Taylor "Ripps" LeMasurier-Wren

About Me


Ubuntu replaced Windows as my primary OS around 2007. But before I became a dedicated Ubuntu user, I had already dabbled with Linux since 2002. I first started playing the early Knoppix/Fedora Core/Mandrake Linux variants while I was in High School. Then in Late 2004, after I went to College, I installed Gentoo as my #2 OS. I learned most of my knowledge about Linux and how it works during this time. Than around late 2006, I replaced Gentoo with Ubuntu as my messing around OS. After Fiesty Fawn came out, I replaced Windows with Ubuntu and haven't looked back since.

I took some programming and Visual C++ classes in College, but I'm still not very good at comprehending programming. So I rely mostly on bash/shell scripting.


Currently I do alot of PPA packaging and theme customization. I created the GMPC-Trunk team in early 2008 for gmpc/mpd packages. While managing these PPA's I learned most of my Debian Packaging knowledge. From there I've taking on more difficult packaging problems and tried to fix some bugs here there. Although, I've many of the fixes I've attempt to introduce into Ubuntu have been largely ignored or sitting int REVU, never to be seen again. I've started making it habit to to try and get my packages introduced through Debian instead, as I seem to have slightly greater succes getting Debian Mentors to look at my packages than I do MOTU's.

Aside from the numerous PPA's and packages I work on and maintain, I also do a lot of theme work. Besides making my own tweaks to some Icon themes, I mostly do color adjustment to some popular Ubuntu Themes. I prefer bluer/colder colored themes, as opposed to Ubuntu's traditional Warm colored themes. So I adjust the the themes color palettes and configs to give the colors I prefere, and than I release them on, so that everybody can try them. Currently, my most popular variant is the Dust Cold theme.


I plan to be a dedicated Ubuntu user for long time. I want to have more of my packages get into Debian and Ubuntu. I've been thinking about getting more involved in some of the Debian package development and having my work trickle down from there.

I also wish to but some more effort towards learning to do some real programming. I think C++ is still a bit too hard for me, but I wish to learn more about Python and hopefully be able to create some better scripts and some real programs.

What I'm really working towards to right now, is becoming a member of MOTU. So that I can help fix and package alot more packages and hopefully improving Ubuntu and Linux as whole. If I became a MOTU, my main focus would probably be with various Multimedia programs because seems to be what I tend to work on the most, but I'd help out wherever I was neeeded.



Besides suppling an easy means for Ubuntu users to install bleeding edge versions of gmpc/mpd packages, I've created a gmpc-plugins package in the Gmpc-Trunk PPA. The original one included Debian was pretty simple and only installed a small bundle of plugins. The change I've made is to allow the creation of individual packages for each individual plugin as well as a corresponding debug version. This allows users to pick and choose which plugins to use, without being forced to download and install a bunch of unwanted plugins. Also, to make it easier for users who wish to install all the plugins, I made some gmpc-plugins and gmpc-plugins-dbg metapackages that will install all the plugins in one go.

I've upgraded my ppa management system to now use fta's daily ppa bot. Now I can upload and supply Ubuntu users with updated and working packages for gmpc, mpd, mpdscribble, mpc, libmpd, libmpdclient2, and every gmpc plugin for every distro from Hardy to Karmic (and Lucid in the future); all with just a single command in a terminal.

Also, I've setup a special mpd-userspace package to the Mpd-Trunk PPA. The it runs mpd as the logged in user by running with a modified mpd.conf and setup and using XDG autostart. The purpose was to fix the issue I was experiencing with devkit-disk and how it would only mount the ntfs usb harddrive with all my music, with user-only permissions. This made it impossible for the traditional mpd, which runs as it's own user, to access the harddisk. It isn't fully tested for all use-cases, and causes issues with programs that require it to be started at boot, like mpdscribble.


Another PPA I do daily updates and maintence for is the CoreAVC-for-Ubuntu PPA. This people has upstream dshowserver and mplayer-build packages to make using CoreAVC with Ubuntu much easier, without needing to download mplayer sources and adding special patches. The reason why this is useful is because, depsite the recent progress by ffmpeg, CoreAVC is still a much faster and efficient decoder of H.264/AVC video. For those with slower/older computers, this method might be the only realistic way to play 720p video in Linux.

Dshowserver is win32 program by the CoreAVC-for-Linux Project, designed to be run by Wine. It acts as a middle-man between mplayer and the coreavc codec, allowing the codec to decode the video.

I use a custom git mplayer source called mplayer-build by Uoti Urpala. It provides a slightly more reliable upstream source for mplayer code. Also, it's built using statically linked ffmpeg-mt allowing more efficient multithreaded decoding. Also, since it uses a statically linked ffmpeg-mt, it won't use the ffmpeg installed in Ubuntu. This keeps it seperate from some of the installation problems involved, but it also means that the ffmpeg features for this package will slightly different than that of the default ffmpeg installation.

Wacom Module DKMS

In Ubuntu Lucid/Maverick, the Wacom Bamboo CTL-460 (and other newer models) no longer work with the Linux Kernel. It seems that kernel uses out of date code for the wacom module. In order to fix this, users have been forced to download the LinuxWacom source and recompile and install there own modules. Not only is this messy and confusing, but it can be difficult, especially for users who are new to Linux.

In order to streamline this process I created a Wacom-DKMS package to fix the problem. This uses the DKMS to compile the kernel module, requiring only the linux-headers to build and install the module. Also, since it uses DKMS it automatically rebuilds and reinstalls the module with every kernel update.

At this time, I have this package in REVU. I'm hoping to get this package into Ubuntu Maverick, and hopefully backported to Lucid. Seeing as this a major problem for alot of users, and it seems that it isn't going to be fixed in the Kernel anytime soon, and possibly never for Ubuntu Lucid.


I've succesfully packaged the gtrayicon package and got it into debian sid. Gtrayicon is a small program that allows the easy creation of an enable/disable system tray icon. It also allows users to create a simple menu config to turn it into a customized application launching menu. GetDeb made a version of this a while ago, but it wasn't up to standards and couldn't be included in any distribution. My version does this and has been accepted into Debian. It has since been synced into Ubuntu.

Another package I've made is the libcue package. As far as I can tell, I'm first and only person to have attempted to package this program. It's a libray to easily read and parse cuesheets. It's used by the latest mpd 0.15 to read embedded cuesheets in flac files.

I've also updated the liburipaser package, it was needed by some of the packages I do daily updates to.

I've recently made a libxspf (successor to libspiff). I've uploaded it to Debian Mentors, but I haven't been able to find a sponsor to check and upload them for me yet.


Dust Cold

Aside from packaging, I also customize popular Ubuntu themes and give them a colder blue twist. First ,Dust Cold, a version of the Dust theme except with a nice cold blue color scheme instead of the original warm brown. It looks nice with light blue and/or monochrome iconset.

Along with Dust Cold, I also have Nodoka Dust Cold. Instead of using Murrine, like the original Dust uses, it uses the git version of the Nodoka theme engine, primarily used by Fedora. It has really nice gradients and buttons, so I actually prefer this to the my traditional Dust Cold theme. I've had to include a few hacks and tweaks into it to make some things look correct.

Ambiance Cold

The theme I've been putting the most effort towards lately is my Ambiance variants: Ambiance Cold, Ambiance Colder, and Ambiance Mint. This color variations of the Ubuntu Light-themes's Ambiance theme. The Ambiance Cold(er) themes are more blue colored to give a colder feel, while Ambiance Mint uses a green color scheme. I've made a Google Chrome theme and Namebar themes to help make the theme more complete. I've also packaged them in one of ppa's as the light-themes-ripps. This allows Ubuntu users to easily install and update the theme without having to mess with theme tarballs and checking gnome-looks for updates.

  • The light-themes-ripps package can be found in my Extra Themes PPA: ppa:ripps818/themes

  • All the Ambiance theme variants can be found on the Ambiance Cold page on Ambiance Cold

Cold Impression

I've also modified the Night Impression theme into the Cold Impression. This one is rough and isn't anywhere as complete as my Ambiance Cold and Dust Cold themes and still requires some more tweaks before it looks as slick as the original theme it was born from.


I also upgraded the Noia and Noia Warm Iconsets in late 2008. I updated them to be compatible with Intrepid Ibex, but I haven't updated them in a long while. Since I'm not the artist that made the original theme, I've slowly run of icons I can use to further expand the theme, and haven't worked on it in a long while. The original artist never responded to all my attempts to contact them about updating the theme, so I'll just leave it here until another artist approaches me with completing the theme.


Hi, Ripps

I just wanted to say thanks alot for the mpd and GMPC packages from your PPA. Both me, alot of my Uni friends and the local ubuntu community here use gmpc/mpd alot and it wouldn't be possible without your packages (due to how complex it is to setup mpd.) Your unstable PPA packages also help alot in testing git mpd and gmpc and report those pesky bugs!!

thx again


Ripps volunteered time and resources to the bambam project, packaging it for Debian. I am sincerely grateful.



ripps818 (last edited 2010-08-04 17:09:02 by ripps818)