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.
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
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