dryer lint

My team at work has been focused on snaps this year and one thing we’ve tried to do internally is establish a set of best practices for snap packaging software. Toward that end I’ve been working on a little tool I’m calling snaplint to encode those practices and verify that we’re following them.

Right now you can run snaplint against your snapcraft project directory
and it will scan the prime subdirectory for the following things:

  • copyright (basically that you included usr/share/doc/*copyright*) for
    any stage-packages
  • developer cruft (things like header and object files or static libs
    that might have made their way into your snap)
  • libraries (examine the ELF files in your snap and look for libraries
    which aren’t used)

The next things I’m planning on adding are:

  • checking for copyright info from apps/parts themselves.
  • checking for mixing of incompatible licenses

I would love to hear suggestions on further improvements.

You can find the source at https://github.com/ssweeny/snaplint

And, of course if you’re running Ubuntu 16.04 or later you can try it on your own machine with:
$ snap install snaplint
$ snaplint path/to/your/project

Ubuntu 14.10

I’m at a sprint in Washington, DC with my fellow Canonicalers gearing up for the commercial release of our phone OS (more on that later) but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about the desktop and cloud.

Yesterday was another Ubuntu release day! We released Ubuntu 14.10, codenamed the Utopic Unicorn. Look for lots of subtle improvements to the desktop as we prepare some big things to come soon.

As usual, you can take a tour or go straight to the download page.

And while we’re at it, here’s to another 10 years of Ubuntu!

Trusty TahrAnother very exciting release of Ubuntu for desktops and phones (oh, and I guess servers and cloud too) is out the door!

This is a Long Term Support release, which means it’s supported for five years, and it’s the release I’ll be trying to install on friends’ and family’s computers at every opportunity.

As usual, you can take a tour or go straight to the download page.

Smarter and Faster

This is a very exciting release for me, not least because it’s the first official release of Ubuntu for Phones, which was the big focus for my team at Canonical this cycle. We worked on making it easy to spin up your own custom build of Ubuntu and helped out with fixing bugs wherever we could.

If you’re comfortable flashing your phone you can install Ubuntu with these instructions.

Of course, Ubuntu still rocks your socks on your desktop or laptop, so take the tour or go grab it!

After having my desktop computer shut down for a week while my father-in-law was building a ceiling for our basement (thanks, Barry!) I started it up tonight and ran through the absurd amount of raring updates that I’d missed, then on a whim decided to fire up the Steam client and check for updates there too. As it happens there was an update, and look what I found when it finished:

Indicator for Steam!
Indicator for Steam!

Just adding to the insanity.

Avoid the pain of Windows 8I want to congratulate my friends and colleagues at Canonical and in the Ubuntu community on another great release. 12.04 was a tough act to follow but the spit and polish they put into 12.10 is really showing.

Don’t just take my word for it, grab it and try for yourself!

I’ve already got one patch in line for the next Ubuntu release, 13.04 (codename Raring Ringtail) and I hope it’s just the first of many. Let’s do this thing.

I’ve never been a huge Android fan, preferring more “open” or “Capital-F Free” systems like Maemo. However after watching Maemo and its free siblings being consigned to the bit bucket one by one I have to admit that Android is looking more and more attractive.

With that in mind I pre-ordered the Google Nexus 7 on the day it was announced and it finally arrived this afternoon. I’ve had a chance to play with it a bit and I must say I’m very impressed.

I have a few thoughts about what I’ve seen so far.

  • I’ve never been a fan of onscreen keyboards and while the Jelly Bean incarnation isn’t bad for quick IMs or status updates, typing something longer (like this post) is still rather painful. I think a setup with a Bluetooth keyboard will be a necessity for any serious creation effort on this device.
  • The fonts on this thing are the most readable by far of any device I’ve seen. I already prefer using the N7 to catch up on Google Reader over my desktop and laptop machines.
  • The N7 is perfect for reading/chatting/looking stuff up from the couch while watching TV, which is a primary use case I was thinking of when I bought the thing.
  • The WordPress app for Android suffers the same annoyance as the Maemo version, which is the combination of a limited keyboard with an editor that doesn’t help you out much. It sucks to have to type a bunch of HTML manually on a phone/on-screen keyboard because they don’t give you shortcut buttons beyond bold/italic/underline. As I said above a real keyboard is going to be a must for writing anything longer than a haiku.
  • The N7 comes with a copy of Transformers: Dark of the Moon but not the accompanying Rifftrax. way to drop the ball, Google.