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Re: How to be debian developer

On Tuesday 15 March 2005 10.35, Rapid Sun wrote:
> Dear Sir or Madam,
> Last month, i have attended Debian Mini Conference in Beijing. The
> project manager, Mr. Martin, mentioned about helping Debian.
> Cambodia is new to Open Source. I am very interesting in this and some
> of my students want to be debian developer.
> Can you tell me how can we start on this?


The best place is to start by reading the Debian web site, especially 
starting at <http://www.debian.org/devel/join/> and 

The short summary: don't start by applying to become an official, registered 
Debian Developer. Instead, get familiar with Debian, with its strengths and 
its weaknesses (both from a technical and structural/organisational view 
point.)  Find where Debian is lacking and where you think you can work on 
improving Debian.  Find people who are currently working in these areas 
(this is a very important step!), and talk to those people (often through a 
mailing list - if you're not sure, people on IRC or on the general 
debian-devel mailing list will certainly point you in the right direction.)  
Report bugs in the Debian bug tracking database (<http://bugs.debian.org>), 
but check first if the same bug was not reported before.

It is very important to me that you don't get the impression that you 
wanting to help is not appreciated - quite on the contrary, Debian can use 
more people.  But it *does* take quite a bit experience for many tasks, and 
getting experience takes time.

What you always can do, and where help is really sorely needed, is doing 
translations and documentation - in some areas little technical expertise 
is needed, so you can instantly start working.  Again: first talk to the 
relevant people; again see the web site at 
<http://www.debian.org/devel/join/> (especially the mailing lists at 
<http://lists.debian.org/i18n.html> and 

> For the other suggestions, I 
> would like to ask you to send all manual documents, CDs related to
> debian because in my organisation, we already setted up a room for
> Free/Open Source Software.

Debian as an organisation does not send out CDs and manuals.

I am aware that big fat Internet access may not be available in your region, 
so your best course of action is probably
 - searching Linux users's groups in your wider area (and every time 
somebody you know travels to some location)
 - asking at companies/institutions in your area with decent interent 
connectivity if you may download Debian cd images there.

That said, to really actively work on Debian, I feel a way to regularly 
upload and download quantities of software is quite necessary (not 
necessarily 100s of MBytes, but certainly tens of MBytes per week) - Debian 
is an Internet project, and much Software is updated regularly.  Shipping 
CDs regularly is probably just not really a feasible long-term solution.

-- vbi

Hail Eris, Hack Linux!

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