MOTU application for Jonathan Thomas (JontheEchidna)

Jonathan echidnaman at
Fri Dec 19 04:17:28 GMT 2008

On Thursday 18 December 2008 10:02:17 pm you wrote:
> I have had the opportunity to watch Jon grow and shine in the Kubuntu
> community. He has done a lot to help that great team during a time where
> I was super busy with personal life. I am proud to see him step up in a
> time that Kubuntu really needed the extra hand. To the MC, please see
> this as my comment on Jon's history and not my vote at this time. My
> vote will come shortly after seeing far more feedback and the answering
> of some questions.
> Some questions I have are:
>  - Seeing as you are doing KDE packaging, and the majority of KDE being
>    in Main, how much help do you see yourself doing in the Universe and
>    Multiverse repositories for Kubuntu/KDE?

I will have to admit, a lot of my work last cycle was in main. The Kubuntu 
team really had to pull to make Intrepid a good release, and most of the work 
happened to be in main. (Because it's what Kubuntu ships by default) That 
being said, I do want to contribute to universe. There are a lot of good apps 
at and plasmoids at waiting to be packaged. This 
cycle I would like to package at least a handful of both, and I do have all 
the packages I have previously made to take care of. Today and yesterday I 
updated two plasmoids for KDE 4.1 to the KDE 4.2 api. (One was in universe, 
the other was in main.) In short, I would like to continue making new packages 
this cycle while helping maintain those I have uploaded.

>  - In reference to the previous question, would you be willing to work
>    in other areas of the Universe and Multiverse repositories not
>    related to Kubuntu/KDE packaging?

If it came to the point where a universe package not related to KDE really 
needed help, I would help to fix it to the best of my abilities. But Kubuntu 
always has a lot to do, so I do keep busy with doing just KDE stuff. (more 
minion- er, contributors would be nice)

>  - What is your opinion on Kubuntu/KDE packaging requiring Quilt in the
>    depends when there are no patches for a package?

Hmm, my opinion on requiring quilt...
The most solution would obviously be to add quilt (where is found) as 
a build-dep to cdbs. But this is wrong and would not be nice because a lot of 
packages wouldn't need quilt in the first place. In my opinion the best 
solution would be to make the include variable, depending on 
whether the file actually exists, preventing the FTBFS if quilt is not present.

>  - If there was one bug you really wanted to fix, besides that pesky bug
>    #1, which bug would it be and why?

If I had the knowledge of the guts of the kernel, I would probably fix to make Ubuntu boot on my computer without 
having to fiddle around with my graphics card settings in the BIOS, setting up 
a custom xorg.conf by hand, and then switching the video card my monitor is 
plugged in to each boot. Really, really annoying. I believe the dedication to 
wanting that bug fix can be shown most effectively by the backtrace I copied off 
the screen by hand: , 
though the motivations are probably a bit selfish... (but according to the 
report, others seem affected :D)

>  - Are there any sub-teams in the MOTU community that you would be
>    interested in helping, and if so, which one(s) and why?

Sub-teams.... Well, uh, according to the wiki there's a Kubuntu team! :D
Other than that, I would like to some day be an MOTU mentor for a new 
contributor, but I don't know if I could balance school + kubuntu + a mentee 
at the moment. Maybe over the summer I will have time to follow through on 
Regardless, I would be willing to help any aspiring new contributor even if 
not through an official mentoring program. The assistance the whole Kubuntu team 
gave to me when I started was amazing, and I would like to pass that sort of 
assistance on to others.

>  - Could you provide 2 examples of how you think the MOTU community,
>    including the Council, could better themselves?

I am not too terribly familiar with the MC, but I think I can scrounge up a 
few ideas. First, I found it a bit weird that one of my mentor's posts for 
this application showed up in the mailing list before mine did. It's nothing 
too big, but I think it might be a good idea to let those chosen K/Ubuntu 
Members (maybe those posting from an @ubuntu or @kubuntu email address?) post 
to the list without moderation. 

I guess the second issue is that I don't really know what you guys do. I mean, 
I have given my input on developers I have worked with in the past when they 
applied for MOTU or core-dev, but other than that I don't really know what you 
do. Maybe somebody could write up a wiki page about the MC and link to it from 
the main MOTU wiki page?

>  - What is the real reason you like Kubuntu? Provide examples.

The real reason that I like Kubuntu... that is the one million $CURRENCY 
question, now isn't it. Kubuntu was the first distro that could keep me from 
going back to Windows, which is something that Fedora Core never really could 
do. Kubuntu offered a polished KDE experience that was faster and better-
looking than Windows. I remember that the speed and window decorations were 
things I really liked about Kubuntu. Kubuntu got me in to FOSS. FOSS lead me 
to discover KDE4. KDE4 led me to contribute to Kubuntu (and indirectly to KDE) 
While back in the day I liked Kubuntu for its superiority over Windows, I 
think the reason why I love Kubuntu nowadays is the friends I get to work with 
while making Kubuntu better.

>  - Why weren't you at UDS Jaunty?

I wasn't at UDS due to school; I couldn't get the time off to go to UDS. Maybe 
next year, though! I really would enjoy it, I think.

> Hopefully that isn't to many questions to answer. These are probably
> simple compared to the possible onslaught you could receive from others
> in the MOTU community.

The questions made me think, if that's any consolation. :) Thanks for the kind 
comments too.

> Thanks Jon for applying to become a MOTU. I look forward to your answers
> and wish you the best of luck in this process. If at any time you have
> any questions and/or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me via
> email or ping me on IRC. Good luck!
> --
> Rich Johnson
> nixternal at
> GPG: 2E2C0124

More information about the Motu-council mailing list