About a month ago I was informed that I had been given sponsorship by Canonical to attend the Ubuntu Developer Summit for Maverick in La Hulpe, Belgium (outside Brussels). The following weeks were busy including things like quitting my job (not related, but the date I gave them as last day was) and getting ready for UDS. This was complicated, of course, with concerns about all the volcanic ash.
After several extra hours of travel due to weather issues in New York, I arrived in Brussels Sunday afternoon and was met at the airport by Laura Czajkowski and Elizabeth Krumbach. I had a pre-arranged taxi to get me to the hotel since the coaches Canonical was using as shuttles weren’t wheelchair accessible and Laura & Lyz came out from the hotel to help me with my bags and such. We went back to the hotel where, luckily, Laura had already sorted the fact that initially they hadn’t put us in a wheelchair accessible room. The evening was spent hanging out and catching up with people I already knew and meeting others.
Monday started out with Jono Bacon’s plenary welcoming everyone to UDS. He gave a brief introduction to what was happening during the week and some of the people and groups at UDS. He also played a the UDS Maverick kickoff video that Robbie Williamson had created using PiTiVi. And, can’t forget he reminded us all to eat our vegetables!
After Jono’s introduction, was Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote speech. Mark highlighted the work being done with original equipment manufacturers (OEMS) to get “Ubuntu Lite” installed in as a dual-boot. This can boot to a usable web browser in 7 seconds, partially due to Unity a framework for netbooks and other devices with small screens. Unity maximizes the on-screen real estate and also has features that will make it easier to use with a touchscreen than a more traditional looking desktop. Mark also announced that he is hoping we can get Meerkat ready for a 10.10.10 release date since 101010 is 42 in binary.
After the keynote, we all moved from the auditorium to the conference center for the first sessions. I went to the Community Roundtable where we went over the various community track items planned for the week and brainstormed things we wanted to discuss in the daily roundtables.
My next session was Review Coming Changes to GNOME and what we want to do. We discussed what changes were coming to GNOME, both in terms of things that would make it into Meerkcat, and things that would be in GNOME 3.0, but not necessarily be in the next Ubuntu release. I had wanted to attend as I know I need to get more familiar with how GNOME works to know more about accessibility and while a lot of the discussion was over my head as a non-developer, I was able to use it to think about some of the accessibility issues that will be coming to Ubuntu over the next few releases.
In the afternoon, I headed to the session on Ubuntu Community Project Planning. We discussed how blueprints work and how to make them better and the process more understandable to people trying to create them. I picked up my first action of UDS, to work with Laura on better documentation for how to create a blueprint.
My final session for the day was Heuristic Evaluation and Bug Tagging, run by the design team. This was about tagging bugs with codes indicating what sort of bug it is. It will be interesting to see how testing these ideas go. The bug squad members attending seemed a bit nervous about how it might work, but if it does work, it may make the process better for everyone.
The evening was spent catching up with people and meeting new people. I seem to be the person people come to about accessibility stuff which slightly amuses me since I”m quite new to it and don’t know that much yet. Certainly one thing I knew even by the end of day one was how much I need and want to learn to understand more of what can help.