Ubuntu Developer Week Underscores Development Trends
Canonical representatives recently announced plans for the next Ubuntu Developer Week, slated to begin at the end of this month. What is Ubuntu Developer Week, what does it mean for you? Most importantly, what does it say about Ubuntu over the long term? Read on for details.
Canonical has sponsored Ubuntu Developer Weeks every six months or so since 2008, with the most recent occurring last summer. The events are designed for people interested in learning more about developing for Ubuntu and other open-source projects.
Unlike Ubuntu Developer Summits, the biannual conferences in which mostly veteran developers get together in an exotic physical locale to plan for the next release cycle, Developer Week takes place virtually on the #ubuntu-classroom IRC channel, making it easily accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
Sessions to Note
Most of the events planned for the upcoming Developer Week, scheduled to run Feb. 28-March 5, 2011, are similar to those offered in the past, and cater to people looking for introductions to various development-related topics. What makes the latest developer week stand out, however, is the series of events related to Unity, the new desktop interface which will become Ubuntu’s default beginning with the 11.04 release this April. In particular, anyone interested in Unity should note the following sessions:
- “Taking a Bite out of Unity,” an introduction to contributing to Unity and helping fix “bite-size” bugs
- “Rocking Out with Libunity,” which currently lacks a description but which will presumably offer a more intense look at programming for the Unity environment than the session above
- “Getting Started with Unity 2D,” dealing with the recently announced 2D version of Unity, which will allow the interface to run on computers and other devices without support for 3D video acceleration
A few other events worth noting include:
- “Introducing boto EC2 Cloud API,” a session which underscores some of the exciting work going on with Ubuntu Server Edition and cloud computing
- “The Ubuntu One App Developer Programme,” for help integrating third-party applications with Ubuntu One, a central component of Canonical’s longterm vision for the Ubuntu platform
- “Rocking with Zeitgeist,” the new file-indexing back-end which I still believe could really transform the Linux user experience
Taken together, these sessions reflect the development trends that are shaping Ubuntu’s future: namely Unity, the cloud and Ubuntu One. (I’m not yet ready to say Zeitgeist represents a priority for Ubuntu developers, but that may change as the technology matures.)
These are the areas of focus that currently set Ubuntu apart from other mainstream Linux distributions, none of which has experimented with Unity or introduced services like Ubuntu One, and few of which have invested so many resources over the last two years into the cloud.