I, Evan Broder, apply for MOTU.
Who I am
I'm Evan Broder. I'm currently a rising senior at MIT. I do computer systems engineering for fun, and occasionally I still like to pretend that I'm actually an electrical engineer. Within computer systems, I do a lot of work with virtualization.
My Ubuntu story
I've been using Ubuntu on my personal servers for years. I'm pretty sure I started with Breezy, although I don't remember for sure. Since then I've run servers with every version from Dapper to Jaunty. I started contributing to Ubuntu through backports, since most of my servers are still running Hardy. I had a few very good experiences working with members of the backporters team, which encouraged me to spend effort on some Xen-related bugs as well as some bugs that were affecting the Debathena project, a policy-compliant packaging of the MIT Athena environment for Debian/Ubuntu.
Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of
- mit-scheme: FFE and merge (Jaunty) and SRU (Intrepid)
- openafs: I worked with Anders Kaseorg to prepare and test the security updates across 4 Ubuntu versions patching 4 OpenAFS security advisories
- remctl: Helped with testing of backport of latest version to Hardy and Intrepid. I'm not proud of the regression in the Hardy backport that I missed, but I think I handled it promptly and well (in the second bug)
- xen: A few SRUs in Hardy, Intrepid, Jaunty
Outside of Ubuntu, I'm also very proud of the work I've done with Debathena. Debathena has a continuous release cycle - we can make changes to any package at any time across all of our supported distributions. I spearheaded our current release engineering and QA procedures, and I think they've done a good job of keeping the "production" Debathena packages very stable across a lot of changes.
Areas of work
My nominal interests are in software packages that form the core of projects I'm involved in: krb5, openafs, hesiod, zephyr, remctl, xen, libvirt, etc.
The truth of the matter is that I work on whatever issue I find that happens to be bothering me. I wouldn't quite call it scratching my own itch, because it's usually scratching someone else's itch. However, most of my fixes tend to be related to packaging, as opposed to software, I tend to avoid graphical software, and I have a strong preference for Python.
Since I develop for a large desktop deployment that lags behind current Ubuntu development, I also tend to advocate for a lot of SRUs and backports for older releases.
Things I could do better
Plans for the future
What I like least in Ubuntu
For me, the most frustrating part of contributing to Ubuntu is the sponsorship process. As somebody lacking the bits to effect changes directly, it's hard to continue contributing patches when patches you've already submitted lay untouched for months at a time.
I think that improving the sponsorship process is key to keeping fringe contributors involved in Ubuntu, and I think the MOTU community needs to collectively buckle down and agree to pressure each other to spend more time on sponsoring other people's patches. To that end, if my MOTU application is approved, I'm making it a personal goal to help massage and upload somebody else's fix for every fix of my own that I upload.
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.
== <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 ===