MOTU report - issue 12

Daniel Holbach daniel.holbach at
Mon Feb 13 20:18:26 GMT 2006

Hello World!

This is the twelfth edition of the MOTU report bringing you up to
scratch with the latest news of MOTU and Universe! 

The MOTU team has been incredibly busy in the last weeks, now that there
are only nine weeks left until release. Packages were updated to the
last minute and now we're preparing ourselves for the next stage of the
release process, the Feature Freeze. After this date, no new packages
will be allowed to go into Universe, we'll be busy with fixing bugs by
then. If you want to join us in our efforts to make Dapper super solid
and work out of the box, we welcome you in our midst. [1] and [2] are
the usual places you can start of. We're very happy and proud to
announce, that Zak B. Elep (zakame), Raphaël Pinson (raphink) and Lucas
Nussbaum (lucas) are MOTUs now and help us getting Universe into shape.

[1] ubuntu-motu at
[2] #ubuntu-motu on

The team of [3] is working on 'Ubuntu for Musicians' -
a vision which will make "Ubuntu as a Digital Audio Workstation" true
step-by-step. Three packages are waiting in REVU [4] still, but we're
quite sure we'll get them included too, to make Ubuntu's Universe even
more appealing. Thanks Dana and everybody else from the team - you guys


You may have guessed it from the lines above already - there are NEW
packages from REVU. Of course we'll have another REVU day to combine our
forces to have the best of the best in Universe. Wednesday, 15th is the
day - we'll be there all day and review and discuss packages on [2]. If
you're good at packaging make sure you help us check them, if you have a
package on REVU, make sure you're there so we can resolve issues
instantly and get! new! packages! in! :-)

If you happen to have a bit of time at Wed, Feb 15 2006 - 20.00 UTC -
we're about to have a MOTU Meeting. The agenda is available at [5] and
the meeting is open to everybody.


For this edition we interviewed Jordan Mantha (LaserJock), who has
helped out in ubuntu-motu for quite a while now. On the question how he
experienced the MOTU world and got started, he said this:
"I actually got involved with the MOTU because I was seeing lots of
questions on the ubuntu forums about the lack of good quality and
updated scientific software in Debian/Ubuntu. 
As a physical chemist I had been "using" Linux for years but I had never
had a desire to actually be a part of the development community. I
decided to look into what it would take to help out. I had found a bug
in a package and wanted to help fix it. 
I found the MOTU team very helpful and they taught me how to package my
fixes so that they could easily be included into Universe (debdiffs are
a wonderful thing).
Now I really have fun working with Ubuntu and giving back to the
community and also have a much better understanding of the effort and
teamwork that goes into this wonderful distro."

When I asked him, what he liked about the MOTU world, Jordan answered: 
"What I really love about MOTU is the people. We are a bunch of
volunteer developers that are in way over our heads, but we have fun in
all the chaos. We have a whole range of experience levels, cultures, and
skills. I love hopping on #ubuntu-motu and being greeted by all my
I also appreciate the freedom we have. In the MOTU you are truly judged
on your quality of your work and not how many hoops you have jumped
through or how many FLOSS projects you work on. A person can come to the
MOTU with no packaging skills at all and can learn how to give back to
the Ubuntu community. 
MOTUs are constantly adapting and innovating to achieve the common goal
of having the best possible community-maintained repository.

Then I asked him, where he sees the MOTU world in the future, he said: 
"In the future I see three areas that the MOTU will really shine. First,
as more and more people are joining the ranks I see the MOTU teams
playing a bigger role in the packaging landscape. Concentrating efforts
in specific areas to produce higher quality packaging and better
management of Ubuntu divergence from Debian but also introducing great
new features and software that can be incorporated into other distros.
Second, I see the MOTU as having the best Debian packaging related
documentation of any distro. Work is currently underway to produce an
Ubuntu Packaging Guide that will be shipped with the other Ubuntu
documentation in Dapper. We also have numerous wiki pages that cover
packaging, reviewing, merging and a whole lot more.
Thirdly, I see the MOTU developing a good working relationship with the
Debian developers. The road is sometimes bumpy but I think it is in the
interest of all the Debian and Ubuntu users that the communication stays
strong. There is a lot of ongoing work in this area and I think that it
will be a real success."

Thanks for the interview, Jordan and good luck in the MOTU world!

If you always 
      * wanted to check out how Ubuntu feels as a maintainer, 
      * had ideas how to improve Ubuntu,
      * wanted to have a good time, learn something and hang around with
        a bunch of nice guys,
      * wanted to shape the world of tomorrow

start here:

Have a nice day,
 Daniel (for the MOTU team)

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