MOTU application for Morten Kjeldgaard

Morten Kjeldgaard mok at
Tue Apr 1 00:41:54 BST 2008

Dear MOTU council,

At the suggestion of my mentor, Scott Kitterman, I hereby submit my  
application to become a MOTU.

I am an associate professor of the Department of Molecular Biology,  
Aarhus University, specializing in macromolecular crystallography and  
structural bioinformatics. I am in charge of the scientific computing  
of our lab, and system administrator of a setup that includes ~30  
workstations, dedicated servers and a small 10 CPU computing cluster.  
For many years, I was alone in maintaining the lab's computing setup,  
and consequently, I chose to package all software we are using in the  
lab in RPMs, which of course makes installing and distributing easy.

I started working with Ubuntu in the spring of 2007, when looking for  
a stable and reliable replacement for CentOS Linux. Shortly  
thereafter, I started converting all those packages to deb format. At  
the same time, I made the decision to  share as many packages as  
possible through the Ubuntu and Debian Linux distributions  
(unfortunately a lot of the software in my field is still distributed  
under restrictive licenses!) My skills and experiences are further  
detailed on my wiki home page [1].

I created a Launchpad account [2] on June 5., 2007, and registered at  
the REVU site. My First REVU upload was the wulfware package, on June  
6. In the following months, I uploaded and got advocates for several  
new packages: kssh, mustang, wulfware, btk-core, theseus, gpp4, mmdb,  
ssm, clipper, xtide-wvs1-data and torque. I am also the upstream  
maintainer of some of this software.

This list mainly contains software that is related to my field, and  
in general, science software interests me the most. Users at our site  
were initially quite skeptical about the transition to Ubuntu, but by  
now the skepticism has turned to enthusiasm. That fact actually  
reflects the goals for my work with Ubuntu: to help create a  
distribution that contains a rich selection of scientific software,  
perfectly suited for a scientific research environment.

It is my intention to maintain the packages I contribute, and the  
most productive way is to do that by getting them accepted in Debian.  
Unfortunately, I have not yet had much time to promote this project.  
Meanwhile, I have become a member of the Debian Med team, who  
maintain a collection of programs in the bio-med field [3], and I  
maintain a couple of packages in that collection (although no uploads  

Apart from the packaging work, I have also contributed writing and  
improving the documentation on the Wiki. I contributed to the  
packaging guide section on CDBS, I authored a draft for a guide for  
upstream authors (not finished), and I wrote a tutorial on how to  
setup KVM with a virtual network bridge. Links to this documentation  
can be found on my wiki page [1]. Documentation interests me, and I  
intend to do more of that from time to time.

Lately, I have been actively taking part in merging and bug-fixing  
and getting the Hardy Heron ready to be a truly rocking and stable  

I have really enjoyed the friendly and helpful atmosphere in the  
Ubuntu development teams, and I have often found myself on IRC asking  
and answering questions. I believe such a positive, friendly  
environment is paramount for enticing people to do their very best,  
and it is crucial for excellence. I feel much at home in this  
environment. At occasions, I have given contributor reviews for  
various people I have met on IRC. In my MOTU diary, I have noted  
packages libgee,  blueproximity, neskiem, fuppes, gnomecatalog,  
sdlmame, vemon, and Monkeystudio.

I am by no means an Ubuntu wizard; I still have a lot to learn. But  
being a MOTU will enable me to work more efficiently both to the  
benefit of Ubuntu and towards my goals. And I think I have enough  
experience by now to help with a many of the MOTU tasks.

CCing (and thanking!) sponsors that I have worked with most often:

   - Scott Kitterman (my mentor)
   - Cesare Tirabassi
   - Emmet Hikory
   - Siegfried Gevatter
   - Stephan Hermann

Morten (aka mok0)

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