The UBports Munich Meet-up on March 17th/18th
an impression


The Munich Ubuntu Touch Meet-Up was probably the first of its kind worldwide, and we are keen to pronounce it a great success! The group contained an interesting mix of people, who wanted a range of things from their time together. Topics on Ubuntu Touch were discussed, questions asked and answered, and informative talks were given.

The @Twinkeybot idea 
Towards the end of last year, @twinkybot proposed the idea of establishing coding workshops at different locations, to help people get started working on Ubuntu Touch. People seemed to like that idea, and it turned out that a group of enthusiasts live in the south of Germany or Austria. This prompted @twinkybot to organize a workshop at Valtech GmbH (the company where he works) in Munich. Over time, the event morphed somewhat from a coding workshop into a community meet-up.

Meeting each other in the flesh 
We started with introductions, where everyone said a little about themselves and their motivation.
They can be roughly divided into the following groups:
  • Users of Ubuntu or Ubuntu Touch (project managers, engineers etc.)
    • One guy had heard of Ubuntu Touch on Munich Linux Night, and wanted to see for himself →Don’t hesitate to look and touch!
    • Another was a Windows expert who wanted to dive into the world of Linux → Welcome!
  • C++ developers
    • One developer had already written apps for other platforms. He wanted to hack on system components, but didn't know how or where to start
    • Another was working on a Halium port, and asked for help
  • IT administrators
    • One of whom was fascinated by the idea of convergence, and was keen to improve his user experience
    • And another was curious about Ubuntu Touch 16.04
  • FOSS idealists
    • There were those who are enthusiastic about having true GNU/Linux on smartphones
    • Another wanted to support the development by bringing the community together on meet-ups
    • And others were looking for more ways to help
  • UBports member Jan, who manages communication between developers and the community, manages UBports on github, and is a software engineer

Official planning and spontaneous presentations
After the introduction the agenda was established. It included some formal sessions, but the meet-up was mostly informal. Maybe half of the time was given over to discussions and showing things, helping to solve problems and answering questions. The atmosphere was great, the feedback was positive, and a repeat event was proposed!
The agenda:
  • How does Ubuntu Touch work?
  • What is Halium?
  • What is Libhybris and why do we need that?
  • The foundation is on the way (may take up to half year, due to German burocracy)
  • Why is 16.04 so important?
  • Why not 18.04 directly?
  • Unity8 on phones and desktop
  • Changes in Mir, compatibility to wayland
  • UBports is in contact with Mir team and former Canonical developers 
  • Anbox will be optional and should not replace the app ecosystem
  • Focus: higher compatibility with other Qt libraries like Quick Control, more synergy with plasma mobile

During the meet-up, numerous demo's were offered about Clickable, Python and Bug Reporting.
  • The Clickable Demo included topics like:  easy to start with templates, easy to install and debug on phone or desktop, and atom support. This was valuable as it provided an easy way to learn more about Clickable. 

The General questions that were posed included:
  • Can proprietary software be completely replaced by FOSS?
  • Can we get the Notes core app back? The answer to which was, "Yes we can"!
  • How do I become an Ubuntu Touch developer?
  • Can we fix this or that bug?  We might have been able to had we not spent so much time talking!
  • How to run Youtube videos in the background? Using the UT Tweak Tool to allow background mode for single application, or enable window mode in general
  • Will I be able to find drivers for devices I need to be able to use if I upgrade from Windows XP to Ubuntu? Or could I use Wine?
  • And some suggestions were offered:
  • That the camera app needs some improvement! 

However, the event was more than about sharing knowledge. It was awesome to meet fellow contributors and UT enthusiasts in real life. 
And so, a big THANK YOU to Valtech GmbH. They provided us with a great lunch, coffee, beverages as well as  the location, which gave us the opportunity to discuss Ubuntu topics and build friendships. From playing tabletop football, beers and a lunch at location, all was very much enjoyed!

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