Have an idea for a great Linux application that's missing from the 30,000+ downloads in the Ubuntu repositories? Or just interested in learning some programming pointers? If you answered yes, the latest and greatest Ubuntu App Developer Week, which starts Monday, April 11, 2011, is for you. Keep reading for details...

The event, sponsored by Canonical, is designed to help developers of all backgrounds engage with the Ubuntu and open source ecosystems. Hosted on IRC, it's free and easy to attend no matter where in the world you happen to be.

Sessions to Watch

The last Ubuntu App Developer Week, which took place in September 2010, stood out for its emphasis on features that were maturing at the time, including Ubuntu One and Zeitgeist. Fast forward to the present and the focus has expanded in important new ways, as the list of sessions makes clear.

Ubuntu One and Zeitgeist are still on the menu, but new, additional offerings reflect the major changes that have occurred within the Ubuntu world over the last six months. Since last September, the announcement that Unity will become the default interface for all desktop versions of Ubuntu beginning with the 11.04 release later this month, combined with an intense concentration on the cloud by Ubuntu server developers, has pushed the world's most popular Linux distribution in directions few observers foresaw last fall.

Accordingly, the upcoming App Developer Week features several sessions that address topics related to Unity and the cloud, including:
  • "Make your applications work in the cloud with Ubuntu One"
  • "Unity: Integrating with Launcher and Places"
  • "STORY: Unity, hacking on a real-world app"
But that's not all. Lest KDE lovers feel left out, there are several Qt-related sessions planned. In addition, the week will include generalized introductions to different topics, including Python and Bazaar, which may interest users relatively new to programming. And last but not least, I have my eye on David Planella's "From English to any language: internationalizing your apps" session, since the intersection of open source technologies with issues related to cross-regionalism, as I wrote recently, is an issue of vital importance.

Even if you're not a programmer, the App Developer Weeks are useful because they highlight development trends within the Ubuntu world, which in turn tend to exert substantial influence on the rest of the ecosystem. If you have an IRC client and want a break from reading technology blogs, go check out a session; you might actually learn something.

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