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[Freedombox-discuss] Getting involved - Reg.

Welcome, Sakhti!

On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 11:55:16AM +0530, Sakthi Kannan Ramabadran wrote:
>My name is Sakthi Kannan, I attended the OSI (Open Source India) 
>conference held this month. Attended Eben Moglen's talk, was really 
>inspired by his ideologies. He also spoke about this project I'm really 
>interested in getting involved. I have some experience in working with 
>embedded devices and also porting GNU/Linux in embedded processors like 
>ARM. This is the first time I'm getting myself involved in a project 
>like this... Please guide me on how i could involve myself in this 

Good question!

I believe there a many answers - here is my view on the topic:

As I see it, here is the place for sketching and trying out ways to 
piece together the Debian distribution in ways that serve the goal of a 
FreedomBox.  And then help other FLOSS projects create missing pieces, 
and help other Debian teams package missing pieces and improve packaging 
if existing pieces so that our box is fully supported by standard Debian 
packaging routines.

Some of us here are Debian developers, and can help clarify the jungle 
of Debian - what teams are relevant to get in touch with for which 
issues we find etc.

Some of us are programmers, and can create missing pieces themselves, or 
maybe dind peers here - it is of course better to work in teams than 

Why do I not suggest we do actual coding here in this team of 
enthusiastic peers?  Well, it is already a big task to do what I've 
outlined above.  It is an even bigger task to skip the part of working 
with Debian teams to improve their packaging - it might seem easier to 
build on top of Debian instead of "reshaping" it, ad indeed it is at 
first, but then essentially we create a *distribution* and that is 
_very_ difficult to maintain in the long run.  Let Debian be the 
distribution and let us stick to educating Debian in how they/we should 
improve that existing distribution to also distribute FreedomBox.

First, look at our wiki page, and add stuff that you know already and 
notice is missing from our collective knowledge there.  And post mails 
here on the list elaborating on the changes you do at that wiki page.  
Not elaborate because we are sceptical to your input, but because we are 
curious: We are all here because we want to participate in a larger move 
and all want to both contribute and learn from other contributions at 
the same time.  You are amonge friends! :-)

Then explore Debian, and explore the FLOSS world for things that might 
be relevant to include in Debian if not already packaged there.  But 
beware: new stuff not yet in Debian might be technically better, but 
getting stuff packaged for Debian can be a long process, so try to favor 
existing packaged stuff over new shiny stuff whenever possible - or the 
FreedomBox will not emerge in this century :-)

Particularly when you have some knowledge in embedded stuff, I recommend 
that you get hands dirty in working with installing and using Debian on 
e.g. the SheevaPlug or the GuruPlug.  Don't ask for help here, but 
instead join the mailinglist of the Embedded Debian team and ask there.  
And then enlighten us here on your experiences: How well does a basic 
install work? How well do things work on top of it - perhaps compile 
(manually - it is still alpha quality and not packaged officially for 
Debian) the Diaspora code for that machine and play with it - and tell 
us your experiences.

Perhaps join the Debian Blends team and gain knowledge in the art of 
Debian Pure Blends - the Debian term for doing everything inside Debian 
instead of on top of Debian.

More on Debian Pure Blends here: http://wiki.debian.org/DebianPureBlends

An incomplete list of Debian teams you might consider is here: 

Which talk did you attend - one at Open Source India or somewhere else?  
Did it get recorded or transcribed and is available somewhere public? 
Please update the list at http://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox if needed.

Hope this helped some.  Welcome aboard :-D

   - Jonas

   * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
   * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

   [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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