Revision 30 as of 2014-06-25 23:40:04

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I, Sean Davis, apply for upload rights for the Xubuntu/Xfce package sets.

Who I am

Hi, I'm Sean Davis, better known as bluesabre in the Ubuntu world. I am a current Ubuntu member, the Xubuntu Technical Lead, and long-time contributor to several of the core applications included with Xubuntu.

As the newly appointed Xubuntu Technical Lead, I continue to provide development support and package maintenance for the Xfce packages in Xubuntu. I have been contributing to package maintenance in Ubuntu and Debian through vairious sponsors. I currently seek upload rights of the Xubuntu package set to better support my team's development efforts and lessen the load of the already-overworked sponsors.

My Ubuntu story

I started using Ubuntu waaaaay back with 5.10 and Xubuntu with 6.06. I happily jumped between the two projects for several years, and first started contributing to Xubuntu in 2011. During this time, I reported numerous artwork and usability bugs. I was welcomed into the community and continued to report bugs. After some time, I started contributing to the bug fixes, and took up maintenance of several applications.

In 2012, I participated in the Ubuntu Application Showdown, where I developed the first iteration of Menulibre. It was well-received, and if I recall, ranked in the top 20 of the 133 submissions (the results have since been removed).

In 2013, I obtained my Ubuntu Membership. Recently in 2014 I was appointed as the Xubuntu Technical Lead. I continue to work closely with our artwork, QA, and development teams to bring together one of the finest Linux desktops available. I continue to work closely with Debian and Ubuntu sponsors to provide up-to-date packages for each respective repository.

My involvement

While I started out doing QA, I've transitioned into a mostly development role at this point. I maintain or help to maintain the following applications, which are featured in Xubuntu 14.04:

I assist in package maintenance of the above applications, some Xfce components, and Xubuntu-specific packages with both Debian (via PAPT) and Ubuntu.

I am a member of the Xubuntu Artwork, Xubuntu Documentation, Xubuntu Developers, Xubuntu Release, and Xubuntu Testers, and have helped in each area.

Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of

Debian Maintainer/Co-Maintainer of catfish, menulibre, and mugshot

Current SRU Packages

These packages are currently in the middle of the SRU process

I've packaged several key Xubuntu components which have been uploaded by sponsors to Saucy, Trusty, and Utopic. For a package summary, please see: Sponsored Packages in Ubuntu

  • catfish
  • lightdm-gtk-greeter
  • light-locker
  • light-locker-settings
  • parole
  • shimmer-themes
  • thunar
  • xfce4-indicator-plugin
  • xfce4-power-manager
  • xfce4-session
  • xubuntu-default-settings
  • xubuntu-docs

Managed PPAs

Areas of work


Catfish (with Simon Steinbeiß)

With Simon's design direction, I took over maintenance of Catfish and brought the application up to modern standards. Porting to GTK3, extending the search functionality to support various engines, and improving application stability have been my continued focus.

Parole Media Player (with Simon Steinbeiß)

I've been working with Simon on Parole Media Player since we took over maintainership in (2013?). Since then, we've fixed numerous long-standing bugs, improved the codebase, and ported the application to GTK 3 and GStreamer 1.0. We're currently implementing a Clutter backend.

Xfce Display Settings (with Simon Steinbeiß and Lionel Le Folgoc)

I worked together with Lionel and Simon to improve multihead support in Xfce. Simon and I have continued maintenance on this portion of the Settings Manager, and are nearly finished adding a drag-n-drop interface to managing displays.

LightDM GTK+ Greeter Team

LightDM GTK+ Greeter (with Simon Steinbeiß, Lionel Le Folgoc, and Andrew P.)

Since taking over maintenance of lightdm-gtk-greeter, we've substantially improved theming support and reliability of the code. This has been greatly enhanced with the recent work by Andrew, who has added many of our newest features and made several ideas a reality.

Light Locker Settings (with Simon Steinbeiß and Thomas Molloy)

With the development of Light Locker, Thomas started working on Light Locker Settings, a simple configuration tool for the application. I've provided patches to extend light-locker-settings to synchronize with the Xfce Power Manager.

Xubuntu Developers

All of the above development efforts really stem from my work with Xubuntu. In addition, I also maintain Catfish (search utility), Menulibre (menu editor), and Mugshot (user configuration), three key applications in Xubuntu. Since working with Xubuntu Developers, I've started helping with package maintenance and merges from Debian. As Xubuntu Technical Lead, I now have a greater responsibility to accelerate development and packaging efforts. I've worked with several sponsors that have verified package quality and uploaded my packages to Saucy, Trusty, and Utopic archives.


As Alacarte continued to become less and less usable for Xfce, there was a growing need for a reliable menu editor. To fill the void, I rewrote Menulibre from the ground up with a focus on usability and desktop support. Menulibre is now the default menu editor in Xubuntu.


With the continued development of LightDM GTK+ Greeter, Xubuntu reached a point where user profile images were supported at login, but not configurable for the average user. I created Mugshot, which greatly simplifies the process of changing a user's contact details and profile image. Mugshot is now featured in Xubuntu 14.04.

Things I could do better

At this point, I have only worked on the packaging for a select few Xubuntu components. Most of them are packaged upstream in Debian and easily handled by M-O-M, or the merge is not difficult (I've performed a few). Over time I will need to become more familiar with each of these packages.

Plans for the future


As a core member of the Xubuntu team, I am not going anywhere. My future plans remain consistent in helping Xubuntu grow in usability and popularity. I will continue to work with other teams to maintain the high quality software that is expected of our team.

I am going to lead the development efforts of Xubuntu to continue to provide our users with a stable, modern, and consistent experience in Xubuntu.

What I like least in Ubuntu

The thing I like least in Ubuntu are last-minute features and code changes. Xubuntu has been affected by late changes in the indicator stack and other applications that break existing components. With our small development team, it is often difficult to provide timely fixes for these components, forcing features to be cut from the release or fixes delivered after release. With increased communication with the Ubuntu team, I'd like to reduce the impact of these changes or be better prepared for them.


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

  • It is a great pleasure to offer Sean Davis a reference in support of his application for upload rights to the Xubuntu package set. By the number of times my own name is mentioned in this fine application, you can see that I have been – I am proud to say – closely working with Sean for quite a while on a wide range of projects. Within the larger Xubuntu and Xfce community, Sean Davis stands out as one of the most pleasant people to work with. He combines those rare qualities that are – in my opinion – so crucial and needed in any developer: Not only does he have great skills in terms of writing code, he always has an open ear for suggestions and improvements and deeply cares about the users' experience. His patience and mild-manneredness are inspiring to me, I have yet to see him lose his temper once. Be it that users are unhappy with programmes or that I flip-flop on my point of view, he remains unperturbed. This is also to say that I believe he is the right person to carry the responsibilities of an uploader. I pin high hopes in Sean concerning the development of Xubuntu and Xfce as a whole and I am sure he will continue to foster the projects he is involved in greatly. I therefore enthusiastically support his application.

-- simon-steinbeiss 2014-06-25 23:40:05


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


=== 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 ===