Organize and stimulate promotion of UBports Ubuntu Touch





  • @WLBI We will switch to our push server with OTA-3, and then I think more people will switch to our image, as they will loose their Telegram notifications 😉 - Dec. 21st, an early Christmas present.

    BR



  • @libremax How can we convince you to switch to UBports if not by demonstrating that we are alive, a motivated community with growing people?

    BR



  • @flohack do i need my ubuntu one account to use the ubports notification server or can i delete my account?



  • @einstein212 You need it, its a requirement on the client side, which we did not remove. Also, it will likely stay anyways, as we do not want to have an anonymous push server that can be exploited by a zombie command control center for example, spambots or other activities. They could steal our bandwidth and resources, so I am very positive about at least having a U1 token so that we know who is behind that.

    I can understand that fully anonymous would be fine, but unfortunately not everyone on this planet can behave himself.

    BR



  • I think we (meaning those who do the work 🙂 ) are on a good way with the Audiocast and the regualar Youtube videos.
    But e.g. for me who is less involved it is hard to grasp where we are.
    I am not presented with an simple overview of what is missing. I know we have an issue tracker but to derive from this what is lackiing is tedious work.

    I'd like to have an MVP with a fixed scope in a more structured way. Similar what happend with OTA-3 after some point in time.
    I'd kinda have a e.g. Scrumboard where we have our backlog and then can prioratize this for the next upcoming month, or two or three.

    And this we could provide as feedback to all people who are interested. Not only saying "FP2: phone works, GPS works..." but also having a status of what is still missing etc.



  • @twinkybot We will try to use more boards like this in the future: https://github.com/ubports/ubuntu-touch/projects/3 - Its planned to have 3 teams (HAL, middleware, ui) and distribute workload for them. Still getting organized though 😉

    BR



  • @flohack Nice. Yes this is a good step 🙂
    Does GitHub also provide reports about done "sprints" like Jira does?

    At our company we are working only with Jira and BitBucket and I recently set up my own server with YouTrack and Co. (JetBrains stuff). So I have no experience with GitHub features except using it as Repository.

    Why I am asking is, with Jira you can define releases and associate all tickets with a specific "fix version" and from this you can create either a text as release notes or HTML and Co. and naturally see it in Jira itself.
    I can image that this also might be helpful.



  • @twinkybot We also use Jira in my company. Github has a few of those features, but its not on the same level. There is no sprint start/end ect. Its not a fully agile SW dev tool 😉

    BR



  • @flohack said in Organize and stimulate promotion of UBports Ubuntu Touch:

    The question is, are we ready to serve?

    Ready or not, it is already happening...the questions that are important to think about now is HOW do we plan on serving at a larger scale NOW, to be ready for later.

    The age-old religious adage captures this idea:

    "Noah didn't build the ark when it starting raining...."

    You have to see, a too big demand for the project could turn into negative feelings, effectively having a negative impact on everything:

    Not enough devices are enabled, especially you cannot buy new hardware ATM
    Our release cycles are lagging and we need more hands as developers
    Our server capacities might get overrun
    16.04 is a must to offer it to a wider audience

    I would agree with this sentiment if this theoretically happened in a vacuum and the issues you brought up were the only variables we were accounting the for...in fact, things change when we zoom out. We find that marketing and communications plays a role in this framing/messaging for the project.

    I am afraid of a day when I wake up and suddenly we got 10k more users - We don't want to disappoint them. So, organic growth is important, it's slow and unpredictable, but once we reach a certain stage we will also ramp up marketing.

    Marketing is the 1st mover effect of growth and scale. No marketing, no one knows you exist, and if no one knows you exist, how do they sign up for patreon (oops, librepay).

    Essentially, marketing and communications SETS THE TABLE for expectations for those who come to know our project and decide to learn more. This already is done pretty well with the devices supported section. You know which devices you will have better luck with.

    I think if you give people the chance to surprise you on what they are willing to support (even if it isn't ready for prime-time use), they will. It is the reason why the project has gone this far.

    I respectfully would submit to anyone who feels remotely like this to consider rethinking this foundational aspect of organizational development and scaling for projects:

    Your view about scaling is just one view, amongst many, and a view colored by your expertise. I think @Flohack is right in literally fearing the day when they have 10k more users...he helps with infrastructure, and that is supposed to be the way he should feel! We are lucky to have someone who is affected by this potential scenario. That is his domain!

    Here is the catch: growing an organization in a HEALTHY way is not and should not be stifled or at the mercy of server load, or the number of developers on hand. Just like marketing strategy should not be at the mercy of what bugs are being reported; If that is the lens we used and the only thing focused on, then, of course, I would be fearful too; the fear of a project becoming so big it becomes unmanageable and we are crushed under the weight of its own success is very real....unless we grow with scale in mind.

    Thankfully, we don't HAVE to think that way.

    When looking at the big picture, it is important to take into account other "arms" of the project that are designed to address these matters...yes, like Marketing and Communications. Not saying it happens here, but there is a level of disrespect for Marketing and Communication in many FOSS projects, and we are paying the price for it.

    Marketing and Communications would be the ones listening to developers and blasting out info to people to help shape how they SHOULD be thinking about the project (e.g. Like mentioning all the important bullet points shared by @Flohack) on the website, mailing lists, telegram/irc, ubuntu users, etc.) so we proactively scale, but in a way that is throttled for sustainability.

    I think we are at a special time in history right now where non-techy people are becoming more and more concious of the issues they face for mobile OS choices...

    For example, I don't own a UBport supported device.

    I NEVER flashed my phone to run an alternative OS like lineage etc.

    I support UBports for its potential and excited about the progress...as well as others.

    For this reason, I think that MORE people are out there like me, and more ideas to penetrate that demographic should be shared and backed concrete support....it should be considered more seriously and carefully; and even pitched to experts in this domain. I rather @Flohack focus on server bandwidth and developer management, as suppose to marketing pitches. 😉 I believe scaling up is not a matter of if but when...and we need those systems to be ready for it. 😄

    -Profetik777



  • @profetik777 Hmm there is a marketing team already, and it has a bunch of people in it, maybe you should join them? Also, we have marketing campaign upcoming, so there is happening a lot behind the scenes 🙂

    Contact @wayneoutthere for an application for the marketing team.

    BR



  • Hey @Flohack , it is understandable that you don't recall, but I was on the original marketing team for UBports...remember the time it took to get email opt-in page on the home page? I had to push for that, along with others. Once there was a shift in who decided the creative direction of marketing I had to step down...I didn't really agree with the way it was handled (a little shady to be honest, not enough open or consistent communication at the time in my opinion), let alone how that information was delivered to me, so it became obvious it wasn't a good fit to continue, hence me stepping down.

    While I am happy to support where I can, I think providing my two cents here and there is the only thing I can do for now...and bring them to the open before the community, so if it is something marketing wants to pick up on, great...if not, no biggie. Thanks for the suggestion!



  • @profetik777 I am sorry I did not follow the evolution of marketing team and so I cannot comment on these things. But it would have been better you would have tried to stay in, accept the change of direction as in such project you have to accept compromise or detrimental directions. As soon if you feel personal frustration you are doing it wrong. I am also not happy with a lot of things, but I accept them.

    BR



  • Reading this and throwing in my experience with dis-located teams.
    I strongly urge for regular meetings. I mean live meetings. Where the community comes together and talks face-to-face about topics.
    Additionally I'd say a roadmap is due or a process on getting the todos for the next step.
    I also felt now and then ignored or misunderstood or irrelevant. Still do as I am if at all percieved only as consumer.
    But for example having the workshop at locations (see another topic) will help. Especially when really active community members join 🙂

    I do understand that most active people do this in their spare time therefore the perception of what is important differs quite a bit.

    I do believe that the step to create a foundation will help and is a good one. But it needs a more transparancy as what is going to happen and when 🙂



  • @flohack - yeah I respectfully disagree but see where you are coming from. For the sake of the community, I think this is a great conversation to be had since it would be helpful for others to examine (or re-examine) their own unique circumstances and tolerance levels that impact commitments to projects.

    As a general rule of thumb, progress > perfection....and 100% agree with you. Compromise will always be needed to move forward in projects like this. Of course, just like with anything, there are always exceptions. For me, when over a course of a period you ask for basic things (like embed codes / unique tracking links to measure our efforts for financial sustainability campaign that never happened) and they go ignored, it becomes pretty challenging to tell yourself "Well, it is a compromise, you can't have it all!". The trust and belief of those making decisions begins to diminish when thinking about compromise. After all, you could only get ignored on telegram for so long. And when you do get a word, it is completely out of left field and mishandled with no room for discussion.

    On your point about not being happy with a lot of things....this may sound funny but, I would be happy to be unhappy if folks on the marketing team at the time knew our cases were heard, considered, and met halfway...and discussions were going on in a transparent manner...and not just with those who had more access to Marius than others...

    So, to summarize, it is hard to ask and reach a compromise without conversations

    And I think that is a healthy marker for deciding to step away from something, especially when you are doing it as a volunteer position.

    @Flohack , your experience might be different given your position. I understand that in this early stage in the project, those touching core technical components probably have more "time at the table" to discuss things and have a healthier more robust back and forth...that was certainly not my experience (and also, based on the @twinkybot 's post, not his either).

    So, for the community, it is important to:

    1. Know what are your own personal "deal breakers" are. For me, it was long periods of little to no communication and mishandled communication (which, by the way, caused mishandlings of my own).

    2. Voice all concerns appropriately, and know what personal timetables you have before moving on to another issue worth fighting for, or moving on altogether.

    3. Seek to find ways to support in more ways that are not "fixed point" (projects that are time-bound)...but can happen whenever and however (promotion on social media for example). Or even financially....or encouraging others to donate (which I think could happen more often).

    Lastly, I just have to add this in there, this is a point that really made me scratch my head...

    "As soon if you feel personal frustration you are doing it wrong."

    Again, just my opinion, but I personally feel this is the completely wrong way to look at it...this might be your case, for you...which I am happy for you about....but I can't imagine this being the case for everyone...esp. those who are passionate about projects that are so important, like this one.

    On a more macro level, I've seen some of this from some segments of the gnu/linux community....on one hand, they cry about not having enough options for free or open options for linux on mobile, the outcry for privacy and having control of our devices, etc etc....yet, so lax on discovering ways to improve our methods or models for scaling and sustainability...like, why would you NOT rush to discover industry best practices and not seek the best help in implementing them in a healthy way to speed track advancement? I am sure I am not alone when I say we are tired of projects being too little too late, meanwhile, proprietary solutions make the next leapfrog (e.g. Samsung - DEX). Even if it isn't the exact solution, it keeps people from looking elsewhere.

    I don't know about you @Flohack , but when Canonical announced they dropped convergence, UT, and convergence overall, it crushed me, but then FIRED ME UP to do something about it. So yeah, I'm going to be a little frustrated if I find that those who are in the best position to do the greatest good in this area are fumbling a bit in certain areas...e.g. using becoming a foundation as a reason/excuse for not engaging in year-round funding initiatives or hiring more full time or part time devs.



  • @twinkybot said in Organize and stimulate promotion of UBports Ubuntu Touch:

    Reading this and throwing in my experience with dis-located teams.
    I strongly urge for regular meetings. I mean live meetings. Where the community comes together and talks face-to-face about topics.

    Agreed, although very difficult to do given the global community...I think regular team meetings that have structure, agenda, minutes, and open to listen in on like Firefox can go a long way until more LoCo events can pop up.

    Additionally I'd say a roadmap is due or a process on getting the todos for the next step.

    I agree, even if it is just for 3 month stretches. I think everyone knows you can never hit goals 100%, bc it would then mean you are shooting to low and its too easy...it should stretch the team but still be attainable...and those roadmaps should be per team (e.g. Dev has one, Marketing has 1 etc.).

    I also felt now and then ignored or misunderstood or irrelevant. Still do as I am if at all percieved only as consumer.

    I feel the same way sometimes, thankfully, we have platforms like this in place that hopefully, could make some traction and positive influence.

    But for example having the workshop at locations (see another topic) will help. Especially when really active community members join 🙂
    I do understand that most active people do this in their spare time therefore the perception of what is important differs quite a bit.

    Agreed. That is why continuous discussion and negotiation of priorities are a MUST HAVE so all those involved can get on the same page.

    I do believe that the step to create a foundation will help and is a good one. But it needs a more transparancy as what is going to happen and when 🙂

    Agreed. Thanks for chiming in. I would like to know what exactly is it about a foundation that prevents UBports for wanting to seek MORE funding in the meantime?



  • To add a bit more concerns. I see @Flohack contributing in the forums and answering questions. But I am missing the rest of the core. @mariogrip (which is somewhat understandable), @UniSuperBox, @wayneoutthere etc. to give their opinion or participate in these kind of discussions as well.

    For example I am missing the discussion about the foundation and the todos. It is a mistery for me.
    What is the status, what is the blocker. The first time the topic of the foundation came up in one community update, but @Flohack didn't want to go into details and since then it got pretty silent. Or did I miss the update? Quite possible 😄

    One big problem I see is this telegram group. For one it is not a proper tool to have discussions of this kind. Furthermore it is way to crowded. On the other hand I do not like telegram for the same reasons I do search for alternatives apart from Google.
    Which brought me to matrix. But the channel there is well let's say an unloved child 😄
    Which brings me back to the forum and to above mentioned problem of the absence of the core members.
    Which in itself leads to the question how can I involve myself now?

    A good example, and which is not meant as an insult to @UniSuperBox, who joined Matrix after telling him that I do not use telegram. But after asking how to join e.g. as a Supporters in the Foundation. I got an simple reply: "We will contact you when it is ready."

    This left me with open questions. What is happening? Where are we stuck? What are the real criterias to be able to join the Foundation? etc.
    On other parts of the foundation (dev, translate or some others) new members pop up but how and why is left in the dark.
    The only discussion I found tackling this topic is: https://forums.ubports.com/topic/190/did-you-ever-consider-becoming-a-cooperative/5
    which is dormant.

    Another example is the topic I opend about t-shirts (https://forums.ubports.com/post/5930) which in my opinion would help us but I never got any reply if this is going to be tackled or not.

    Again this is only one symptom of misdirected communication and therfore the feeling of not being able to steer or help steering.

    EDIT: I am also aware that this confusion or lack of information might be due to my half assed participation and therfore I might have missed quite a lot or do not know where to look this up.

    EDIT 2: Looking at the page https://ubports.com/page/foundation-boardmembers
    I know some but of some I never heard of. But first and foremost I miss the introduction. Where did they participate, did I miss it again?

    EDIT 3: 404 for https://ubports.com/page/fs-foundation-statutes



  • @twinkybot,

    I am missing the rest of the core. @mariogrip (which is somewhat understandable), @UniSuperBox, @wayneoutthere etc. to give their opinion or participate in these kind of discussions as well. [...] One big problem I see is this telegram group. For one it is not a proper tool to have discussions of this kind. Furthermore it is way to crowded.

    I look over almost every topic on the forum, though I don't respond very often. I use most of my time on the forum to answer support topics. I've been encouraging others to get involved here and on GitHub rather than having discussions in the Supergroup. The more we talk here, the easier it is to find topics. Both you and @Profetik777 have been pulling people into this thread to have this high-level discussion, which I appreciate more than you might believe.

    The first time the topic of the foundation came up in one community update, but @Flohack didn't want to go into details and since then it got pretty silent. Or did I miss the update?

    We've had fairly regular updates on the foundation in the community updates. In the latest one, we mentioned that all of our paperwork has been accepted for review by the German government. It's going to take a while. We don't know how long. They don't know how long.

    I think that's a good point to speak to. We aren't a foundation yet. That legal structure isn't in place, so we're treading carefully in matters related to money and exchange of goods. After we are a foundation, we'll still need to do so to avoid heavy tax surprises similar to The Krita Foundation. That's why your T-shirt topic seemed to go ignored.

    after asking how to join e.g. as a Supporters in the Foundation. I got an simple reply: "We will contact you when it is ready." [...] What is happening? Where are we stuck?

    We opened up a survey to take applications for members to the UBports Foundation in July. In the ~6-8 weeks it was open, we quickly realized that the survey was not going to allow us to use the data in the way we saw fit. Its placement was also sending the wrong message, people who had never contributed to Ubuntu Touch were filling it out. This was terrible, the Membership Committee is the gatekeeper of the Foundation and not the Community. I told the team working on our website that it needed to change and closed the survey.

    Right now we're waiting for a better solution that will work for how the Membership Committee wants to handle memberships. I know that this sounds like a bad excuse. I feel the same way, this should not take so long.

    the feeling of not being able to steer or help steering

    I'm glad you said something. This is absolutely not how anyone in the community should feel. If you do, there are probably more who feel the same.

    https://ubports.com/page/foundation-boardmembers
    I know some but of some I never heard of. But first and foremost I miss the introduction. Where did they participate, did I miss it again?

    We do have a couple of members who aren't very public in the community, but they certainly do considerable work on the project. Ricardo did most of the work on enabling the new FP2 camera module for OTA-3, for example. Ewald is a project manager who oversees the manpower that we are given by Smoose. Ewald has been with us for over a year and Ricardo for over 10 months (going off of the join messages to the old UBports group).

    404 for https://ubports.com/page/fs-foundation-statutes

    Whoops, where did you find that link? It should point to https://ubports.com/page/foundation-statutes. I can fix that.



  • Easy things first 🙂

    Whoops, where did you find that link? It should point to https://ubports.com/page/foundation-statutes. I can fix that.

    See screen shot from https://ubports.com/page/foundation-boardmembers (6. Boar Members on the Foundation page):
    0_1514498832882_Broken Link.png

    Ricardo [...] for example. Ewald [...]

    Thanks for the insight. But you see this is what I meant. I think it is very hard to grasp how some people are involved. For you it seems easy as I think you are working on the code but for me as I am not contributing to the code (my bad 🙂 Java guy here) I did not know. Frankly I do understand also the point of being a silent participant and doing my kind of work 🙂
    Sooo, hmm how to solve this? Maybe a bit more explanation on the Board page other than

    Deputy Chairman of the Board

    @ricmm

    Next:

    to avoid heavy tax surprises similar to The Krita Foundation. That's why your T-shirt topic seemed to go ignored.

    An answer would have done the trick. Explaining the problem even with copy paste as "you" (not you in person) seem to have to explain this on multiple topics.
    But I do not think that your explanation in this case is valid. Apt-Get Shirt does a donation from each sold T-Shirt. I think 5% of the price. So I do not know if this is valid as they have VLC, XFCE, diaspora and others (shop is down so this is from memory) which would put them in jeopardy (evil plan in progress ? :D) Maybe a missing piece of information on my side.

    Side note: nasty stuff with the Krita foundation. Yes surley, we do not want to go there!

    We've had fairly regular updates on the foundation in the community updates. I

    😄 like I said missed this. Yeah well... blush

    Now enough of complains 🙂 Let's rather figure out how to circumvent this kind of problems.
    Like I mentioned in some other topic, wouldn't it be good to have a story board where we as stakeholders can contribute in the sense of what we think we need or want. Then there should be "one person" / role who comes to a decision about which one of the stories will be tackled next (so basically a Product Owner role from Scrum) and presents it to us. Maybe with a feedback loop?
    This is for features of UT but could also be applied to other tasks?

    The other task well...
    I actually do not know right now how to e.g. incorporate @Profetik777's ideas or mine. I think there has to be a bit more open communication going on and making sure that everyone understands the arguments but not necessarily agrees. But open for all nevertheless. So that @Profetik777 cannot say I did this and this and it worked out like that without anyone being able to verify this to either concur or disagree. I am not saying that @Profetik777 lied or some such 😉 (I hate writing and not being able to talk, this kind of affirmation would not be necessary otherwise. Therefore also my incapability to write this properly 🙂 )

    Moreover I think the community updates are missing clear channels where to put the questions. Youtube? Telegram? The Forum? Wiki? Matrix? Are all taken into consideration, if not why? Or when then.

    Maybe also a suggestion box in the forum. Where at least an answer is due after a certain period of time.



  • One thing I can remember from the Ubuntu touch days was a feeling that their communication with users was very clouded, and appeared to lack a clear sense of direction for users to follow. Lots of technical terms banded about and future targets moving ever further back or so it seemed to me. Even when rumours of the plug been pulled grew denials poured out and then bang gone.
    That's not how it might have been for those in the industry, but as an everyday user and supporter that's how I felt.
    If that can be avoided by setting clear targets, goals etc that are easy to find and read by everybody who is even vaguely interested, then so much the better. A little more time invested now will be well spent in providing a clear future and hopefully a very successful one for Ubports and avoid feelings of disillusionment and a abandonment by users and supports.
    There is a lesson to be learnt from Ubuntu touch and its not a good one from what I remember.


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