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Re: Proposal: Course on making debian packages

 --- Helen Faulkner <helen_ml_faulkner@yahoo.co.uk>
> This is all an excellent idea.  What about the idea
> of starting something in 
> a structured way (say by posting new material every
> week or so) but then 
> leaving the material up for anyone to go over
> afterwards.

Yep I agree with that, but I wouln't want to make
another tutorial who's only purpose is being hanged
from a web page. I'd rather focus it in us, the group,
those who wanna learn. After that, we could compile
the information as well as the most interesting
questions and answers and putting it in a web page, I
like that idea.

> That would mean the first bunch of people would
> pretty much go through it 
> together, but later people would be able to do it
> whenever they liked.

Yep, and also it shows in the web what we do, and what
our project are. They don't become lost in time.

> I think doing it on d-mentors is a good idea :)  I
> think it would be great 
> to bring some of the things we are learning in
> d-women to another part of 
> Debian.  And d-mentors is definitely the more
> on-topic list for this kind of 
> thing.

I'm not subscribed to d-mentors, is it worth joining
it? is it friendly?

> In the time I've been subscribed to -mentors I
> haven't noticed anyone being 
> unfriendly to anyone else.  A wide range of
> questions about packaging and 
> how to become a DD seem to get asked and answered.
> In any case, I would suggest that before such a "How
> to package" or "Dealing 
> with the BTS" course was started, someone such as
> Matthew posts a reminder 
> to people that -mentors is a place for learning and
> that as such it is good 
> to ask questions.  It might be also goos to remind
> people that rude or 
> unfriendly responses are inappropriate in such a
> forum.
> Given these circumstances, if anyone on -women wants
> to post a question to 
> -mentors but is nervous about doing so, they are
> welcome to email me with 
> the question and I'll post it for them without
> revealing their name.

Thanks! :)

> Does anyone have an idea about a timescale for doing
> such a "mini course"? 
> What about announcing something soon and starting it
> in the new year?
Yep, my time scale would be something like this:

- Introduction to what the course will be, what are
the objectives and how the course will go. The
guidelines of how to find a suitable program to start
with will be given. We could give a week or so, so
that everybody has their program selected.

- During this week, we´ll give a general overview of
how to compile a source code, what does a Makefile is
for and how it looks like (which will later be used
for explaining rules, too) and what's autoconf and how
does it work (especially how ./configure parameters

- When the people have selected the programs, we'll go
through compiling them. Each program is a world, some
will have a makefile, some autoconf. I'd prefer to
avoid things like ant (make alternative) and things
like the for now for simplicity, but somebody may have
selected a program which uses them. While questions on
how to compile all the programs are solved, a general
idea on how debian guidelines for directories are. The
most common directories will be shown (/usr/bin/,
/usr/share/, /usr/share/doc/, /etc/, /var/lib/,
/var/cache/ ...). All of that might take another week.

- Then we'll explain how to start using debconf, how
to create the project structure and which are the
files you need to modify. We'll concentrate in control
and copyright for the first part, and how they should
be filled. Also the dependencies.

- Then how to make the rules file. As we've already
seen what is a Makefile, we'll just have to explain
which places should be modified for the configure,
make and install stages. If there are enough programs
being packaged, we'll have a global view of most of
the ways a program can be done, depending on whether
it uses autoconf, make, a shell program or so.

- Now we can start trying to build the packages for
the first time. We'll get them to work and use lintian
and linda for checking them. We'll see some of the
most common errors by experience, I guess.

- As most of the programs won't have a man page, we'll
finally see how to make one using manedit or something
that makes it easy to make one.

I guess that must be all for the basics, am I missing


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