Ubuntu Acccomplishments on UDS

That was an interesting week! Lots of great discussions on Ubuntu Developer Summit, I’ve met many great people, brainstormed a lot, and learned a great deal of things. Obviously, I was most active in sessions concerning Ubuntu Accomplishments, and I would like to share what we’ve decided with those who did not participate.

To my delight, some sessions met with wide interest. Especially the Accomplishments Writing Workshop was attended by many, and results are promising, I was told we can hope to see Ubuntu TV accomplishments soon! We have also found a new use case for Accomplishments, an IT manager expressed interest in using our platform to train employees, he hopes to achieve that by purging default accomplishment collections and installing a collection designed as a tutorial. I’m looking forward results, this sounds as a cool idea! Another great news is that work on UbuntuForums accomplishments is in progress!

We also have quite a good plan concerning how to get Ubuntu Accomplishments to Universe repositories for 13.04. There are some minor things we’ll need to fix, and we’re going to make the daemon a DBus service (I am going to investigate how we can make it starting both as a service and on user login), yet finally we will have all Accomplishment packages pushed into Universe. We think this is a very important step, because with these packages being available in Ubuntu repositories other developers will be much more likely to integrate their applications with our accomplishments system!

Another highlight from our sessions is how we are going to improve the Accomplishments Viewer for 0.4. I am going to work on implementing a wiser search&filter algorithm, that will enable us to add a search bar to the Viewer. We will be also working on visual updates, Martin has volunteered to experiment with rendering a wooden cabinet look for trophies collection. It is possible that we’ll also try our a webkit version of the viewer, but most likely we’ll stay with GTK+, and therefore I will be also trying to improve viewer’s performance and responsiveness. You can also expect new icon templates for trophies, just to increase variety of accomplishments.

Concerning accomplishments collecctions themselves, we have not reached consensus about rewarding user for sustained contributions. We need to investigate ways of awarding the user as he gradually progresses through Ubuntu community, but this involves discussion about core concepts of this system. It turns out that if we want to make Accomplishments more fun, it is very easy to start turning whole community into a game, which should be avoided. We will be continuing this discussion with Jono, as he may have a better idea of the direction this project should be heading towards.

Lastly, we discussed deploying Accomplishments Validation Server and Web Gallery on Canonical servers. Among other actions we’ll take to achieve that, we are going to prepare separate ‘production’ branches for both projects. We will also try desiging a formal accomplishments review process, to ensure that no new accomplishments added to official collections have some insecure code which will be run on these official servers.

Concluding, during this exciting week we have planed our work for the next release, as well as brainstormed ideas on improving general experience with accomplishments. It was a lot of fun, and I am really excited to start working! :-)

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