It all started with Ubuntu Insider Simon Raffeiner (sturmflut) having a spare bq Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition phone from the second flash sale. He was looking for a way to use this phone to promote the Ubuntu platform, Ubucon Germany 2015 and UbuCon Europe 2016. While talking to fellow Insider Sujeevan Vijayakumaran (svij) the idea for a contest came up, and over the last month we have been constantly working with David Planella (dpm) and Daniel Holbach (dholbach) from the Ubuntu Community Team to turn this into one heck of a contest :)
What's so special about this?
Canonical helps with a lot of legal stuff, the prizes and logistics, but the emphasis is on "community-run". The idea came from the community, the jury members are from the community, the website is hosted and run by the community, the prizes for the first places will hopefully be handed over in person at Ubucon Germany 2015 in Berlin etc.
There are five (!) categories to make this interesting for as many people as possible. There is a category for non-technical contributions, and some categories allow the general public to nominate candidates.
What's the timeframe?
The contest starts in the third week of July 2015 and runs until September 18, 2015 15:00 UTC. Winners will probably be announeced at the beginning of October.
Who can participate?
All residents from jurisdictions that are not prohibited by Canonical. This mainly means that Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and some others are excluded, but most of the people in the world can participate.
Please see the Terms of Entry for a definitive list.
What about the categories?
- Best team entry: A team of up to three developers may register up to two apps/scopes they are developing. They elect a team representative who represents the team. Each jury member will assign points for "Creativity", "Functionality", "Design", "Technical Level" and "Convergence" (see the Rules for more details). The three entries with the highest number of aggregate points win.
- Best Individual entry: A lone developer may register up to two apps/scopes he is developing. The rest of the rules is identical to the "Best team entry" category.
- Outstanding technical contribution: Members of the general public may nominate candidates who, in their opinion, have done something "exceptional" with an Ubuntu phone/tablet, Unity8, Mir etc. on a technical level. Each jury member has one vote, the nominated candidate with the highest number of votes wins.
- Outstanding non-technical contribution: Members of the general public may nominate candidates who, in their opinion, have done something exceptional, but non-technical, to bring the Ubuntu platform forward. So you can e.g. nominate your friend who has reported and commented all those phone-related bugs on Launchpad. Or a member of your local community who did all the translations for the Core Apps. Or someone who has contributed documentation, written awesome blog articles etc. The rest of the rules is identical to the "Outstanding technical contribution" category.
- Convergence Hero: The "Best team entry" or "Best Individual entry" contribution with the highest number of "Convergence" points wins. This is a fun little category to promote Convergence, and people will probably surprise us in ways we never imagined.
Please see the Terms of Entry for a full set of rules.
What about restrictions in the "Best entry" category?
You can submit any app or scope, but to maximize the value for the Community, keep "paid" developers from entering and emphasize the international character of the contest, the following rules apply:
All apps/scopes that are entered have to be publically available through the Ubuntu App Store by September 18, without any geographical restrictions, for free, in full (no in-app purchases), and be licensed under an accepted Open Source license.
Since the last requirement (localisation) might be especially hard to achieve for a lone developer in the "Best Individual Entry" category, we will allow those lone developers to use translations provided by third parties.
See the Terms of Entry for more details.
What about the prizes?
The plan is to sponsor travel to Ubucon Germany 2015 in Berlin (up to a sensible limit) for the first placed team in the "Best team entry" category and the first place winner in the "Best Individual entry" category. There will also be several bq and Meizu phones, t-shirts, and items from the Ubuntu store.
See the Terms of Entry for a full list of prizes.
What about the jury?
The jury members are:
- Sujeevan Vijayakumaran from the german Ubuntu e.V., he is also one of the organizers of Ubucon Germany 2015 and UbuCon Europe 2016
- Simos Xenitellis from the Ubuntu Community in Greece
- Carla Sella from the Ubuntu Community in Italy
- Laura Cowen from the Ubuntu Community in UK, you probably know her from the Ubuntu Podcast
- Michael Zanetti from Canonical
You might have noticed that four of the five community members on the jury are also Ubuntu Insiders. There is a good reason for that: We have to make sure that all jury members have access to as many different Ubuntu phones/tablets/Unity8 desktops as possible to test all the entries, especially to assign points for "Convergence". Most Ubuntu Insiders have at least two phones.