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Re: helping debian

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On Tuesday 09 March 2004 18.04, James Sparks wrote:
> My name is James Sparks.
> I am interested in supporting Debian in any way I can.
>  I firmly believe in the GPL and want it to continue
> to grow.
> I an not much of a programmer.  I have only limited
> experience in Java but I have been using Linux for
> some time now and have converted from Mandrake to
> Debian via the Knoppix hdd install method.
> However, I have a degree in English and am fluent in
> Korean and feel that I can be an asset to the
> documentation project.


Being a non-programmer and english/korean bilingual, you'd probably best go to 
which (accroding to <http://www.debian.org/international/Korean> is a project 
explicitely aimed at bringing Korean language support in Debian up to speed.

Another project in need of translators is the new installer which has its home 
page at <http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/>.

Other things that need to be translated are
 - the web pages: <http://www.debian.org/devel/website/translating>
 - the Debian package descriptions: contact <debian-i18n@lists.debian.org>
	(Hey, where is the DDTP FAQ which is linked from
 - various other Debian documentation; <http://www.debian.org/doc/ddp>

> Please contact me if I can be of help.

Well, Debian is glad to have people who want to help - but as there is no 
central project management, there is noone who will assign you a job; noone 
will just contact you and say 'do this now' or 'do that now'. Debian (and 
many other projects in the open/free software world) work 'the other way 
round': you find something you want to do, and - in coordination with other 
people doing similar things - just go ahead, do the work, and contribute it.

<http://lists.debian.org/i18n.html> lists no mailing list about the Korean 
language, so I guess it would be all the better if you really want to help. 
Perhaps best you ask on the <debian-i18n@lists.debian.org> mailing list who 
else works on Korean translations. (I don't do any translation work for 
Debian, so I can't tell you more about how this works). If you find a few 
people who do Korean things, it would probably be a good idea to set up a 
mailing list for Korean translators (again, ask about this on the debian-i18n 
mailing list).

I guess if you are a Debian user and also try to help out with translations, 
you soon come to see other things where you think Debian is not as good as it 
should be - and if you tire of doing 'only' translations ways to help Debian 
will offer itself. A much-recommended way to help Debian (non-translation 
work) is to look at the bug database <http://bugs.debian.org> and try to find 
any old bugs that are already fixed, or bugs that are so easy that you could 
fix them, or duplucate bugs, or ... (You'll have to read a bit about how the 
bug tracking system in Debian works, but you'll find out what you're supposed 
to do pretty soon.).

Generally: the Debian mailing lists are *the* central communication channel in 
the project (perhaps together with the IRC chat channels), so I advise that 
you subscribe at least to <debian-devel-announce@lists.debian.org> and, as 
mentioned, <debian-i18n@lists.debian.org> to get an idea of what is happening 
to the project.

Btw, more general information is also available at 

I hope this helps you and that you will find your place in the Free Software 

- -- vbi

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