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In my Ubuntu development work, while I've made a couple of trivial mistakes, I've only had a single [[|sync request]] rejected so far, due to a Debian ftp-master mistake. In my Ubuntu development work, while I've made a couple of trivial mistakes, I've only had a single [[|sponsorship request]] rejected so far, due to a Debian ftp-master mistake.
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I, Stefano Rivera, apply for MOTU.


Stefano Rivera

Launchpad Page

Wiki Page

Home Page / Blog

Who I am

I'm 25, a Linux geek, and a MSc student at UCT, studying usability of digital library systems. I'm an active member of the South African LoCo team and chair of our local LUG.

My main interests are in Python (I'm a core developer of ibid, a Python IRC bot), multimedia (I run a small online video service using FOSS), and general sysadmin on Ubuntu and Debian (Amongst other things, I run a South African mirror).

I'm not an Ubuntu member yet (although I'm very involved in the Ubuntu-ZA community), so this doubles as a membership application.

My Ubuntu story

Long version. Short Version:

I'm a long-time Debian user and sysadmin (since Woody), after starting on Linux with RedHat in the late 90s. Since Breezy, I've used Ubuntu on my laptops and been a tester and bug reporter (but not a developer).

Although I had always intended to, the catalyst for my involvement in Ubuntu and Debian was the packaging of ibid, early in 2010. Once I knew the ropes, I started scratching itches, and have been doing some universe merging and ubuntu-debian-delta reduction. It's been a great experience so far, I wish I'd done it sooner.

My involvement

I maintain a few packages in Debian, mostly python-related: Debian QA Page, LP Related Software.

I make sure my Debian package stay healthy in Ubuntu, and keep an eye on the other debian-python packages too.

I've been involved in the organisation of a few Ubuntu-ZA events, including:

  • The Karmic release party (primary organiser)
  • Ubuntu Global Jam March 2010 (primary organiser and only demonstrator)
  • Lucid release party (sysadmin)

In my university, I'm "the guy" that people come to with Ubuntu-related problems. I do my best to introduce them to Ubuntu's bug-resolution procedures.

I attended Ubuntu Live 2008, as I was in the northern hemisphere at the time.

I followed UDS-M remotely, participating in a few sessions via IRC, but mostly just sitting in for general interest where I didn't have any constructive input.

Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of

I try to be proud of everything I've done (although, as a perfectionist, I'm often not as happy as I should be) Smile :)

In my Ubuntu development work, while I've made a couple of trivial mistakes, I've only had a single sponsorship request rejected so far, due to a Debian ftp-master mistake.

Sync Requests





  5. (patch forwarded and NMUed into Debian first)






  11. non-essential patch forwarded to Debian

  12. (patch forwarded to Debian first)



  15. (FFe)

  16. (FFe)

  17. (own Debian package + FFe)

  18. (own Debian package)

  19. (own Debian package)

  20. (own Debian package)

  21. (own Debian package)

  22. (main, own Debian QA Upload)

Merge Requests



  3. - Patch forwarded to Debian

  4. (main) - Patch submitted via debian for LP: #467278. Awaiting SRU sponsorship.

  5. - Patch forwarded and NMUed to Debian

  6. - Patch forwarded to Debian

  7. (main) - to fix numerous gs-caused FTBFSs.

  8. - Patch forwarded upstream

  9. - Patch forwarded to Debian


As a dual Ubuntu & Debian developer, all of my packaging work (aside from the MOTU-stuff above) is in Debian.

I maintain the following packages in Debian: ibid, objgraph, pyfiglet, pysilc, pystemmer, python-aalib, python-html2text, re2, snowball.

I've done Debian QA work on: configobj. And a few NMU uploads.

Areas of work

I'm a member of the debian-python team which overlaps with Ubuntu, but my Debian mentors are not Ubuntu Developers.

Most of my packaging experience is with Python-packages, but I maintain C and C++ libraries too. I mostly concentrate on Python packages in Ubuntu, but have touched many other packages in universe and a couple in main.

I've found MOTU work broadening, I've been exposed to a far wider range of packages, languages, build systems, and styles than I'd come across in my own Debian packaging.

Things I could do better

I don't spend my entire life working on Ubuntu and Debian, but that's not fixable Smile :) I have some upstream project responsibilities, as well as a university degree to pursue.

I'm not yet that integrated into the Ubuntu development community, as I only got involved this year. This should come with time. I try to stick my neck out in #ubuntu-motu, answering questions, helping new packagers, and generally getting to know people.

Plans for the future


Continue with Ubuntu development and (eventually) become a DD too.

In the near future, there are Python transitions coming up in Debian and Ubuntu that I'll be involved in. Especially the 2.7 transition for Ubuntu that we want to drive from Debian (Ubuntu's 2.6 transition caused much pain on both sides and upset many DDs).

I intend to encourage more Ubuntu-ZA members to become involved in Ubuntu development. We are surprisingly poorly represented, considering the South African heritage of the project. This leads to the worrying bugs such as LP: #467278, which probably affects every English speaking South African user and, as such a visible bug, tarnishes the image of Ubuntu for new users.

What I like least in Ubuntu

Ubuntu developers seem to have a hard time pushing patches upstream (either to Debian or the upstream developers). Yes, syncing and merging takes a lot longer when you do this, but it's the right thing to do and should save time in the long run. I intend to (and have begun) improve on this.

Ubuntu has never worked flawlessly, out of the box, on my laptops (until I replace them, at which point Ubuntu supports the old one perfectly). But this is a good thing, as it has kept me running Ubuntu development releases on my primary laptop for the last few years Smile :)

A minor niggle

I've attempted in the past to get Ubuntu to not require access to for online upgrades, LP Spec, but haven't made significant progress yet. This affects all the users at my University, as we are behind a firewall & NTLM proxy (with an Ubuntu mirror on our side).


Jonathan Carter

I've known Stefano for 7 years now via our local LUG and also Ubuntu-ZA. Stefano is extremely thorough and trustworthy. He's technically competent and very responsible. Stefano has wide interests and supports many users at the University of Cape Town. I believe that having MOTU rights would enable him to contribute bug fixes back into Ubuntu much better.


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

Piotr Ożarowski

FYI: I sponsor 6 Stefano's Python related packages in Debian and they're in good shape.

Charlie Smotherman

I ACK'd 3 sync requests of Stefano's during the lucid cycle. The sync requests where for packages that had just recently been uploaded to Debian. Thanks to the debian-python team (Piotr aka POX) the packages where in very good shape. The packages built, installed, purged and functioned as expected. I would trust Stefano to take care of the above mentioned packages.

Jakub Wilk

I sponsor 4 Stefano's packages in Debian; their quality were always up to par.

Benjamin Drung

General feedback

I sponsored many sync requests. They were all good and excellent described. I'll trust Stefano to have the skills needed for a MOTU.

Specific Experiences of working together


=== 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 ===


StefanoRivera/MOTUApplication (last edited 2010-06-22 11:52:09 by holst)