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Re: How to volunteer for something on debian's todo list?

On Tue, Aug 10, 2004 at 10:52:20PM +0200, Almut Behrens wrote:

> * 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?)

No sense in even contacting the current maintainer, unless you have a) a
patch you want to submit to him, or b) specific questions you need
answers to in order to complete such a patch.

> * 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
> Debian Developer"!)

No, but your grabbing it doesn't say anything one way or the other about
whether other people will also be working on it.

> * 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...)

Yes, -devel.

> * 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 :)

The best way to handle this is by not bothering to say you're trying
unless you have some need to involve other people.  The risk that you'll
step on anyone else's feet by working on this problem is actually quite
low. ;)

> * anything else I should know?

That I didn't remember this particular todo list even existed, so I
don't know it would be something I'd recommend it as a starting point
for getting involved in Debian.  You at least seem to have picked one of
the less interesting/important tasks listed there, which accounts for
why no one has tackled it yet. ;)

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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