I, Alberto Milone, apply for core-dev.
Who I am
My Name is Alberto Milone. I'm from Lecce, Italy. I work as a software engineer for Canonical's OEM Solutions Group where I'm the X.org expert.
My Ubuntu story
I have used Ubuntu since April 2005. When I tried it, fell in love with it, left Windows and never looked back. I learnt a lot on ubuntuforums.org and I thanks to all the people who were so kind to help me. I decided to pay back the community by providing technical support on the forums and by writing guides (mostly aimed at new users). I also became a moderator on the same forums.
At a certain point I decided to teach myself programming and to get involved in software development so as to fix the problems that I had tried to get around with my guides.
I started developing my own projects and, thanks to the help of some Ubuntu developers (Daniel Holbach, Bryce Harrington, Martin Pitt, Sebastien Bacher and others) I became increasingly more involved in the development of Ubuntu.
Now I'm completely absorbed in in the development of Ubuntu (for both Ubuntu and Canonical's OEM projects) and, when possible, I try to upstream the result of my work.
- X.org work (especially on touchpads, proprietary drivers and boot process)
- Moderator on ubuntuforums.org
For more comprehensive coverage of my technical involvement in Ubuntu, see my wiki homepage.
Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of
Abiword: abisource #11789
- X.org Synaptics driver:
Areas of work
- X.org components.
- Cooperation with other Ubuntu development teams such as the Ubuntu Desktop Team.
Things I could do better
- Cooperate more with Debian developers on X.org bugs (while currently I work more with either Ubuntu or upstream developers).
Plans for the future
- I would like to increase my role in the Ubuntu development, especially by making sure that the OEM team and the Platform team can benefit from each other's work thus avoiding to duplicate efforts.
- I am currently writing a UI to configure touchpads for the OEM team which I hope to contribute to the Ubuntu Desktop as soon as it's ready.
I am working with the Desktop team, Foundations team and Kernel team on the components (i.e. X.org, Kernel and Plymouth) which will help us achieve a fast and smooth boot process in Lucid. OEM projects will also benefit from this.
I am working to improve the current situation with proprietary drivers in Ubuntu.
What I like least in Ubuntu
- The touchpad configuration panel in Ubuntu should offer a greater degree of customisation and should be aware of hardware limitations.
If you'd like to comment, but are not the applicant or a sponsor, do it here. Don't forget to sign with @SIG@.
As Alberto's manager at Canonical, I have the opportunity to work with him daily. Alberto is our team's resident X.org expert; he has demonstrated time and again his in-depth knowledge of X.org and Ubuntu. Alberto's code, packaging, and documentation are consistently of a very high quality. We are particularly grateful to Alberto for his work on the -synaptics touchpad driver; he has made a number of long-needed improvements to this driver and has worked patiently to get these improvements upstream. He is a team player, always willing to collaborate with people within Ubuntu, Debian, and upstream. Alberto would be an excellent addition to the core-dev team. Full disclosure: My group would directly benefit from Alberto's membership in core-dev, though that is not why I am commenting here. I think Alberto's skills, his work in the community and his consistent dedication to Ubuntu stand on their own. @SteveMagoun@
I've lost count of the number of packages I've sponsored for Alberto. It's very rare I have any feedback to give or need to ask that he change something (which is only picky packaging details). I pretty much trust his uploads implicitly, and know that even if there was a problem he would quickly follow up with a fix.
Specific Experiences of working together
I pretty much defer to Alberto for any change to the -synaptics driver, as he's been giving it much better attention than I could. The challenge with this driver is that there are a lot of settings such as touchpad click sensitivity which a lot of people have a lot of divergent opinion on, and Alberto has been quite patient with listening to all the complaints and finding good compromises and techniques to provide appropriate settings for the majority of users.
Alberto was also invaluable in constructing several configuration tools when we switched to using xrandr in place of xorg.conf editing. This required skill in python development, packaging, X.org funkiness, and dealing with fussy users and upstreams. His work and assistance helped us get through this painful transition much more cleanly than we would have.
He has also been involved in maintaining the packaging for the -nvidia drivers, stemming back from his days as the Envy developer. Maintaining proprietary blobs takes a special willpower and an iron stomach. He has made good use of these attributes in his current role, where he has taken charge of maintenance for the gnarly -psb drivers - something for which I am endlessly thankful!
Areas of Improvement
Becoming core-dev is the improvement I think he needs next, thus I'm happy to see this application.
Looking forward, Alberto will be covering my job (Ubuntu X.org maintenance) for the month of September while I am away. I think this will give him some excellent opportunities to further flesh out his skillset and gain major experience in large scale package management, bug fixing, patch wrangling, and so on.
I've sponsored some of Alberto's work on the nvidia driver packaging and Broadcom bcmwl driver packaging. Initially I had some recommendations on some things to change in the initial design of bcmwl, but he was very receptive to them and is fine at maintaining them going forward.
He's very good with working with upstream, as I've seen his discussions on several f.d.o. bugs regarding touchpad issues.
Specific Experiences of working together
I've provided feedback to Alberto long before he took up a lot of his other responsibilities in the X world, as far back as when he worked with Envy. He saw how DKMS was being used by some drivers and adapted it to Envy. He's now very good at DKMSifying drivers that need to be out of the kernel tree going forward.
As recently as UDS-karmic, I saw some of Alberto's work in DKMSifying the PSB blob, and I was happy enough with the results of how he wrote his postinst, that I merged a lot of his work upstream into DKMS itself.
Areas of Improvement
As he will becoming another X maintainer, I think he'll have to steal a few pages from Bryce's book on bug triage. X brings in a ton of bugs.
I'd also be interested in hearing ideas on how he thinks we can try to work better with some of the closed source vendors in the ecosystem already. Vendors like this won't be providing fully open source drivers in the near future, so if we have some practices that we can adapt to make things more manageable with sharing bugs with them, and common packaging, I think that's at least beneficial to users and developers.
As a sponsor, just copy the template below, fill it out and add it to this section.
== <SPONSORS NAME> == === General feedback === ## Please fill us in on your shared experience. (How many packages did you sponsor? How would you judge the quality? How would you describe the improvements? Do you trust the applicant?) === Specific Experiences of working together === ''Please add good examples of your work together, but also cases that could have handled better.'' === Areas of Improvement ===