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Ubuntu

Annunciato un po’ un sordina e un po’ sulle spine anche, a causa di un piccolo problema di comunicazione (pare che una persona tra quelle che erano state elette originariamente non risponda ancora alle email), sono entrato nel Community Council internazionale!

Gioia e tripudio per tutti, nuovi problemi da risolvere per me! 🙂

PS: diciamo che l’ho fatto a posta a non dirlo prima, così evitavo di pagare da bere al meeting! 😛

 

It has been a busy period, getting ready for various things, and various travels.

Right now I’m writing this post from the Ubuntu-it meeting in Bologna, with a great amount of people from the Italian community. Interesting talks and ideas are coming out from this day, discussion also about the role that our community is playing and what are our bonds with Canonical and the overall international community.

After returning to France, I will be at the fOSSa 2011 Conference, in Lyon (France), with Silvia Bindelli, where we have been invited to talk about our role in leading and managing part of the Italian community. It is an interesting opportunity and conference, also because I’ve never really gave a public talk with slides and everything in English. I’m really looking forward to traveling to Lyon and spending a couple of days there.

After this, I will be leaving for the USA to attend, thanks to Canonical for the sponsorship, UDS-P where as usual there will be a lot of interesting tracks. I do not have yet a schedule for myself, but I know it will be packed, and I will be running from room to room (this year I would also like to follow virtualization and server tracks).

Looking forward to meeting Ubuntu/GNOME people in Lyon and to leave for UDS!

Ormai tutto il mondo lo sa, ieri è uscita la nuova versione di Ubuntu, la 11.10. Non mi soffermo nemmeno a elencare pregi e difetti, ci sono un sacco di siti web italiani e non che lo fanno e lo farebbero meglio di me.

Ma forse tutto il mondo non sa quanto lavoro venga fatto per ogni nuova versione di Ubuntu. Non basterebbe sicuramente un misero messaggio su un blog per descriverlo, ma per ringraziare chi ogni volta impegna tanta energia e dedizione per l’open source dovrebbe essere sufficiente, per lo meno per raggiungere una parte (quella più vicina) di questo mondo.

Sicuramente dimenticherò qualcuno per strada, ma il mio grazie va:

  • A tutta la comunità di Ubuntu-it
  • A chi si impegna a gestire e coordinare le varie attività
  • A tutti i traduttori, che ogni volta fanno sempre di più per avere un sistema sempre più italiano
  • A chi scrive o cura la documentazione, lavoro lungo e tante volte poco pubblicizzato
  • A chi fa i test, e quanti ne fa!
  • A chi segnala bug o ci riporta problemi
  • A chi da supporto (IRC, forum, mailing list o sotto qualsiasi altra forma)
  • A chi fa marketing e aiuta a divulgare Ubuntu
  • A te che usi Ubuntu (e magari lo fai in italiano!)
Grazie.

In un’ottica di ristrutturazione del Consiglio, e in parte anche della comunitàitaliana di Ubuntu, il Consiglio si trova di fronte alla necessità di allargare lasua attuale composizione a nuovi membri di ambo i sessi della comunità.

Abbiamo così deciso di incrementare i membri del Consiglio fino a un massimo di 7 (sette) attraverso lo svolgimento di elezioni biennali.

La struttura del Consiglio sarà composta dai tre membri attuali (Fabio, Lorenzo, Milo) a cui si affiencheranno i nuovi membri eletti dalla comunità. I membri attuali rivestirannoruolo di membri permanenti per garantire continutià a quanto svolto; i nuovi membri resteranno in carica per due anni e potranno nuovamente essere rieletti dalla comunità al termine dei due anni.

Tutte le informazioni sulle elezioni, su come potervi partecipare e sul metodo di voto adottato, possono essere trovate all’interno della pagine del Consiglio nel wiki di Ubuntu-it:

http://wiki.ubuntu-it.org/Consiglio

In particolare nelle seguenti pagine:

http://wiki.ubuntu-it.org/Consiglio/ComeFarneParte

http://wiki.ubuntu-it.org/Consiglio/Elezioni

Seguono alcune precisazioni.

= Come poter concorrere alle elezioni =

Per poter essere eletti come membri del Consiglio della comunità italiana, è necessario disporre della membership della comunità italiana [1].

Per chi fosse interessato a far parte del Consiglio, è necessario inviare una mai lal Consiglio, manifestando il proprio interesse, nel periodo tra i giorni 1 novembre e 7 novembre 2010 entro le ore 24.

Seguirà un periodo di 3 (tre) settimane, dal giorno 8 novembre al 30 novembre, in cui i candidati si presenteranno e in cui sarà possibile porre domande agli stessi attraverso la mailing list inter-gruppi.

= Come poter partecipare alle elezioni =

Per poter votare alle elezioni dei membri del Consiglio, è necessario disporre della membership della comunità italiana [1].

Per chi fosse interessato a votare, ma non dispone ancora della membership, le richieste di membership verranno prese in considerazione fino a *15* (quindici) giorni prima dell’inizio delle votazioni: in questo caso entro il giorno 15 novembre 2010. Richieste presentate dopo tale data verranno valutate, ma non saranno considerate valide ai fini dell’imminente votazione.

Grazie per l’attenzione.

[1] http://wiki.ubuntu-it.org/Comunita/Membership

The acronymn in the title stands for:

Debian Ubuntu Community Conference – Italy

and that’s, to my knowledge, the first of its kind… but definitely not the last.

First of all, big kudos to the people behind the organization of this wonderful event (in totally casual order):

  • the men and women behind FSUG Italia (Free Software User Group Italy) (I can’t remember all your names, apologies, but I think you know who you are!)
  • Luca Bruno (kaeso) from the Debian Italian community
  • Paolo Sammicheli (xdatap1) from the Ubuntu Italian community (and Monia too! also for their hospitality!)
  • the men and the women from the Perugia hacklab “Projectz on Island”
  • the Maths Department of the University of Perugia
  • Stefano Zacchiroli for being there with us
  • all the men and women that were there!!!

The DUCC-IT has been a remarkably experience: seeing gold old friends, and meeting new people from the FLOSS world, and in particular from Debian and Ubuntu, is always great.

DUCC is a joint Debian – Ubuntu conference born from an idea of the FSUG guys (if I’m not totally wrong) (I was wrong, thanks Zack for the heads up!) at the last UDS from Stefano, Paolo, and Sergio Zanchetta. Debian and Ubuntu hackers sharing the stage in their expertise fields, talking about what they love the most with the people from the other side of the barricade (if you pass me the expression).

I really loved the idea and the experiment of sharing my talk with somebody else (Francesca Ciceri in my case) from the Debian community. I think we should try to repeat it more often: it’s a great way to work more closely together even outside of the normal workflow we all stick to.

I have a lot of things to say about these last two days, but can’t make up my mind to find the right words… As usual, it’s sad to leave such great people after some wonderful days together, we don’t always know when we are going to see each other again.

Just to try to sum it up, ‘cause words are really hard on me tonight:

  • We decided that we will be holding another DUCC-IT next year (where and when not yet decided)
  • We are going to open a neutral “forum” (mailing list or whatever) where our two communities can talk together (something that doesn’t have the Debian or Ubuntu word in it) (Stefano, if you will ever read this: remember to open the alioth project! 🙂 )
  • When the next DUCC-IT meeting will arrive, we have to know where and when the next one will be held
  • After the Debian / Ubuntu Women talk, we need to take more action, and we need to have a women space again in our next meetings
  • I hope the FSUG people, or whoever is behind the DUCC-IT acronym, will not kill me: to all the Debian and Ubuntu communities out there, take the DUCC-IT acronym, replace IT with your local country code, and repeat this experience with your local Debian/Ubuntu communities.
  • My photo-stream of the conference

Tonight, around 18UTC, we had a great surprise: a (almost?) famous radio show on an Italian national radio station, talked about Ubuntu and the very coming new release.

The called us at around 16UTC asking for somebody from the Italian community from Milan to do a live radio show… bad timing, we hadn’t anybody ready for doing that in such a short notice, but some of our locoteam members managed to do a great job.

The show ended up being pretty cool and really funny (since they called one of us the “Bill Gates of the moment”! 😀 ).

Podcast (in Italian) will be available probably tomorrow from here.

Happy Karmic release tomorrow!

So you heard a lot of buzz around documentation (“because docs are sexy” cit.) and about Mallard. But what is really Mallard?

Mallard is an XML based syntax for easy writing topic based documentation created by Shaun McCance, our fearless GNOME doc leader. You can find the specification and more tech details here: http://live.gnome.org/ProjectMallard

To read Mallard written docs you need a help browser like Yelp built with Mallard support, plus all the gnome-doc-utils tools Mallard-enabled (they have been released to the public and will ship in GNOME 2.28. Read more here)

Here I will try to show what the Mallard syntax looks like and how to create an easy topic based doc in a simple way. All Mallard files have a “.page” extension and the smallest Mallard document consist of at least two .page files: one fixed-name file called index.page (like good old HTML) plus a topic-name.page file. That’s it. Nothing more. You can have also a single index.page file, but that’s for now probably pretty useless.

The index.page file is the “guide” where all the magic happens: this file is where all the topics will be shown and will usually be the starting point of your Mallard document. Let’s create one simple file and let’s give this document a name: Mallard Rocks!

<page xmlns="http://projectmallard.org/1.0/"
      type="guide"
      id="index">
<title>Mallard Rocks!</title>
</page>

The attribute type here makes the difference between a guide-type and a topic-type kind of page. When you are creating the starting point for all your topic-based files, always use guide and call the file index.page.

Let’s deep in the topic-name.page file that I’ll call tame-duck.page:

<page xmlns="http://projectmallard.org/1.0/"
      type="topic"
      id="tame-duck">
<info>
 <link type="guide" xref="index" />
 <desc>How to tame the duck</desc>
</info>
<title>How can I tame the duck?</title>
<p>
It's very easy:
</p>
<list>
 <item>
  <p>Have at least the 2.27.1 version of <app>Yelp</app></p>
 </item>
 <item>
  <p>Have at least the 0.17.1 version of <app>gnome-doc-utils</app></p>
 </item>
 <item>
  <p>Read the spec at <link href="http://live.gnome.org/ProjectMallard">live.gnome.org</link></p>
 </item>
 <item>
  <p>Join the GNOME Documentation Project!</p>
 </item>
</list>
</page>

Very easy. The syntax is also simple and it covers all the needs of the GNOME doc team: if you need something more in it, special markers or whatever, buy some beers to Shaun and he will add them! 🙂

There is an informal convention about file naming schema in GNOME:

  • don’t use: a, an, the, in…
  • use dash to separate words
  • no capital letters, all lower case
  • try to keep the name as short as possible and “topic-based” (the file name is the value of the id attribute!)

Hopefully, other doc teams will use the same convention. 😉

The cool part, where magic happens, is in the info section of the document:

<info>
 <link type="guide" xref="index" />
 <desc>How to tame the duck</desc>
</info>

It tells Mallard to insert the document as a topic of the index.page using the description in <desc></desc>. The final result:

mallard-rocks

tame-duck

You can also see additional magic in the Further Reading section: there are see-also links writer-definable and the More About that are also auto-added.

Everything I said here and much more is covered in the Mallard pages in a more-professional way. Give them a look, that’s the future of our docs.

I’m still at the hotel waiting for my cab to the airport and am using the last minutes of free wifi connection before heading back to Italy.

This travel and great experience is over, I already said that, but in 10 days a new travel awaits me. I’ll be heading to the Writing Open Source conference in Owen Sound, Canada (with other guys from GNOME and Ubuntu too) thanks to the GNOME Foundation, the kind GNOME Travel Committee and Shaun McCance (and I also think Intel for sponsoring us, but I’m not really sure).

I’m really excited about this travel and about the conference. We, with the GNOME 3.0 release plan, are facing a great moment for reshaping documentation, for GNOME and for all downstream projects out there that builds on GNOME. There is Mallard that is shaping out as the new format for writing GNOME documentation and we will learn more about it during the conference. I’m also going there with some crazy ideas about documentation for GNOME, you can read them here.

denttwitOn the third day of the conference I added an “Empathy documentation sprint”, I hope to have the chance to speed up a little bit the writing of the documentation for Empathy with the precious help of some professional doc-writers, since I would really like to have a 100% features-full documentation for the 2.28 release (there is also the possibility to have Empathy in Ubuntu for the next release).

I’m thinking also about adding a “Gwibber documentation sprint”: gwibber rocks, and if you dent (or twit) a lot you should try it. Right now gwibber doesn’t ship with documentation and since even this one has great chances to get included in Ubuntu for a full-social-web experience, I think it needs some love.

Now it’s time to take the cab. Again: thank you all UDS guys & girls, you really rock!

UDS is (almost) over and what a week has it been! Wonderful!

Lots of good sessions, talks, news and previews and people! Today we had a lot of translations related sessions and we decided to take a picture with all the translation-really-involved people that there here.

So, here we are:

Launchpad/Ubuntu TranslatorsFrom left to right:

  • Me
  • Jeroen Vermeulen
  • David Planella
  • Adi Roiban
  • Henning Eggers
  • Kyle Nitzsche (OEM team with an eye on translations)
  • Arne Goetje
  • Danilo Segan

(For a bigger picture, when I get back home I’ll send you)