Alexandre Ghiti | MOTU Application

It seems the wiki I started here https://wiki.ubuntu.com/AlexandreGhiti/MOTUDeveloperApplication cannot be modified, so as Simon did for his CoreDev application, I post my MOTU application here for feedbacks.

Name: Alexandre Ghiti
Launchpad Page: https://launchpad.net/~alexghiti

I am applying because:

  • I have contributed quite a few packages now, to both Debian and Ubuntu and feel comfortable enough with the overall process.

  • I sometimes worked on a package, waiting for a sponsor, and someone else uploaded it in the meantime: this is a waste of time for everyone.

  • I will help clear the sponsorship queue.

  • I want to get more responsibility, because the more responsible, the more I feel involved and happy to contribute.

= Who I am =

I am a software engineer living in Grenoble, France, I currently work in the Foundations team for Canonical. For a few years now, my focus is RISC-V, more specifically the kernel and when I don’t work on this subject, I work on some personal projects (all involve my computer of course :)).

= My Ubuntu story =

I discovered free software late when I entered my engineering school in Grenoble where I studied operating systems. And I began contributing to open source softwares with the kernel as I had experience in this area from my first job and I was willing to help (and have fun too).

I usually had a Linux Mint distribution from the time of my cheap student laptop and then switched to Ubuntu when I installed it to some close relatives a few years ago, so I guess I have always used Ubuntu.

== My involvement ==

My focus is on enabling the RISC-V architecture which consists in fixing RISC-V specific issues and adding packages to allow better support of existing hardware. But as part of the Foundations team, it often happens that I have to fix packages outside of the RISC-V scope.

== Examples of my work / Things I’m proud of ==

Overall:

40 sponsored packages:

https://udd.debian.org/cgi-bin/ubuntu-sponsorships.cgi?render=html&sponsor=&sponsor_search=name&sponsoree=ghiti&sponsoree_search=name

2 MIRs:


4 SRUs:




2 +1 reports:

https://www.mail-archive.com/ubuntu-devel@lists.ubuntu.com/msg10177.html
https://www.mail-archive.com/ubuntu-devel@lists.ubuntu.com/msg10425.html

== Areas of work ==

Low-level packages such as u-boot, opensbi, flash-kernel…etc. But actually anything to enhance our RISC-V support.

== Things I could do better ==

I don’t communicate enough with the community. I think being a MOTU will make me more legitimate and will improve that.

I learnt a lot about the processes, but now I have to focus on the details, it happens that I forget a bug number, that I mess a version in my PPA and ask for my sponsor to fix these.

And I really need to pay more attention to all the tools that exist to help us.

= Plans for the future =
== General ==

I want to work on the distribution fundamentals and by its nature, the RISC-V architecture may bring new kinds of problems that may need innovative solutions.

== What I like least in Ubuntu ==

First it would be the sponsoring process: it is very long, random, discouraging and time wasting. I will contribute more knowing that I have upload rights and since nobody will check my work, I’ll necessarily pay more attention to details.

Then I think it misses a documentation on the tools that we could use to improve our workflow…

= Endorsements =

`Lukas ‘slyon’ Märdian
== General feedback ==

Alex joined the Ubuntu Foundations team and thus became a collegue in November 2021. He picked up mostly on low-level RISC-V enablement work, but also helped with general distro work, e.g. doing +1 maintenance shifts, handling proposed-migration and doing merges. I haven’t been directly involved with his RISC-V focus topic, but sponsored some more generic changes for him. In total I sponsored 12 uploads for Alex, which are distributed across a sync, no-change rebuild, SRUs, MIRs, merges, bug fixes. So Alex showed to understand all those processes related to the Ubuntu archive.
I recommend to use tooling like dput-ng (+ https://git.launchpad.net/~ubuntu-server/+git/ubuntu-helpers/tree/cpaelzer/.dput.d) to catch simple issues earlier, communicating openly with the Ubuntu community on #ubuntu-devel (e.g. asking for sponsorship) and continuing to do +1 maintenance shifts, where having MOTU powers should help a lot to speed things up and give the possibility to learn more about packaging work and the archive (e.g. transition details).

I endorse his MOTU application.

== Specific Experiences of working together ==

I’ve recently worked with Alex on the libgpg-error/i386 proposed-migration (https://pad.lv/1975673), an issue wich was hard to track down as it involved fixes to the autopkgtest code-base, Multi-Arch fixes to related packages in addition to the usual debugging. Understanding all the relationships, he came up with the final Multi-Arch fix that finally resolved the issue for good.
Having my MIR hat on, I’ve also worked with Alex on MIRs related to usb-creator (https://pad.lv/1977959, https://pad.lv/1978066), a process that involves getting four new dependencies accepted into main; Alex worked through all of them and resolved upcoming issues.
On the SRU side I sponsored a long-standing nezha-boot0 change for him, which was kind of special, due to bing a full version backport. Alex was involved in the SRU team discussions to getting this exception approved.

== Areas of Improvement ==
As Alex mentioned himself, I’d recommend putting some more attention to details when working on packages. As a sponsor I had to sometimes fix smaller issues, like adding LP bug numbers to debian/changelog or running update-maintainer on top of his diffs. We also had to re-upload nezha-boot0 due to a typo in the code, which is something that can happen to anyone, but double checking for such details should help to avoid duplicate work in the future. After mentioning issues once, Alex improved upon those for his follow-up sponsoring requests, in addition to submitting relevant patches to Debian and attaching debdiffs/git-ubuntu MPs to the LP bug reports (instead of just providing a PPA build).`

2 Likes

General feedback

Alex joined the Ubuntu Foundations team and thus became a collegue in November 2021. He picked up mostly on low-level RISC-V enablement work, but also helped with general distro work, e.g. doing +1 maintenance shifts, handling proposed-migration and doing merges. I haven’t been directly involved with his RISC-V focus topic, but sponsored some more generic changes for him. In total I sponsored 12 uploads for Alex, which are distributed across a sync, no-change rebuild, SRUs, MIRs, merges, bug fixes. So Alex showed to understand all those processes related to the Ubuntu archive.
I recommend to use tooling like dput-ng (+ https://git.launchpad.net/~ubuntu-server/+git/ubuntu-helpers/tree/cpaelzer/.dput.d) to catch simple issues earlier, communicating openly with the Ubuntu community on #ubuntu-devel (e.g. asking for sponsorship) and continuing to do +1 maintenance shifts, where having MOTU powers should help a lot to speed things up and give the possibility to learn more about packaging work and the archive (e.g. transition details).

I endorse his MOTU application.

Specific Experiences of working together

Please add good examples of your work together, but also cases that could have handled better.

I’ve recently worked with Alex on the libgpg-error/i386 proposed-migration (https://pad.lv/1975673), an issue wich was hard to track down as it involved fixes to the autopkgtest code-base, Multi-Arch fixes to related packages in addition to the usual debugging. Understanding all the relationships, he came up with the final Multi-Arch fix that finally resolved the issue for good.
Having my MIR hat on, I’ve also worked with Alex on MIRs related to usb-creator (https://pad.lv/1977959, https://pad.lv/1978066), a process that involves getting four new dependencies accepted into main; Alex worked through all of them and resolved upcoming issues.
On the SRU side I sponsored a long-standing nezha-boot0 change for him, which was kind of special, due to bing a full version backport. Alex was involved in the SRU team discussions to getting this exception approved.

Areas of Improvement

As Alex mentioned himself, I’d recommend putting some more attention to details when working on packages. As a sponsor I had to sometimes fix smaller issues, like adding LP bug numbers to debian/changelog or running update-maintainer on top of his diffs. We also had to re-upload nezha-boot0 due to a typo in the code, which is something that can happen to anyone, but double checking for such details should help to avoid duplicate work in the future. After mentioning issues once, Alex improved upon those for his follow-up sponsoring requests, in addition to submitting relevant patches to Debian and attaching debdiffs/git-ubuntu MPs to the LP bug reports (instead of just providing a PPA build).

2 Likes