About Me

  • Free software developer and advocate since 1994
  • Kubuntu developer and documentation writer since 2005
  • KDE developer and documentation writer since 2005, user since 1996
  • Debian Maintainer for a couple of packages, KDE based of course
  • Co-Author of the Official Ubuntu Book (Edubuntu chapter - huh?)
  • Go by nixternal on every communication protocol imaginable
  • Email me at nixternal@kubuntu.org

About Kubuntu

  • Official project of the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution
  • We use the same exact base system as Ubuntu, we just use KDE instead
  • It is pronounced koo-BOON-too
  • First released in 2005 with the Hoary Hedgehog (5.04) version
  • http://www.kdedevelopers.org/node/591 - The post that started it all, by some guy named Jonathan Riddell

Where Kubuntu is today

  • One of the top KDE based GNU/Linux distributions available
  • Still a small, yet tight-knit community of highly dedicated and experienced developers
  • Both a KDE 3 and a KDE 4 Remix version available
  • In numerous large scaled environments (Canary Islands, French Parliament, and others)
  • A tad bit better than yesterday, only to be made better with YOUR help

Development Roles

There are many roles available for you to get involved in, no matter your experience level we have a job for you!

I will break down the jobs or roles that I feel are in order starting with the easiest all the way to the hardest.

Feel free to communicate with developers by utilizing our mailing list - https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/kubuntu-devel (Subscription based - low traffic). Note that this list is NOT for user support, for support please see the list information provided in the upcoming section on user support.


Advocacy is nothing more than a fancier, and better sounding word for marketing. Yes, advocacy helps in the development of Kubuntu, and by you advocating, you are therefore helping to develop Kubuntu. This gets Kubuntu in the hands of other people who will use the system and typically report back any issues or compliments to the developers.

How can you advocate?

  • Get with one of your LoCo teams (Nick Ali will hold a LoCo Teams talk at 19:00 UTC this Saturday, May 3, 2008 during this OpenWeek)

  • Get with one of your local Linux Users Groups (LUG)
  • Talk about it face-to-face with friends, family, colleagues, and strangers in the dark (careful using Kubuntu as a pickup line, doesn't get you to far!)

User Support

How can user support be considered a development role?

  • You develop a sense of pride when helping others
  • You develop respect not only for the OS, but also for the users, the developers, and yourself
  • You develop a repoir within the Kubuntu community
  • You help users, see things that could be made better by developers, and report that to the developers

Having someone like YOU helping out the Kubuntu users helps out the development community tremendously. You free up the main developers time a bit and you also are provided the ability to take what you learn from common issues and communicate that effectively, allowing developers to make a better Kubuntu.

Places you can provide user support:

Bug Triage

Bug triage is a huge part of the development process and comes in easy and difficult tasks. For the easy, simply going through bug reports and testing to see if you can reproduce the issue and then confirming the bug is a big part on ensuring it gets fixed. When bugs sit in the New or Incomplete status, their chances of getting looked at in depth are minimal compared to a report that has been Confirmed. For the difficult part, simply fix the bug by patching the software in question. For more information on bug triage stay tuned to more talks during this OpenWeek, such talks include:

  • Reporting Bugs by Brian Murray, which happened just a couple of hours ago (17:00 UTC on Monday, April 28, 2008) and will also be held again at 17:00 UTC this Saturday, May 3, 2008
  • Ubuntu Bugsquad + Triaging Bugs by Pedro Villavicencio which happened just prior to this talk (18:00 UTC on Monday, April 28, 2008) and will also be held again at 18:00 UTC this Saturday, May 3, 2008
  • Bughelper - Making Bug Work Easier by Markus Korn at 15:00 UTC on Friday, May 2, 2008


Documentation is a very large task in the free software world and it is no different here in Kubuntu. As it stands, there are about 3 or 4 of us who work on the Kubuntu documentation, with myself and Jonathan Jesse typically available most of the time. With our future with KDE 4, ALL of our documentation needs to be rewritten in order to suite it. Currently all of our documentation is KDE 3 based. We house our documentation in Bazaar which a revision control system. Right now our goal will be with Intrepid documentation. For further information on documentation please see either of the following:


What exactly is packaging? If you used Adept, Synaptic, apt-get, or aptitude to install a piece of our free software, then what you have done is downloaded a package which was extracted into the proper locations within your system, ensuring at the same time that any of that applications dependencies were also installed. What happens is you have a select group of developers who spend their PERSONAL TIME creating, editing, and maintaining Debian based packages so you can download and install them. Requirements for this type of role would be:

  • Familiarity with the command line
  • Ability to download, extract, configure, build, and install a tarball (file.tar.gz and such)
  • Familiarity with Debian based packaging scripts and utilities (pbuilder, dh_make, dh_install, and more)

More information on packaging can be located at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU. Also don't forget to catch the packaging related talks during this OpenWeek, such as:

  • QA: Using piuparts to test your packages by Lars Wirzenius which was earlier today at 16:00 UTC. Don't worry if you missed it, the logs will be available shortly for each session of this OpenWeek

  • Packaging 101 - Session 1 by Daniel Holbach at 15:00 UTC, tomorrow, Tuesday, April 29, 2008
  • Packaging 101 - Session 2 by Daniel Holbach at 16:00 UTC, tomorrow, Tuesday, April 29, 2008
  • Merging Packages 101 by Nicolas Valcárcel at 18:00 UTC, tomorrow, Tuesday, April 29, 2008
  • Python Packaging by Emilio Pozuelo Monfort at 21:00 UTC on Thursday, May 1, 2008
  • And if you are already a packager, check out Running a Packaging Jam by Rick Harding at 19:00 UTC on Friday, May 2, 2008


Are you an elite coding ninja? A code monkey? A CS student just learning how to code? Well we can make some room for you! What type of coding jobs are available at this time are still up in the air until after the Ubuntu Developer's Summit next month. Once the projects are hammered out, I am fairly certain there will be coding projects available for various types of coders. C++ and Python are our 2 main languages here at Kubuntu and if you have any experience we should have something for you. Do you have a project in mind? If so, then come to one of our regularly scheduled developer meetings and place your ideas on the agenda for that meeting. Who knows, maybe you can twist some arms to get your idea developed and included in the next release, and future releases, of Kubuntu.


I would like to thank each and every one of you for attending this meeting. I hope it wasn't to boring for you and that you are now ready to explode with questions, comments, and ideas. I ask that you provide your question, comments, or ideas in accordance to the rules set forth in the discussion channel for the OpenWeek talks. Thanks again and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask, and comments and ideas can be fired my way as well.

RichardJohnson/OpenWeek/KubuntuDevel (last edited 2008-08-06 16:38:06 by localhost)