Ubuntu Developer Summit Paris

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I attempted two times before to blog about UDS Paris, but didn’t know where to start, so here’s take 3, trying to keep it simple this time.

In short, the summit was great. I met lots of great people there, like the good old Mr Edubuntu (aka ogra) and the LTSP developers (sbalneav and jammcq), and played cards with Ian Jackson (he wrote dpkg and is previous DPL), along with many other cool and interesting people.

The processes worked quite smoothly, most high-priority specs were processed during the week, and everyone were quite happy with the efficiency of this summit. It sets a great pace for the development for Edgy.

A highlight was attending a BoF (Bird of Feather) session with the accessability team. They have some great ideas for accessability and Ubuntu. Klaus Knopper, author of Knoppix, was also there to give assistance. He’s working on a very nice system for visually impaired users, most of which will hopefully find it’s way in Ubuntu. The accessibility team does need a lot of help though. They are also currently a small team, and are doing plenty of other work on Ubuntu as well. Henrik asked me if I can do an access.ubuntu.com website, that would be easy to access for accessibility users. I’ve never done something like that before, but I told him that I would try. I googled for accessibility, and it turns out there’s a W3c specification for accessibility sites. I was also refered to the BBC Website, which seems to be widely accepted as a good designed site in terms of accessibility. If you want to help with the accessibility site, please contact me. I think I’m going to need some help on this one. Henrik also suggested using sounds in the website, I don’t think there’d be much technical problems there, but good layout and usability for people who can’t see is something that I haven’t worked with yet, so if you know of someone who is visually impaired, please let me know, I’d appreciate it if they could test it for me and provide feedback.

Some of the upstream projects also had some interesting ideas, some of them I can’t talk about it yet, since they haven’t announced it yet, but I’ll definitely blog about it once they do :)
We managed to go to downtown Paris a few evenings during the week, I took some pictures at the Eiffel tower and Notre Dam. It was an intense week, and I got very little sleep, but it was completely worth while. Spending time with so many great people definitely changes you.

LinuxWorld 2005 - Jo’burg

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This has been an exciting (and tiring) week. I went to Jo’burg for the first time to attend the first ever South-African hosted LinuxWorld. I worked on the LPI/TSF stand, and we took along the Freedom Toaster, which generated huge interest. It was amazing how few stands were giving out Linux CD’s. The Impi stand were giving out some Impi Linux CD’s. That was about it. We took along 500 blank CD’s to give away for the toaster, which we thought would last the 4 day event. As it turns out, we used more than 400 CD’s on the first day! After that, we told people that they could bring their own CD’s to burn. We thought that this would cause the queues to get somewhat shorter, but people were still coming in large amounts and the toaster worked at full capacity for the entire week. Jaco Kroon and I had to burn CD’s on our laptops too (to keep up with the demand), so we were burning single CD distro’s, such as Ubuntu and Knoppix Overall, I estimate that we burned over 2000 CD’s this week. We were bombarded with questions, and couldn’t get to all of them, so we explained concepts like Linux Users’ Groups to groups of people at the time, and how to get more information. Initially I thought that there would be mostly GNU/Linux enthusiasts attending the event, but there was an amazing flow of people who have never heard of Linux, or at least, never used it before. The most popular distributions burnt on the toaster were SuSE, Mandriva, Fedora , Ubuntu and Knoppix. Impi was probably not burned much partially because free Impi CD’s were given out. We didn’t recommend Debian that much, since it’s 13 CD’s and it’s a bit unfair for the people waiting in the queue. Karien Bezuidenhout from the Shuttleworth Foundation and Glen Mcknight from LPI were fantastic and arranged 111 LPI examinations for the week. A highlight was having dinner with Jon “maddog” Hall. It’s amazing how much experience this guy has. He’s also very friendly and willing to share his knowledge. Grab some photos:

Dinner with maddog at Moyo
Some Linuxworld stands
Drinks with maddog at newscafe

TSF stands at LinuxWorld

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