Global Jam Participation – Ubuntu Berlin is prepared – are you?

(Wow, I needed to type „Global Jam“ more than once as I’s used to write „Global Bug Jam“.)

I am happy looking forward to the third „Ubuntu Global Jam“ taking place from 2nd to 4th of October 2009. „We“, meaning „Ubuntu Berlin„, Daniel Holbach, Benjamin Drung and me, already managed to prepare the local Jam session as far as possible:

  1. We found a place with power supply and network uplink: the c-base, where Ubuntu Berlin became some kind of resident.
  2. We decided to schedule our Global Jam for Saturday, the 3rd of October, from 11 am to 7 pm, which should allow people with different personal schedules to join us at least for some hours.
  3. We added our Global Jam to the official team list.
  4. We set up a core team with responsibilities for different aspects of the Jam. Daniel Holbach and Benjamin Drung will care for bug triaging, bug squatting and packaging while I’ll work on and present translation and documentation.
  5. We announced our Global Jam participation and invited more people to join us on several mailing lists (from Ubuntu Berlin lists over local Berlin Linux lists to c-base lists).
  6. We started to announce our invitation on different twitter feeds, our facebook group, and some blogs. One of them you are currently reading :)
  7. Last but not least I dropped some lines on the Ikhaya-suggest-an-article box, one of the most read German Ubuntu ressources.
  8. We will continue inviting people on personal basis as there are a bunch of people able to support us and just need a small friendly push… :)

I admit I am curious about this years participation and impact. And you? What are your hints for setting up a Global Jam session? Or do you need any more advices? Let me know. I am curious. Really.

possibly scrambled qt4 apps in Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope while using VRGB and LCD

In less than 48 hours Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope will be released officially! While using Jaunty for more than a month I am pleased to see this great new release getting it’s way to a huge usership. While preparing my small „new features in Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope“ talk for the „Ubuntu Berlin“ release party at c-base, I’d like to point out one open bug, that will make it into the release and might get some users into strange trouble:

When you have – for whatever reason (either by chance, clicking around or due to having a rotated display) – changed the display mode of Ubuntu to VRGB or VBGR (you can easily do this in the „System>Preferences>Appearance>Fonts“ menu) and additionaly turned on the lcd/subpixel mode, probably all of your qt4 applications – even qtconfig – will be totatlly scrambled and unreadable. The bug might hit you under Ubuntu (without a blue „K“ in the beginning) as you probably run something like VirtualBox, Skype or even Amarok in your Gnome environment. It will probably look like this:

Screenshot showing the scrambled qt application
Screenshot showing the scrambled qt application

But: Don’t panic! This bug only occurs when you changed some defaults in the Appearance/Fonts settings to rather uncommon or often maybe useless settings and switching back is fairly easy. But as I ran into this and put some effort into the corresponding bug on launchpad Subpixel/Lcd mode with VRGB/VBGR makes qt4 applications on Jaunty unreadable, I noticed, that a remarkable bunch of users posted duplicate bug reports or commented the report.

So if you are running into this error, all you have to do, is:

  1. exit all qt applications,
  2. go into „System>Preferences>Appearance>Fonts“,
  3. change VRGB/BGR to RGB/BGR.

That’s all. If you want to examine the bug, do the following (don’t do this at home):

  1. exit all qt applications,
  2. go into „System>Preferences>Appearance>Fonts“,
  3. change RGB/BGR to VRGB/BGR,
  4. switch to lcd/subpixel mode.

Afterwards your qt applications will look scrambled. If you don’t know, which one to run for a test, you probably have „qtconfig“ installed.

(I had a little chat with some developers about the severity of this bug. Though I think it’d would be definitely better not having it in a release, I understand the point, that the environment must be set up in a rather special way to run into this and it popped up quite late. Therefore it did not make it into the release critical bugs, but I am quite sure, it will be fixed soon.)

That’s all about this. I wish you a smooth upgrade to Jaunty – see you there :)

[update 2009-04-03]

As you can read on, a patch has been committed to the Ubuntu repositories, that has been found here:

So the fix as an update is coming closer…

Ubuntu Berlin raising money for a video projector – want to support?


I already mentioned that one goal of Ubuntu Berlin for this year is raising enough money for a new video projector. The „Ubuntu Berlin“ team is quite active with its release parties, bug jams, lectures and workshops and most of these events require us to present software to an audience (surprise!). We are really happy about having the possibility to use the infrastructure of the well known c-base, but the video projector there is really close to its end of life-cycle and more or less unusable (too dark, unsharp, etc.).

Therefore we decided to buy a new video projector funded by the community. The „ubuntu Deutschland e.V.„, the main German LoCo team, if you can say so, and legal association behind major parts of the German community, is able to collect the money and can even issue an official contribution receipt as this is tax deductable in Germany.

So if you have some money left and want to support one of the most active teams in the Ubuntu community, feel free to donate some money to:

account holder: ubuntu Deutschland e.V.
bank: HVB Nürnberg
account number: 382916859
bank code: 76020070
IBAN: DE44760200700382916859

Swift (BIC)
purpose of transfer: „Ubuntu Berlin“ (important!)

Of course you can also donate money from another country than Germany, just use the IBAN/Swift :)

For your information:

We intend to buy a projector for about EUR 500 to 700, depending on the amount of money we collect. The beamer will be a permanent loan to the c-base, located in their workshop room – therefore used for hundreds of lectures and workshops around free software. If we collect more than we actually need for the projector, we’ll spend the remaining money for other expenses connected to Ubuntu Berlin (e.g. further reconstruction of the workshop room at c-base, funding of our bigger events like LinuxTag BBQ, release parties, etc.).

Thanks for reading, and: Donating makes you really sexy :)


You can also donate money over the wire: Just send the amount of money you like to spend via PayPal to: [email protected]

Don’t complain about it – make it better? Bug Jamming for a better tomorrow

Agreed, that was too much pathetic. But you got the point, didn’t you? Free software like every software is full of bugs and possibilities for enhancements. So is Ubuntu. But that’s okay, because we have the power to change it. No need to be a developer, no need to be an ubernerd. All you have to do is to spent some time. Need somebody to motivate you? Want to do it in a group? Then a Bug Jam is perfect for you!

No, it’s not a jam made of bugs :) It’s a get together where people work on eliminating software bugs by spending some time reading bug descriptions, checking them, writing new ones, informing developers about bugs or even patch the software by themselves. The Ubuntu community crew tries to push these events as they really help you to kick your ass and just get started as it’s much easier to get into the bug business in a group and it makes a lot of fun. And of course bugs fixed in Ubuntu can be ported to Debian and upstream quite often.

All you for a Bug Jam is… Ah, just come to one of the four Bug Jam irc sessions taking place in the next weeks, held by some Ubuntu people who already have some experiences with Bug Jamming and Ubuntu related events (I will support Daniel Holbach on two of them, one this Friday, 16:00 UTC). See the schedule on Daniel’s blog entry.

And keep in mind:

1. There is the 5-a-day project where you and your loco team, group or whatever can make a difference and pop up on the first line of the statistics.

2. There will be a Global Bug Jam which will be the first and biggest of it’s kind so far and you can be part of it.

Hope to see you there.

My 5 today: #156204 (pidgin-otr), #130443 (pidgin-otr), #144770 (pidgin-otr), #240420 (ubuntu), #231660 (ubuntu)
Do 5 a day – every day!