LXQt, Debian, LinuxFest Northwest, and much more!
by Simon Quigley
It's been approaching two months since I've last written a blog post, but a lot has happened in that time. Here's what I've been up to.
Here's what's been going on in the Lubuntu world since I last blogged.
Release Management/Team Collaboration
I directed the release of Lubuntu 17.04, the 12th release of Lubuntu, with support until January of 2018. I just want to say thanks to all the hard work from our contributors!
Since we didn't get it in time for the release announcement, here's Lenny Zapus (thanks Rafael Laguna!):
We held a team meeting on April 14th to discuss the 17.04 release and upcoming changes for the 17.10 release.
Here's a couple things that were decided:
- If Firefox's audio in Lubuntu 16.04 LTS becomes unusable again, we will add PulseAudio to the 16.04 installs.
- While I agree that this is not an ideal solution, we're kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place here.
- gnome-mpv will replace gnome-mplayer by Lubuntu 17.10 Alpha 1.
- gnome-mplayer is unmaintained upstream, and we want to ship maintained software in Lubuntu...
- This was put into place as of May 1st.
- Lubuntu's network management stack will be moved to dhcpcd by Lubuntu 17.10 Alpha 1.
- This was put into place as of May 1st.
- Please help us test!
- Lubuntu will likely release an LXQt spin alongside the LXDE spin (more about that next).
If you have any questions about anything we discussed, please do feel free to email the lubuntu-devel mailing list. Any feedback is welcome!
Here's the fun part. :)
We have Lubuntu Next images available for people to test.
I worked with Marius Nestor of Softpedia Linux to announce that we finally have images in the Ubuntu cdimage server for people to download and test. Please go check out his article! :)
There are a few things to note before downloading the images, so please read this before downloading it. This is a work in progress, and I'd like to note a few errata items that are an issue at the moment:
- It takes a long time to boot on laptops that only have a wireless connection because by default it looks for a wired connection.
- The theming is the default LXQt theme, and not Lubuntu's theming. It's installed, it's just not applied by default. This should be fixed when Qt 5.9 lands, but this is on the top of my todo list when it comes to this project, so expect an update on this soon.
- The Ubiquity frontend included on the image is the KDE/Kubuntu one, so a lot of themes, text, and logos are hardcoded with Kubuntu branding. Since it doesn't depend on any KDE Frameworks to actually build, I'll probably end up making that more generic so both Kubuntu and Lubuntu Next can use the same frontend. (this will be especially useful when Ubuntu Budgie decides to join us on the Qt conversion ;) )
That being said, here is where you can download the daily ISO images.
Now that I've talked about the actual images, here's the (tentative) plan forward:
- Have those three errata items addressed and dealt with by Alpha 1 (June 27th).
- Release a Lubuntu Next image as part of Alpha 1.
- As part of this release, submit a call for community feedback regarding applications included by default, benchmarking, etc.
- For Alpha 2, finalize the applications included in the Lubuntu Next image and start work on a Ubiquity slideshow.
For this development cycle, we finally have all the right things put into place to be able to get this ball rolling. If all goes well, we'll hopefully have a user-ready image by 17.10 in October.
Lastly on this topic, I've been starting to do some upstream LXQt work to improve the user experience. I've been recognized as a developer, and I recently submitted a pull request merging the clock and worldclock LXQt Panel plugins (having both plugins was redundant).
I have a couple more ideas in store before the 0.12 release gets finalized, so stay tuned for that. :)
Debian packaging work
I've started doing a bit more work upstream in Debian for a few individual packages and the Debian KDE/Qt Team.
Work for the Debian KDE/Qt Team.
- I've been working to get Qt 5.9.0 in Debian Experimental by getting the package updates ready in the Git repository for the Debian Developers on the team to review and upload.
- Late last year, I helped package QtWebChannel and QtWebEngine for Debian. More recently, I packaged QtCharts and QtSpeech independently.
My work will increase more as the LXQt transition moves further along so I have experience with the packaging if something in LXQt decides to break because of a new version of Qt.
I recently got vc uploaded to Debian and I've been working to maintain it through sponsorship mainly from Mattia Rizzolo. Thanks Mattia!
To wrap up this blog post, I'd like to write about my experience going to LinuxFest Northwest.
I recently got the wonderful opportunity to go to LinuxFest Northwest in the beautiful state of Washington, thanks to sponsorship from Ubuntu. I flew out to Seattle the evening of May 4th and stayed with Valorie Zimmerman from the Kubuntu Council overnight, then we went up to Bellingham for the conference. Later that night, Aaron Honeycutt finally arrived from the Seattle airport, and we got to hang out with him more over the weekend. Aaron and I stayed in a hotel until Sunday, May 7th, and then I went with Valorie back to Seattle. Early the following morning, I flew back home.
With this being my first ever conference I've attended, I was really amazed at everything that happened while I was there. Not only was the scenery in Washington absolutely stunning, but I finally got to meet some people in person that I've been talking to for over a year, but have never gotten the opportunity to meet in person.
At the conference center, we had an Ubuntu booth, shown in the photo below (and there's Valorie!):
(this picture was taken by Aaron Honeycutt, please go check out his blog post about LFNW)
While at the booth, Aaron and I made a lot of progress talking about the Kubuntu Manual and the Kubuntu installer slideshow. He showed me his work, and I submitted several pull requests to the Kubuntu Manual fixing a few things that came up.
Something I realized while talking with Aaron is that on the carpet in the expo center was different colored tape that the OpenSUSE people had laid out. There was green tape running from the door to the OpenSUSE booth, blue tape running from the OpenSUSE booth to the Fedora booth, and orange tape running from the Fedora booth to the Ubuntu booth. Since the FreeBSD booth was next to ours, when I asked why they didn't run any red tape to their booth, the response I got was something along the lines of, "but they're not Linux!" I laughed and walked away... :P
Later that morning, I went to a talk by Bryan Lunduke called "They're Watching You" where he talked about the NSA and Google and their techniques they use to collect data from lots of people, not just American citizens. I realized that the mass data collection was going on, but I never realized how big their server farms were until Bryan showed a few satellite images of the actual datacenters.
At the end of the talk, he gave out tin foil hats (which, after talking to him later, he had LOTS extra of) and after going back to the Ubuntu booth, Aaron got a chance to try it on, the picture of which I can't seem to find.
One other notable part of the day is that the "Red Bull Memes" were born. Emma from System76, Martin Wimpress from Ubuntu MATE, and I all had Red Bull (or in my case, it just looked in the picture like I was feeling the effects of caffeine, even though I had some Red Bull later in the day). Someone in our Telegram group decided to have some fun and create this image:
To wrap up the day, we had a cookout sponsored by the awesome System76 people on Saturday night!
The next day, I watched the final episode of Jupiter Broadcasting's Linux Action Show, a show that ran for 11 years before it was finally concluded. Here I am with the two cohosts (Chris Fisher on the left, Noah Chelliah on the right, me in the center):
We packed up the Ubuntu booth the afternoon of that Sunday, and were invited to a barbeque at the Jupiter Broadcasting studio. I had seen the studio multiple times in Chris's vlogs, but I never thought I would actually get to see it in person. Unfortunately, Valorie wanted to get home, so we missed some of the stuff they did in the actual recording part of the studio, but hopefully next year things will be different.
This was really a worthwhile event that I would attend again in a heartbeat. I got the chance to meet many people, have a good time, get some work done with the Kubuntu people, and even have my first experience flying. I just want to say a huge thank you to Ubuntu for sponsoring my trip. Without the financial help, I would not have been able to attend this event.
That's it for this semi-monthly update. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.