What I've Been Up To
by Simon Quigley
It's been a long time since I've blogged about anything. I've been busy with lots of different things. Here's what I've been up to.
First off, let's talk about Lubuntu. A couple different actions (or lack of) have happened.
Walter Lapchynski recently passed on the position of Lubuntu Release Manager to me. He has been my mentor ever since I joined Ubuntu/Lubuntu in July of 2015, and I'm honored to be able to step up to this role.
Here's what I've done as Release Manager from then to today:
Sunsetted Lubuntu PowerPC daily builds for Lubuntu Zesty Zapus.
This was something we had been looking at for a while, and it just happened to happen immediately after I became Release Manager. It wasn't really our hand pushing this forward, per se. The Ubuntu Technical Board voted to end the PowerPC architecture in the Ubuntu archive for Zesty before this, and I thought it was a good time to carry this forward for Lubuntu.
Helped get Zesty Zapus Beta 1 out the door for Ubuntu and for Lubuntu as well.
Discussed Firefox and ALSA's future in Ubuntu.
When Firefox 52 was released into xenial-updates, it broke Firefox's sound functionality for Lubuntu 16.04 users, as Lubuntu 16.04 LTS uses ALSA, and despite what a certain Ubuntu site says, was because it was disabled in the default build of Firefox, not completely removed. I won't get into it (I don't want to start a flame war), but this wasn't really something Lubuntu messed up, as the original title (and content) of the article ("Lubuntu users are left with no sound after upgrading Firefox") implied.
I recently brought this up for discussion (I didn't know that part just mentioned when I sent the email linked above), and for the time being it will be re-enabled in the Ubuntu build. As we continue to update to future Firefox releases, this will result in bitrot, so eventually we need to switch off of Firefox in the future.
I'm personally against switching to Chromium, as it's not lightweight and it's a bit bloated. I have also recently started using Firefox, and it's been a lot faster for me than Chromium was. But, that's a discussion for another day, and within the next month, I will most likely bring it up for discussion on the lubuntu-devel mailing list. I'll probably write another blog post when I send that email, but we'll see.
Got Zesty Zapus Final Beta/Beta 2 out the door for Lubuntu.
Lubuntu 17.04 will not ship with LXQt.
That's basically the bottom line here. ;)
I've been working to start a project on Launchpad that will allow me to upload packages to a PPA and have it build an image from that, but I'm still waiting to hear back on a few things for that.
You may be asking, "So why don't we have LXQt yet?" The answer to that question is, I've been busy with a new job, school, and many other things in life and haven't gotten the chance to heavily work on it much. I have a plan in mind, but it all depends on my free time from this point on.
That being said, if you want to get involved, please don't be afraid to send an email to the Lubuntu developers mailing list. We're all really friendly, and we'll be very willing to get you started, no matter your skill level. This is exactly the reason why LXQt is taking so long. It's because I'm pretty much the only one working on this specific subproject, and I don't have all the time in the world.
While this isn't specifically highlighting any work I've done in this area, I'd like to provide some information on this.
Lubuntu has been looking for a way to accept donations for a long time. Donations to Lubuntu would help fund:
- Work on Lubuntu (obviously).
- Work on upstream projects we use and install by default (LXQt, for example, in the future).
- Travel to conferences for Lubuntu team members.
- Much more...
A goal that I specifically have with this is to be transparent as possible about any donations we recieve and specifically where they go. But, we have to get it set up first.
While I am still a minor in the country I reside and (most likely) cannot make any legal decisions about funds (yet), Walter has been looking for a lawyer to help sort out something along the lines of a "Lubuntu Foundation" (or something like that) to manage the funds in a way that doesn't give only one person control. So if you know a lawyer (or are one) that would be willing to help us set that up, please contact me or Walter when you can.
Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter
Before Issue 500 of the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Elizabeth K. Joseph (Lyz) was in the driver's seat of the team. She helped get every release out on time every week without fail (with the exception of two-week issues, but that's irrelevant right now). Before I go on, I just want to say a big thank you to Lyz. Your contributions were really appreciated. :)
She had taken the time to show me not only how to write summaries in the very beginning, but how to edit, and even publish a whole issue. I'm very grateful for the time she spent with me, and I can't thank her enough.
Fast forward to 501, I ended up stepping up to get the email sent to summary writers and ultimately the whole issue published. I was nervous, as I had never published an issue on my own (Lyz and I had always split the tasks), but I successfully pressed the right buttons and got it out. Before publishing, I had some help from Paul White (his last issue contributing, thank you as well) and others to get summaries done and the issue edited.
Since then, I've pretty much stepped up to fill in the gaps for Lyz. I wouldn't necessarily consider anything official yet, but for now, this is where I'll stay.
But, it's tough to get issues of UWN out. I have a new respect for everything Lyz did and all of the hard work she put into each issue. This is a short description of what happens each week:
- Collect issues during the week, put it on the Google Document.
- On Friday, clean up the doc and send out to summary writers.
- Over the weekend, people write summaries.
- On Sunday, it's copied to the wiki, stats are added, and it's sent out to editors.
- On Monday, it's published.
Wash, rinse, and repeat.
It's incredibly easy to write summaries. In fact, the email was just sent out earlier to summary writers. If you want to take a minute or two (that's all it takes for contributing a summary) to help us out, hop on to the Google Document, refer to the style guidelines linked at the top, and help us out. Then, when you're done, put your name on the bottom if you want to be credited. Every little bit helps!
About this website
- I think I can finally implement a comments section so people can leave easy feedback. This is a huge step forward, given that I write the HTML for this website completely from scratch.
- I wrote a hacky Python script that I can use for writing blog posts. I can just write everything in Markdown, and it will do all the magic bits. I manually inspect it, then just git add, git commit, and git push it.
- I moved the website to GitLab, and with the help of Thomas Ward, got HTTPS working.
For the future
- I've been inspired by some of the Debian people blogging about their monthly contributions to FLOSS, so I'm thinking that's what I'll do. It'll be interesting to see what I actually do in a month's time... who knows what I'll find out? :)
So that's what I've been up to. :)