No more physical Ubuntu Developer Summits - moving to the cloud
The six-monthly Ubuntu Developer Summits (UDS) – held in locations such as Brussels, Orlando in Florida, Budapest, Oakland in California, and Copenhagen – will not be taking place in future, according to an announcement by Community Manager Jono Bacon. The meetings will be replaced by online events held every three months. The real world events which saw Ubuntu and Canonical developers from around the world gather at the start of an Ubuntu release cycle to plan the features of that release, are to be replaced by online gatherings using Google+ Hangouts supported by IRC, Etherpad, "Social Media sharing and links to blueprints and specs".
The new online events will include all the schedule trappings of the physical event such as keynotes, plenary sessions and lightning talks. Bacon says the changes will offer a more open and transparent process "optimised for online participants" as all sessions will be recorded and the quality of the recordings should be higher than the "single microphone and camera" recordings of physical UDS meetings.
Among the reasons given for the change were wanting to address those people who were unable to physically travel to wherever the UDS was being held and to allow participation from specialists in client and cloud orchestration. Bacon says Canonical also wanted to see community-wide discussions happening more than every six months. Canonical did not mention how much time and money would be saved by switching to an online format for the event.
Bacon says that a "fantastic level of interest in the recent phone and and tablet announcements" has prompted Canonical to run an online UDS event on 5 and 6 March, two months before the traditional UDS date. The UDS pages for the March 2013 summit currently show no schedule information, but according to the announcement there will be four channels, Client, Server & Cloud, Community, and App Developers, with two streams per channel and potentially eight concurrent UDS topics being discussed. The event will be taking place less than two months before the final release of Ubuntu 13.04, Raring Ringtail. Following that, in May, another online UDS will be held, replacing the previously scheduled Oakland event, to plan for Ubuntu 13.10. Canonical will then "review the success" of the events and decide whether to continue with the online format.