I, Dave Walker, apply for upload rights for package set ubuntu-server, MOTU and Core Developer.


Dave Walker

Launchpad Page

Wiki Page

Who I am

My name is Dave Walker, and in regards to platform development i'm currently involved with the Ubuntu Server, Mythbuntu and the VOIP stack

My Ubuntu story

I first started experimenting with Ubuntu in 2004 with Warty, following a user background with Slackware. Over the next year I gradually moved my Desktop use over to solely using Ubuntu. I was quite satisfied being a non contributing user for a fair while. I then felt that I wanted to contribute, this was for a couple of reasons:

  • "Cool factor", Being part of something large.
  • Necessity, i wanted things to happen for my own requirements.
  • Guilt, I was making money out of using Ubuntu, and felt the need to pay something back
  • Education, massive learning potential.

I became a Ubuntu Member in May 2007, largely for my contributions to the Ubuntu community and LoCo.

The first area of significant contribution I began to work on was Mythbuntu, which myself and Mario Limoncello co-founded in summer of 2007, with the first release coinciding with Gutsy. Whilst we always had one of our requirements that everything gets pushed to the Ubuntu archives, the ISO's however were generated locally and testing was conducted within the growing Mythbuntu team.

Eventually, it made sense for Mythbuntu to be blessed by the Tech board which gave us the benefit of better integration, as it was being built centrally this encouraged wider testing.

For the last 2 years or so, I have been controlling the daily PPA builds of upstream snapshots of MythTV (trunk,-fixes branch) for multiple Ubuntu releases. The source packages are built via scripts (maintained by the team, including myself) trigged via cron, or extraordinary builds via email based interface.

In parallel with this was also an interest in servers and VOIP. I first attended a UDS in Prague 2008, and this experience was a massive motivation where I attended the server track. I have attended every UDS since, barn one which was due to professional commitments at that time. My first Ubuntu native, 'NEW' package from scratch was summer 2008, via the REVU process.

My work now is significantly focused on the server area, with a lean towards Ubuntu's cloud offering. I also had the opportunity to closely follow the release process throughout the cycle which resulted in attending the release sprint for Maverick.

My involvement

Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of

I have a good understanding of Ubuntu's policy and processes. I'm always keen to get my hands dirty, and take personal pride in doing good stuff. When stuff has gone wrong, I take care to try and rectify the situation. I know my limits, and know who to speak to seek guidance rather than attempting to do something that could be catastrophic. Smile :)

I was very pleased with the Maverick release of UEC. I took great responsibility with ensuring it was a good release, and was quite possibly the hardest 6 months of work I have done in my carrier. The personal investment of this often meant having discussions with upstreams at silly o'clock at night, due to the timezone offset.

Equally, I was also very pleased with the Lucid release of Mythbuntu. This also involved a great level of personal investment, and the end result seems to have reflected this.

Possibly the upload with most self pressure was dpkg/ as a Lucid SRU. With dpkg being at the heart of every Ubuntu machine, this was vital it had zero regression potential. This upload was an issue i encountered where a niche feature of deb-src-3.0 wasn't possible, which blocked packaging work (and vitally) uploads to the Launchpad buildd's if this feature was used.

Areas of work

As previously mentioned, my work is mainly focused on the server area and MythTV. However, I do have an interest in both security and foundations area, which is usually where issues arise that cross my expertise. I do know my limits, and know where and when to ask questions before undertaking issues that require discussion with others.

Example of some of my packaging work:






Things I could do better

Previously, i've not always asked for help as early as I should have which meant that I would often take longer to find the correct solution, than if I asked for help sooner. This is something I've been overcoming for the last year or so, and feel i'm almost there. However, I should state that i've always made suitable queries if I am in doubt with my 'fix'.

Plans for the future


Traditionally, i've been quite frustrated with getting contributions into Ubuntu via sponsorship. However, over the last year this has improved. I can see the PatchPilot scheme making strides towards this, but I often (ab)use contacts to sponsor my work. This is possibly starting to show it's strain, with the sponsors asking me to get the upload privileges myself... so i'm trying to fix this. I often ask myself, particularly with bite size bugs, if it is worth working on it to undergo the sponsorship process; which actually means I'm being less productive than I would be if i had greater upload privileges.

I am keen to help new contributors, infact when I first got some upload privileges; the first upload I did was actually sponsoring someone elses work. I enjoy helping people, and with extra upload access I think this will enable me to be a better contributor.

What I like least in Ubuntu

I'm still kinda surprised there isn't a greater peer review attitude in Ubuntu development, I think i would like to see developers reviewing each others work more often.. Possibly similar to how some other teams work such as bzr and Launchpad.


If you'd like to comment, but are not the applicant or a sponsor, do it here. Don't forget to sign with @SIG@.

Thomas Mashos

I've worked with Daviey on the Mythbuntu project since April 2007. I had just recently started using Ubuntu and hadn't really contributed to any open source project at that time. Daviey was crucial in my involvement with the Mythbuntu project as he designated work that I was able to do and he was always available to answer any question I had. I believe that Daviey would make an excellent Ubuntu developer as his contributions to the Mythbuntu project have been of high quality and plentiful and I feel that he will put forth the effort to ensure his future work in the Ubuntu project is the same.

John Baab

General feedback

I have worked with Daviey on many Mythbuntu related projects so I wanted to leave some feedback. It is always a pleasure to work with Daviey and he has been very helpful while teaching me from mistakes I made in my packages. I feel that Daviey would be a great addition to the Ubuntu Developer team and look forward to working with him more in the future.

Specific Experiences of working together

Daviey has helped me with packaging, approval, and upload of many MythTV related packages; including the MythExport packages which I am upstream for.

Areas of Improvement

None that come to mind.

Ciemon Dunville

I have known Dave for some 4 years, and have worked with him on the Ubuntu UK podcast for most of that time.

He's always struck me as a passionate man, who's prepared to go the extra mile. He's spent many an hour guiding me through the patching process whilst working on Ubuntu Ham packages, even to the point of meeting me during a family holiday for a face-to-face meeting to further my education.

Clearly he has a deep knowledge of programming and seems to grasp new things quickly, and is able to pass on his knowledge no matter what the level of the listener. Of course, he's not afraid to ask for help, and will turn to the person he feels is most appropriate (not necessarily the guru) for advice or help in his endeavour.

I have no doubt that if his application is successful he'll be an asset to the team.

Alan Pope

I've known Dave for about 4 years, having met him at my local Linux User Group. Over that time we've mostly worked on UK LoCo activities including a large amount of time on the Ubuntu UK Podcast. Dave is clearly very committed to the Ubuntu project, and is passionate about software freedom.

Dave has helped on the podcast in terms of infrastructure, developing scripts, tools and processes to ensure reliable delivery of the show to our listeners. This includes a flexible and robust mirror system which has delivered around 1.3 Million downloads from our mirror network. Dave has also provided a developer insight to the show, as it's clear he keeps his finger on the pulse of changing activites and processes within the Ubuntu project.

On the LoCo side Dave has led the UK team to run numerous events, spread all over the UK, at considerable personal financial and time expense.

In summary, I'm confident Dave would be an ideal candidate for this position in the project.


As a sponsor, just copy the template below, fill it out and add it to this section.

Richard Johnson

General feedback

I figured that Dave was already a developer considering his history and the work I have seen from him. He has a really good history with Ubuntu and there is no doubt that he would make a great addition to the current stable of developers. It seems I have sponsored 3 packages from Dave in the past, and from what I can remember, all 3 were of good quality. If there were any problems I would have remembered them so I had something to pick on Daviey about. I not only trust his work, but I also trust him with everything else, except for a Cadbury Egg.

Specific experiences of working together

Areas of Improvement

None that I can think of.

Scott Moser

General feedback

I have worked with Dave on many occasions as a member of the Ubuntu Server team. His work is thorough and of high quality and he has a large amount of experience. With no doubt in my mind, I can suggest that Dave is fully qualified and would be an excellent addition to the Ubuntu Developer team.

Specific Experiences of working together

Areas of Improvement

Serge Hallyn

General feedback

When in the past I've asked Daviey to help me out by reviewing a package or merge proposal, his advice has been first-rate and on the mark.

Specific Experiences of working together

I had asked Daviey to review a particular merge proposal (wish I could recall for what), he introduced me to DEP-3 tags and strongly suggested using them. When I first started with Ubuntu packaging I wrote myself a wiki page with new starter info, and asked for feedback. He had info both on traditional and UDD-based package management.

Areas of Improvement

Sorry, I've thought of none.

Thierry Carrez (ttx)

General feedback

I have sponsored a number of Dave's uploads and I've always been impressed by the quality of his work. He also touched all the areas (merges, SRUs, security updates, development release fixes, critical packages) and knows all the procedures well. His attention to community is precious, and he will be a great asset to the aforementioned developer groups.

Specific Experiences of working together

In particular I sponsored Dave's work on eucalyptus in Maverick. He completely took over this complex package, also solving issues with Java dependency hell, proving his capacity to work on any package.

Areas of Improvement

He is too patient, he should have at least applied for the server package set PPU rights for a long time Smile :)

James Page

General feedback

Being in my immediate team and in the same time zone, Daviey has always been my first port of call for help on reviewing packaging/uploading/launchpad/bouncing ideas off etc... He's always helpful (and patient) and seems to have a great understanding of the workings of the Ubuntu project and the toolset supporting it. He also seems to know everyone :-).

Specific Experiences of working together

In this release cycle Daviey and I have worked together on the FTBFS issues in the server package set. The work he did on re-building this part of the archive and raising awareness in the team and wider community of the issues in this area has been invaluable.

Areas of Improvement

TBH I thought that Daviey was a core dev when I first started working on Ubuntu; so I agree with ttx and think he should have applied ages ago!

Daniel Holbach (dholbach)

General feedback

I very much enjoy working with Daviey. Ubuntu Development is not the only parts of where I worked together with Daviey, but also on the LoCo Directory and other parts of the LoCo communities. Dave does a great job in the Ubuntu server team. He tackles hard problems, stays calm in discussions and is happy to follow advice and fix issues if they should come up.

Keep up the good work Daviey!

Specific Experiences of working together

Chuck Short

I have worked with Daviey on a number of occasions. I have never had to worry about the quality of the packages and has always shown true professionalism. He should have probably got his MOTU status along time ago.

Colin Watson

I sponsored dpkg for Dave, which also went to a Lucid SRU. This was straightforward.

That's my only direct sponsorship of Dave's work that I can recall, but I've talked with him on a number of occasions about various things and he's generally seemed pretty sound. I'd trust him with upload access.

Soren Hansen

I've too worked with Daviey on a number of occasions, and I'm happy to have him be able to upload stuff himself. He's technically strong, doesn't mind getting his hands dirty, and he follows through. Even though my experience working with Daviey is limited to work on a number of specific packages, I've no particular reservations granting him access to upload other packages as well.

Dustin Kirkland

Daviey is long overdue for upload rights! He is a stand-up guy, dedicated Ubuntu community member, awesome colleague. I've sponsored a number of Daviey's uploads, mostly around the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud and the quality has been excellent.


=== 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 ===

DaveWalker/DeveloperApplication (last edited 2011-02-14 13:41:46 by kirkland)