[aur-general] TU Application - Jonathan Steel

Jonathan Steel mail at jsteel.org
Sat Aug 25 17:48:22 EDT 2012

Dear fellow Archers,

I first enquired about becoming a Trusted User in October 2011 [1] where afterwards I realised the request was a little premature, but I was shown where I can be more involved as a user and where I can spend time improving my PKGBUILDs. Earlier this month I felt I had improved my knowledge and skills significantly, so I asked if someone could take me under their wing and prep me for applying [2]. I feel I have made good progress, and so I am now applying to become a Trusted User. Sven-Hendrik Haase has kindly sponsored me.

I have been using Linux for 8 years, Arch for 5. I was a distro hopper for some years but I am now 3 years sober. My second favourite distribution (or the one I used the most before Arch) is Debian, but I don't use that any more. A year ago I decided I wanted to get more involved with Arch so I started adopting packages in the AUR and found it was more fun and rewarding than wasting time tweaking my window manager.

I currently maintain 64 packages [3] which are well varied in categories and with a total of 2,756 votes. I am comfortable creating PKGBUILDs myself. I use devtools to do my building. I am familiar with packaging standards, TU bylaws/guidelines etc. I am always striving to make sure my methods are following the best standards. I have mild OCD.

I feel I do a good job staying on top of everything. I often check through my packages to see if there are any updates and to check that they still compile and run. I stay in contact with upstream where possible/necessary (RSS feeds, mailing lists, bug reports) and relay any issues in the comments to try and provide the best experience for the users of my packages.

I keep a close eye on the Arch mailing lists, the forum and what's going on in the AUR. I generally stay quiet until I feel my input will be helpful, and not just be adding to the noise.

I would love to maintain some of my packages in [community] such as gsimplecal, partclone, obkey, pidgin-facebookchat, consonance, vim-colorschemes, gmail-notify, banner and some games, and also some packages I do not maintain but am a big fan of like dvdbackup and clonezilla. Looking at the orphans in [extra], I am interested in archlinux-artwork, ipcalc, vim-buftabs, aspell-*, dvdrtools, gnuchess and lsdvd. If they could be dropped into [community] I would be happy to maintain these. I would also pick up gtk-chtheme, mednafen and vim-nerdtree from [community].

I use i686, x86_64 and arm architectures. I enjoy using my 10 year old laptop as much as my 2 year old desktop, so I tend to avoid software bloat so I can run the same setup on all my hardware (don't drop i686 support!). I enjoy trying out and hacking tiling window managers.

I'm good with web languages like HTML, CSS and PHP. I have written and helped out with websites. I used to be a helper on Richard Stallman's website but thought he was rude so I lost interest... also, Vim FTW! I've used PHP to create some web-based systems (primarily for schools) such as a resource booking system and a system to send emails to groups of people using data from a MIS which I plan to release in the near future. I'm good with BASH, sed, AWK and diff/patch and I have an interest to learn C, python and pearl. I'm quick to pick things up and enjoy learning something new if I feel it will help me. I like spending time on something that will save me time in the future.

Outside of Arch, I'm 27 and live in Buckinghamshire England. I work at a school as an IT Manager, managing approximately 500 computers and laptops, a VMware setup and approximately 1,100 users. I've basically set up the current system single-handedly. I've been doing that for six years in two schools and before that I was an IT Technician in a school for two years. I've got a lot of experience with Windows (I'm a Microsoft Certified Professional or something... I often forget that) so logging into my home Arch setup is such a relief after a hard day's work.

I'm married with a daughter of 15 months. Don't worry, they won't interrupt my Arch work. I'll get the baby logged in ASAP so she can start helping. My wife uses Arch but has no interest in it other than to check her email and browse the web, and it serves her well... apart from when I break it.

I enjoy films, TV series, playing the guitar and playing (more retro) computer games. I used to (but still do a little) compete on the Mario Kart Players Page [4] where in 2004/2005 I was the world champion of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! [5]. I used to help update the website and I am still involved with updating another of the partner websites. 

If you want to have a chat feel free to email me or message me on IRC.

Thank you for reading my application. At least I hope you can advise where I can improve so I am a better applicant next time.

Kind regards,

Jonathan Steel (jsteel)

[1] http://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/aur-general/2011-October/016278.html
[2] http://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/aur-general/2012-August/019864.html
[3] https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?O=0&K=jsteel&do_Search=Go&detail=1&C=0&SeB=m&SB=n&SO=a&PP=100&outdated=
[4] http://mariokartplayers.com
[5] http://www.mariokart64.com/mkdd/pastchamp.php
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