Due to low attendance at the 2013-11-23 meeting, the following issues remain for discussion in a thread on discourse.ubuntu.com by the Ubuntu Ohio community:
- What sort of a mission statement shall we have for our community?
- Where do we want to go in the near term?
- Where do we want to go in the far term?
In no particular order:
- Ubuntu Ohio was recently Verified
- There is a meeting scheduled
- Ubuntu Developer Summit (vUDS-1311) just finished
- Podcasting continues
The following e-mail was sent to the Ubuntu Ohio community on Wednesday:
Ubuntu Ohio will have a meeting on Saturday, November 9th, at 8 PM. The agenda can be found at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/OhioTeam/MeetingAgenda2013-11 and additional items can be added below "Any Other Business".
Stephen Michael Kellat
Point of Contact/Leader, Ubuntu Ohio
A primary matter for discussion will be the pending draft Verification Application to be placed before the LoCo Council soon for consideration. Other matters will also arise.
Documentation Freeze has come and gone. From what can be seen Xubuntu made it in with a new version of its offline documentation. A quick check of packages.ubuntu.com does not show updates for the other flavors and for mainline Ubuntu itself. After plenty of work it is perhaps appropriate to talk about why having offline documentation is valuable for the many flavors of Ubuntu. Baskin-Robbins ice cream in the United States has as part of their slogan their 31 flavors of ice cream and while we are not there yet...who can truly predict the future?
We had yet another power outage in Ashtabula County where I am based. This one was brutally obvious, unlike what the linked article states, where traffic lights were not working and the Ashtabula County Medical Center had its generator roaring to keep the hospital's equipment running. Six thousand residential customers were likely affected but that does not count businesses that were impacted. The thunderstorm did not trigger any severity warnings from the National Weather Service forecast office in Cleveland but still did damage.
It is not like I live in the back of beyond as I live outside the Cleveland metro area. We have freshwater ports in the area with ore boat trade via the Great Lakes network and the St. Lawrence Seaway as well as pleasure boat traffic. As the Point of Contact/Leader for Ubuntu Ohio, I end up doing things you would not consider "First World Problems" such as maintaining emergency power gear, having hurricane lamps at the ready, and knowing how to use manual tools for clearing obstructions.
Offline documentation serves a useful purpose with all of our flavors. The so-called "digital divide" has shifted from being a matter of lacking discrete points of access to the Internet to a marked divergence in the degrees of quality among those access points. When the lights go out for me or my broadband provider has a line cut, having offline documentation is better than having access to nothing at all. I remember living in the Territory of American Samoa, the furthest south on the planet a US civilian outside the bases in Antarctica can live under the flag, and contending with Internet access being limited to tens of kilobits per second via dial-up on a good day in 2006/2007. My Internet access in northeast Ohio is hardly perfect either. We do not live in a world of perfect, ubiquitous online access that is spread evenly across this planet we share. We must not assume that having documentation online is good enough as that ignores that realities of Internet access for much of humanity.
Next month we will be making another semi-annual release. Next April we are looking at a Long-Term Support release across all participating flavors. A challenge for all flavors is to have offline documentation that can ship on the disc. Xubuntu has a basic preparation system where we write in DocBook, keep it in a branch on Launchpad that we are always ready to build as a test package, and update through Merge Proposals considered by our documentation leader Jack Fromm and the Xubuntu Project Leader Pasi Lallinaho. Each flavor handles things differently.
Can we ship a Long-Term Support release where we ship enough offline documentation so that when we hand out discs we can feel assured that there is enough for most of humanity to get started with? We have made incredible strides towards bringing a different style of computing to humanity. In a world where the digital divide remains, there are still some steps we can take.
Where do you stand today?
Ubuntu Global Jam "S" in Ubuntu Ohio
The Ubuntu Global Jam event for Ubuntu Ohio was UbuCon at Ohio Linux Fest 2013. I had a bit of trepidation about scheduling this and there were all sorts of bumps in the road. The event happened and was attended well. Sadly I wasn't able to have any of it recorded for release as part of the Burning Circle but notes were taken.
Our presenters were:
- Stephen Michael Kellat, Point of Contact/Leader, Ubuntu Ohio
- Jon Buckley, Ubuntu Ohio
- Jeff Hanson, Project: Community Computers
- Emma Marshall, System76
- Ian Santopietro, System76
- Jorge Castro, Canonical
This won't necessarily be possible to replicate for the "T" cycle but planning that far ahead yet has not happened.
Exhibition Floor on Saturday at Ohio Linux Fest 2013
I would be remiss if I did not mention that Snowy Penguin Solutions helped us get a table secured in time on the exhibition floor. They helped us bust through a communications barrier to get things cleared. As Leader I express thanks to them for their gracious support.
Canonical provided financial support from the community budget to help us secure a table. This was not initially expected to be necessary. Support from Jono Bacon and the community team made it possible for us to speak to so many people at Ohio Linux Fest.
Many business cards were handed out. According to the contract terms, unless Ubuntu Ohio manufactured the discs itself it could not distribute them. Questions were fielded about Xubuntu, the status of Mir, what is going on with Ubuntu Touch, are there many users in Ohio utilizing Xubuntu, where are you physically based, and when do you hold in-person meetings.
I was actually surprised at the number of Xubuntu questions and the interest in Xfce. Ubuntu Ohio is fairly agnostic as to desktop environment. Mir was an interesting discussion but nobody was too worried. Folks did enjoy ogling Jono's phone when they had chance while I kept saying it was the first "sane" phone I've seen in a while. Then again, I used to sell cell phones for a living and sold all four major US carriers for an indirect retailer.
As to a physical base, we don't have that. We have no cathedral or front office. Many people assumed we were based in the capital Columbus where the event was being held but I live in Ashtabula County in the far northeastern corner. We currently lack the population clumping to allow for in-person meetings at the sub-state level and the previous sub-state groups no longer really exist. I'm still unsure where the Cleveland one disappeared to, for example.
Two other things should be noted. We always mentioned "Ubuntu Ohio". The words "LoCo" and "team" really weren't uttered. When people asked what we are, my explanation was that we are a social community for fellowship where we support each other and build each other up. We're listed in the LoCo Portal as not providing tech support at the moment as we frankly do not have the numbers of members. Our goal for now is to build each other up, learn more about the many flavors of Ubuntu, and try to grow. Recognizing the state of Ohio's economy, we also realize that people will need to move on as time goes by and that that is okay.
Unlike the US ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins with its 31 flavors slogan, the Ubuntu realm only has 8 so far...
Software Freedom Day
Ubuntu Ohio has no scheduled activities for Software Freedom Day in 2013. This is in line with the outright suspension of all sub-state groups as of Friday, September 13, 2013. Once we are better organized to know where everybody is and find population clumping we can reorganize our ground game. Until then, we remain an online society community focused on fellowship and supporting each other as best we can.
Not yet scheduled. We need to focus on helping with Saucy Salamander's completion if we are part of those areas of effort.
It appears that Ubuntu Ohio was able to secure sufficient commitments from presenters. This means we will have potentially enough content to put on a good UbuCon. Ohio Linux Fest 2013 is set for September 13-15 in Columbus, Ohio. UbuCon will fall on Friday, September 13th.
Further details will be released as they become available. If necessary, an audio advertisement may be released to outlets such as Ubuntu (UK) Podcast, Linux Outlaws, Rathole Radio, and The Dick Turpin Road Show.
As sent to Ubuntu Ohio's mailing list on July 30th:
Alrighty. If we do not conflict with the Early Penguins Keynote that is expected, we have about 8 hours to work with. We have three presentations proposed with an hour alloted to each. I would start the day with an introduction and Ohio economy chat that would take one hour. Assuming we allow an hour for lunch, we still come up three hours short.
In presenting an UbuCon, we are not going to plan to have things fall together at the last minute. We need three presentation proposals in at least rough outline form by tomorrow. Ohio Linux Fest is our time to shine but I also want those presenting to have a little over a month to refine their presentations. Initial pitches at this stage are okay but time is needed to build full presentations.
With what we do have at the time I write this, I do not feel we have enough to justify putting on a program. We need three more presentations. If we do not have further proposals in by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on July 31st we may not be able to proceed with presenting UbuCon at Ohio Linux Fest 2013. Proposals can be sent to email@example.com & will be acknowledged as promptly as possible. Proposals can come from outside the Ubuntu Ohio community for consideration.
We're either doing this or we're not. We're not throwing this together at the last minute. What is the community's pleasure?
Stephen Michael Kellat
Ubuntu Ohio held an IRC meeting on Thursday. Leveraging the capabilities of the LoCo Portal allows for rough minutes to be maintained there. A few matters arose:
Jon Buckley and Scott Randby gave tentative expressions of interest in speaking at UbuCon during Ohio Linux Fest 2013. Proposals from members of Ubuntu Ohio and those outside the team are due to the Point of Contact & Leader by July 31st. First priority will be given to scheduling presentations by members of Ubuntu Ohio however this does not limit those from outside Ubuntu Ohio from being possibly scheduled to speak. Topics of interest include but are not limited to: Gaming, Server usage, Flavor Highlights, Highlights about finishing up Saucy Salamander for release, Thoughts looking forward to the next Long Term Support release, Reflections on the changes wrought by the virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit paradigm, Ways we need to work within the cultures found in Ohio to expand Ubuntu deployment.
Two issues were carried over to the mailing list for further discussion due to a lack of attendance. The summation was prepared by Scott Randby and can be read in the archive here where issues concerning scheduling a keysigning and what, if any, materials should be distributed were raised. Discussions on the team mailing list are encouraged.
In light of the hostile actions taken against the Ubuntu Forums which have sparked recovery processes, members of Ubuntu Ohio are asked at this time to stick to the mailing list and the IRC channel for discussions.
The package monkeysign is being investigated for use with the proposed possible keysigning at Ohio Linux Fest. Currently the package has been copied from Debian Unstable to the Saucy Salamander package archive and test backports have been made by the leader in his personal PPA. If it does not break their may be an Ubuntu Ohio PPA opened with backports for 12.04, 12.10, and 13.04. Other tools to ease the process for the proposed session are also being investigated. The Leader has committed to send out sets of instructions to the team for at least two weeks prior to Ohio Linux Fest if the keysigning session is to happen.
There will be a meeting in the Ubuntu Ohio IRC channel on Thursday, July 18th. The meeting will start at 7:30 PM local time. Attendance is earnestly requested. The agenda for the meeting is available here: http://loco.ubuntu.com/meetings/ubuntu-us-ohio/624/detail/
Preparatory to running a netinstall on the BeagleBoard-xM using the directions here to bump it cleanly up to Xubuntu 13.04 potentially, I am having to migrate the homes of some services around. The in-house Raspberry Pi is going to be picking up a bit of the load for the time being it seems.
Scripts get to run. Audible things like podcasts get downloaded via a hacked-upon version of bashpodder and gpodder being used in a command-line automated fashion. Launchpad branches auto-update to keep control over the bashpodder version in case something goes wrong. bzr-upload does its magic to stash that branch via SFTP in what gets viewed as a bit of gopherspace through the lens of SDF. GnuPG keys get refreshed frequently against the keyserver network.