I, Andrea Gasparini, apply for MOTU.


Andrea Gasparini

Launchpad Page

Wiki Page


Debian QA Page

Who I am

I'm a 29 married man with two little children, from Bologna, Italy,

I work as an embedded developer for a videosurvaillance company: at the moment I am working mostly with device driver and "low-level stuff" in some kind of ARM SoC, but I worked at almost all abstraction level, from webapps to initscripts.

Linux has been my only OS for quite a long time. ( I don't remember the exact year in which I started to use it, but the first distro I clearly recall on my PCs is Debian Potato, so probably it was near 2000). I'm using Ubuntu since the ealier releases. At the beginning only with some "install tests", but ever with a growing attention, until September 2007, when I really started my contributions.

My knowlegde inside Linux involves mainly C and Python as programming language, but as my job is a whole-round kind, I touched from the kernel to web interfaces, being a programmer as much a sysadmin, probably without having a deep experience of all what I did, but with a very good knowledge of the system in his whole. I wrote scripts, code and webpages also in Perl, C++, HTML, XSL(plus XPath&Co.), Javascript and probably some other stuff I didn't recall, and I'm studying Haskell and functional programming in this period (at a veeeery slow rate, my free time is currently very low) Wink ;)

Besides the time devoted to free software, I like spend time in mountains, free climbing and miniature painting...

My Ubuntu story

My first work for Ubuntu was on usplash, when I worked on it for my job, and later sent some patches that was reworked and accepted ( see bugs #152933 #152952 #154234 ). This makes me discover a very dynamic and comfortable community of developers. Seeing my work accepted in such a small period of time, made me want to start contributing actively at bugfixes, merges and syncs.

In August 2008 I became an Universe Contributor, and now I'll be glad to be part of the MOTU team.

My involvement

  • Generic bug fixes: I've contributed since Hardy to some bugfix. They're messed up^W... listed in a wiki page. These are all the uploads summarized together:

    • Hardy cycle: almost 22 uploads.
    • Intrepid cycle: almost 18 uploads.
    • Jaunty cycle: only 4 uploads.
    • Karmic cycle: currently I've 22 uploads on my count.
    • Of course there's some works that do not appear in -changes mailing lists. In the last month, in fact, I took care to most of the ocaml packages that fails to build, for the transition between ocaml 3.10 and 3.11 (most of them only needed some builds in the right order).
  • Italian Loco Team: The great part of my "online" time is spent inside the Italian developers community (inside #ubuntu-it-dev IRC channel), where I learned so much, and I think that I also taught something to new devels. I want to underline particularly the talk I attended in the last devweek (the 19th of January), where I took one of the localized "Getting started" session.

  • QA: a lot of work I did concern QA processes. I initially took some time trying to understand NBS and transition process and did some bugfix about these. I did also a couple of page that aggregate bugs: the "reverse NBS" page, and the "Edos-buildcheck" (it still lacks a decent index page, sorry Wink ;) ). These pages feed harvest in clues and opportunities. Besides I'm nowadays working on FTFBS page: I'm studying the code, and I'm thinking of some stuff to improve it.

  • Together with the Italian developers community, we maintained a build server, with Debomatic and QA tools. ATM the server is down, and we're searching for someone that will accept us and our band-eating. Wink ;)

  • Debian: I fully believe that working for Ubuntu means also working for Debian, as the more code we share, the more code we could get better and better. Said so, I usually try to get new packages to Debian direcly, and bugs reported to both distros:

    • I currently maintain two packages in Debian, and one is awaiting for a sponsor in (note that for smile I'm working with the person that's uploading it to revu as well )
    • This is a list of some bugs reported in debian by me: ( often I try also to contact directly the maintainer in IRC or mail )

Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of

  • usplash: it was my first contribution, so perhaps it hasn't anymore a lot of sense in my application, besides I'm still proud of it. As said before, I started proposing some patches #152933 #152952 #154234. After that, I sometimes contributed again to usplash, with little patches, for example bug #224709 and bug #259761, I tried a bugfix still unsolved #219867, and triaged some other bugs: #210485, #197302, #280718, #281312.

  • vtk merge: this started as a merge ( bug #373305 ), but became a FTBFS fix. It was very hard, because it require a lot of rebuilds and each build took a couple of hour. I like to present this bug, cause this package has python binding that required a fix, and java as well. So I had to dig inside the CMake magic to understand all the build process. The package still has an ugly bug that makes python-vtk useless, and I'm still working on it.

  • Matita ftbfs and ikiwiki merge as an example of debian collaboration: the first is a problem I reported to the Debian Maintainers, and after an exchange of some mail, we resolved in quite a little time. The latter is a package that from a long time was merged, and definitely needed a boost to be synced: with the debian maintainer, indeed we found that the problem was on another package (w3c-dtd-xhtml, which has an ubuntu modification that need a review).

  • Another quite old work, but IMHO valuable, is a security fix for django of March 2008: bug #234631. I did a couple of other works for django package: a merge(#229954) and this revision

UPDATE: '''vtk''' now builds correctly and python-vtk is usable. The package tried to explicitly copy files in python-support directory, instead of just let him handle the package: much more time spent to understand the problem than to fix it Wink ;)

Areas of work

Things I could do better

  • More international partecipation: that's not a technical problem, but I probably must be less shy and more confident in the answers in the -motu and -devel channels.
  • Be more precise: sometime I fall into the mistakes of having haste, and this distract me from some particular.
  • Be more effective and save time to do things I like more (python&3d applications are in my sight since too much time, but I never had the time to study and apply seriously in these kind of stuff).

  • Take more difficult bugs to fix: this is due more to the lack of time (trying to fix a hard bug without having the time to concentrate enough, could take much more time), but I should try to do more difficult bugs and perhaps apply for some blueprints.

Plans for the future


  • I feel that work on QA should continue to be my main interest.
  • Education of new MOTU in my opinion is a really important task, and so I'd really like to help the mentor project and help to shorten the universe sponsor queue.

  • Again I want to underline the importance of Debian collaboration, for a couple of reasons:
    • This is all OpenSource, and so It should be shared to be growing, more effective, and bugless. So is important coordinate efforts through upstreams, Debian, and even other Linux distributions.

    • The more work we'll merge with Debian, the more Debian will grow, and the more we'll have our work simplified.
  • (more a wish, than a plan) I'd like to study and package some graphics framework that involves OpenGL, cairo and similar.

What I like least in Ubuntu

  • The size of (already explained why, I think) Wink ;)


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

  • Andrea helps me many times to packing, fixing and filing bugs. He has a great community experience. Works hard everyday to make anyone developer. He's a great member! -- l3on 2009-06-21 17:40:34 Smile :)


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

Daniel Holbach (dholbach)

General feedback

I just sponsored a couple of packages of Andrea, but I was always happy with the quality. Also I was happy with the work he put into adding more opportunities to Harvest.

Specific Experiences of working together

Areas of Improvement

More experience and more work in general, but that will come with time.

Luca Falavigna (DktrKranz)

General feedback

I know Andrea personally, we met several times during local Ubuntu/FLOSS meetings and we worked together to provide fixes and upgrades for Ubuntu packages. He also developed some QA tools I currently use to ease my development activities. He is a good Python programmer, but he is able to understand several other languages and provide good code.

Specific Experiences of working together

I sponsored several packages from Andrea, especially some related to FTBFS or QA-targeted, I have never had troubles with his work and, in case of little issues, he replied quickly and addressed my comments in a good way.

Areas of Improvement

Nothing that can't be improved by experience and upload rights anxiety Smile :)

Andrea Colangelo (warp10)

General feedback

Other than having a really beautiful name, Andrea is a skilled developer, a competent Ubuntu contributor and, most important of all, a friend you can rely on. I sponsored many of the packages Andrea cared of, and I never had to reject his debdiffs. The only times he had to fix some minor issues, he quickly and correctly addressed my comments (and this appears to be confirmed by Luca's endorsement)

Specific Experiences of working together

Our experience of working together is pretty large, and standing from months. Just to cite recent examples, the latest vtk upload has been very interesting, it is a rather big package and fixing it hasn't been easy.

Areas of Improvement

I believe that Gaspa should increase his own relationship with non-italian MOTUs, but he is capable of doing great teamwork, so I'm sure this isn't a show-stopper for his application.

Michael Bienia (geser)

General feedback

I've only worked recently together with Andrea. He helped out in clearing the ocaml-* packages from the FTBFS list. Mostly it was just some give-backs in the right order but some uploads were also necessary. The give-backs were all tested and I was satisfied to do give-backs. The uploads I sponsored were all of good quality or fixed pretty fast if necessary. I didn't work with Andrea long enough to get a proper impression but what I've seen so far doesn't disqualify him as a MOTU (on the contrary).

Specific Experiences of working together

Areas of Improvement

More experience so that the small errors from above doesn't happen again (which I believe won't happen again).

Alessio Treglia (quadrispro)

General feedback

Andrea is a collaborative, kind person and a great Ubuntu contributor, he also has a great experience in Python application developement. I didn't have any kind of issue with his patches, I worked with him on a number of FTBFS bugs and merges and all uploads I sponsored were of excellent quality.

I'm glad to support this application.

Specific Experiences of working together

Areas of Improvement

Nothing in particular, he only needs a bit more experience, but I'm sure that he's ready to enter the team.

Devid Antonio Filoni (d.filoni)

General feedback

I wonder why Andrea is not already a MOTU, he has a very good knowledge about Ubuntu packaging and his packages are always perfect. He is ready to be a MOTU, no doubts about that.

Specific Experiences of working together

I sponsored some packages and they were excellent, I remember ginac 1.5.0-1ubuntu1 (fixes FTBFS with gcc4.4), audex 0.62b-0ubuntu2 (fixes a bad dependency in debian/control), etc...

Areas of Improvement

Nothing in particular.


=== 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 ===


Gaspa2/MotuApplication (last edited 2009-06-23 09:06:21 by host134-118-static)