How to volunteer for something on debian's todo list?
looking for things in Debian that might fit my personal skills and
motivation profile, I browsed through http://www.debian.org/devel/todo/
And - although the list seemed rather short compared to what I would've
expected - I actually found an item (titled "Make ifupdown stateless"),
which looks like a neat little riddle that might provide sufficient
intrinsic fulfillment for the type of hacker I am. In fact, a few ideas
immediately came to mind on how I would technically approach the issue.
Yet, I'm a little unsure how to approach the whole thing formally ;)
Thus the questions below.
What surprised me a little was the fact that it's assigned the highest
difficulty level "***". Unfortunately, the "more information:" link
just points to an invalid project on sourceforge. So, I figured it
might be a good idea to see what the source could tell me about
attempts that had already been made (if any), and why they failed.
For that, I got myself the source package.
To be able to take a closer look, it seems I need to use "noweb" to
retrieve the actual code (there is no regular source in the package).
Never come across this before. At first glance it roughly looks like
what I've heard about D. Knuth's Literate Programming -- some mixture
of source, docs and makefile... (little Almut is slowly beginning to
understand why this is rated "***"... <g>)
Anyway, before I take the trouble to install noweb, just to then be
told that "I'll have to go through the NM process like everyone else.."
before I can actually start doing that kinda thing at all, I thought
I'd ask first. Normally, this would've been the moment for me to think
"well, leave it to those who already know what to do". But now that we
have this list...:
* Assuming for a moment I really wanted to "take" that task, what would
I have to do? What would be the usual procedure to follow? Do I just
tell the current maintainer that I'd like to give it a try? (if so, how
would other potentially interested people get to know that someone's
already decided to work on it?)
* do I have to be a DD to grab something from the todo list rated as
"***" (i.e. "advanced skills required" -- I'm not even a "**" == "New
* what would be the appropriate list to post further questions to?
(-devel? -- for the moment leaving aside any of my worries about being
taken seriously there, as a totally unknown debian newbie...)
* any good recipes on how to handle "giving up"? You know, I wouldn't
want to say I'd give it a try, and then retract, afer having taken a
closer look -- unnecessarily giving the male crowd another opportunity
do indulge in their feeling of superiority and excellence ("look, told
you she wouldn't ..."). My usual approach in such situations would be
to have everything worked out completely before I even consider
volunteering. But that doesn't seem like an ideal strategy :)
* anything else I should know?
* BTW, has anybody here ever used noweb and would like to share their
experiences? (A one-minute googling right away turned up doubtful
questions like "are people actually still using it?". And that was
posted to some forum in 1997 :)
Thanks for any help,
P.S.: Thank you very much for all the useful comments to my post a
couple of days ago. And, a special thanks for not flaming me. Much
appreciated! Actually, I intended to write a few replies, but didn't
quite find the time to sort out my thoughts, as I got caught up in
various other unrelated things. Well, maybe some other time...