This weeks interview is Scott Kitterman, a MOTU Hopeful that has been helping out around Universe for a while now with packaging, bug fixing, and teaching others what he’s learned. Thanks Scott!
IRC Nick: ScottK
Location: Ellicott City, Maryland USA
How long have you used Linux?
I first experimented with Red Hat (briefly) in 1996.
What was your first distro?
My first server desktop distro was Xandros Linux and my first server distro was Debian Stable.
How long have you been using Ubuntu?
I started using Ubuntu a year ago (my first installs were the Dapper Beta). I needed things that weren’t in Stable (or Stable oriented distros like Xandros), but wanted an actual release to work off of. Ubuntu hits the balance between cutting edge and stability exactly right for me.
How long have been involved with MOTU?
I started in December 2006 (so 4 months).
I’ve been a big fan of Python for many years and so working on Python related packages seems to come naturally. My first love is python-spf. I’ve been a maintainer for that for two years and got started with MOTU to get it (and related packages updated).
Do you usually listen to music while packaging? if so what are your favorite packaging tunes?
Honestly, I moved a year ago and I still can’t find all the cables to hook up the speakers for my computer. I listen to whatever our four year old is going to sleep by (on the baby monitor) or whatever my wife is listening to (we share an office at the house).
Favorite part of working with the MOTU?
I feel like I’m really contributing to Free Software. I’m able to help make great software available to lots people. Of course it’s really cool to get a pat on the back from people who know a lot more about this than I do.
Any advice for people wanting to help with MOTU?
First, come on in. The water’s nice. The MOTU community is very open to new people who are ready to learn and help out, but remember that they are all volunteers and you do not have a right to their time.
Second, watch out. This is addictive. I originally got involved with MOTU because of my involvement in the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) Project (http://www.openspf.org). I wanted to get modern (RFC 4408 compliant) SPF checking solutions into Ubuntu and I got two for Feisty (one Python and one perl), but I didn’t stop there. I’ve learned so much in the last several months and I just keep packaging stuff up and fixing stuff.
The cool side effect is that I’ve fixed sever bugs in Universe packages that I use (e.g. clamav and clamsmtp) that have been a problem for me.
Any Plans for Feisty+1?
Yes. I’ve had one release and expect one or two more for my pypolicyd-spf Postfix policy server. I’ll package that up. I have just recently gotten involved in the Debian Python-modules Team and so some of my Python stuff my go there first in the future. I could never have done that without everything I’ve learned in MOTU.
I’ve also been looking at Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) – http://www.dkim.org. There is a DKIM milter that works with both Sendmail and Postfix. I’m thinking about having a go at packaging that. I’m illiterate in C, so we’ll see how it goes. I have built it on my test server (Ubuntu Edgy), so I know it’s doable.
I use Kubuntu on the desktop. I’m planning on writing a spec for S/MIME support out of the box for Kmail. That’ll involve working on getting some things promoted from Universe to Main.