Since early 2006 I have been working with the MOTU crowd with an emphasis in Kubuntu development. I started working closely with quite a few different developers learning each person's unique development styles, therefor taking bits and pieces and creating my own, all the while following all standards put in place by community leaders. Since then I have helped in all aspects of MOTU development from creating new packages, requesting syncs and merges, helping new developers get up to speed, reviewing patches and packages, participating in MOTU communications, and assisting with documentation.

MOTU Interests

My main interest is definitely KDE and Kubuntu based, although I believe in the mile wide inch deep philosophy which means that I am open to other aspects and helping with MOTU development. I would like to be a solid and professional leader among the MOTU crowd for future Ubuntu and Kubuntu developers to look to in times of need. I would definitely love to help remove the status of "Second Class Citizen" that has been placed among the Kubuntu community over the past year, and by having a leader in the MOTU community with a Kubuntu background can only help to break this status. I believe I have shown over the past couple of years not only my dedication and integrity among this community, but also my love for the community as well as both the Ubuntu and Kubuntu operating systems.

MOTU Challenges

First and foremost I believe the biggest challenge is in recruitment. Ubuntu has become known as the "Linux distribution for new users." This is far from being a bad thing and it is what has helped Ubuntu become without a doubt the number one distribution. However what it has done has brought a lot of people to our community who may not have a developer background. Some of these people may not be interested in development, but there are a lot that are and I would love to see these community members learn the process and prosper. I think the recruitment challenge has reared its face over the past few months as we have provided a lot of advocation (OpenWeek, Developer Days, Classroom, and more) with very few new contributors. Helping to bridge this gap would be one of my top priorities as I feel that I have started from the bottom and worked my way up, proving that anyone who is interested can achieve their goals as long as they are prepared to work.

The second challenge I see is proper documentation. Our current documentation is good, but it isn't good enough. I would love to see our developer documentation be the number one place to come to for all *.deb packaging. Recipes aren't enough and either is the current packaging guide. A lot of new members tend to not understand our current documentation or find it very difficult to locate what they are looking for. Being a leader in the documentation project for not only Ubuntu but also KDE shows that I have what it takes to create, maintain, and manage documentation on a large scale, and taking these skills and applying it to a leadership position can, in my mind, help mold the future for MOTU development, as well as help fix the recruitment challenge I have listed above.

The third challenge I see is proper conflict resolution, and it was only until recently that a conflict was resolved with a process. This process though was not in place prior to the conflict, and I am not sure it is still in place, and helping to create a documented process would be another goal. Granted the outcome of said process was positive, it took over a month to complete, which in a time sensitive project, such as MOTU development, is to long.

The fourth challenge, which was hit upon during the most recent UDS in Boston, is the cooperation between distributions and upstream. One thing I am noted for in the Kubuntu and KDE community is that I strive to have wide-open communication between the distribution and upstream, therefor ensuring the vision of the upstream developer is carried out through our distribution of it. Another thing I am noted for is the amount of contacts I have between the various distributions such as openSUSE, Fedora, Foresight, Debian, PC Linux, Slackware, and more. In some instances I have even helped out other distributions such as Foresight develop and infrastructure to get themselves started. It is this kind of contribution between the various distribution communities that strengthen relationships and allow for easy collaboration such as patch and information sharing. I think leading a task such as this will show just how much Ubuntu really cares about the entire Linux community, and help put to sleep some of the assumptions that we are in it for ourselves.

MOTU Changes

Going with the challenges I have listed above, these are the main areas that I would like to see change and would enjoy leading the change. Another area that I would like to see change is among the visions we have for future MOTU contributors. One thing that I have noted in the past is when someone is going for MOTU that have worked on a specific packages such as KDE, Xfce, or Myth, is that they are looked at as if they haven't done enough for Ubuntu. I was in fact one of these people for the longest time with respect to KDE packaging for Kubuntu. I believe that if a person shows his or her strengths with packaging and development, the basis of their packaging shouldn't be criticized as much as it has been in the past. I have seen some future contributors get frustrated and give up, and at the same time I have helped some of these future contributors package other applications that weren't in their best interest, just to prove that they can do it and to have a package other than KDE, Xfce, or Myth listed on their Launchpad page. Going back to the challenge of recruitment, one thing that was tried was blogging as an advocational tool in which to interest people in becoming a MOTU contributor. By looking at #ubuntu-motu, it is still the same faces I have seen for the past 2 years. I would like to see a change that can bring in better advocation standards and processes. One positive way I have seen in the past with interesting people into community participation is breaking from the norm. I did this for the OpenWeek when speaking about Kubuntu development. I had watched the week prior and noticed everyone was following the same exact layout for their talk. They would talk for 45 minutes and then get in a few questions before their was over. I switched up my layout so it didn't follow those before me, and for the first time, we seen a bunch of new faces in #kubuntu-devel, who are not only still there today, but are contributing more and more on a daily basis. I would like to see us change our advocation as it stands today, breaking from the norm, and providing a new potential which I have proven works with Kubuntu and OpenWeek.


I would definitely focus on what I have detailed above, but I would also focus on any challenges which were to arise at any given time. Prompt conflict resolution, open communication channels not only in our community but between upstream communities and other distribution communities, solid documentation of every process we have and that everyone will be able to read and interpret, advocation to not only spark interest but to maintain that interest...these are the things I really want to see achieved.

RichardJohnson/MOTU/CouncilApplication (last edited 2008-08-06 16:37:52 by localhost)