Overview of Development

Ubuntu Mobile is developed by a team of UbuntuDevelopers, including both core developers and MOTU. It is based on Debian, and periodically released according to a schedule.

This process is transparent to the public, and open to contributions from the community.

If you have been directed to this page for advice on contributing to Ubuntu as a developer, you may also be interested in ContributeToUbuntu


We should have well-organized developer-oriented documentation for our various tools and procedures

Use cases

Fernanda wants to help to translate her favorite application "hello" to her native Portuguese, but she doesn't know anything about where to start and where to look.

Ken wants to become a Universe Developer (MOTU) but he doesn't know how to start to work on a Debian-format package.

Camilla has just started as a new Canonical staff member working on Ubuntu Mobile and is lost in a twisty maze of incomplete wiki pages trying to figure out how Ubuntu's processes are supposed to work.


We have concluded that the best way to achieve this would be to:

Create an Ubuntu Mobile Developers' Reference, which would be derived in the usual way (with a ubuntuNN version etc.) from the Debian Developers' Reference and the main Ubuntu Developers Reference.

As well as deleting or replacing Debian-specific content from the DDR, we will transfer content from process-related pages and add additional information as seems relevant.

The Ubuntu Documentation Team will of course be consulted, but the UDR will be maintained primarily by Ubuntu developers since (a) much of the proposed (non-Debian) content is currently known only to Ubuntu developers and (b) the audience consists of Ubuntu developers.

The UDR should be kept up to date as processes change.


The list below is a list of topics to cover and a sketch of the content for each one. The organisation of the content will be that from the DDR, with appropriate additions, so not necessarily in the order listed here.

In many cases the exact details of the information to be included will need to be discovered by the UMDR author by trawling the wiki and/or asking around eg on IRC.

Specific topics and processes to cover

The top of the UMDR will say which Ubuntu release the document relates to, and how to find versions for other releases (so that it is straightforward to have different process documents for eg gutsy vs. gutsy +1)

The UMDR will document when and how to make ftp-master requests including syncs and package removals, including how to contact the ftp-masters.

The method used to determine the set of packages included in main and on the CDs will be documented including documentation about seeds and germination (with references to the appropriate revision control branches and germinate output logs).

We will say who to talk to to decide whether to make a particular change/upload: that you should usually just go ahead and make change covered by own area of responsibility (which may be a package, or some cross-package property), and that for other things it's probably best to ask someone. We'll explain how to find out who last touched a package. The UMDR will warn about what to do for changes that may cause compatibility problems or require corresponding changes to other packages.

In particular, we will say who is responsible for various important subsystems, including at least the following:

If you need advice, input or permission, the UMDR will give you an idea of who to contact, or at least how to find out who to contact.

We will describe what you should do after uploading, including where (if anywhere) to send copies of your patch, and what emails to expect and logs to check to see that all went well.

We will explain how to handle bugs, either by referring to the bug handling practices wiki page or preferably by incorporating the results of that UBZ BOF into the UMDR.

There will be some documentation about how to get upload rights, including references to policy documents about registering GPG keys in launchpad, the differences between universe and main, and references to MOTU processes including REVU.

There will be a brief discussion about how we handle translations (in particular how we do it differently to Debian) and a reference to Rosetta and langpack documentation.

Implementation plan

We will focus on producing a useable UMDR (by replacing Debian-specific information in the DDR) as soon as possible.

The resulting draft UMDR will be made available to all Ubuntu developers as work proceeds on the additional Ubuntu-specific content.

Where new content is not Ubuntu-specific, we will supply it to the DDR maintainers via the usual Debian channels.

Arrangements will be made for the current versions of the UMDR to be given a stable URL, and of course links will be made from appropriate places.


MobileAndEmbedded/Documentation (last edited 2008-08-06 16:33:27 by localhost)