MOTU application for Michael Casadevall (NCommander/sonicmctails)

Nicolas Valcárcel nvalcarcel at
Wed Oct 22 05:42:51 BST 2008

+1 from me, Michael has demonstrate high technical skills.

On Tue, 2008-10-21 at 16:47 -0400, Michael Casadevall wrote:
> To the MOTU council:
> Wiki Page:
> LP Profile:
> Primary Sponsors: Scott Kitterman, Steven Kowailk, Sebastien Bacher,
> Jon Riddell, John Dong (Backports),  Luca Falavigna (SRU/MOTU)
> Primary Team Memberships: Xubuntu (Developer), Kubuntu (Developer),
> Backports (Tester), SRU (PowerPC tester), Ports (PowerPC)
> I'm writing today apply for MOTU status in Ubuntu. I've been highly
> active during the intrepid release cycle, working to help resolve and
> fix many bugs, as well as build stronger ties with Debian by merging
> patches from Ubuntu when appropriate. I have been urged by my sponsors
> to apply for some time, and finally worked up the nerve to face the
> possibility of rejection.
> Within the intrepid cycle and the time I've been around, I've working
> on doing a partial rewrite of REVU with RainCT to the point of vastly
> increasing the usability, and improving the look and feel of the GUI
> by making it easier to manage and navigate. Of all my contributions
> this cycle, this one has the highest visibility, and greatest affect
> on later Ubuntu releases as REVU is a critical tool to reviewing new
> packages, and by improving it, helping all Ubuntu Developers. I've
> also worked on creating ubuntu-cruftbusters, a ready made group of
> volunteers t help work on transitioning packages and other related
> tasks. I hope to also put this group to better use following UDS
> Jaunty.
> I applied for a MOTU advanced sponsor, and was assigned Sebastien
> Bacher, who worked with me in packaging various GNOME releases, as
> well as taught me more advanced (or evil) packaging techniques such as
> multiple builds from a CDBS based package, and the specifics of
> library building and transitioning. Through this mentorship, I was
> able to fill in many gaps in my packaging knowledge I came from Debian
> with.
> My next major project beside fixing FTBFS in Universe was helping get
> KDE3 and 4 fully portable across all architectures both in Hardy (via
> SRU/Backports which lead to a rather amusing moment where the same
> package was uploaded three times to proposed, backports, and intrepid
> to clear FTBFS), making KDE now available on all architectures aside
> from HPPA. I've also worked on debugging and helping with other issues
> within KDE, including our recent language pack issues. By helping port
> KDE to all architectures earned me Kubuntu membership.
> Following this, I helped work on packaging Xfce 4.5.80 for Ubuntu,
> which helped earn me Xubuntu Developer status; I continue to work on
> merging Xfce beta packages from Debian, and have worked to reduce our
> diffs from Debian greatly (pkg-xfce and Xubuntu now have an excellent
> working relationship, and our diffs are now down to simply Xubuntu
> specific changes, with all our bugfixes mutually shared). This work
> has inspired me to work to help reduce the diffs in general by
> submitting them back to Debian, and NMUing packages in cases where it
> is needed so that the general workload of having to merge packages is
> reduced.
> During all of this, I've helped three transitions clamav,
> libbluetooth3, and gnat-4.2 (via SRU). In both clamav, and
> libbluetooth3, I've worked to resolve FTBFS via porting and
> re-libtoolization and gnat-4.2 via my knowledge of Ada programming;
> I'm pleased to announce due to the efforts of both myself and Luca,
> this transition proceeded smoothly through updates and have fixed ada
> packages in Hardy. I handle managing large changesets and helping to
> coordinate and work a part of a transition, a valuable skill to have
> in the everchanging world of ABI and API bumps.
> Of all this, there are six uploads specifically which I feel deserve
> special note. The first one is mono
> (
> which solved a very nasty runtime fault that was the cause of quite a
> few mono application freezes with F-Spot and a few FTBFS. I rewrote
> the patch and got it uploaded and the issues vanished. Since this bug
> in mono only manifested itself sporadically, and the backtraces were
> useless, I feel quite proud I was able to isolate the Ubuntu patch
> causing the failures.
> Second is codeblocks. This is a new package upload, and was a rather
> longstanding needs-packaging bug. It had a large list of dependencies,
> a few previous attempts, and a very difficult problem in that the
> package can not be forced via configure to comply with Linux FHS,
> forcing the authoring of patches to resolve this behavior. I feel
> quite proud I managed to bring this to intrepid, and I hope I can
> bring it to hardy via backports relatively soon as well.
> Third up courier
> (,
> which was suffering from a FTBFS due to libtool. I helped incorporate
> the necessary libtool fixes to get the package building again, and
> have been from that point forward deemed an autotools wizard, for
> better or worse. The skills though on manipulating autotools has been
> extremely useful in resolving other FTBFS throughout the archive.
> Fourth is subversion in backports
> (,
> which had an issue due to gnutls vs. openssl. By reading through
> Debian bug reports, and the information posted in the bug, with Scott
> Kitterman's assistance, was able to release a fix and resolve the
> entire issue relatively straightforwardly.
> Fifth is samba4, which was badly broken due to issues with the inotify
> API in glibc and linux-headers not agreeing. Some careful debugging,
> and a patch later, this FTBFS was cleared (at the cost of several
> points of sanity). Once the samba4 FTBFS was cleared, this opened the
> door for openchange, which in general has been considered a very good
> thing .
> Sixth and finally is linux-lpia 2.6.27-4.8
> ( This was my
> first adventure into the world of kernel hacking, and boy was it fun.
> The main issue here is that most of the metapackages were not being
> built since they were at the time were arch all, and linux-lpia
> obviously doesn't build on pure x86. Since linux-lpia is lpia only,
> these were changed to lpia so they could be built on the lpia
> authobuilders, but to make this work required major changes to the
> rules file in git to build the packages sanely with the new package
> names
> I look forward to working in jaunty in helping get patches back in
> Debian from Ubuntu, and attending at UDS for Jaunty to help map out
> our future of Ubuntu. I personally would like to see better support
> for ports, especially for studio. There are a great many PowerMac G4
> and G5s that are used for studio work that Apple has decided to
> support, and I would like to help bring studio to these platforms (the
> main problem with studio is a lack of a real-time kernel for PowerPC,
> the patches exist, they simply need to migrate into the linux-ports
> kernel).
> I also would like to greatly work towards removing cruft from the
> archive, such as gtk1.2, and improving both Xfce and KDE. One of my
> largest projects in terms of general usability with Xubuntu and Xfce
> specifically is making Xfce fully syncable from Debian with the
> expection of the few Ubuntu specific patches, as well as helping any
> bug
> With great regards,
> Michael Casadevall

aka nxvl
Key fingerprint = BCE4 27A0 D03E 55DE DA2D  BE06 891D 8DEE 6545 97FE
gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 654597FE

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