UDS Barcelona Review

Woo! I’ve been back from Barcelona for a little while now. I think it was the best UDS so far (that I’ve been too, it’s only been my third).

Beforehand, Canonical held an all-employees event called AllHands. There was lots of information sharing about what different parts of the company were doing. It was very informative, and nice to get a chance to meet some of my new teammates in person.

Then UDS itself. Now that I’m on the Foundations team for the next six months, I’ll be working at a slightly lower level than I’m used to. So I attended a lot of sessions that I wouldn’t normally have and just soaked up the cleverness of those around me. I gotta say, most sessions were between two or three very smart people, with lots of others just watching, trying to keep up. At least, for the Foundations sessions which tended to be very technical.

The work that Scott James Remnant is doing to lower boot time is impressive. His goal is 10 seconds to a full desktop. There was a session about ‘what are we going to do about usplash, the boot progress bar program?’ Basically, it’s not very maintainable and has lots of bugs. Scott’s answer was basically ‘Eh, throw it out, we’re going to start X at the same time we would have started usplash; it will just slow us down.’ Love it!

There was also a nice commitment to more heavily move to pulseaudio. Historically, it’s been installed, but not all programs use it, which makes for a frustrating audio experience. So the plan is to convert lots of audio libraries to use a pulseaudio backend by default. Try to convert as many apps we can that way.

I also like the ‘100 papercuts’ initiative, which aims to catalog and fix 100 small, aggravating bugs for Karmic. It’s often the little things that annoy you and add up to a bad experience.

The Foundations team signed up for a lot of work, but I still don’t quite know which parts of that I’ll be working on. Should be an interesting cycle!