ScreencastTeam Meetings

The ScreencastTeam meetings are scheduled for every two weeks. Meetings are held at #ubuntu-meeting, They are open for everyone interested and/or participating in the ScreencastTeam.


  • When: 27 August 2007

  • Start: 15:00

  • End: 16:00

  • Timezone: UTC

  • Where: #ubuntu-meeting on

  • Chaired By: AlanPope

Agenda for this meeting

  • Current status
  • Growing the team
  • MonthOfScreencasts

  • Screencast workflow
  • Video processing script
  • Any other business
  • Next meeting schedule


  • Some outstanding screencasts contributed by other people are still awaiting re-encoding and uploading
    • These are not "branded" Ubuntu Screencast Team and should therefore not be on the front page, but maybe on a separate "contribution" page, with a link to the originating site.
  • Screencasts site moved to canonical hosting, no ssh or scp access so currently not possible to upload new screencasts
    • Gentle request to be sent to canonical system admins
  • Screencasts site currently down / responding slowly
    • Again, a gentle poke of the admins during work time (it's Bank Holiday in the UK today) to sort
  • Look to upgrade to Drupal 5 when we have access to the box and there is some spare time - not an immediate hurry for this. We also need the Ubuntu theme from Matthew Nuzum when it's done.
  • Ways to grow the team were discussed
    • Have regular meetings
    • Use the mailing list
  • MonthOfScreencasts was discussed. During September 2007 one screencast per day to be released by the team. Each covers one subject in depth, lasting 20 to 30 minutes. Available in OGG and FLV (streaming) format, the videos will take a new user from "zero to hero".

    • Further discussion, dividing up the work, and actual content to be discussed on the mailing list.

  • Further efforts are to be made to simplify the process for creating screencasts
    • Make less use of full system emulation, but instead use a vnc server running under another "clean" user to demonstrate applications where it is less of an issue when the system has been changed (by adding codecs for example).
    • Re-write the screencasting how to
    • Figure out where we are wasting time and optimise the workflow to reduce those bottlenecks
    • Create an all-in-one application for screencasting
      • Write a spec (for inclusion at UDS Boston)?
      • Speak to the DemoRecorder guy to see if he will open source it

  • ScreencastsInUbuntu - write a specification for an application accessed from application help menus which can list and subsequently display screencast videos

  • Next meeting scheduled for 19:00 UTC on 10th October 2007 in #ubuntu-meeting.


16:00:06 < popey> BONG! Screencast Team meeting start
16:00:15 < popey> Anyone here for the screencast team meeting?
16:00:34 < popey> This will be nice and quick then
16:02:07 < popey> * Current status
16:02:33 < Webspot> I'm here!
16:02:34 < popey> I have had little time to make or administer screencasts recently, however I now have quite a lot of time, so am planning to focus on the screencast team pretty much full time
16:02:36 < popey> yay!
16:02:36 < Webspot> Just got here.
16:02:38 < popey> :)
16:02:45 < Webspot> :)
16:02:48 < popey> I have some outstanding videos to process
16:02:58 < popey> these should be done over the next week or so
16:03:18 < popey> Hosting: We are now hosted by canonical \o/
16:03:24 < popey> which is currently down :(
16:03:42 < elkbuntu> heh
16:03:45 < popey> I will chase this up tomorrow when canonical staff are back at work, no sense bothering them on a bank holiday
16:04:07 < popey> there is another issue which is right now I don't have SSH / SCP access to the box
16:04:26 < popey> so currently i can't upload any new videos, but I suspect if I put them online on my own hosting, I could ask the admins to wget them onto the box
16:05:06 < popey> i would also like us to move from drupal 4.x to drupal 5.x but that can wait until the canonical guys have developed the drupal 5 ubuntu template we use 
16:05:16 < popey> no hurry there, the site isn't broken as such
16:05:26 < popey> Ok, that's the current status.. 
16:05:33 < popey> any comments before we move on?
16:05:43 < Webspot> Nope.
16:05:59 < popey> * Growing the team
16:06:20 < popey> This I am a little stuck on.. 
16:06:29 < popey> one thing i think i need to do is stick to regular meetings
16:06:33 < popey> send out updates to the mailing list
16:06:34 < popey> etc
16:06:43 < popey> and keep uploading new screencasts to bring people in
16:07:07 < popey> we have been given screencasts by people who are actually hosting elsewhere
16:07:15 < popey> with a view to putting them on the site
16:07:33 < popey> which is fantastic, but I am concerned we don't have much "exclusive" content
16:07:43 < popey> i.e. we would then just be hosting stuff that can be found elsewhere
16:07:56 < Webspot> I think we should stick to our own content.
16:07:58 < popey> Suggestions for growing the team greatfully received!
16:08:00 < Webspot> On the site.
16:08:17 < popey> or have a section for "contributed content", i.e. not made by "Us"
16:08:23 < Webspot> Yeah.
16:08:23 < popey> where "us" = "the 'team'" ?
16:08:35 < popey> i want to link to other sites, cross promote etc
16:08:35 < Webspot> yeah
16:08:52 < popey> ok, glad that doesn't sound mad, will do that then
16:08:56 < popey> maybe not put them on the front page?
16:09:04 < popey> but have a link to them from the front page?
16:09:08 < Webspot> Yeah
16:09:14 < popey> ok, will do that
16:09:16 < Webspot> Sounds good.
16:09:32 < popey> ok, next topic may get some interest from outside, I hope it will at least
16:09:40 < popey> * Month Of Screencasts
16:09:50 < popey> A month of screencasts - one per day for the month of September - leading up to the release of gutsy in late October.
16:10:03 < popey> Week one: Fundamentals week
16:10:08 < popey> People who have probably never used Ubuntu, at least not in anger, probably never used Linux, or maybe not recently, and may not even be aware of FOSS on other platforms like Windows
16:10:20 < popey> Week two: Setup week
16:10:29 < popey> Same as above, but presumes they have watched the first week. Builds on that so that people who have installed Ubuntu but only have a basic grasp of computer use can pick up some useful information
16:10:38 < popey> Week three & Four:
16:10:44 < popey> Now we have brought people up to speed with the "What" and "Why", we move onto the more detailed good stuff like actually using your Ubuntu PC productively
16:11:01 < popey> Each video to be available as OGG and FLV _only_ initially
16:11:17 < popey> maybe available as AVI/MOV later - maybe on a pay-for DVD or something, I don't know, maybe only via torrent or something
16:11:33 < popey> but the rationale is that with only two video codecs to worry about things get a bit easier
16:11:42 < popey> less video processing and less time spent uploading
16:12:02 < popey> each video will be 20-30 mins long (max) and would go in depth on a particular subject..
16:12:13 < popey> here's my sample week one, starting this saturday (!) sept 1st
16:12:30 < popey> Day 1: Ubuntu - what is it!
16:12:39 < popey> Day 2: Linux - What is that too!?
16:12:53 < popey> Day 3: Freedom, Free and Open Licenses - not totally sure about this, but people need to know
16:12:59 < popey> Day 4: Why Use Ubuntu
16:13:10 < popey> Day 5: Getting Help - Forums, irc, mailing lists etc
16:13:21 < popey> Day 6: Tour of the Ubuntu desktop - What are all the icons you first see
16:13:31 < popey> Day 7: Tour of the Ubuntu Applications - What are all the icons on the Applications menu
16:13:33 < popey> Phew!
16:13:43 < popey> Second week looks a bit like this:-
16:13:58 < popey> Day 8: Installing Ubuntu - Overview of install process and what to do when things go wrong
16:14:08 < popey> Day 9: Networking fundamentals - Wi-Fi, LAN, ISP, modems, connection types, basic diags
16:14:19 < popey> Day 10: Updating the system - Bug fixes, security updates, proposed packages etc
16:14:32 < popey> Day 11: Installing software packages from repositories - standard repos and additional ones
16:14:47 < popey> Day 12: Manually installing software - gdebi / compiling (perhaps - pref not)
16:14:57 < popey> Day 13: Printer and scanner setup
16:15:10 < popey> Day 14: ealing with Troublesome Hardware - Wi-Fi, printers, scanners, Video cards, USB devices
16:15:15 < popey> Phew again!
16:15:31 < popey> Week 3 and 4 are still somewhat in a state of flux, here is a dump of some of the ideas :-
16:15:41 < popey> IChoosing the right version
16:15:41 < popey> IFirst steps - what you need to know about media playback
16:15:41 < popey> IPlaying media
16:15:41 < popey> IPlaying games
16:15:43 < popey> IThemes
16:15:50 < popey> IEmail
16:15:50 < popey> IIM
16:15:50 < popey> IWriter, calc, impress, base
16:15:50 < popey> IScribus, project
16:15:50 < popey> IEkiga, Gizmo & Skype
16:15:52 < popey> IGraphics
16:16:05 < popey> The last week might be called something like "productivity week"
16:16:23 < popey> the last two days of the month would be one day "getting involved" and one day "wrap up" for the month
16:16:33 < popey> and maybe the last one could also have Q&A
16:16:45 < popey> people could write in questions through the month and I'd record that one right at the end
16:17:09 < popey> some/most of these I will record up front - before the day they go live, and let drupal make the content availabale at midnight or something
16:17:17 < popey> comments/questions? :)
16:17:25 < Webspot> Do we have enough man power?
16:17:42 < popey> "One man can make a difference Michael" I believe it was said on Knight Rider :)
16:17:48 < Webspot> Lol
16:18:00 < popey> Well, in total it's 30 days, at a max of 30 mins a day thats 15 hours video
16:18:10 < popey> I have automated much of the post processing now
16:18:25 < popey> and a lot of it will just be talking into the Mic, with little requirement for funky demos
16:18:39 < popey> i am actually not working at the moment - "between contracts" so I have quite a lot of time :)
16:18:46 < Webspot> Good.
16:18:56 < popey> it will be quite a task, that's for sure
16:19:02 < popey> oh, and I have a week holiday in mid sept :)
16:19:07 < Webspot> It's my last two weeks off now, so I'll try and keep busy on this too.
16:19:09 < popey> so I definitely need to do them up front
16:19:14 < popey> excellent
16:19:23 < popey> We could use the mailing list for communication
16:19:31 < popey> one thing I don't want to do is release the videos early
16:19:35 < Webspot> Yeah. I signed up to it.
16:19:38 < popey> or release too much detail about whats in them 
16:19:41 < popey> (so I saw ;) )
16:19:50 < Webspot> Has anyone else?
16:19:52 < popey> I have configured the RSS feeds on the site already
16:19:54 < popey> one other :(
16:20:10 < popey> once this month kicks in I think we will see more attention
16:20:18 < Webspot> Yeah.
16:20:26 < Webspot> Especially if it ends up on digg :p
16:20:29 < popey> indeed
16:20:40 < popey> i asked the canonical admins about disk space and bandwidth and they were fine
16:20:49 < popey> max it should take is 8GB disk space
16:20:53 < popey> for all the videos in 3 formats
16:21:02 < popey> s/.formats/sizes
16:21:16 < popey> so tomorrow I am going to make a promo video
16:21:20 < popey> day 0, if you like
16:21:30 < popey> which I will put on the site, and it will be the first video in the rss feeds
16:21:52 < popey> to basically pimp it a bit and get the word out, and hopefully get some people subscribing to the rss feed
16:22:02 < Webspot> Yeah.
16:22:07 < popey> questions/comments?
16:22:23 < popey> other than "you're mad"
16:22:24 < Webspot> Nope.
16:22:24 < popey> :)
16:22:30 < popey> which I have had already from other people
16:22:42 < popey> good, next thing..
16:22:46 < Hobbsee> popey: you're insane.
16:22:48 < Hobbsee> not mad.
16:22:51 < popey> :)
16:22:54 < Hobbsee> :)
16:22:55 < popey> ^^ see
16:23:00 < popey> * #
16:23:00 < popey> * Screencast workflow
16:23:22 < popey> The steps we go through are insane, too complex and need to be simplified
16:23:42 < popey> maybe less use of qemu, more use of vnc to the local host - to another user 
16:23:54 < popey> make it easeir for people to contribute
16:24:08 < popey> I have had on my to do list for some time "make the screencast guide easier" but I haven't had the time to do it
16:24:19 < popey> it's now on my "must do real soon now" list :)
16:24:42 < popey> I had a meeting with Jono last week and he suggested that we attempt to to get some of the things we do integrated into a screencasting app
16:24:54 < popey> so for example the app could do the header/footer and so on
16:25:02 < popey> rather than having to use 8 different apps all over the place
16:25:08 < Webspot> Yeah, that would be useful
16:25:26 < popey> there is one screencasting app (commercial) - DemoRecorder (.com iirc) which is quite nice
16:25:46 < popey> I will contact the author - he seemed open to open sourcing it in the past, but that may not still be the case
16:26:07 < popey> would be nice if we could start with that, because it has some nice features that none of the others have - like almost zero cpu utilisation when recording
16:26:26 < popey> and video converters built into the product - not sure how useful they would be but still
16:26:37 < popey> i think this is a longer term idea which needs to be specced up
16:26:52 < popey> i.e. a specification for a screencasting app needs writing and putting on launchpad
16:27:12 < popey> I'll flesh out what Jono and I talked about and put it on the mailing list so we can have a chat about it in the open ok?
16:27:22 < Webspot> Ok.
16:27:53 < popey> it would be good if you could look at what you do to create screencasts, and figure out where the time/effort goes
16:27:59 < popey> a kind of time & motion study
16:28:04 < popey> figure out where we are wasting time
16:28:21 < popey> i think if we can make the process easier and more efficient we might get more people involved
16:28:25 < popey> what say you?
16:28:30 < Hobbsee> NI!
16:28:39  * popey gets a shrubbery
16:28:48 < Hobbsee> \o/
16:29:02  * Hobbsee pretends to be the hiccuping guard
16:29:16 < Hobbsee> (
16:30:46  * popey pokes Webspot 
16:31:00 < Webspot> The part that I spend the most time on is patching audio to video and joining it all up.
16:31:09 < Webspot> How will we make it easier?
16:31:17 < Hobbsee> use herrings
16:31:28 < Hobbsee> utilise the power of the raw herring
16:31:30  * Hobbsee shuts up
16:32:09 < popey> good question Webspot 
16:32:27 < popey> i think we need to figure out all the time wasting bits and _then_ figure out how we fix them :)P
16:33:54 < popey> we'll discuss on the list yeah? :)
16:34:05 < Webspot> Yeah.
16:34:09 < popey> cool
16:34:10 < popey> next!
16:34:17 < popey> * Any other business
16:34:18 < popey> oh
16:34:23  * popey thought he had more on there than that
16:34:27 < popey> well, there is one other thing :)
16:34:45 < popey> In my meeting with Jono last week he suggested that screencasts should be "in" ubuntu
16:35:11 < Webspot> We could build a application to browse through them and play them.
16:35:12 < popey> meaning, you go to Help --> Videos in _any_ app and a popup comes up with a seclection of videos you can watch - streamed perhaps - over t'internet
16:35:16 < popey> exactly!
16:35:31 < popey> python + gtk + gstreamer, or qt for kde
16:35:43 < Webspot> Yup
16:35:50 < popey> I have a spec partly written and will put it on launchpad and then ping a mail to the list about it
16:36:25 < popey> anything else you can think of to discuss?
16:36:35 < Webspot> Can't think of anything.
16:37:06 < popey> excellent
16:37:10 < popey> last thing then..
16:37:15 < popey> * Next meeting schedule
16:37:18 < popey> two weeks today?
16:37:35 < Webspot> Yeah. Sounds good.
16:37:40 < popey> ooh
16:37:44  * popey checks the fridge calendar
16:38:07 < popey> so, same time on the 10th Sept?
16:38:14 < Webspot> Ah! Problem. Might not be home from sixthform.
16:38:22 < Webspot> Don't know my timetable yet.
16:38:29 < popey> duff day or duff time?
16:38:48 < Webspot> We could make the time an hour later.
16:38:57 < popey> or would the evening be better?
16:39:04 < popey> 8pm for example?
16:39:15 < Webspot> Should be alight that.
16:39:29 < popey> So 19:00 UTC on 10th Sept yes?
16:39:35 < Webspot> Yup
16:39:44 < popey> groovy
16:39:51 < popey> sorted, thanks for attending
16:40:19  * popey summarises meeting on the meeting page
16:40:49 < Webspot> Is there any particular screencasts I should start planning on?
16:41:09 < popey> for the month of screencasts?
16:41:12 < Webspot> Yup
16:41:17 < popey> "MoS 2007" as I am calling it ;)
16:41:36 < popey> tell you what, lets talk about it on the list after I post this detail about the meeting yeah?
16:41:56 < popey> will be all nicely formatted and everything
16:41:56 < Webspot> Ok.
16:41:58 < popey> doing it now
16:44:17 < popey> oh Webspot just remembered something
16:44:45 < popey> when the site moved to canonical hosting they deleted all the drupal accounts execpt mine, so I will need to re-create yours - probably just needs a    password reset email sending - will do that when the site comes back
16:45:38 < Webspot> Ah right
16:45:46 < Webspot> I never need to log in really, anyway :p
16:46:57 < popey> unless you want to reply to comments to screencasts you have made?
16:47:08 < Webspot> Ah yeah. Forgot about that bit.
16:51:08 < Webspot> popey: Are the screencasts going to be planned in pretty much the same way, for the month of screencasts, as we do at the moment?
16:51:38 < popey> well. at the moment I have a separate page in my tomboy notes
16:51:46 < popey> for each screencast, and am making notes myself
16:51:56 < popey> is that what you mean?
16:52:05 < popey> I can make a page on the wiki once we nail down the schedule
16:52:32 < popey> I'd rather not heavily publicise the content before they are set in stone (i.e. recorded)
16:52:56 < Webspot> Ok. How do we choose who does what screencast then?
16:54:50 < popey> toss a coin :)
16:54:54 < popey> I don't mind myself
16:55:17 < popey> once I send the mail out, you can bagsy whichever ones you want :)
16:55:27 < Webspot> Ah right. Good :)
16:55:32 < popey> :)

ScreencastTeam/Meeting20070827 (last edited 2008-08-06 16:36:49 by localhost)