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Canonical scraps in-person Ubuntu planning, heads for cloud

Future developer meetings to be held on Google+

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Ubuntu Linux maintainer Canonical has canceled its semiannual Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) conferences in favor of a new, more-frequent series of events to be conducted online only.

In the past, Canonical has organized a new UDS event at a different city around the world every six months, to coincide with the beginning of each new release cycle of the open source OS.

The purpose of the meetings has been to develop plans and work schedules for the upcoming version, not to mention simply to get the more prominent members of the Ubuntu community together in one room.

The next UDS was originally scheduled to take place in early May in Oakland, California – just across the water from The Reg's San Francisco annex – but according to a blog post by Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon, that event has now been scrapped, as have all future in-person summits.

Taking the place of the real-world meetups will be a new type of UDS event that will be held entirely online, relying largely on everyone's favorite also-ran social network, Google+.

According to Bacon, the virtual UDS events will still include keynotes, plenary sessions, and talks, but now they will be conducted over streaming video via the Google+ Hangouts On Air feature, complete with integrated chat and collaboration tools.

"We ... want to open the opportunity for those to participate who cannot travel physically to the event," Bacon writes, "particularly those who can bring specialist experience and expertise across the convergent goals of Ubuntu across the client and cloud orchestration in the server."

That, and Canonical wants to rid itself of some of the overhead involved with organizing live events. According to Bacon, switching to an online-only UDS format will allow the company to stage the events every three months, instead of twice a year.

Doubtless Canonical is hoping that more-frequent community meetings will help to increase Ubuntu's agility as it continues its push into the fast-paced mobile arena.

The accelerated schedule also means the next UDS event will happen sooner than previously expected. Bacon says it will now be held next week, March 5 and 6, from 4pm to 10pm UTC, with scheduling information available at summit.ubuntu.org.

Following that event, the next UDS will take place three months later, around the same time that the Oakland in-person event was originally scheduled to be held, with exact dates to be confirmed soon. ®

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