Continuing our Server Team theme again this week we are talking with Soren Hansen. Soren is working in Canonical’s server efforts (most notably he’s working on getting ebox ready for Ubuntu Server) , and is the latest addition to the Ubuntu Core Developer ranks.
Location: Nørresundby, Denmark
IRC Nick: soren
How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
I started running Linux back in 1996, I believe. I bought a CD set called “Infomagic “LINUX Developer’s Resource CD-ROM” which had a few different distributions on it. I knew nothing about the various distros, so I just went with whatever they had put on the first disk which was Slackware. After a few years I switched to RedHat, then Debian (around 2000, I think), and now finally Ubuntu.
How long have you been using Ubuntu?
I’ve been running Ubuntu since a few months after Hoary came out.
When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
I’ve been involved in free software for quite a few years now, so it felt natural to take active part in the development of the distribution I used, so I got involved pretty much right away. I had my first self-made package included in Breezy a few months later, and I’m quite sure I must have contributed a few patches for other packages during Breezy as well, but Launchpad doesn’t have that on record.
What helped you learning packaging and learning how the Ubuntu teams work?
Being a Debian user before, it took a bit of reading to work out the differences between Debian and Ubuntu, and while reading up on what the different components (main, restricted, universe, and multiverse) were for, I also read about the MOTU team etc. I had previously worked on some packages used internally in the company I used to work for, and I also contributed a couple of packages to Debian (for which I never found a sponsor, though), so the technical bits of packaging weren’t that alien to me.
Favorite part of working with MOTU?
I love hanging out in the Ubuntu IRC channels :) People are friendly, helpful, and we have lots of fun. The presence of all the more experienced people is also an infinite source of inspiration to me.
Any advice for people wanting to help with MOTU?
Just realise that it’s really not that hard. We’re a friendly bunch, and even the smallest contribution is very welcome. You don’t have to start out with packaging a new complex package.
You are the latest MOTU to join the Ubuntu Core Developer ranks how would you compare working in Universe and Main?
Well, personally, I’ve felt that I requires a more holistic view of Ubuntu. A lot of the stuff I’ve worked on in universe was “safe” to fiddle around with. Nothing huge would break if it didn’t work out as planned. Recently, I’ve found myself patching the kernel and I needed to do make a tiny change to module-init-tools as well. I think I stared at my two-line patch for 5 minutes trying to convince myself it wouldn’t break anything. AFAIK, it hasn’t. Yet. :)
Any Plans for Hardy Heron?
Oh yes, plenty! :) We’re discussing a lot of different things here at UDS. Integration into existing networks is going to be a big thing, simplifying various system management use cases, virtualisation. It’s a bit too soon to say what we’ll actually be doing, but there’s certainly a lot of ideas, and I’m really excited about the Ubuntu server edition.
There is one that cracks me up every time:
“It has been said that XML is like violence; if a little doesn’t solve the problem, use more.”
If you’ve ever been pulled into a project using XML, you’ll know what this is all about :)
What do you do in your other spare time?
Pic of you, your work area, and/or your screen?
You realise of course, you’ve forced me to clean my office now, don’t you? :)