[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Edlug Archive Jan 2010 ]

Re: [edlug] Edlug - suggested idea

On Fri, 15 Jan 2010, William Hamilton wrote:

< > 
< > Open Source can I think be more satisfying than simply editing a config
< > file  to run the work of someone else.
< One of the most satisfying things I've done was report a minor bug in Rockbox.
< Essentially, a malformed audio file would cause the iPod Mini hardware to lock
< up entirely. Not a common problem as the file didn't conform to specification,
< but not impossible for people to replicate without realising.
< I submitted a bug, we worked out what the problem is and someone wrote a patch
< to handle this behaviour, making sure that this type of file would never crash
< another iPod Mini ever again :)
< Such a small thing, but I have that satisfaction that I have Made Things
< Better.

I agree: the most effective way to support foss is through *good quality* bug reports.


Although I contribute in a minor way to an open-source computer algebra system, the
most useful service I provide to foss is by filing bug reports. The truth is that 
coding is easy but coding well is *extremely* hard. If you really want to code for
a foss project, I'd suggest you invest time in becoming a knowledgeable user, lurk
on the mailing list/help forum to pick up info that only the developers and insiders
know, play around with the code, and after all that, maybe think about trying to 'fix'
a minor outstanding bug. And after you've submitted a patch, be prepared for your 
little baby to be shredded, ignored, ridiculed and/or rejected by the developers.

(On re-reading that paragraph, it sounds discouraging, but I don't mean to be. When
you finally get to contribute some code to a project, the feeling really is quite
nice. That's because of all the effort that's gone into it.)


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