I, Roderick B. Greening, apply for MOTU.
Roderick B. Greening
Who I am
I am 37 years old, residing in St. John's, NL, Canada - the oldest city in North America. I currently work for a national Telecommunications company, as regional manager. I am responsible for ensuring the successful deployment and delivery of our various voice and data services, many of which I helped develop over the last 10+ years. Our internet services (mail, news, web, etc) all run on Linux based systems, which vary from RPM based to Deb based.
I have been a user of Linux since about 1993. I have used Slackware, Debian, Red Hat, Mandrake (Mandriva), Gentoo and Ubuntu (Kubuntu). Over the last year, I have worked to switch my entire family and friends to use Kubuntu. This has been a rather easy task, considering these are non-technical people. Having a well built OS to start with, however, made the transistion very easy.
I like to read, everything from technical books (programming Qt, Python, etc) to SciFi/Fantasy, especially anything Star Trek related. At any one point I have about 7 books I am in the process of reading (I keep one in just about every room in the house and the office).
I am also a hobbist photographer, and have a Canon Rebel Xt. I have taken pictures for weddings, portraits, and other photoshoots, all purely as a hobbist.
My Ubuntu story
Prior to coming to Kubuntu, I worked on an overlay for Gentoo, which provided KDE enhancements (qt-copy patches, compiz/beryl, etc) to the Gentoo user base. Also, prior to my switch I was working on obtaining my developer status (similar ot MOTU) within the KDE Herd.
I switched to Kubuntu as I desired an easier system to maintain and manage, both for myself and for my friends and family, and Gentoo was not suitable for that task. Given Ubuntu's popularity, I gave it a try and haven't looked back.
My first Kubuntu CD was ordered via shippit, and it was Dapper Drake (6.06). I immediately installed it on my Acer 4912, and kept it dual boot with Gentoo, until I got all my minor issues sorted. I opened a few bug reports and worked on fixing my issues. At this point, I never knew how to package deb's, but I knew how to patch from source, and eventually submitted a fix or two to the Kubuntu team.
It wasn't until much later that I got the real developer itch back. I was using Hardy Heron, and having some difficulties with Knetworkmanager. I decided to jump online and ask Riddell how I would go about attempting to fix it. The rest is history. From that point on, I was patching, fixing bugs, updating packages and even helped get qt and kde packages ready for Intrepid Ibex.
I am a Kubuntu Member since October, 2008, having been approved as a direct result of my help in updating packages necessary for the Intrepid Ibex release.
Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of
Most of my work has been in getting KDE built and in shape for each release cycle. I typically have built and uploaded approximately half of the KDE packages each cycle, starting with Intrepid, and all the point releases in between. Of particular note, I worked a long time on getting Qt 4.5.0 RC1 ready for Jaunty, and this was critical in getting us to a point where we could consider using Qt webkit in Konqueror (still being investigated). Additionally, Qt 4.5.0 brings significant speed improvements for rendering, and thus a better user experience.
I also helped ScottK update Kommander and KVirc for Jaunty, from SVN snapshots.
Packagekit is a new big part of Jaunty. KDE will use KPackagekit to replace Adept 3.0. I have been working on several packages and enhancements to make KPackagekit better. Part of this has been implementing missing features, like Editing the software sources. I added a patch to allow using software-properties-kde within KPackagekit to accomplish this. I am currently working on a simplified view for KPackageKit, to allow users to add/remove applications, as specified via the app-install-data package. I have been working with the packagekit team (#packagekit) and we have developed a app-install specification, which is currently being developed to further this work (here is the draft of the spec I helped prepare - http://cgit.freedesktop.org/packagekit/plain/docs/app-install-v1.draft).
I also have been working on a Python frontend to UFW, kde-ufw. Work has been suspended as my priority is getting KDE into Jaunty. I hope to make have it ready for Karmic (It's about 70% complete).
Areas of work
Here are the packages I have currently uploaded:
kdebase-workspace, qt4-x11, kde4libs, kpackagekit, krusader, update-notifier-kde, kvirc, kdesdk, kdenetwork, kdeaccessibility, kdebase-runtime, kdebase, kde4bindings, kdeedu, kdegraphics, kdeutils, kdegames, kdetoys, adept, qtjambi, desktop-effects-kde, scim-bridge, gtk-qt-engine
This has been mostly via the Kubuntu desktop team, working with ScottK, Riddell, Nixternal, Seele, Vorian, NCommander, JontheEchidna, Smarter, etc. ScottK, Riddell, JontheEchidna and Vorian are most familiar with my uploads and work. All have been a tremendous help in getting my packaging skills up to speed.
Packaging for Kubuntu is a dream. THe process it simple and well thought out. The team is great and very helpful. Bugs are worked on regularly and quite responsive. Getting assistance with my issues has never been a problem.
Things I could do better
Read more of the documentation. I'm sure there are procedures/processes I do not fully understand the reasons behind, and therefore cannot offer suggestions on making them better. If I read more, then I should better understand and hopefully will be able to improve.
As for 'taking on more', I'll qualify it with "it was my first UDS" I was pumped and didn't really realize how short a development cycle it really is. So, I've learned that lesson and now understand more fully what is achievable in the given time. So, at the next UDS, I'll ensure I take on only what is reasonable and ensure we involve others who could not attend with other tasks that need work.
Plans for the future
Finish ufw-kde is a big one for me personally.
I plan to write a front-end for ClamAv in Python (I have a basic project opened and started in LP).
I also plan to start working on non-kde related packages, more specifically, join the server team. My other background is in building and securing linux systems for network monitoring. I think I can be of some assistance to that team as well.
Also, at some point, I wish to become a core-dev.
What I like least in Ubuntu
I'd like to work closer with the Gnome team to help ensure we have a better KDE experience. Sometimes packages tend to have non-kde deps, and this makes it difficult at times for the KDE team. I'd like to help make packages better integrate. I have worked with some of the packagers already to make some of these improvements.
If you'd like to comment, but are not the applicant or a sponsor, do it here. Don't forget to sign with @SIG@.
I met Roderick at last UDS (UDS-Jaunty in Mountain View) and found him to be passionate about Ubuntu and more particularly Kubuntu. His work on Intrepid and Jaunty's KDE is amazing and I strongly believe he'll make a really good MOTU and help Ubuntu and Kubuntu gets even better in the releases to come. -- stgraber 2009-02-28 21:37:51
I don't have an exact count of how many packages I've sponsored. It was a lot. The quality of his packaging work is quite good. Some of his earlier work needed some feedback, but he we taking on difficult tasks, so this is not surprising. I do trust him to have good packages to upload, to understand the various phases of the release cycle and what's appropriate when, and to follow up on any problems and fix them. I don't recall having any issues at all with recent packages of his I've uploaded. He's a good team player and always glad to help out.
Specific Experiences of working together
The update to kvirc and krusader both stand out. They were both cases where I asked for a volunteer to look into updating the packages and he jumped up and did it. The kvirc update was particularly complex. Because they have not released a KDE4 version yet we wanted to first evaluate if their svn version was mature enough to include. First he created a kvirc-kde4 package that was co-installable with the regular kvirc that was distributed via PPA for testing. Then once we concluded we should update, he updated the regular kvirc package to a KDE4 svn snapshot. This was a lot of work on a complex package that was well done. Krusader was another one where I knew we ought to refresh our svn snapshot (they also haven't had a KDE4 release) and he jumped up and did it. Another example of this is just last night I was getting frustrated with trying to update pypoker-eval for the Python 2.6 transition, so I asked him to look into it and this morning there was a debdiff. I didn't get a chance to sponsor it, so I won't comment on the technical specifics.
Areas of Improvement
I think he sometimes over-commits (this is a risk we all face a community developers I guess). I'd like to see him branch out more (I've seen recent steps in this direction) and get more involved in general MOTU work and not focus so much on K* packages.
Jonathan Thomas (JontheEchidna)
I don't recall ever sponsoring any of Roderick's packages (since I just recently became MOTU and rgreening also luvs him some main), but we have worked together a lot since he got involved in Intrepid. He is quite good and definitely knows the ropes of Debian packaging. I know he'll always have good packages, and he's improved greatly since he first got involved. (Which, I guess, is to be expected :P)
Specific Experiences of working together
We always work together (along with the rest of the Kubuntu Ninjas) on packaging new KDE releases. He's one of our main dynamos when it comes to that. For the upcoming 4.2.1 release he has done 9 packages, which is a very considerable amount. He's always receptive to feedback and is very dedicated. I've also been consistently impressed about the time he has dedicated to maintaining the Qt and Qt Jambi packages. The sheer size of the debian/changelog entries are mind-boggling.
We've also worked closely together on porting a flash installation patch from KDE3 to KDE4 this cycle. Whenever he got stuck he threw the patch at me to hack at until I got stuck. Eventually we stole a much simpler patch from openSUSE but that's beside the point... :P
Areas of Improvement
Roderick does tend to, in my humble opinion, try to bite off more than he can chew. It's with good intentions, of course, but his enthusiasm is probably his biggest weakness. Luckily that's probably one of his only weaknesses. We just need somebody dedicated to slapping duct tape over his mouth at UDS discussions when he tries to volunteer for too many things.
I have had the pleasure of working with Rod for quite some time now. Other than the fact that he lives in the tundra, he's a very good guy. When he started helping out, there really wasn't much of a learning curve, he was able to jump right in and start making some Huge contributions. I was (and still am) impressed with his knowledge of all those scary things like QT. Rod has a very good handle on the Ubuntu Development work-flow, and is an crucial part of the Kubuntu team. As for his packaging skills, he is first rate. I have sponsored a few Universe packages, and reviewed well over 20 of his core KDE packages. Any issue I have ever seen have been cosmetic. Overall, I think he has both the aptitude and attitude to be an excellent MOTU.
Specific Experiences of working together
I have worked most closely with Rod on KDE release updates.
A week before a new version of KDE is released, KDE a makes "pre-release" version available for distributions to package. This gives us, the "distro" a good solid week to package the release (not only for the development version, but we maintain the updates for the prior release in an experimental PPA)
Rod is ALWAYS a machine, getting down and dirty with these packages. With our most recent update (KDE 4.2.1), Rod tackled 9 of 20 core KDE packages. Each one was as close to flawless as a human can achieve. He was very involved in helping the group of ninja's achieve the goal of getting everything zipped up and ready for the release day.
Rod has also used his Gentoo foo on more than one occasion to solve a problem that has stumped all of us!
Areas of Improvement
This is a tough one. I don't think that this is a blocker by any means, but I would like to see Rod branch out a bit into other areas of Ubuntu. I know everyone else thinks he takes on too much, but I think it helps bring the "Big Picture" into perspective.
Roderick turned up on the channel one day and did everything we asked of him. He's helped with Ubiquity and did a great job. Since then he's worked on a load of packages and bugfixes. He's a very valuable contributor and being in MOTU would allow him to contribute more directly.
== <SPONSORS NAME> == === 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 ===