About me

My Launchpad page. My email address is []. I'm a long-term Debian and Ubuntu user, I first tried out Debian GNU/Linux in early 1998, using the Bo release, then continued to use successive versions all the way up to now. Other systems were avoided at all costs - even Oracle got the Debian treatment:

I've been a systems administrator with Debian GNU/Linux for multi-user servers, and web/mail/Samba servers for years. There's been a period doing web application development (JavaScript, Oracle, PHP). I spent a year as a technical support engineer; this included finding why servers crashed, why large-scale NFS installations were having performance difficulties, bug management, and being nice to customers Smile :-) Recently, my job has mainly entailed C feature design and development.

I have worked on some fixes and small feature development for libxml2, some GNOME/Debian integration for, and a small change in Mozilla MailNews.

I have also modified aiccu packaging, a package mainly used to allow systems to connect to the SixXS set of IPv6 networks. These modifications added debconf support, bug fixes, and Ubuntu-style init scripts.


I started running Ubuntu after the first stable version appeared, but it was after the Xorg migration settled down that I decided to start running unstable versions of Ubuntu, and I started to keep an eye on Ubuntu Forums. I sent a few posts, helped a few people, but didn't pay too much attention to it. I filed a bug or two, like

Then in March 2006, I saw a report that the number of bugs in Ubuntu was going up by ~100 per week. I'd been thinking for a long long time that I should help out in the community, and this seemed like a great place to get started.

I joined #ubuntu-bugs, and became a member of BugSquad. Since then, I've mainly worked with other Ubuntu developers (mainly dholbach and seb128) to fix bugs, and have also worked with upstream. I try to find reproducible bugs and get them fixed - valgrind, gdb and code inspection being the usual weapons. I also help with bug triage.

Reported Bugs

clearlooks: #14556 Infinite loop when progress bar height is 1

gdb: #26041 SIGTRAP and crash when single-stepping through multithreaded program

wine: #31408 Unable to start wine (failed to mmap 0x7c000000 with MAP_FIXED)

initscripts: #32455 Mount points including spaces are not umounted at shutdown

scim: #35852 scim xinput.d file causes login failure

gdm: #36177 gdm logins should fail if a sourced session script fails

#38633 gnome-system-tools: NTP server list includes bad NTP server

scim: #39026 Official firefox build crashes at startup

eric: #39280 eric3 should be a transitional package, requiring eric

brltty: #40245 CPU usage of "idle" brltty is too high

gdm: #40974 When starting gdmsetup (Administration -> Login Window), "Starting Login Window" taskbar entry remains

ethereal: #40987 ethereal (run as root) should use gksu instead of gksudo

linux-source-2.6.15: #41284 Don't allow a backslash in a path component (CVE-2006-1863)

acroread: #41734 Unable to start if scim is enabled

aptitude: #41767 aptitude changelog <package without candidates> segfaults

Supplied Patches

clearlooks: #8222 Infinite loop when progress bar height is 1

initscripts: #32455 Mount points including spaces are not umounted at shutdown

vino: #31037 Vino-server takes 90% of cpu when only listening for incoming connections

evolution: #35729 Can't report Evolution bugs

gnome-system-tools: #31675 Problem when making many users with "users admin. tool" at one time

abiword: #34517 Context menu is scrolled off screen

gnome-system-tools: #38633 NTP server list includes bad NTP server

nautilus: #5326 Show hidden files does not show files ending with '~'

nautilus: #39002 Can't rename _SOME_ icons when they are on destkop.

deskbar-applet: #37153 Text files with national characters in their names won't open.

gnupg: #39459 gnupg crash on breezy

mozilla-thunderbird: #11463 Startup notification should be enabled

gimp: #39206 gimp crashes if you close a dialog

brltty: #40174 Serious Memory Leak

totem-xine-firefox-plugin: #38584 playable movies can't be played if inside a web page!

libxml2: #17984 xmllint does not obey --nonet and uses http

control-center: #33102 Pause / Print Screen keys can't be set in Keyboard Shortcuts

dpkg: #37435 maintainer of /var/lib/dpkg/alternatives/ doesn't do updates safely

poppler: #24970 evince crashes when highlighting text at line end

aptitude: #41767 aptitude changelog <package without candidates> segfaults

Bugs marked as duplicate/rejected/commented on

Lots. There doesn't seem to be a way to do this kind of query in Launchpad.


For the moment, I plan to continue bug triage and fixing. Longer term, I would be interested in helping with discussion, planning and implementation of features which are manageable, maintainable, and make life easier for Ubuntu users.

Ubuntu's Future

Using community-supported mechanisms like udev and initramfs to perform basic hardware detection and enabling is a great base to build on. I would like to see more capability-based enabling of systems (like ifup.d), but which are present within a codified and understandable grand view, and a better service management framework than /etc/inittab would be useful (like the SMF thoughts recently).

I would like to see better debugging capability for crashes - where the -dbg package for most libraries and applications are available on Launchpad, and could be merged automatically with a report from bug-buddy to get a useful backtrace.

Launchpad should offer (maybe it already does) an API to access more than just basic DOAP information. It should be possible to easily recreate all the functionality of reportbug by querying the current status of the package. SPARQL would be nice, but maybe this could be open to abuse Wink ;-)

Many desktop libraries and applications need to go on a diet (though they're a lot better than in GNOME 2.0 days), and a thorough run through all applications using leak checking in valgrind could be of great benefit.


GaryCoady (last edited 2008-08-06 16:13:46 by localhost)