Subversion Repositories blog

Rev

Rev 1 | Go to most recent revision | Details | Compare with Previous | Last modification | View Log | RSS feed

Rev Author Line No. Line
1 jldugger 1
Title: Goal Setting
2
Date: 2009-04-20
3
 
4
Ubuntu 9.04 will mark the [tenth release][1] of Ubuntu. Rather than party and
5
engage in self congratulation, I'd like to engage in a retrospective.
6
 
7
## The rocky trail traveled
8
 
9
In November I helped facilitate a collaboration between a [Fedora Board
10
member][2] and the organizers of Ubuntu Brainstorm, to test some social
11
network datamining. I'm assuming the conclusion was that the votes were too
12
sparse to draw any strong conclusions about niches interested in specific
13
subjects. Certainly, there's an element of privacy that restricts what can be
14
done here even if it is viable.
15
 
16
[I joined MetaFilter][3] and started following the [ubuntu][4] and [linux][5]
17
tags on AskMeFi. So far, I've racked up four or five "best answers". It's a
18
very similar project to [Answers][6], except there's a five dollar sign up fee
19
that appears to boost the coherence of the questions and replies. And it has
20
RSS feeds, which is nice for turning down the rate of flow out of the
21
firehose.
22
 
23
In January, I tried to get ubuntu CDs in the local college library. They
24
refused a free donation, citing a budget crunch. They also feared a slippery
25
slope where once they started accepting some software, they'd have to start
26
buying other programs for circulation. Amusingly, the library already carries
27
Ubuntu books, and provides the CDs they come with. I believe the reason it was
28
refused was political rather than fiscal: officially accepting software means
29
budgeting for software, which would likely slant the budget in favor of the
30
technology librarians over other subject areas.
31
 
32
Where I specifically fell down over the past six months was in testing and
33
fixing Jaunty. Traditionally, I use my TabletPC to test tools in ubuntu+1 that
34
support the TabletPC hardware. Fingerprint readers, wacom, handwriting, and so
35
on. Unfortunately, I had to loan that device out to a family member who's
36
computer has gone out of commission. Add on top of that a new job with far
37
less spare time, as a system administrator, and triaging and testing fell
38
behind.
39
 
40
## Blazing a new way forward
41
 
42
I don't feel like I've accomplished much in the past cycle. To better motivate
43
myself, I'm going to publicly commit to making some changes. For the future,
44
it's time to right-size my goals. I'll do some new stuff, and drop some of
45
old.
46
 
47
### For sure:
48
 
49
  * **Promote Ubuntu**. I've volunteered to present the Ubuntu netbook remix
50
at an upcoming LUG meeting. Hopefully I'll have enough CDs and stickers to go
51
around.
52
 
53
  * **Evaluate desktop backup tools.** We have a lot of backup tools in
54
Ubuntu. Newly minted Ubuntu Member mterry even wrote and packaged one. We
55
always tell people to make backups before upgrading, but there isn't a lot of
56
attention paid to it by the community. I'm taking notes on 8 backup tools thus
57
far. Since I've got a desktop that's been running Ubuntu, and upgraded from
58
warty through the ages to jaunty, keeping around the accumulated changes
59
interests me.
60
 
61
  * **Share-alike.** I'll revisit the library's policy on software and try the
62
public libraries instead if they still can't accept free software.
63
 
64
### Maybe:
65
 
66
  * **Address bug #290159**. There's a patch, I forwarded it upstream for
67
review, and it sorta stalled out. Unfortunately, the upstream author is also
68
the Debian maintainer, so there's no extra opportunity for collaboration and
69
peer review there.
70
 
71
  * **Test and triage wacom.** Without 24/7 access to hardware, triaging
72
reports is hard and testing is even harder. If I get it back, I'll be in a
73
better place to dedicate some time to handle it.
74
 
75
  * **Pitch in for the Ubuntu education project**. I have experience with
76
popular existing web courseware tools, but not Moodle. Helping out with that
77
may be interesting. I'm not sure where exactly this is being organized though.
78
 
79
  * **Package KeePass 2.0** In a [previous post][7] I asked about software for
80
managing team secrets. [Keepass 2.0][8] fills a niche we need at work, so it'd
81
be nice to have it available on Ubuntu workstations. Upstream is dicey though;
82
a single developer who doesn't publish a public source repo, just binaries
83
with corresponding source. Hopefully he'll publish a new version that fixes
84
one or two bugs we've encountered and reported in testing.
85
 
86
### Step Down Considerately:
87
 
88
  * **Fingerprinting in Ubuntu.** This is a bad idea who's time has come.
89
Unfortunately, there's too much bad to unwind. Thinkfinger in Ubuntu is an SVN
90
snapshot of a dead project, who's packaging I don't fully understand. fprint
91
is potentially the replacement but I haven't had time to read how PAM changed
92
since Hardy. But basically, now that I know that it can work, I'm not sure it
93
_should_.
94
 
95
   [1]: http://daniel.holba.ch/blog/?p=391
96
 
97
   [2]: http://jspaleta.livejournal.com/
98
 
99
   [3]: http://www.metafilter.com/user/82435
100
 
101
   [4]: http://ask.metafilter.com/tags/ubuntu/rss
102
 
103
   [5]: http://ask.metafilter.com/tags/linux/rss
104
 
105
   [6]: http://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu
106
 
6 jldugger 107
   [7]: http://pwnguin.net/group-password-management-suggestions.html
1 jldugger 108
 
109
   [8]: http://keepass.info/
110