This page discusses the steps that I went through in order to better understand the role of an MOTU. Due to too little time and too many interests, I am currently not pursuing MOTU membership.

Task List


Date Completed

Notes (See section below)

Read Ubuntu Development Documentation


Read Info about Ubuntu Developers


Read MOTU Getting Started


Read Pbuilder Documentation


Exercise: Packaging hello from source



Exercise: Packaging hello using debhelper



Exercise: Fix an existing bug. Bug #188939


Read Ubuntu Development Code Review


Read The Sponsorship Process


Exercise: Update a package. Bug #200194 and Bug #201385


Read FreezeExceptionProcess


Exercise: Submit a Freeze Exception. Bug #190744


Exercise: Update a library package. Bug #190744



Exercise: Submit a Sync Request. Bug #200292



Well I finally decided to bite the bullet and get started. First up is reading. I'll keep a record of everything I read in the table above.

I read through the sections of the Pbuilder documentation that seemed relevant for getting started as a MOTU. I skipped the sections on ccache, multiple pbuilders, and the section on older ubuntu releases. Up next is the packing guide which includes examples of common MOTU tasks. As I go though it, I'll make a note of additional documentation that would be helpful to read.

I am currently reading through the Ubuntu PackagingGuide. This guide has a ton of information in it. I also added a few potential projects to test my packaging knowledge.

I went through the debhelper section and the packaging from source section of the Ubuntu PackagingGuide. I noticed that the guide was a little behind since hello 2.2 is now available. So when working through the exercises I downloaded Hello 2.2 so that it would match with the current packages in the gutsy repository.

I have decided to try and fix my first bug. After looking at the available bitesize and packaging bugs, I selected Bug #188939. In addition to fixing the bug, a new version of glom is also available. So I will attempt to fix the bug and update the package to the newest upstream release. Also, CesareTirabassi has agreed to mentor me. His help is very much appreciated.

I have successfully fixed my first bug. I wasn't able to upgrade the package at the same time since the new version depends on newer versions of the libgda and libgdamm libraries. libgda is in main and a sync from Debian. I plan on submitting a bug to Debian asking for an upgrade. I plan to upgrade libgdamm myself, but I need to read up on library packages. The really great part is that the bug was fixed in time to make it into Hardy before the freeze. So I am proud to say that I have a fixed bug in Hardy. Finally, I want to thank CesareTirabassi (my MOTU mentor) and Murry Cumming (glom author) for their help.

Today, I plan on looking into packaging a library. The library I am interested in updating is libgdamm. After some trouble with space/tabs in the rules file (see below), I created an upgraded package and passed the diff.gz along to CesareTirabassi.

CesareTirabassi had a chance to look at the updated libgdamm library and he suggest that I subscribe u-u-s to get a formal review. DanielHolbach suggested that I look into submitting a freeze exception for the package and get it into Hardy. Today, I will be looking at FreezeExceptionProcess.

I am continuing to work on Bug #190744. We discovered that the ABI of the library had changed with version 2.9.81 and the soname needed to be updated. The maintainer,Murry Cumming, was nice enough to release a new version (2.9.82). Soon thereafter, we discovered that a package for this piece of software entered the debian repositories, but used a different binary package name. Eventually, we wanted to be able to sync this software from debian. So the binary package name in ubuntu needed to be changed. With help from CesareTirabassi, I created a new source package that included the updated software (with new binary package names) and a new soname. So far, libgdamm is proving to be challenging, but I am learning a great deal.

Packaging work continues. I have contributed to a hand full of bugs in the last month (see below). A significant number of the bugs I have worked on focused on glom since there have been a number of releases lately. At this point, I have gotten everything (and more) into hardy that I had hoped for.

Well, I have decided that I have too many interests and not enough time to be a MOTU. I plan to help out when I can and become more involved with my Loco. I will leave this information up in the hopes that someone will find it useful.


  1. lintian wanted -$(MAKE) distclean in the hello rules file to be changed to [ ! -f Makefile ] || $(MAKE) distclean

  2. Hello 2.2 is now available in the gutsy repository. So download Hello 2.2 instead.

  3. The rules file for hello-debhelper package weren't exactly the same as those described in the packaging guide, but it didn't seem to be a problem.
  4. I added a get-orig-source target to the rules file. I ran into trouble with the rules file since vim was using spaces for tabs. To use tabs instead, change your .vimrc or use Cntrl-V<tab>. Thanks to persia and CesareTirabassi.

Bugs I have worked on

  • #188939 - Glom should depend on postgresql-8.3

  • #190744 - Upgrade libgdamm3.0 to upstream version 2.9.81

  • #200194 - Update glom dependencies to point to renamed libgdamm package

  • #200292 - Sync libgda3_3.0.2-2 from debian unstable

  • #201385 - Hardy: Please update glom to latest version

  • #208436 - Latest cairo has an api change which causes problems

  • #208833 - FTBFS: libgda3_3.0.2-2 on hardy/ia64

  • #204895 - Packages failed archive rebuild test possibly due to python-central transition

  • #212301 - Please update glom to newest version (1.6.13)

  • #205701 - Latest hardy cairomm is broken

  • #204039 - Hardy: Please update to glom 1.6.10


protonchris/MOTU (last edited 2009-02-13 19:02:03 by c-69-254-133-134)