I, Tim Lunn, apply for universe-contributor.


Tim Lunn

Launchpad Page

Wiki Page

Who I am

I'm a long-time linux enthusiast and gnome-shell fan, that spends a lot of my free time, messing around with GNOME. Somewhat accidently, I ended up being one of the core developers working on the Ubuntu GNOME remix.

My Ubuntu story

I have been using Ubuntu since way back to the Warty days (before that I used debian for years), for the most part I was content with gnome2, I just took whatever I was given and just existed as a 'user'. Then came gnome-shell, I was somewhat excited by this and saw great potential, however at the time it was really quite broken on Ubuntu. Ultimately this was my trigger to getting involved in GNOME and now Ubuntu.

At the time, I started out messing around with a few gnome-shell extensions, then writing extensions, which led to fixing upstream GNOME bugs. By the time Jeremy announced Ubuntu GNOME remix, I had quite a good understanding of the gnome-shell stack, and needless to say that came in very handy in getting the first Alpha Release together!

My involvement

Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of

Ubuntu GNOME Remix 12.10, I fixed quite a few bugs during our very short dev cycle for this release, hightlights being:

  • gdm: resolved around a dozen bugs, worked closely with upstream on a few of these.
  • casper: upstreamed a bunch of fixes to help with our ISO
  • gnome-shell: fix a bunch of ubuntu specific bugs including, lightdm support and user switching problems
  • Plenty of other Misc fixes.

Recently began helping out with packaging on gnome3 ppa.

I have two gnome-shell extensions,

Have contributed a bunch of upstream bugfixes to GNOME. Many of these have been related to Ubuntu specific bugs.

Ported gjs/gnome-shell to the new Spidermonkey engine based of Firefox 17. Then spent a lot of time prodding mozilla people and patching their build system trying to get an official release. This now very close to happening.

GNOME Foundation Member

Areas of work

My main focus at this point is gnome-shell and the rest of the GNOME stack. I tend to work upstream wherever possible, since I really don't want to add to the often insane patch deltas on many of the GNOME packages.

I Recently started helping out with packaging 3.7 packages on the gnome3 ppa.

Things I could do better

I think I still have some ways to go, learning the the more intricate ins and outs of packaging, but helping out with packaging for gnome3 ppa has been a great help here, and I am sure I will have that all under control soon.

Plans for the future


My main short-term goal, is to see gnome-shell and the other apps that aren't included in the default Ubuntu stack, get first class support on Ubuntu. I think Ubuntu GNOME remix is a vehicle to make this happen, but I also strongly believe this experience should be available to anyone and everyone who happens to install them, regardless of flavour, DM etc.

I expect to be applying for PPU for some ubuntu-gnome related packages in the next cycle.

Beyond that I hope to expand more into GNOME packages that are shared in common with Unity.

What I like least in Ubuntu

Gnome-shell support in Ubuntu was really questionable early on, it felt somewhat neglected. While this has improved greatly there is some way to go before its up there in support etc, compared to Unity and KDE.

More generally, I think more effort needs to go into supporting new contributors. Without direct contact with a sponsor it can takes weeks for patches to be reviewed etc. Early on I found this very disconcerting, although these days I just bug the relevant people.


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

Didier Roche

I sponsored very few and trivial work from Tim, that's why I can't give a complete endorsement, but still want to comment on the fact that from what I saw, the upstream patches were backported the way they were intended to be and the SRU process was fully followed before asking for sponsorship. Keep it on Tim. Smile :)


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

Jasper St. Pierre

General feedback

From the GNOME side, darkxst is the primary developer for one of the most popular and unique extensions on As all the code is reviewed for security reasons, I'll say that his code is among the better ones on the site. He's also somehow successfully pressured Mozilla to release a new SpiderMonkey tarball for us on the GNOME side, which I and some coworkers have been unsuccessfully trying to do for around two years. I don't contribute to Ubuntu, so I honestly can't give any feedback about that...

After ten? eleven? of his contributions, I requested that he apply for a GNOME Git account, which was approved.

Specific Experiences of working together

Whenever he has a problem with GNOME/Ubuntu integration, he'll ask me to help debug or take a look at a patch -- it's always been a pretty collaborate experience. I can't think of a single time it hasn't gone smoothly.

The most recent example I can think of is SpiderMonkey 1.8.7 and gjs work. He's been pressuring Mozilla into releasing new tarballs for their JavaScript engine, and he's been contributing various patches and fixes for their build systems when they were uncomfortable with what they had. To speed up acceptance on the GNOME side, he's written a fairly large set of changes to port gjs SpiderMonkey 1.8.7, all of which are ready to land when the new tarball comes out.

Areas of Improvement

Jeremy Bicha

General feedback

I strongly believe Tim is ready for Ubuntu membership as a Contributing Developer. Tim has been an essential member of the Ubuntu GNOME Team for the past 5 months. He also contributes to GNOME directly where he recently gained git commit access.

Specific Experiences of working together

* Because of my work with the Ubuntu GNOME project, I've sponsored most of Tim's work. His contributions have been significant and the quality of his packaging has steadily improved as he's gotten more familiar with Ubuntu and Debian procedures.

* He has identified fixes to make GDM work better on Ubuntu and submitted those patches to GNOME where several of them have been accepted. GDM is a complex package and it's even more challenging that upstream and most GNOME distros use it on systemd which is a different environment than Ubuntu.

* Tim also contributed to casper to fix several issues with the live session when running GNOME Shell and GDM

* He identified the high priority packaging bug in EDS that broke Google integration with GNOME Online Accounts (1049028) which we had to SRU since the rest of us weren't able to figure out the bug until Quantal was nearly released.

* He has prepared several other SRUs: gnome-shell, mutter, gufw, and telepathy-logger.

* He has done quite a bit of packaging for the GNOME3 PPAs, especially with the 3.7.5 update. He is one of only four major contributors to the PPAs.

Areas of Improvement

* I think if you keep on doing good work with packaging, you'll be ready to apply for upload rights to the Ubuntu GNOME packages soon. I need to let other people sponsor more of your work to make the upload rights application easier.

I'm pretty disappointed that there won't be a physical UDS this May as I would have loved to meet Tim in person then.

Robert Ancell

General feedback

Tim has been very active in making GNOME work well in Ubuntu. He has taken on difficult tasks and successfully completed them. He's a strong communicator and has been easy to work with.

Specific Experiences of working together

Tim worked on making LightDM and GNOME Shell work well together (LP: 1064269).

Areas of Improvement

Continue to do more general packaging to show skills there.


=== 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 ===

TimLunn/DeveloperApplication (last edited 2014-01-22 10:06:47 by darkxst)