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Jono Bacon: Growing an Active Ubuntu Advocacy Community

Fri, 17/01/2014 - 00:13

Like many of you, I am tremendously excited about Ubuntu’s future. We are building a powerful convergence platform across multiple devices with a comprehensive developer platform at the heart of it. This could have a profound impact on users and developers alike.

Now, you have all heard me and my team rattling on about this for a while, but we also have a wonderful advocacy community in Ubuntu in the form of our LoCo Teams who are spreading the word. I want to explore ways to help support and grow the events and advocacy that our LoCo Teams are doing.

I had a conversation with Jose on the LoCo Council about this today, and I think we have a fun plan to move forward with. We are going to need help though, so please let me know in the comments if you can participate.

Step 1: Ubuntu Advocacy Kit

The Ubuntu Advocacy Kit is designed to provide a one-stop shop of information, materials (e.g. logos, brochures, presentations), and more for doing any kind of Ubuntu advocacy. Right now it needs a bit of a spring clean, which I am currently working on.

I think we need to get as many members of our community to utilize the kit. With this in mind we are going to do a few things:

  • Get the kit cleaned up and up to date.
  • Get it linked on loco.ubuntu.com and encourage our community to use it.
  • Encourage our community to contribute to the kit and add additional content.
  • Grow the team that maintains the kit.

Help needed: great writers and editors.

Step 2: Advocacy App

The Ubuntu Advocacy Kit works offline. This was a conscious decision with a few benefits:

  1. It makes it easier to know you have all relevant content without having to go to a website and download all the assets. When you have the kit, you have all the materials.
  2. The kit can be used offline.
  3. The kit can be more easily shared.
  4. When people contribute to the kit it feels like you are making something, as opposed to adding docs to a website. This increases the sense of ownership.

With the kit being contained in an offline HTML state (and the source material in reStructured Text) it means that it wouldn’t be that much work to make a click package of the kit that we can ship on the phone, tablet, and desktop.

Just imagine that: you can use the click store to install the Ubuntu Advocacy Kit and have all the information and materials you need, right from the palm of your hand on your phone, tablet, or desktop.

The current stylesheet for the kit doesn’t render well on a mobile device, so it would be handy if we could map the top-level nav (Documentation, Materials etc) to tabs in an app.

We could also potentially include links to other LoCo resources (e.g. a RSS feed view of news from loco.ubuntu.com) and a list of teams.

If you would be interested in working on this, let me know.

Help needed: Ubuntu SDK programmers and artists.

Step 3: Hangout Workshops

I am going to schedule some hangout workshops to go through some tips of how to organize and run LoCo events and advocacy campaigns, and use the advocacy kit as the source material for the workshop. I hope this will result in more events being coordinated.

Help needed: LoCo members who want to grow their skills.

Step 4: LoCo Portal

We also want to encourage wider use of loco.ubuntu.com so our community can get a great idea of the pule of advocacy, events, and more going on.

Help needed: volunteers to run events.

Feedback and volunteers are most welcome!

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Aq: Posting to Discourse via the Discourse REST API from Python

Thu, 16/01/2014 - 21:05

The Bad Voltage forum is run by Discourse. As part of posting a new episode, I wanted to be able to send a post to the forum from a script. Discourse has a REST API but it’s not very well documented, at least partially because it’s still being worked on. So if you read this post two years after it was written, it might be entirely full of lies. Still, I managed to work out how to post to Discourse from a Python script, and here’s an example script to do just that.

First, you’ll need an API key. If you’re the forum administrator, which I am, you can generate one of these from http://YOURFORUM/admin/api. It is not clear to me exactly what this API key does: in particular, I suspect that it is a key with total admin rights over the forum, so don’t share it around. If there’s a way of making an API key with limited rights to just create posts and that’s it, I don’t know that way; if you do know that way, tell me! Once you’ve got your API key, and your username, fill them into the script as APIKEY and APIUSERNAME.

import requests # apt-get install python-requests # based on https://github.com/discoursehosting/discourse-api-php/blob/master/lib/DiscourseAPI.php # log all the things so you can see what's going on import logging import httplib httplib.HTTPConnection.debuglevel = 1 logging.basicConfig() logging.getLogger().setLevel(logging.DEBUG) requests_log = logging.getLogger("requests.packages.urllib3") requests_log.setLevel(logging.DEBUG) requests_log.propagate = True # api key created in discourse admin. probably super-secret, so don't tell anyone. APIKEY="whatever the api key is" APIUSERNAME="your username" QSPARAMS = {"api_key": APIKEY, "api_username": APIUSERNAME} FORUM = "http://url for your forum/" # with the slash on the end # First, get cookie r = requests.get(FORUM, params=QSPARAMS) SESSION_COOKIE = r.cookies["_forum_session"] # Now, send a post to the _forum_session post_details = { "title": "Title of the new topic", "raw": "Body text of the post", "category": 7, # get the category ID from the admin "archetype": "regular", "reply_to_post_number": 0 } r = requests.post(FORUM + "posts", params=QSPARAMS, data=post_details, cookies={"_forum_session": SESSION_COOKIE}) print "Various details of the response from discourse" print r.text, r.headers, r.status_code disc_data = json.loads(r.text) disc_data["FORUM"] = FORUM print "The link to your new post is: " print "%(FORUM)st/%(topic_slug)s/%(topic_id)s" % disc_data
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Dick Turpin: Gizza loan.

Tue, 14/01/2014 - 12:21
Customer: "Hi we bought a cheap laptop from you but it does not appear to have MS Office on it, do you by any chance have a copy of Office we can borrow?"

Speechless
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Peter Cannon: Iniegogo campaign fails to hit target.

Tue, 14/01/2014 - 10:48

Well sadly there it is folks. We failed to meet the target of £700 for sending The Dick Turpin Road Show to FOSDEM.

We did however raise £368.00 which equates to 52.57% or as +Thomas Heine said “Over half the target.” We did have 24 people contribute, 1,039 visits and 399 referrals. On a personal level I’d like to thank each person who donated. Regardless of the amount. You’re an awesome selfless person and I appreciate the effort you all made in an attempt to get not only myself but #tdtrs  to +FOSDEM

Thankfully (Read that as you will) only +Matthew Copperwaite will be there to represent us so if you was planning on buying me a ginger beer buy Matt one instead. To all my friends that are going (A fair few are not on G+) I hope you all have a fantastic time and once again thanks everyone for your kindness.

If you listen to Episode 67 of The Dick Turpin Road Show when it is released you’ll hear that I will hopefully be thanking you all personally in my own famous way.

Pete

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Peter Cannon: Linux Outlaws Live 300

Fri, 10/01/2014 - 12:07

Linux Outlaws celebrated 300 episodes on Sunday 17th February 2013. Initially I was not intending to go even though my co-conspirator Matthew Copperwaite said “Well if I’m going you’ve got to go!” fortunately for everyone Travelodge just happened to send me an email offering rooms for £15.00 plus Trainline was offer return tickets to Liverpool for £16.00 that meant with the £5.00 entrance fee I could go to the event for the incredible price of £36.00.

I set out on a crisp, sunny Sunday morning from the village halt where I was to board my first train terminating at Rugeley Trent Valley. I had three trains in total to catch, each with a 10 minute separation. Knowing the UK rail system this was going to be a nail-biting experience. My first train arrived on time and my daughters waived me off from the platform, I suspect to make sure I actually left the county more than anything? We diesel chugged through the countryside and I discovered from the conductor that all I had to do was get off the train and my next connection arrived on the same platform. Now this is where things get interesting, so stood in a group was about seven or eight middle aged men drinking cans and bottles of larger? I thought “10:45am is a bit early in the day for that kind of thing isn’t it?” my next train appeared, the 10:43 to Stafford. Oh yes now we know why the larger louts was on the platform don’t we? As I alighted my carriage I was greeted by red vested, omg I must have a drink, football fans. Just fecking great. Now I know zilch about football but I was thinking “Hopefully they’ll get off at Crewe?” Oh you soppy thing Pete. The 11:09 London Liverpool Virgin train pulled in, Virgin trains are the perfect colour for what greeted me! Yep, I was on the football special Liverpool vs Swansea, whoopty fooking do one hour of larger clutching fans traipsing up and down the corridor to visit the toilet or try to find the buffet car.

Now Matt and I have some traditions when we go to events, Matt’s are generally passport/forgetting things related mine is mobile phone related. I always run out of credit mid transit! The day before I put £10 on my PAYG phone, I remembered not to upload lots of photo’s but I did check and make comments on my  G+ account fairly regularly, and I did also try to tether my phone via USB to my netbook but just outside Runcorn I’d used up my credit. This always sends me into a panic as I think “What the hell do I do if Matt contacts me?” Willing the train to “Get a fooking hurry on” we eventually pulled into Lime Street where I popped into WH Smiths and stuck some more credit on and texted Matt to say I had arrived and would wait for him. One hour later the other half of The Dick Turpin Road Show arrived and we set off for The LEAF.

Now we had arranged for one or two people to join us but the two faced gits sloped off to some private Chinese meal based event that Matt and I was not invited to, I mean, is that any way to treat friends? Bout 15:15 with tear stained cheeks Matt and I dragged our dejected bodies off to our respective hotels with Matt telling me to get back to his room by 15:45. I dunno what he was thinking? I was in the Strand which was at least a 10-15 minute walk, I had to book in, get cleaned up, change and then yomp it over to the Travelodge Central like some fooking Marine come paratrooper! I arrived at his room and barely managed to tap his door through my wheezing frail carcass. Matt called out “Who’s there?” A fooking corpse that’s who! Upon entering there was one of the swine’s that stood us up Oliver Clark  “Hello Pete” he said, hoping I did not bare a grudge or believe in blood feuds “You can fook right off.” I responded.

After being offered apologies, excuses and the sacrifice of Oliver’s first man-child we all settled down to record EP46 of The Dick Turpin Road Show #lol300 (which will be released soon) the main theme running through this recording is Pete’s bitterness at being stood up, Mr Les Pounder by the way. Once we had finished we set off for the event, just past wetherspoons a local lad walked up to us and said “Hey lads wanna buy some champagne?” While Matt pretended to have and engrossing text to read on his phone and Oliver was gripped with a fit of giggles I was left to deal with the damn scally! I told him no thanks but this did not deter him “It’s good stuff mate, normally £50 but I can let you have it for £20″ I replied again that we was not interested and we quickly made our escape.

[This will remain unfinished sadly]

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Dick Turpin: Translating Customers Comments.

Fri, 10/01/2014 - 11:01
"I'm a friend of xyz" = "I want it really cheap or better still for free because I know xyz."

"It says here delivery included, how much is the delivery?" = "I'll come and collect it and save myself the [Delivery cost]"
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Jono Bacon: Community Leadership Summit 2014 Announced!

Fri, 10/01/2014 - 07:10

I am delighted to announce the Community Leadership Summit 2014, now in it’s sixth year! This year it takes place on the 18th and 19th July 2014, the weekend before OSCON at the Oregon Convention Center. Thanks again to O’Reilly for providing the venue.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the CLS, it is an entirely free event designed to bring together community leaders and managers and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community. The event provides an unconference style schedule in which attendees can discuss, debate and explore topics. This is augmented with a range of scheduled talks, panel discussions, networking opportunities and more.

The heart of CLS is an event driven by the attendees, for the attendees.

The event provides an opportunity to bring together the leading minds in the field with new community builders to discuss topics such as governance, creating collaborative environments, conflict resolution, transparency, open infrastructure, social networking, commercial investment in community, engineering vs. marketing approaches to community leadership and much more.

The previous events have been hugely successful and a great way to connect together different people from different community backgrounds to share best practice and make community management an art and science better understood and shared by us all.

I will be providing more details about the event closer to the time, but in the meantime be sure to register!

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Aq: Pretending to type like a Hollywood hacker in Sublime Text 2

Thu, 09/01/2014 - 17:34

Christian Heilmann has just drawn my attention to a neat trick for automating typing into a text editor, from William Bamberg at Mozilla. Basically, when you’re doing a screencast, popping up a screen full of code is disorienting and hard for your users to take in, but if you actually type the stuff live on air then everyone gets to see all your typos and your mic makes it sound like a herd of wildebeest sweeping majestically across your keyboard.

Bamberg’s solution is to have an AppleScript which reads the file of your choice and then sends keypresses to your editor to “type” the file in, and it’s a neat idea. However, that’s Mac-specific so I can’t use it, and it doesn’t (as Chris notes) work in Sublime Text 2 (my editor, and his) because ST2 does autoindenting and so on and that sods you up.

Conveniently, I needed a script to do precisely this for some screencasts I’m about to work on, so I thought: I shall write it as an ST2 plugin. And lo, I have done so. It’s only about 30 lines: in ST2, do Tools > New Plugin, then paste the Python from https://gist.github.com/stuartlangridge/8336771 and save it as TypeFileOut.py in the ST2 User folder (which should be default).

You then need a way of running it: I added a keybinding for it in Preferences > Key Bindings -- User so that file now looks like

[ { "keys": ["ctrl+shift+."], "command": "type_file_out" } ]

so I can press ctrl-shift-fullstop.

What it actually does is: when you run it, it removes all the text in the current editing tab, waits two seconds, and then types it back in, character by character. The two second wait is to give you a cut point for the screencast, so you enter or load the code you want into ST2, then start your screencast showing slides or whatever, switch to ST2, then press ctrl-shift-. and it’ll type the text back in. When you’re editing your screencast, cut the part between switching to ST2 and the 2 second break.

There’s probably a way of packaging this up so other people can download it with a click, but I don’t think I know how to do that.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Dick Turpin: Free upgrades for life!

Thu, 09/01/2014 - 15:47
Me: "You need to make sure you are all running the same version of Office tbh."
Customer: "Yeah but I bet you have to pay for the upgrades?"

Am I really living an an alternate reality?
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Jono Bacon: Ask Me Anything on Monday

Thu, 09/01/2014 - 02:36

On Monday 13th Jan starting at 6pm UTC (10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern) I will be doing an AMA on Reddit. For those unfamiliar with this – this is where you can ask me anything on Reddit, and the most popular questions and responses are up/down voted.

The post will go live about 30mins before that time so you can start adding questions.

I welcome questions about absolutely anything to do with Ubuntu, Canonical, community management, working in the Open Source industry, writing books, podcasting, free culture, heavy metal, moving from England to America, or anything else. Let’s have some fun!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my work, I work at Canonical as the Ubuntu Community Manager, I am the author of The Art of Community by O’Reilly, founder of the annual Community Leadership Summit, and have spoken around the world about community leadership and encouraging people to get together to create awesome things.

Outside of my work, I co-founded the Bad Voltage, Lugradio, and Shot Of Jaq podcasts, founded the Creative Commons metal band Severed Fifth, wrote an archive of Creative Commons music, built the BBQ website BBQpad, write for various magazines (Linux Format / Ubuntu User), and have contributed to various Open Source projects.

I will follow up on Twitter/Google+ with a link to the thread when it is published.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Dick Turpin: I just knew you'd say that.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 11:18
Prospect: "I've had your email so we must be on your mailing list?" (No shit Sherlock!)
Me: "OK"
Prospect: "I'm interested in three of the Dell i5 machines, I see they are refurbished can you tell me the history of them and what has been done to them?"
Me: "I'm afraid not......................"

Most suppliers have between 20 - 20,000 units they come from all sorts of places and for all sorts of reasons. Some need new parts, some just need a clean and some are in pristine condition and need nothing doing to them. Basically I only trade in Grade A. The machines come into the supplier and are graded, tested and offered for sale with varying lengths of warranty. They don't have time to write a frigging Bio on every unit.

If you want a brand spanking new PC then "Pay the fooking price" if you don't want to pay full whack accept what you are buying then. 

Me: "So three units plus delivery plus VAT is £1285.00"
Prospect: "OK let me just look at that and come back to you."

Now how did I know you was going to say that?
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Jono Bacon: Ubuntu Loco Team App Dev Schools – Volunteers Needed!

Mon, 06/01/2014 - 23:37

2014 is going to be a great year for Ubuntu App Developers. We laid down some fantastic foundations in 2013, but this year we want to extend and grow our community in multiple directions…building a solid, empowered on-ramp for creating awesome apps for Ubuntu.

…but we can’t do this alone, we need your help!

One effort here is to work with our fantastic LoCo Team Community to run a series of Ubuntu App Developer schools across the world. We have one of the greatest advocacy communities anywhere, so this seems like a perfect match.

Fortunately, David Planella has already created some awesome slides and a good tutorial that these schools can work from (he did this for a previous event), and we are here to help provide help and guidance about how to run an event.

As such, we are looking for volunteers to run a local Ubuntu App Dev school in your area. Doing this is as simple as:

  • Find a place to run an event and pick a date when to run it.
  • Find some other folks in your LoCo who would be interested in helping.
  • Get the material and tune it for your event if needed.
  • Promote the event locally and encourage people to join.
  • Practice the material a few times before the big day, then show up, run the class and have fun.
  • Take lots of pictures!

The last step is really important as we would like to create a montage of the events.

So, if you are interested in participating, send me an email to jono@ubuntu.com and mention which LoCo team you are part of and where you would run the event, and lets make the magic happen!

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Dick Turpin: The whole Internet is very slow.

Fri, 03/01/2014 - 15:42
Customer: "Hi Pete, any chance you can look at our Internet for us? We could do with it being a bit faster!"
Me: "Hang on a moment while I just turn your dial up a couple of notches."

Happy New Year.
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Jono Bacon: Ubuntu In 2014

Thu, 02/01/2014 - 22:56

Happy new year, friends!

2013 was a phenomenal year for Ubuntu. It is difficult to believe that it was just a year ago today that we announced Ubuntu for phones. Since then we have built and released the first version of Ubuntu for phones complete with core apps, delivered Mir in production on the phone, built a vastly simplified and more powerful new app delivery platform complete with full security sand-boxing, created a powerful smart scopes service to bring the power of native search and online content to devices, delivered a new SDK with support for QML, HTML5, and Scopes, built an entirely new developer.ubuntu.com, created extensive CI and testing infrastructure to ensure quality as we evolve our platform, shipped two desktop releases, extended the charm store, delivered Juju Gui, spun up multiple clouds with Juju, and much more.

In terms of Ubuntu for devices, I mentally picture 2013 as the year when we put much of the core foundational pieces in place. Everything I just mentioned were all huge but significant pieces of delivering a world-class Free Software convergence platform. Building this platform is not as simple as building a sexy GUI; there is lots of complex foundational work that needs doing, and I am incredibly proud of everyone who participated in getting us to where we are today…it is a true testament of collaborative development involving many communities and contributors from around the world.

So, 2013 was an intense year with lots of work, some tough decisions, and lots of late (and sometimes stressful) nights, but it laid down the core pillars of what our future holds. But what about 2014?

This time next year we will have a single platform code-base for phone, tablet, and desktop that adapts to harness the form-factor and power of each device it runs on. This is not just the aesthetics of convergence, it is real convergence at the code level. This will be complemented by an Ubuntu SDK in which you can write an app once and deliver it to any of these devices, and an eco-system in which you can freely publish or sell apps, content, and more with a powerful set of payment tools.

These pieces will appear one phase at a time throughout 2014. We are focusing on finishing the convergent pieces on phone first, then bringing them to tablet, and then finally bringing our desktop over to the new convergent platform. Every piece of new technology that we built in 2013 will be consumed across all of these form-factors in 2014; every line of code is an investment in our future.

Even more importantly though, 2014 will be the year when we see this new era of Ubuntu convergence shipping to consumers. This will open up Ubuntu to millions of additional users, provide an opportunity for app developers to get in on the ground floor in delivering powerful apps, and build more opportunity for our community than ever before.

I wish I could tell you that 2014 is going to be more relaxing than 2013. It isn’t. It is going to be a roller-coaster. There are going to be some late nights, some stressful times, some shit-storms, and some unnecessary politics, but my goal is to help keep us working together as a community, keep us focused on the bigger picture, keep our discourse constructive, and to keep the fun in Ubuntu.

Let’s do this.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs