Monday, May 25, 2009

UDS: Remote Participation - My Initial Thoughts

Part 47 - The Ubuntu Chronicles: Amber's Adventures in the Community

After receiving some comments about putting the subject of the post as the title, I decided to go ahead and change the way I title my Blog Posts. I didn't quite understand how they look on the feeds. Now that I researched it I see what they were talking about - Thanks everyone for the feedback hope the new way of labeling each post is easier. :-) I enjoy the feedback, it's the only way I can improve. :-D! and learn!

I am curious to see how I feel about remote participation in real time this morning and if my opinion changes throughout the week. I hope I grow to really appreciate it and see just how much everyone, but of special interest to me is the average user, can get out of UDS through remote participate. I think I just might be surprised. I'll let you know on Friday. :-D! (I was pretty critical because of the wording of the UDS documentation and who could/should participate then jcastro mentioned the remote participation so I'm going with it. So far other than the typical kinks that happen on day one of big events it's really good.)

Getting Ready and learning how this all works

It is 0230am and I woke up, picked up my computer which I left beside my bed so I didn't have to go far to get ready.. :-). Sent a text message to pgraner to say good morning, so he would know he didn't have to call me to tell me to wake up. ;-) (Not so much a morning person any more and I really didn't want to wake the kids or the dog. No fun walking the dog at 0230).

Then I opened the UDS Remote Participation Wiki
next I joined #ubuntu-devel-summit on freenode
next I made sure identi.ca, twitter, gwibber, and Facebook were all in working order. Checked the schedule, tested to make sure I could hear audio. With everything I knew to check (which isn't much) but I checked what I knew. Now I am just waiting for everything to begin.

I am still not sure how I will know, how to participate but I am sure I will figure it out as I go. If for some reason I can't then I will just ask. :-D!

So now I wait.

Ok so apparently there was some sound issues, caused by network issues at UDS. I was a little confused at 1st. I looked on the schedule to find what room the plenary session was in so I could find audio for it in icecast. It was room 6 on the list and it wasn't listed on the schedule as room 6 but only plenary. So I had to go through all the rooms until I found the one that had noise. However, it wasn't until they switched out the mics and I could hear! did I realize I had the right room. :-D I was a little confused, then I refreshed the page right before the plenary session was due to end and the room number on the schedule matched the room numbers on the icecast list. Cool! I was beginning to understand.

So at some point all the audio went away. They were having trouble connecting to launch pad and stuff in Spain. Could have had something to do with all the people trying to connect at one time. What I got to hear was pretty cool. I even managed to install Gobby, just so I could see what it was. But the bits and pieces from the IRC channel, gwibber, twitter and identi.ca didn't give a true sense of the discussion, without the context of the audio.

So I am chalking all the sound issues and stuff up to working out the kinks on the first day of a big conference/summit. It happens, so it's all good.

I guess the thing is to remember to be flexible as the kinks get worked out. I was asking a ton of questions, not because I was trying to be a pain, but because I was trying to figure out was it my system or the network. I waited a few minutes when the whole icecast audio for a room would disappear before I asked. If it was me then people would say something like "nope I'm fine." but as it turned out it was the network not just me. I was trying to get all those questions out of the way before the sessions started. Thanks everyone!

I had never used icecast before, never seen gooby before, and with the sound coming and going it was a bit confusing. However by the 3rd hour the audio seems to be working, and I am enjoying the community sessions. So even though I didn't get to go, I am still benefiting from the sessions.

So if you weren't able to go, look over the schedule and see which sessions appeal to you and block out an hour somewhere in your day. You can participate too. I'm sure it's not the same as being there but at least you can be a part of it. If nothing else just listen. I'm really enjoying the community sessions.

Well I am sure I will be posting more later. Enjoy :-D!