Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@×××.net>
To: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-dev] Re: how to become a package maintainer
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2009 12:44:52
Message-Id: pan.2009.10.24.12.44.13@cox.net
In Reply to: [gentoo-dev] how to become a package maintainer by Robert Welz
Robert Welz posted on Sat, 24 Oct 2009 10:42:48 +0200 as excerpted:

> I am a gentoo user and software developer for a quite a little while. I > found out that I have some spare time and I like to prepare myself to > become a package maintainer. > > Are there any links that provide volunteers with the neccessary know how > of how to maintain a project? I have some money to buy a dedicated > machine, preferrably an AMD 64. Projects could be something in C++ > combined with networking or PHP/Perl stuff. > > Just in case I decide not to volunteer for private reasons these papers > may be beneficial for others, too.
http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/handbook/handbook.xml That's the Gentoo developer handbook, which is a good place to get a feel for what's involved at that level. Note that there's both the formal Gentoo dev political process documented and Gentoo technology (ebuilds, eclasses, metadata, common mistakes, etc) guides. Generally, the idea is to start on something small and work with the current devs. Once they know you, the rest more or less comes naturally over time. Know that there are many who ultimately don't make /that/ big a commitment, but who have time to help with the smaller stuff that's the first steps toward full developership anyway. The bug-day Saturdays are a great way to get started. Or choose an area (Gentoo project) you're interested in, hang out here and/or on the IRC dev channel and/or the the individual project lists and/or channels, follow the bugs for that project, help comeup with and test patches, etc. Many of the projects have testing overlays where stuff that's not ready for the main tree is worked on. Java has a big one, as does KDE, both with a lot of help from non-(gentoo-)dev project testers, many of which have commit rights to they project overlays. There's also the experimental projects, or projects that started that way, that are headed toward merging into the Gentoo mainstream now. Gentoo-prefix, devoted to making it possible to install Gentoo packages in a user's home dir or the like, on Linux or other platforms, is a big one that's headed toward merge at this point. Another way to start if you have specific applications you are interested in is with proxy maintainership if a package is in the tree, or the Sunrise overlay, for packages not yet in the tree. A proxy maintained package has a non-(gentoo-)dev doing much or all of the real work, bug fixing, etc, working closely with a full Gentoo dev (or project/herd if it's herd maintained) doing the final commits to the tree but often little else, at least once the relationship has been established. The Sunrise overlay is for packages not yet in the tree, but that have various Gentoo community users maintaining them. There's a few Gentoo devs that work with them, helping them get the packages into full Gentoo shape, so ultimately, if a dev finds the package useful, they can bring it into the main Gentoo tree where it may continue to be proxy maintained by the same community user. Of course, there's more packages than devs to maintain them, so not all packages ultimately make it into the tree, but Sunrise is there for them as long as there's someone in the community interested in doing the maintaining at that level. The various arch teams have arch-testers (ATs) as well. These guys help the devs on the arch teams test packages for keyword stabilization, etc. Don't forget the Gentoo Documentation Documentation project as well. They could certainly use some help from someone willing to learn the way Gentoo handles its docs and get their hands dirty helping to maintain them. There's always documentation updates that could be done! =:^) Many, probably most Gentoo devs come in thru one of these paths, starting out working with a project in an overlay or with a proxy maintained or sunrise package, or as an AT. Other quite active users at that level are content to stay active at that level without ever becoming full Gentoo devs for whatever reason (time, politics, whatever). Either way, they can rest well, knowing they're filling a vital role in the Gentoo community, and thru it, the larger free/libre and open source software community. -- Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs. "Every nonfree program has a lord, a master -- and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman

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Re: [gentoo-dev] Re: how to become a package maintainer Robert Welz <welz@×××××××××.de>