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  * Confront Mark when necessary     * Much of a community representative's work is being discrete and preventing conflict from hurting the project as a whole
  * Confront Mark when necessary:
    * I lead the charge against the original window controls:
    * Worse things may happen soon, and someone needs to say something
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    * Some upstreams are starting to regard us as not worth supporting. Part of this is technical, but more worrisome is that part of it is social.




Scott Ritchie


Northern California {us}





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. Like most developers, however, I 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.


If you want to get a closer idea of what I'm working on right now, you can check out my microblog and follow me on Twitter/

  • Community Developer (MOTU)
  • Responsible for all things Wine in Ubuntu, including moderating the Ubuntu Wine forum and running the Wine Test Bot

  • 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
  • When I write code it's either Python, shell scripts, or package build scripts


  • I am heavily involved in Winetricks, particularly the testing and automation of video games.

  • After about a year of failed efforts to get the Unity developers to make the Wine experience not so terrible, I'm writing a Wine-Unity-Lens myself.
  • 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 would also like to improve the Desktop in general - the UI design experience I have gained over the past six years in free software will be very helpful for this.
  • 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.

Community Council Nomination

  • Prevent drama
    • Much of a community representative's work is being discrete and preventing conflict from hurting the project as a whole
  • Confront Mark when necessary:
  • Pay attention to our relations with other projects
    • Some upstreams are starting to regard us as not worth supporting. Part of this is technical, but more worrisome is that part of it is social.

Remaining targets

  • Make Wine experience less bad on Unity. Will require considerable redoing of the Applications Lens so it respects freedesktop standards.
  • karmic-wine-integration this blueprint: work started on Karmic, some stuff lingers

  • Allow uninstallation of Windows applications through Software Center rather than Wine's dedicated uninstall program. This way we can put all software removal in one nice, convenient place.
  • Make gnome-exe-thumbnailer part of the default install so users can see the embedded icons for executable files
  • Create a good right click->properties menu for individual executables. Here the user would be able to modify what windows version they run in, and whether that application should be able to make itself full screen or be forced into a particular window. Currently in order to run Diablo in a window a user has to mess with winecfg or run a cryptic terminal command.

    • Needs further investigation: would like this to be a part of the Wine package (or a dependency) rather than Gnome itself.

Projects for someone else that I don't have time for

  • 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.

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.

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:

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.

  • I'm actively searching for work. There's nothing I'd love to do more than work full time on Ubuntu and supporting users at this point. Chasing bounties or being community funded is another option I may pursue, given the massive amount of users Wine has.
  • I enjoy reading and writing short essays. Powerful writing is like a clear interface. You stop noticing the words, and instead just get the ideas.

See ScottRitchie/Work for more wikipage


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