Great Succes!

Ubuntu 10.10 has been released, and here in Copenhagen we managed to gather a nice group of people at the local Café Klaptræet, for a relaxed release party get-together.

With only three days notice I was pleasantly surprised by the big turnout, and I think it is something we should consider doing again. Sometimes there doesn’t need to be an agenda, and talks and the like.
Sometimes it’s just nice to meet up and have a soda, coffee or beer with other Ubuntu and Free Software users, while sharing thoughts and ideas about Ubuntu, software and life in general.

I haven’t had much time to look at the new Ubuntu release, but hopefully I will have time to look into it in more detail when I have my fall vacation in one weeks time.

Other Ubuntu users around the world will be celebrating the release in the coming days as well. Feel free to share your release party stories and links to photos in the comments below.

Going to FSCONS

I recently got a positive response to my application for a scholarship to go to FSCONS.

So come November I will be going to Gothenburg for a weekend to dive into the wonderful world of Free Culture and Open Source Software.

There has been some talk on the Ubuntu Nordic mail-list about meeting up during the conference to meet ‘face-to-face’, and hopefully help us cooperate more in the Nordic region.
If you are going to the conference, and are into Ubuntu, I urge you to sign up on the wiki-page linked above. I would love to meet a lot of Ubuntu people at FSCONS.

Danish Team Re-Approved

As Amber already has pointed out yesterday a selected number of Ubuntu LoCo teams got approved and re-approved as official LoCo teams.

The Danish Team was one of the lucky teams to be re-approved.

As was pointed out during the meeting, the (re)approval process shouldn’t be so much about the technicality of being approved (although that is also be important), but just as much about sharing good ideas between LoCo teams. So I would like to use this blog post to direct the attention of Planet Ubuntu to something the Finnish teams has done, that I saw on their re-approval application, and then share an idea that we hope to carry out next month here in Denmark.

Write your parliament!

The Finnish team has written every member of the Finnish parliament about free software and included an Ubuntu CD in the letter. I think this is a great idea, and I think / hope that when Ubuntu 10.04 comes out we will do the same here in Denmark.

It also seems like a obvious thing to do on a higher level. What if every EU-based LoCo team promised them selves to mail their members of the European parliament in May or June, and make sure to send them a brand new 10.04 CD? To raise awareness among our elected officials and maybe get some press attention as well?

Of course similar actions can be taken in other parts of the world – get to it :)

Ubuntu Boot-Camp

Here in Denmark we are planning an Ubuntu boot-camp in May (or June). The basic idea is to meet in person and plan out the next 6 months of LoCo work (and of course have fun while meeting up!). You could think of it as a mini-UDS, just for out LoCo team.
Although many things can be planned by mail and irc meetings, you do get another connection and another feeling of ideas and the sharing of these, when you are face to face with people for a longer time period.

It is the first time we have this planned, so hopefully it will work out great! We will keep you posted of our experiences – good and bad alike. Feel free to get in touch if you are curious as to the more specific details of the plan.

Share ideas

Hopefully all the different fun and interesting ideas that pop up from all the Loco teams going through the (re)approval process will be placed on a wiki page somewhere, but until that happens I think we can all be better at sharing our ideas, plans and news of the work we do, either on the planet or the LoCo contacts mailing list.

… and congratulations again to all the teams that go (re) approved yesterday.

Open Source Days 2010

The Danish Ubuntu LoCo team had a community booth at the 2010 Open Source Days in Copenhagen last weekend.

The picture shows us (and the Exherbo guys next to us) setting up early Friday morning. Later in the day a Zebrapig banner joined the Ubuntu banner. All the community booths were located on the first floor, upstairs from the firms and organisations who had a paid booth. I didn’t take that many pictures, and the ones I did take didn’t turn out that great, but Flickr seems to have a nice collection if you are curious.

The new theme for Ubuntu Lucid had just been released the day before, so Friday, when we weren’t talking to people about Ubuntu, we spend a bit of time arguing for and against the new colour scheme.
We managed to hand out all our remaining Ubuntu 9.10 CD’s and Jesper gave a talk about ubuntu-dk.

As always, it was nice to meet up with the other people from the LoCo team. Although we do a lot of work together, it is often via e-mail or irc chat. Putting names to faces is always a pleasure. The beers both Friday and Saturday night were also a pleasure – beer and good company seldom lets you down.

We even managed to do some planning for the coming Ubuntu Global Jam.

Anders is set on doing an entire day of translating Sunday 28 at his place. And the plan is to do some more general bugwork on Friday and Saturday. Location is still to be decided, but properly Jesper or I will open our homes to the masses of Ubuntu volunteers. Stay tuned for more info about the Global Jam in Copenhagen / Denmark.

Ubuntu Live! in Århus

Yesterday the Danish LoCo team had a successful day in Århus. Århus is the second largest city in the country, and home to the biggest shopping mall here in Denmark, called Bruuns Galleri.

Armed with our good spirits, laptops, CDs and flyers for handout, we managed to talk to a lot of people, and hand out a lot of CDs and info flyers.

Photo by: Kim
Photo by: Kim

Especially the Eee Top touch screen with edubuntu installed was a hit with the kids. And when parents saw their kids doing basic arithmetic training while playing games, they were very easy to start a conversation with.

In general it was not hard to start conversations with people, and after mentioning the price and the general lack of viruses, most people were very interested. My rough guestimate is that we managed to hand a CD and a flyers with more info to 100 people and that we managed to talk to quite a few more.

This is definitely a thing that we can do again, and it doesn’t have to be linked to a release. Any weekend will do, and I really hope that we can manage events like this one again soon. Now that we know what is required, it should be fairly easy to plan and run events like this anywhere in the country. All we need is an agreement with a local mall (or similar), CDs, flyers and 6-8 people (with computers). This may be done with the help of a local LUG or similar, if need be.

<small>Photo by: Kim</small>
Photo by: Kim

After talking with ‘ordinary’ (what ever ordinary is) people about Ubuntu yesterday, my feeling is that People and Ubuntu are ready to be introduced, and we just need to go out there and do it!

As an added bonus, we actually had help with the CD handout all the way from Romania yesterday. Manuel from ubuntu-ru.org came down to help out. Of course he didn’t come all the way from Romania just to join us, he is an exchange student living in Århus, but still, I thought it was very brave of him to show up (and I hope the birthday party he was attending later turned out great).

Kim took a lot more pictures and Carsten also has pictures (and a description of the day, in Danish).

After the event a few of us went to the local PROSA office, where we were allowed to borrow their canteen and have some pizza. We also shared opinions about what we wanted to do about the next Ubuntu Live! – Ubuntu Release party here in Denmark. The next one, 10.04 is a LTS, and as such really invites for a grand celebration. We haven’t make any final decisions, but if only half of the ideas we talked about yesterday get carried out, it is going to be Big!

Late Global Jam in Copenhagen

Better late than never… due to some scheduling problems we didn’t manage to run a Global Jam last weekend, as the rest of the Ubuntu community did.

However, luckily we managed to run a jam yesterday, Saturday 10. If it could be called a part of the Global Jam, or if it was just our Local Jam is really just a matter of words. The five of us ended up working primarily on bug triaging. However we also had a quick look at the features of Empathy (the new default instant messaging client in Karmic Koala), and the Ubuntudanmark Podcast guys did a quick segment for their next podcast.

All in all I think the jam was a success, and I think we are ready for similar events in the future.

New Community Council

The vote for the new Ubuntu Community Council is over, and Mark Shuttleworth has announced the results.

The new council consists of (in alphabetical order)

  • Alan Pope
  • Benjamin Mako Hill
  • Daniel Holbach
  • Elizabeth Krumbach
  • Matthew East
  • Mike Basinger
  • Richard Johnson

A total of 267 Ubuntu members have cast their votes, which gives a voter turn out of roughly 66 percent.

If you feel like diving into the numbers, all the info and all the ballots are (in an anonymised and randomised form) available here:
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/w8/~andru/cgi-perl/civs/results.pl?id=E_f802a7d79840b58a

Congratulations to the new council!

Ubuntu Community Council 2009 elections

If you are an Ubuntu member, you have properly just recently received a mail informing you that voting on the Ubuntu Community Council is now open, and will continue until Tuesday 6 October 2009 at 13:00 UTC.

If you are curious about who the candidates are, here is the list:

If you feel like voting (and are a Ubuntu member) you really should go over the list and see for your self who you think is best suited for a seat on the Community Council.

You have to assign each candidate a rank from one to twelve, with one being most prefered, twelve least. More info on the voting method here. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method.

And no, you can’t vote for (or against) Mark. If you could, he wouldn’t be the sabdfl :)

The first Ubuntu-dk podcast

After much work, and many delayed meetings, the Danish podcast team finally released their first episode yesterday.

It is all in Danish, so you properly won’t be able to make much of it, if you don’t speak Danish, but it is a good episode, and hopefully is the first of a long line of fabulous podcasts. Besides a podcast in Danish with a focus on the legal aspects of software licences and immaterial rights, this seems to be the first Danish podcast about free and open source software, and the ambition of the podcast team is clearly to be larger than just Ubuntu. Hopefully this can become a podcast for the entire free software (and free culture?) movement in Denmark.

The people behind this first episode are Jesper Jarlskov, Niels Kjøller Hansen & Sakse Dalum, and so far the reactions I have heard from people who have listened to the podcast have been positive. There was a small problem with sound quality, due to some microphone trouble, but hopefully things will only improve from now on, as the team gains experience, and the sound problem in no way ruins the podcast.

On a more selfish note, I myself have a small appearance in the first episode, as I was invited to be interviewed about our coming Ubuntu 9.10 release party, named Ubuntu Live!

A big Congratulations to the podcast team!
I look forward to the next (and the next and…) episode and think this will be a great way to spread the word of Ubuntu and Free Software in Denmark, and strengthen the Free Software community here. Hopefully people from outside the Danish Ubuntu community will enjoy the podcast as well.

LoCo teams around the world

If you have been following the loco-contacts mail list you may have seen the recent hint that the coming LoCo Directory will be using the ownership of loco groups on Launchpad as a source of information about who is the LoCo contact for that group. This got me thinking.

How do different teams around the world organise themselves?

The assumption that the loco contact is always the same as the owner of the Launchpad group seems a bit simple. As teams evolve beyond a certain size, tasks get split, and the administration of the Launchpad group and the task of being Loco contact don’t necessarily go hand in hand.
So I’m curious – how do other teams get around delegating tasks and assignments?

In the rest of this blog post I shall try to give a short introduction to how we are currently doing things in the Danish team. I hope people from other LoCo teams will share their experience and ways of doing things as well. And of course pointers as to how we may organize the Danish team even better are very welcome!

Danish Team

Twice a month (except during holiday season) we have an IRC meeting. Everyone is welcome at the meeting, and this is where we discuss our future plans and events. If need be and we can’t come to a consensus on a topic, we have votes. One person, one vote. In essence, this is how the Danish team works currently.
ubuntu-dk-big

To take care of financial issues we have a board of trustees, including a treasurer. This makes handling money issues and making agreements with third parties a lot easier. Most people here (sponsors to make an example), will feel much safer donating money to an association, as opposed to some private person.

One a year (during spring) we have a general assembly, where we elect the board and the LoCo contact.

Of course this adds a bit of bureaucracy. We had to write some by-laws and we have to go through the entire hassle of having elections once a year. But it also secures that the board and the LoCo contact have a mandate from the community, and it makes it easy for the community to replace a LoCo contact or a board member, if they themselves can’t seem to realise that it’s time to step down.

That is how it works for us. Needs in other teams may be different, but I like the idea that once a year the position as LoCo contact is brought to debate and a vote, to make sure that (hopefully) the best person for the job is actually doing it.

So, how does everyone else do this?