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Unne
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:33 pm    Post subject: Staffing needs - or ideas to contribute Reply with quote

Firstly: One recurring theme here is "we don't have enough developers". I think one thing that would be useful is if we had more of an idea of what areas developers are needed in.

We have http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/staffing-needs/ but the list is seemingly ancient. There are 6 postings from 2006, the rest are a year old or older. Or is this list really all the help Gentoo needs?

http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/handbook/handbook.xml says staffing needs are to be listed in the GWN, but just checked each GWN back to the beginning of September and the only thing I saw was a request for GWN writers (unless I've missed something). That page also mentions checking #gentoo-bugs, which I have not done.

Where else can we get an idea of what kinds of developers are needed?

Secondly: Aside from developers hacking away at Portage, I would imagine there is a need for a lot of "grunt work" that can be done by people with less of a skill level. Putting together documentation, or who knows what. Again I see http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/gdp/roadmap.xml but it appears to be quite old and limited in scope. Is there a need for people to do this kind of grunt work, and if so do we have any place where such low-level tasks are listed? If not I think it would be helpful.

I often see a "How can I help?" thread popping up on the forums. For everyone thread that appears, I imagine many other people want to help but wander off after a while having no idea where to start. There are a lot of people on the forums (299 browsing as I write this) and I'd guess at least a few of them are willing and able to contribute.

I think making it EASY to contribute (or to know where/what to start contributing) will make it more likely that people will, and more likely that effort will not be spent needlessly in areas where we already have enough help. I don't know what exactly that might be. An Announcments section on the forums similar to the Latest Site News at the top of the forums, where "developer help wanted" postings can be made (or even discussed), maybe? At the very least, keeping the links I mentioned above updated?
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kopp
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One place where they always need staff is ebuild maintenance. The easiest way to start contributing is to help correction bugs in ebuilds and making/updating ebuilds that are not maintened yet.
I know it's not the problem you're pointing out, but I thought it might be useful to say it.
Concerning your problem, I remember seeing some article in the GWN about some projects laking developpers over the last year but I don't remember actual examples and I'm going to go through forty GWN or so to find it. What we often see is asking for people helping the GWN or translation effort.
The fact is that they also lack recruiters, it's been discussed recently in gentoo-dev, about the need to increase recruitements. But it looks like there are people watching contributors and picking up those who seems to stand up to Gentoo needs, a bit like Intelligence agencies does, at least in books and movies ;)
The infrastructure need to be improved and the page in your first link should be kept up-to-date. I don't any explanations on why it looks so old and not updated. Either there is no need for such specifics job, or nobody took the responsability to add things on that list. Maybe we should ask devrel about it.
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ryker
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've often thought and looked for how I can help Gentoo, and noticed the same things that kopp mentioned.

My suggestion would be to put a "Contribute" link in the top menu. Something like this.

That would link to a page that would have information about contributing to Gentoo in any way. From development to donating money.
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kopp
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I've sent an email to devrel, and Seemant answered me on really short notice. Here is his answer:
Seemant wrote:
Bertrand,

The recruiters are whom you should be asking, but I can answer you.
The
absolute 100% super-fantastic bestestest way for anyone to contribute
to
Gentoo is via bugzilla -- this means not just filing bugs for broken
stuff, but looking for bugs to post fixes on. If more people
contributed there, things would be a lot smoother in gentoo
development-land. The value proposition is then two-fold: better fixes
going in quicker, and individually a chance to be recognised and put on
the recruitment track to become a developer officially.

All this is independent of the staffing needs page. The real needs are
expressed in real time on the bug tracker.

Thanks,

Seemant


So it looks like the Contribute! link would be a dup with the Bugs link ;)
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Unne
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is very helpful and makes sense. Thanks. Bugzilla here we come.
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shazam75
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so what happens when a newer version of an application is available - how is it brought on line into the portage tree as ok to be installed?

Regards
Shelton.
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blu3bird
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adding new applications to the portage tree doesn't really work that great...

If you find an application that should be in the portage tree you fill a "new package/ebuild" bug and a dev adds it to the portage.
Okay but right now there are 3458 "new package/ebuild" bugs and only 349 have been added to the tree. (Some have been denied but ~2200 are still open)
Do we need more devs to maintain the tree?

shazam75 wrote:
so what happens when a newer version of an application is available - how is it brought on line into the portage tree as ok to be installed?

Regards
Shelton.


When the maintainer(dev or herd) of that package notices that there's a new version (either by searching the applications web site, reading it's mailing list or someone filling a "version bump" bug) he will add it to the portage tree and mark it as testing.

After the dev/herd has tested the package for some time or(and) someone has filled a "please mark xyz stable" bug he will mark it as stable.
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beandog
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Staffing needs Reply with quote

Unne wrote:
Firstly: One recurring theme here is "we don't have enough developers". I think one thing that would be useful is if we had more of an idea of what areas developers are needed in.


Everything.

Instead of trying to find who needs help, I would suggest just learning how to write ebuilds, find bugs that annoy you personally, submit bugfixes in bugzilla, and soon you'll find an area that you enjoy working on more than anything, and then focus on just that.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:34 am    Post subject: Looking for Ideas on how to contribute Reply with quote

I am looking for Ideas on how to contribute to Gento or Linux.

I am an Electrical Engineer with a BSEE that has some low level programming experience with C, and lesser experience with assembly. I am looking for a project that could use my skills. I do not want my primary role to be a documenter, although I do fully understand the importance of this role. I do not think I have enough breath of knowledge in Linux to be much help to anyone but a true newbe in the forums. My hope is that applying myself to a focused project, I would be forced to learn more linux or gentoo fundamentals.

I do have some interest in the kernel, porting linux to different achitectures (low level stuff), and the periphials like lm_sensors, but from what I have seen the competition is severe for these groups.


Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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mark_alec
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to see that you want to help out with an open-source project. There are many paths that you can take to contribute, but if you prefer the development side, I suggest you read Gentoo Development Guide to gain a familiarity with ebuilds. Then hang out at a Bugday (held on the first Saturday of the month in #gentoo-bugs) so that you can gain a solid feel of what it is like to 'fix bugs' and see where your strengths/interests lie.

Alternatively you could see if you would be apt for any of the positions on Gentoo Linux Staffing Needs.

Finally, helping people on the forums or IRC is also a way many people contribute towards Gentoo/opensource.
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Samoth
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another great way to get your hands dirty is to become a AT(Arch Tester), in which you test new versions of programs, and can report on their stability. Great stepping stone towards becoming a dev. It also can help you learn where your strengths are.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:00 pm    Post subject: Getting Involved Reply with quote

Well, this thread answered my questions. Thanks!

Last edited by 0x001A4 on Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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nixnut
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merged some threads here.
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 5:11 pm    Post subject: Becoming a maintainer? Reply with quote

I have been using Gentoo for a while now and am very pleased with it. But, I've heard that Gentoo is suffering a slight manpower shortage, so I thought that I could maybe give back to the community a bit by trying my hand at maintaining a package. I just can't find any resources to guide a newbie to package maintenance, don't know how much of a commitment it is to maintain ebuilds (I am starting grad school in a month 8O ), and don't know who to talk to about getting involved. So... I'm feeling things out. :D
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merged above post here.
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GoldenMouse
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 5:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Staffing needs Reply with quote

beandog wrote:
Unne wrote:
Firstly: One recurring theme here is "we don't have enough developers". I think one thing that would be useful is if we had more of an idea of what areas developers are needed in.


Everything.

Instead of trying to find who needs help, I would suggest just learning how to write ebuilds, find bugs that annoy you personally, submit bugfixes in bugzilla, and soon you'll find an area that you enjoy working on more than anything, and then focus on just that.


It would be nice if some sort of formalized mentoring system were in place to get new recruits assigned to various groups and working under an experienced maintainer, developer, doc writer, etc. Bugzilla could probably handle this by way of enhancement bugs submitted to a new recruitment-oriented bug category. The recruit could post in the bug any skills, circumstances, preferences, etc. that would affect where that recruit would go, then that bug would be assigned to a group (or better, an individual), thereby establishing first contact and getting the newbie on the "inside". Otherwise, it takes a very dedicated and determined individual to go out and figure out enough for him/herself to actually be useful. I'm sure that easy grunt work can be assigned to the newbies to help them learn and slowly graduate up to being ordinary, productive members.
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mark_alec
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 5:51 am    Post subject: Re: Staffing needs Reply with quote

GoldenMouse wrote:
It would be nice if some sort of formalized mentoring system were in place to get new recruits assigned to various groups and working under an experienced maintainer, developer, doc writer, etc. Bugzilla could probably handle this by way of enhancement bugs submitted to a new recruitment-oriented bug category. The recruit could post in the bug any skills, circumstances, preferences, etc. that would affect where that recruit would go, then that bug would be assigned to a group (or better, an individual), thereby establishing first contact and getting the newbie on the "inside". Otherwise, it takes a very dedicated and determined individual to go out and figure out enough for him/herself to actually be useful. I'm sure that easy grunt work can be assigned to the newbies to help them learn and slowly graduate up to being ordinary, productive members.

I recommend that if you want to get that type of situation, you join a particular projects IRC channel (#gentoo-<project name> generally), hang out for a while and ask how you can help. They might just point you to a list of bugs, but at least you will have some idea of where help is required.
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Helping gentoo out Reply with quote

Hi.

I'd like to help Gentoo.

I have twice tried to "be of service", first time as an arch tester for x86 and the second time I think KDE needed help with loads of bugs.
Both times however I was only pointed in the general direction of RTFM-and-see-if-you-can-fix-some-bugs.
I perfectly understand that if you have your gentoo responsibility and your job/school, wife/kids/whatever, health, other interest and whatnot to care about, I won't be given high priority.

However, IF a developer/other competent person felt like taking the time to mentor me a bit I believe I could contribute to gentoo :)
I've been running Linux in general for say 2 years, most of that time only gentoo. I have some basic coding skills, mostly PHP/MYSQL but
also a bit of C++.

I'm not sure where to begin, but I have filed some ebuild related bugs, and with some assistance I might be able to fix them myself :)

Comments? :)
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nixnut
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

merged above post here.
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Letharion
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Staffing needs Reply with quote

Ah, nice. Thanks nixnut.

beandog wrote:
Unne wrote:
Firstly: One recurring theme here is "we don't have enough developers". I think one thing that would be useful is if we had more of an idea of what areas developers are needed in.


Everything.

Instead of trying to find who needs help, I would suggest just learning how to write ebuilds, find bugs that annoy you personally, submit bugfixes in bugzilla, and soon you'll find an area that you enjoy working on more than anything, and then focus on just that.


I guess that's what I mean. Your suggestion is good, and I might just follow it, but it would still be great for more experienced devs to mentor the less experienced ones :) If one is comfortable doing that.
GoldenMouses suggestion is good.
Mark_alec goes back basically to "make yourself useful". Which is, ofc, what we should do, it does probably however require "a very dedicated and determined individual" to get on the "inside". Then again, that might not at all be a bad thing.
I guess that put harshly, it's a matter of quantity vs quality of the developers. Then again, that's an extreme oversimplyfiction.

I hope I'm making some kind of sense here, I'm really tired right now :)
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