 releases as an LTS, we plan to release Xubuntu LTS also.
(02:39:25 PM) charlie-tca: Part of the review of the bug is an attempt to reproduce the bug in the latest version of Xubuntu. If the developers have fixed the issue in the latest development version, it is normally much easier to fix in an earlier version.
(02:40:14 PM) charlie-tca: <nixternal> charlie-tca: QUESTION: How do you contribute the success and awesomeness that is Xubuntu when, like Kubuntu, you have a small deverloper community consisting of mostly volunteers?
(02:40:29 PM) charlie-tca: Excellent question, nixternal
(02:40:30 PM) nixternal: s/contribute/attribute
(02:40:46 PM) ***knome shouts PASSION
(02:40:57 PM) charlie-tca: Our volunteers are very passionate about Xubuntu
(02:41:50 PM) charlie-tca: They spend considerable time working to create the best possible OS they can, and the results do reflect that.
(02:42:14 PM) cody-somerville: Its helps that the Ubuntu base is so awesome to work with in the first place too
(02:42:35 PM) charlie-tca: That is correct. Thanks, cody-somerville
(02:43:02 PM) charlie-tca: We also have really good leadership in Xubuntu.
(02:43:13 PM) knome: yayyyy for cody-somerville
(02:43:15 PM) charlie-tca: <sebsebseb> QUESTION: Isn't their a  later version of XFCE in development?  The version group in  Xubuntu has been there for years it seems.
(02:44:27 PM) knome: Just a quick note before someone really answers this: Xubuntu Jaunty comes with 4.6 and not with the "old" 4.4.x
(02:44:32 PM) charlie-tca: One of reasons for that is because Xfce version numbers are at 4.
(02:45:06 PM) charlie-tca: The versions are updating as Xfce updates. Hardy had 4.2, Intrepid 4.2 and 4.3
(02:45:20 PM) rufong: agreed, installed xubu today from livecd, no problems
(02:45:21 PM) charlie-tca: Now we have 4.6.0 in Jaunty
(02:46:00 PM) charlie-tca: When 4.8.0 is ready for release, we will include that in Xubuntu.
(02:46:08 PM) knome: QUESTION:  When is XFCE 5.0?
(02:46:47 PM) charlie-tca: Whenever Xfce gets to 5.0, I would think. The next release planned is 4.8
(02:46:53 PM) knome: Maybe 2020.
(02:47:10 PM) sebsebseb: ok  thanks guys you answered my two release questions
(02:47:18 PM) charlie-tca: You are welcome
(02:48:24 PM) JPohlmann: Next planned after 4.8 is 4.10 and so on.
(02:48:25 PM) charlie-tca: Okay, we had a great session yesterday on bug reporting. Xubuntu uses the same reporting tools as Ubuntu.
(02:48:37 PM) JPohlmann: Similar to the versioning of GLib and GTK+ (2.10, 2.12, 2.14 ...)
(02:48:59 PM) charlie-tca: You can review those tools by reading the session logs at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MeetingLogs/openweekJaunty/BugReports
(02:49:18 PM) sebsebseb: charlie-tca: yeah and Kubuntu will use the same bug reporting stuff to, I assume
(02:49:21 PM) charlie-tca:  QUESTION: How do you have time and passion to test all those alphas, betas and whatever with your low-end hardware?
(02:49:37 PM) charlie-tca: Kubuntu is not the same, I can speak for their processes
(02:50:16 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu and Ubuntu are both GTK based, which makes working with the tools easier. Kubuntu is KDE based, instead of GTK
(02:50:32 PM) charlie-tca: which won't always allow the same tools.
(02:50:46 PM) ***cody-somerville notes that KDE based means it uses QT instead of GTK.
(02:51:07 PM) charlie-tca: That's the missing works, thanks
(02:51:07 PM) knome: Qt, not QT?
(02:51:09 PM) knome: :P
(02:51:23 PM) nixternal: knome:  is correct, and it is pronounced "Cute" :)
(02:51:27 PM) nixternal: not Q T
(02:52:13 PM) charlie-tca: I have time and passion for testing because I really enjoy doing it. I hope that by doing that, I can contribute a little back to a
(02:52:31 PM) charlie-tca: OS that has given me so much.
(02:52:41 PM) sebsebseb: charlie-tca: and great community :)
(02:53:11 PM) charlie-tca: indeed, a truly great community that makes it a joy to spend time helping.
(02:53:39 PM) charlie-tca: <Rafik_> QUESTION : How/Where to start with the Xubuntu Team ? (Interested in web site and marketing contribution)
(02:53:58 PM) knome: Join #xubuntu-devel and contact knome. Oh wait, that's me...
(02:54:00 PM) knome: :)
(02:54:02 PM) charlie-tca: Getting started with Xubuntu is easy and fun! For the average user, you can get help and support through either #xubuntu on Freenode or the xubuntu users mailing list at https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/xubuntu-users. We're a friendly bunch and enjoy helping folks :-)
(02:54:19 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu comes ready to use on any equipment. It gives excellent performance with no loss of applications.
(02:54:31 PM) charlie-tca: New users are often surprised to find that Xubuntu includes a number of gnome applications. These are included simply because if an application works well, and is considered lightweight, it fits. Any application can be included, and it does not matter if it starts with gnome, xfce, or anything other letters.
(02:54:44 PM) charlie-tca: AbiWord and Gnumeric instead of OpenOffice.org are included as default applications in Xubuntu, so we handle most of the Gnumeric and AbiWord bugs too, since those are the default applications. They are both very powerful for the user, yet lightweight.
(02:54:58 PM) knome: If you want to join the *developer* team, there is #xubuntu-devel and there is also the developer mailing list, https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/xubuntu-devel
(02:55:10 PM) sebsebseb: charlie-tca: yeah Abiword is awsome and my favourite word proccessor
(02:55:15 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu Jaunty 9.04 does have Xfce 4.6 included, which has many improvements over 4.4. The menus are freedesktop.org compliant now.
(02:55:27 PM) charlie-tca: The volume control is based on GStreamer 0.10 now. Since the new xfce4-mixer uses gstreamer, it no longer has to maintain code for different sound architectures like alsa, esd, etc. Gstreamer takes care of it. Xubuntu does not ship with pulse audio enabled.
(02:56:15 PM) charlie-tca: The developers have included gigolo, to make networking and sharing files simpler than ever.
(02:56:39 PM) charlie-tca: <gregknicholson> QUESTION: For people used to Gnome/Ubuntu, what are the main differences in UI/user experience in Xfce/Xubuntu? What takes the longest to get used to?
(02:56:48 PM) charlie-tca: Great question.
(02:57:27 PM) charlie-tca: I think the fact that Xfce is not Gnome takes time to learn. There is always a learning curve.
(02:58:09 PM) charlie-tca: New users find that it is not as simple as Gnome to do things. Sometimes the command line must be used instead of a GUI.
(02:58:31 PM) imbrando_ is now known as imbrandon
(02:58:42 PM) charlie-tca: File sharing could be improved, since it is not as easy as using Nautilus.
(02:58:46 PM) JPohlmann: The settings dialogs are very different to those from GNOME in some regards.
(02:59:00 PM) JPohlmann: So it's sometimes difficult to find a certain setting.
(02:59:20 PM) sebsebseb: yeah the default menus are differnet here and there
(02:59:47 PM) charlie-tca: As part of one of the best, fastest growing distributions available, we welcome anyone who would like to assist in development, testing, and bug triage!
(03:00:15 PM) charlie-tca: Thank you all for being here.
(03:00:32 PM) nixternal: thanks charlie-tca and thanks to the entire Xubuntu community, great job!
(03:00:38 PM) nixternal: ...
(03:00:51 PM) sebsebseb: I'll second that :)

MeetingLogs/openweekJaunty/XubuntuQA (last edited 2009-04-30 19:13:34 by pool-70-16-48-183)