This page is probably not what you're looking for, unless I specifically pointed you here. It is meant mostly for those who will play a mentoring role in my quest to become a Master Of The Universe (MOTU).

22 May 2007

I'm currently an Ubuntu member. I wish to become a MOTU member to increase my contribution to Ubuntu, increase and improve my packaging skills, improve the quality of the Ubuntu universe repository and also help others who wish to become MOTU members.

I tried figuring packaging out by myself. I used to use mc to peek inside packaging files, and learned about the control file, as well as preinst, postinst, prerm, postrm, etc files. At some stage, I read the dpkg man page, and noticed the -b option to build packages. I extracted the files from a Debian package using MC, and notice that I can simply rebuild it by doing a dpkg -b on the directory. This is how I created packages for quite a while. I learned about Lintian and Linda and learned a lot of the do's and dont's of packaging. I used to do everything manually, from editing the changelog, and adding in the license files.

Recently, a colleuge introduced me to debhelper. Now I use "dh_make --createorig" to start off with a package, and also started to use "dch -i" to update my changes. I'm still getting a little used to debhelper, I'm not quite 100% sure why it's better, sometimes it feels like more work. It seems that it certainly prevents you from making some dumb mistakes.

Things that I understand

Or at least, I think I do Wink ;)

  • Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

  • Debian changelog file
  • More or less understand the Debian control file, and its fields
  • Know how to use postrm, postinst, prerm and postrm scripts and when to use which one
  • Probably a bit more...

Things that I don't quite understand yet

Or more accurately, being quite clueless about it:

  • Make
  • Merges
  • I'm not really familiar with source packages
  • bzr (getting the hang of it though)
  • Probably a lot more...

23 May 2007

  • Learning about bzr, some random notes:
    • bzr checkout s

    • bzr commit -m "some message"
    • bzr pull --overwrite
  • Don't press ^C while doing a commit! It creates stale locks in LP that has to be removed by administrators!
  • Received correspondence from my mentor:

 Hello Jonathan,
 thanks for considering joining the MOTUs. 
 Do you have anything you'd like to start working on? Generally I'd
 suggest to start working on existing packages, but if you want to
 package a new piece of software that's fine too. has a
 list of software that needs packaging.
 In the current phase of development updating packages to the newest
 upstream version or merging packages is a good idea. Updating brasero
 could be a start.
 Please let me know how things go or if you need any help.
 Have a nice day,

25 February 2008

Just read Efrain Valles blog entry linking to this page. I guess now is a good time to get it going again! I've learned quite a bit since making the original logs above. I now use debhelper for packaging at least (not my own hacky scripts with dpkg -b anymore). I have found the MOTU classes to be extremely valuable (only attended them last month for the first time). I'll be keeping this page more up-to-date in the future, I didn't realise anyone cared Smile :)

3 July 2008

Today I submitted my first debdiff! I am very happy about that. See for more details.

19 July 2008

Blog entry:

11 August 2008

Just had a long discussion with LaserJock on IRC, he's been very helpful, and introduced me to concepts such as ITP and RFP. We discussed new packages and whether it's best to upload it to universe or into Debian. Also similar discussions about where bugs should be fixed, and how. Thanks LaserJock!

7 July 2009

Got my first package approved through REVU today. Very happy about that.

24 August 2009

Currently have 5 packages in Karmic, uploaded a 6th one to REVU today which should make it in before feature freeze on the 27th. Stephane, my mentor, said I should be ready to apply for MOTU now. I'm quite thrilled.

29 October 2009

Guess what? I am officially a MOTU Now... next stop, core-dev Wink ;)

28 December 2009

Made my first direct upload to universe today!


JonathanCarter/motu-future-contributor (last edited 2009-12-28 14:21:42 by 196-210-177-89-wblv-esr-3)