I, David Sugar, apply for universe-contributor.

Who I am

I am a founder of and former CTO for Open Source Telecom Corporation, which was started to develop and sell free software for telecommunications. I have at times been a speaker for the Free Software Foundation, and I chaired a LSM conference on Libre communications a number of years at the University of Bordeaux, France.

My earliest involvement with GNU/Linux systems are from the early 90's, and my first commercial activity was in the development and sale of GNU/Linux powered integration servers for use with Fujitsu telephone switching equipment to U.S. federal government agencies as director of engineering for Fortran Telecom.

I am the upstream maintainer for a number of packages that are also part of the GNU project, including GNU Bayonne, GNU SIP Witch, the GNU Telephonic library ccAudio, the GNU realtime scripting engine ccScript, the GNU RTP stack ccRTP and ZRTP extensions, and GNU Common C++.

I had worked on Linux kernel powered cell phones using Open Embedded, and embedded Linux kernel based products such as Raritan KVM switches. I also had been working on encrypted / intercept-free communication systems based on the work of Phil Zimmerman in publishing the ZRTP protocol. Lesser known is my involvement both with helping to develop free software solutions around public standards and free software ethics for the visually impaired, and my work with indigenous communities in North America.

I had originally gained experience packaging software for RPM based distributions such as RedHat in the late 90's, and later packaged a number of things including stuff I was writing, for Mandrake, well before I had learned Debian packaging.

My Ubuntu story

While originally I worked with early distros such as Yggdrasil, during my time as CTO of OST we primarily used RedHat, and somewhere in between for awhile I had experienced Gentoo, I have been using Ubuntu as my primary development platform for a number of years. Since the introduction of Hardy, when I finally retired an old Centos 4 server, my lab has actually been exclusively Ubuntu GNU/Linux.

My involvement

I originally established a GNU Telephony team in Launchpad which later merged with the Ubuntu VoIP team. The idea was to consolidate and promote the development and use of telephony services within the Ubuntu community, and to use a PPA to offer updated backports for older distributions of Ubuntu of packages I am an upstream maintainer for. My intent is to have all these packages available through the archive going forward starting with Karmic.

In June (2009) I became responsible for the LXDE desktop specification and have helped with the Lubuntu community distribution including producing the seed and initial meta package used for release. In June I also helped the 389 directory project come together as a team to complete packaging of the 389 directory server for Ubuntu, and as a specific targeted goal for Karmic, as originally expressed at UDS. I have reviewed and helped correct a number of issues in the 389 directory server package. In addition to my involvement in ARM porting, package verification, and training, starting with Maverick, I have been discussing the introduction of a new telephony stack in Ubuntu based on existing work in oFono and Telepathy. The purpose of this was to finally consolidate the user telephony experience regardless of whether one places or receives calls through VoIP, cellular networks, or even analog lines. This roadmap was is originally outlined at DavidSugar/telephony as well as discussed with and approved by the Telepathy developers at UDS, and is being developed by Linaro.

My overall interest in VoIP and telecommunications in Ubuntu is currently focused on privacy and security, and I am the upstream maintainer for GNU SIP Witch and the GNU ZRTP stack used in Twinkle and SIP Communicator to create secure communication systems. Recently I wrote a GNU Sipwitch Client and Server Howto to help others create secure telephone services using Ubuntu.

My other activities include speaking at several conferences and shared my vision for Ubuntu GNU/Linux as the telecommunications desktop, including at linuxcon 2009 and Scale8x 2010. I also have been involved in computer enabling disadvantaged indigenous communities, particularly in the Lakota nation.

Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of

Debian packages I have recently contributed to Ubuntu GNU/Linux include ucommon and sipwitch. These represent a new way to think of creating and deploying secure realtime communication and collaboration services over the public Internet. I also wrote a related Ubuntu specific howto for using these, along with Twinkle, a ZRTP capable VoIP client already in the Ubuntu archive. I also have updated packages I maintain which are in the archive when new upstream releases occur. There have not been many such releases, but recently I did need to update the GNU ZRTP stack through the sponsorship process.

I am very proud of what has happened with the emergence of a 389 directory server team, with my work in the VoIP team to get Asterisk supported for Lucid, with the merging of various LXDE efforts under a unified community driven Lubuntu distribution effort, and with efforts to promote and unify the telephony experience on Ubuntu.

Areas of work

In the Lubuntu project I drafted a spec for LXDE for Karmic, and have advocated which packages should or should not be part of a Lubuntu distro. I also produced the first seed and meta package for Lubuntu for Karmic.

In the 389 Directory Server project I have reviewed and helped with finalizing some packages for Ubuntu, including 389-ds-base and related java-nss. I also prepared some packages for the 389 ppa during this process.

I maintain current releases of a number of packages in the GNU Telephony ppa, including ccrtp, commoncpp2, zrtpzpp, ccscript, sipwitch, twinkle, and ucommon. Some of these already are archived in Karmic so I maintain them for backports for older release series only; ucommon was brought into Karmic by my submission through revu, sipwitch was introduced as part of the domain calling blueprint for Lucid, and ccscript is pending in revu.

With the VoIP team I have been involved in promoting Asterisk for inclusion in Lucid, the development of SIP Witch to offer peer to peer VoIP services, and the use of Telepathy and oFono to unify the desktop telephony user experience.

In addition to those packages I am upstream for, I have submitted a number of packages, patches, bug fixes, ftbfs, merges, etc, over the past year. While I naturally focus on ARM related issues, I have not done exclusively so. If requested, I could try to track down a complete list of packages I have worked on by lp bug #.

Things I could do better

Communicate more with people in the community. Having not come from within or being involved in the Ubuntu community as such until rather recently, I do not know that many people in it.

Plans for the future


I am interested in seeing 389 directory server and the LXDE desktop become a regular part of Ubuntu. I am also interested in seeing all my upstream packages maintained in the Ubuntu archive. There will also be a new 3.0 release of GNU Bayonne which I would love to see first packaged through Ubuntu, and long-term I would like to help Ubuntu become a platform for telecommunication development and deployment.

What I like least in Ubuntu

The REVU process sometimes seems to be a dead-zone, where actively worked on packages are completed and become ready for archive, but only to remain there never advocated. This only serves to discourage people from contributing more packages.


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

Stefano Rivera

General feedback

(This is an unsolicited endorsement) I've sponsored a few things for David and he's making good progress with learning the Ubuntu procedures. I have no technical complaints (he knows what he's doing), it's just a matter of learning the Ubuntu ropes.

Specific Experiences of working together

602754, 602881, 584980, 600330 (two of those are still in progress)

Areas of Improvement

Time and practice Smile :)


=== 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 ===


DavidSugar/DeveloperApplication (last edited 2010-11-25 00:58:09 by dyfet)