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Re: Advice

On Sun, 2008-08-24 at 07:12 -0700, Setheck wrote:
> Hello!
> I am new to debiam devolpment and Im afraid I need some help getting
> started. I'm not new to development and I'm hoping with a list of what
> I hope to gain someone can point me in the right direction. 

Time is limited, everyone is a volunteer, it's unlikely that there will
be just one person involved. The documentation is the first start, the
list is your main forum for any questions that arise from the
documentation or during the actual packaging processes.

> Overall I am looking to gain a better understanding of functional use
> of C,C++, or another similar language.

For most of that work, you should pick an active project where you can
get involved in the upstream development or take on a Debian native
project. Orphaned packages may be dead upstream as well - restarting
upstream development is a difficult task. Depending on how long a
project has been stalled, it can require detailed knowledge of the
toolkits in use (e.g. Gtk or Qt) and their transitions.

Choose your package carefully. You must be personally motivated to work
on that particular project, with your own reasons and your own ideas.
Packages are not assigned and there are no "personal mentors" or
"one-to-one training" in Debian (or any other part of the community).

It's your itch, you scratch it and when you need help for specific
issues, ask.

> I would also like to contribute to the community and from what I have
> read it sounds like maintaining an orphaned package may be the way to
> go. 

To learn the packaging, yes (we have quite enough one-person-packages
and far too many orphaned packages). However, bear in mind that the
focus right now is on releasing Lenny so most people don't have a lot of
time to look at orphaned packages that may have already been dropped
from Lenny.

> I would very much like for someone to take me under their wing and 
> guide me through the various ins and outs of Linux development. 

I don't think that is going to happen. As in most volunteer work, all
the motivation has to come from you. Various people will help you from
time to time but you have to choose where to start, what you want to do,
how you want to do it, how to apply Policy and existing standards to get
things done and how to seek help from relevant people for specific

> In generall I hope to become a competent and valueble asset to the
> Linux community. 
> I chose debian because I am an avid user of ubuntu and debian proper. 

Sounds like you should join the New Maintainer process.

> With that said I would like to put out a formal request for a mentor
> and/or general help in starting and continuing to contribute to the
> community. 

I would not expect to find just one individual to do that. You have to
do 99% of the work yourself in this kind of development - including
finding out who to ask for specific questions.

> I must appologize for any poor spelling or grammar because I am
> sending this from my phone. 

Not an auspicious start - why the rush? I hope this wasn't a spur of the
moment idea that can disappear just as quickly? You will need more than
a phone to proceed so it makes me wonder why you didn't wait until you
had your main computer at hand?


Neil Williams

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