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Re: low-hanging-fruit bug user tag for new comers first contributions

Dear all,

Sorry to butt in, but I am exactly a newcomer who has been looking for a spot to contribute.  I have packaged RPMs for university projects and used cvs, svn, git, etc in various projects, so I am not exactly totally clueless.  But I did have some learning curve for debian.  I have been reading debian-devel for a bit, watching WNPP, watching how-can-I-help on my system, and read the QA page and BTS for things I am interested in.  Oh of course, I worked a bit following the new maintainer's guide, etc..

Bear with me as I haven't got to hanging out on the IRC channels and spoke with mentors (which I feel is the better way), until this email thread appeared.  I got to say, I have not yet succeeded in making any contributions.

Allow me to explain my own experience:
(1) I want to find a spot I will be engaged in for a longer period of time.  This will of course depend on my own interests, things that will overlap with my own paid work as a system administrator.  So possibly debian security tracker, ntp, apt*, etc..  Or starting with smaller packages such as ed.
(2) I did not want to touch packaging "ed" YET because there is no urgency and it has just one lintian warning due to a new debian policy, and did not want to butt in before I learnt the ropes of debian packaging.
(3) So I next tried to look for things where a package needs a patch; then I can work it out and if a sponsor finds the patch satisfactory, it will be more worth his time to walk me through the processes (or he can simply accept my patch for merging without teaching me to run deb packaging), so 'how-can-i-help --old' yields a lot of interesting stuff, but reading the actual BTS log reveals quite a number that has an adverse comment or question that has been left unanswered and dangling for YEARS.

one example - security-tracker - https://bugs.debian.org/818250 - security-tracker: use bug report based URLs in preference to TEMP-*-* based URLs

https://bugs.debian.org/818250 was last commented on in 2016, with these comments

    > Thus I'm not convinced the issue is as trivial as you believe
    > and I'm not sure that the newcomer tag makes much sense.

    It doesn't resolve the issue of not being able to reference TEMP-*-*
    from DSA or DLA either. So I think a temporary solution if anything, not
    a long term solution.

So as a newbie, by definition I don't expect to know better than a veteran debian developer who says "not sure that the newcomer tag makes much sense", and another who says the suggested change "doesn't resolve the issue".

So I decided a newbie likes me need to lurk in the dark and do more listening to what is going on.

(4) Then I decided, working on www is even less mission critical than changing code, right?  Then I found this on "how-can-I-help --old"

https://bugs.debian.org/766923 - www.debian.org: Who's using Debian page - 2014 update

It has one comment and ends thus - "We have authored a set of procedures and a template for email outreach. Comments, suggestions, and interested parties are welcome."

Silly me, I cannot find the "set of procedures for email outreach" posted on the bug.  And there has been no activity on this bug since 2014.

(5) Tut tut tut, please understand I am not trying to stub on toes here.  We all work on higher priority stuff first, and only things that don't matter that much are assigned "newcomer" tags.  So I am perfectly okay these low hanging fruits are still left hanging.  And I actually expect this condition to persist.

If you ask me what I feel about all this?  I think I feel fine except logically my next step should be to hang out on IRC (I believe there is a place where mentors do their mentoring).  I just haven't yet found the time to do the lurking and starting a conversation.

Hope the above gives you the perspective of ONE and ONLY ONE potential new comer.


‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

On May 31, 2018 9:21 PM, Chris Lamb <lamby@debian.org> wrote:

> Chris Lamb wrote:
> > > So I wonder if we couldn't do something similar in Debian: a
> > >
> > > low-hanging-fruit usertag (of course, another name is fine to me...)
> >
> > Good idea. How about the pre-existing "newcomer" tag:
> >
> > https://www.debian.org/Bugs/Developer#tags
> My reply was far too abrupt; sorry about that. I fully endorse this
> idea. :)
> I think what's missing to make this a reality is some sort of
> newcomer-friendly aggregated view of such issues and — naturally — for
> them to be kept up-to-date with enough details needed to implement
> them.
> Hm, there was an initiative a few years ago ("Gnome Love" IIRC?) - was
> anyone part of that? It would be interesting to discover what they
> learnt from it.
> Best wishes,
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>       ,''`.
>      : :'  :     Chris Lamb
>      `. `'`      lamby@debian.org / chris-lamb.co.uk
>        `-

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