Core Developer application for Michael Casadevall (NCommander/sonicmctails)

Michael Casadevall sonicmctails at
Wed Dec 24 01:08:56 GMT 2008

Hash: SHA1

To the MOTU council:

Wiki Page:
LP Profile:
Primary Main Sponsors: Scott Kitterman, Steven Kowailk, Sebastien
Bacher, Jon Riddell, Luke Yelavich, Oliver Grawet,
Primary Team Memberships: Xubuntu (Developer), Kubuntu (Developer),
Backports (Tester), Mobile (ARM Porter) SRU (PowerPC tester), Ports

I'm writing today to apply for Core Developer status in Ubuntu. Having
continued to do work towards making Ubuntu better on the desktop and
better as a distribution overall, I feel the time is appropriate to
apply for core developer status. As a core developer, I can help work
directly in the archive without interrupting other people to get
sponsorship of packages, and I can help get others get their works
sponsored into main.

Towards working for a better integrated desktop, I've been working at
polishing up the Ubuntu port architectures (specifically PowerPC) in
the Jaunty release, and working towards merging and syncing packages
to this affect within Xubuntu. My current projects involve porting
ubuntu-mid to non-lpia platforms, vastly upgrading and tweaking the
linux-ports kernel to be on feature parity and version parity against
the mainline kernel, de-lpiaification and porting of the Ubuntu MID,
and bringing Ubuntu on PowerPC to a usable status once again. I also
have plans to help package, test, and release KDE 4.2, as well as work
towards porting the KDE packages to ARM and other ports architectures,
in hopes we could see KDE on a device like the Nokia N810.

Futhermore, I've done work tracing issues through multiple packages.
In fixing kde4bindings, I had to work through fixing issues in
kde4libs and python-qt4 so the proper compiler options were available
and set, and then make sure each one worked properly without
introducing new regressions into the build system. I've also worked on
packaging KDE4 updates, and working with the other Kubuntu developers
to stage these updates and then safely push them out to jaunty, and
working to port these packages to ARM and other architectures.

As I previous mentioned on my MOTU application, I've done work with
large scale changes such as transitions, upgrades, and modifications.
I've worked to help do both GNOME and Xfce upgrades, as well as port
KDE to additional architectures. Although I haven't handled any
transitions in Jaunty yet, I have done a libgucharmap and the gnat-4.2
(via hardy-updates) transitions, the later being an extremely large
transition (and unusual since it was done via updates).

I've also written  Main Inclusion Reports (mostly to help get d-i's
ARM bits in main), as well as drafted a second one. By being a kernel
hacker, being a member of the core developer team requires someone to
be extremely careful and proficient with ones actions and uploads, as
one seriously blotched upload could easily hose an end-users machine;
this is especially true for kernels, one bad upload, and BOOM, ones PC
no longer boots. Just as normal universe uploads, the concept of
measure twice, cut once comes into effect, but even more so in main,
perhaps measure 15 or 20 times.

As for recent uploads I'm proud of, the list is short but sweet.
Namely, the one I'm most proud of is linux-ports, which brings the
ports architectures into 2008 (and 09) with modern kernel versions.
Currently I'm the de-facto maintainer of linux-ports, working with
Luke Yelavich. Being the maintainer of this package is extremely
challenging since you have to consider every change on every ports
architecture, find testers, make sure it builds, and be extremely
organized; right now, I have Luke helping to support 64-bit PowerPCs,
and Dan Munckton helping handle PlayStation 3 support. It requires a
lot of coordination, testing, and patience, and I'm happy to report
that no one has reported their machines broken on Jaunty due to the
kernel (indeed, many bugs were resolved instead).

I also an extremely proud of working to resolve kde4bindings on ARM,
which was a long standing issue to unique properties in the Qt library
on the ARM architecture which changes the typedefs of a few variable
types, which lead to interesting build failures in KDE. The entire
opus involved some creative debugging, authoring new code,
communicating with upstream, and now working to getting all the
aptches into the appropriate upstream source control repos.

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