Hitting the ground running
Since I heard it, I always like the idiom “to hit the ground running”. There’s no really good German translation of it, but the thought of arriving somewhere, knowing what to do and how to do it definitely has its charm. In practical terms it’s often hard, especially if there’s complicated rules, tools and processes.
I won’t deny that there’s an interesting learning experience involved if you want to get into Ubuntu development. The experience will involve a couple of round-trips, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution to every single package or piece of software.
The good news is though: it’s a lot easier than you think and we’re there to help you.
On Friday, 2nd March 2012, a lot of Ubuntu developers and contributors are going to be there to actively help you get started with Ubuntu Development. This is a great opportunity to ask all your questions, get to know a bunch of really friendly and helpful people and learn lots and lots about Ubuntu and Open Source development. It will almost be like hitting the ground running.
So you like the idea to help make Ubuntu better for millions of users on servers, desktops, laptops, TVs, phones and elsewhere?
There are two lists of items we want to look into fixing together:
- Packages which don’t build anymore. If you have worked with compiling source code before, you know that a mistake like a syntax error can get you into a situation where the build is broken and does not succeed. There are lots of other reasons why this might happen, a good idea is usually to review the build log referenced in the link above.
- Bugs which have been fixed elsewhere. Our bug life cycle works like this: make sure the bug can be reproduced reliably, gather all the information necessary, figure out if it’s an Ubuntu-specific problem or if it happens in the vanilla code of the software authors as well, then forward the bug with all the relevant information upstream. The Launchpad bug tracker is a great tool, which puts us into the situation where we are able to go through bugs which were fixed elsewhere already. Taking these fixes and applying them to Ubuntu is a great target for improvements, especially being eight weeks away from release.
There’s only two things you need to do:
- Make yourself familiar with Ubuntu development. Just these three articles will give you a good start: Introduction to Ubuntu development, Getting Set Up and Fixing a bug in Ubuntu. (Feel free to read more if you like. ;-))
- Join us in #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net on Friday, 2nd March 2012 and we will answer all your questions, hang out with you, review code for you and have a good time.
The great thing is: this also coincides with Ubuntu Global Jam, so expect people from all around the globe to hang out and make Ubuntu better.
 … and this is where the actual blog post starts. :-)