Scott Ritchie


Northern California {us}





Watch what I'm doing:

I'm Scott Ritchie. You can usually find me on Freenode IRC or the Ubuntu Wine forum as YokoZar. I keep a blog that you should read, which is syndicated on Planet Ubuntu. I also have pages on Launchpad, Wine's Wiki, and Wikipedia. I am a MOTU, and while my chief interest is maintaining the Wine package and everything that is related to it, these days I find myself doing a lot more. View recent uploads in Launchpad.

I want good, usable software everywhere in Ubuntu, especially Wine -- users shouldn't even need to know they're running it. My goal is to help make Wine easy and effective enough to be an official supported package in Ubuntu. I try to set an example and make myself useful throughout the entire Ubuntu project, doing everything from filing bugs in other packages to drafting entire blueprints to working on the Sponsorship Queue.

Community Council

I am now a proud member of Ubuntu's principle governance board, the Community Council. This means I have taken on the obligation of providing genuine leadership for the project and its members. Everyone should feel free to email me personally about any issue or problem they see brewing in the community, even small ones that don't require any sort of official response.

Rough Bio

  • Community Developer (MOTU)
  • Responsible for all things Wine in Ubuntu
  • I act as a liaison between projects, upstreams, and vendors. If you are a commercial entity who needs to make contact with a free software project, or vice-versa, I can probably help.
  • I design, code, and test. I am especially interested in arranging collaboration across normally disparate teams, such as using QA automated testing tools as a way of generating input for profile-guided optimisation.
  • I love writing - both technical, creative, and uncreative. Powerful writing is like a clear interface. You stop noticing the words, and instead just get the ideas.
  • When I write code it's either Python, shell scripts, or package build scripts

Work tasks

  • I have tried to combine everything I need to work on in Wine into one blueprint:

  • I am involved in Winetricks, particularly the testing and automation of video games. I also occasionally moderate the Ubuntu Wine forum and answer questions on Ask Ubuntu.

  • I am working on some related packages that will someday be worthy of default install. The goal is to integrate Wine as a seamless part of the desktop. I work upstream a lot at Wine, and while there are a few others interested in usability, I'm the one who has to make the changes needed outside of Wine itself.
  • I am a community developer, and will gladly sponsor any new package or bug fix you have, or even help you get started on packaging. Just shoot me an email.

History of me in Ubuntu

If it's something Wine related in Ubuntu, odds are I'm responsible for getting it done. But, like all Ubuntu developers, I occasionally dabble in other areas that I often forget about. This is a partial list of those things. I try to update this once a cycle, and often forget things.

Raring cycle

  • Migrated Wine to 1.6...only to have it not be accepted due to an overworked archive admin team.
  • Kept PPA in stable state for 1.6 and 1.7 series.

Quantal cycle

  • Packaged opus 1.0.1, wine-mono0.0.4, wine-mono0.0.8, wine-gecko 1.7, wine-gecko1.8
  • Fixed the ptrace issue affecting Wine on Precise
  • Update Wine to include libosmesa6
  • Investigated Wine GCC issues, deferred removal of GCC 4.5 until Raring
  • Decided (as CC) to decouple membership and per package upload rights; Developer Membership Board is now responsible for it.

Precise cycle

  • Migrated Wine to a full multiarch package
  • Ported the Wine gecko packaging to multiarch and made it be coinstallable with itself so switching Wine versions is less messy
  • Fix up the WineHQ download page

Oneiric cycle

  • Made sure ia32-libs didn't regress, including an ia32-libs-multiarch package
  • Helped prevent 32-bit 3D applications from breaking entirely on 64-bit
  • Worked upstream at Wine to help plot the next stable release for 12.04 cycle.

Natty cycle

  • Integrated Wine1.3 into Ubuntu
  • Added winetricks to the archive, provided it with a lot of useful verbs for real games people want.
  • Showed some proof of concept Wine-based benchmarks.

Maverick cycle

  • Added great icon thumbnails for Windows applications to show their embedded icon rather than a boring ? default. Found in the gnome-exe-thumbnailer package
  • Created some tests for checkbox based on Wine's test suite and a few benchmark programs. These tests serve as both regression tests (for kernel bugs and X crashes) as well as standard benchmarks for performance work.

Lucid cycle

  • Lots of upstream Wine work
  • Solicited and got tons of community translations for all the Wine Application menu items
  • Made a famous post complaining about Window controls:

  • Specced out Parental Controls: a feature to disable certain log in times. Requires code in quite a few places as well as some UI design, but should be a useful selling feature for Ubuntu. Someone else needs to implement.

Karmic cycle

  • Lots of fixes to app-install-data (over 12 bugs in Launchpad and this branch) so that the new Software Center actually has some good information about a lot of important packages. For instance, flashplugin now has a proper description, mentions adobe rather than macromedia, and actually has an icon.

  • Clean up the restart notifier in update-manager

  • Suggest Tomboy inform the user about search results better

  • Create a wine1.2 package with a recent Wine beta and begin merging some of my integration work in
  • New icons for Wine1.2 to match the Humanity theme, including various pixel optimizations
  • Create a gnome-exe-thumbnailer package to show embedded exe icons inside a generic "application" container
  • I packaged the game Kernel Panic and the Spring engine it runs on.
  • I created the new branding packages, with work contributed by the community.

Jaunty cycle

  • After presenting at wineconf 2008 the Wine developers agreed to create the interface we need for further configuration and integration work.
  • Started working on wine integration project, recruited some volunteers to help


  • Discussed the merit of having a "mute shutdown sound" checkbox when shutting down (if there is one)...or at least having no shutdown sound by default. The next release we got rid of the shutdown sound.
  • Brought Wine packaging to 64-bit Ubuntu and made it work properly with 32 bit apps
  • Brought new icons to Wine from the community and helped get more of them made. Wine 1.2 shipped with a complete set as a result.
  • Fixed shared-mime-info upstream and in Ubuntu so Wine can open .msi files:

  • Sponsored libtorrent-rasterbar (it's still waiting for debian sponsors, and debian import freeze is soon)
  • Created the Wine Gecko package rather than have Wine get it off the internet for every user

How I got to Ubuntu

After some bad experiences attempting to contribute to Debian, I was pleasantly surprised when Jeff Waugh came directly to me and asked me to sign up for Ubuntu. That was back in the Hoary days, and I've been directly helping ever since. In the past, my contributions had mostly been making the Wine packages at, however now I do far more. Making Wine work just right for the user involves improving many different parts of the system, and now that I am a MOTU I can work on most of them directly.

Other interests

  • I taught myself Python for the purpose of conducting my own research into mathematical analysis of different voting systems. I plan to develop this research further and someday head into grad school, where I'll publish results as they come. I even see myself writing a book at some point, albeit that's around 4 years into the future.

See ScottRitchie/Work for more wikipage


ScottRitchie (last edited 2013-11-03 21:09:12 by 67)