If only I had known what needs to be done…

I just went over the soon-to-be-released report of the Developer Advisory Team, where we sum up feedback from first-time contributors to Ubuntu Development and many noted that they found developer documentation easily and things generally worked out for them, but they struggled finding stuff to work on.

The Ubuntu Development team has always been good at creating new TODO lists (merges, Debian RC bugs, build failures, heaps of different bug lists and much much more), but you need to know what you are looking for.

Enter Harvest. We created it so it merely aggregates opportunities for Ubuntu developers in a simple web interface. You can select opportunity types and specific sets of packages to narrow down opportunities based on your interests.

If you got some spare time, are interested in Ubuntu development and would like to help, you would do the Ubuntu world a great favour by doing one of the following:

If you are an Ubuntu developer or would like to become one: trying it out and commenting below with your experience. (Bugs can be filed here.)

If you have a great idea on how it could be further simplified, extended or improved, write up your idea and link to it in the comments.

If you are a web developer: please get in touch. Harvest is written using Django and Python and it’s super-easy to extend, improve and fix it – so if you are looking for something to help out with, this might be a great opportunity for you.

Please consider helping out, your contributions will not only help you make better use of Harvest, but many other developers and new contributors as well. 🙂

(If you tried it out and it works perfectly for you, let us know too. :-))

  • Marcel

    First: thumbs up for this project!

    I have two improvements to suggest, though:
    1) The bug number is a quite useless piece of information, the bug title would be much more useful! The only (indirect) use I take out of the bug number is a rough estimation of the age of the bug — but of course a direct value for this would be even more simple.
    2) This is probably a bit more work, but it would be nice to have a better idea of what skills are needed, most importantly, what programming language is used. This would make harvest more similar to sites like https://openhatch.org/ — the programming language info should be available via debtags, isn’t it?

    • dholbach

      Regarding 1) we have https://bugs.launchpad.net/harvest-data/+bug/734746 filed, and I agree it should be fixed. I’ll ping the folks on that bug again.

      Regarding 2) your assessment is correct. It would definitely take a bit more work to get it up and running. https://bugs.launchpad.net/harvest/+bug/705481 discusses some of the bits involved, but there’s no clear way forward planned yet.

      • Marcel

         well, well, I should have had a look at the bug reports first 😉

        • dholbach

          No no that’s fine. It’s a reaffirmation of what might be important for Harvest hackers to look into. 🙂

  • pavolzetor

    To be honest, if you develop something new (little different), it is quite hard to start (probably on every OS), there is missing documentation for GDBus with examples, also Gtk needs massive overhaul (toolkit and docs).
    Packaging is quite hard (I mean, when you start from scratch and you need to google and look into other projects)

    But I loved hangout and it encouraged me to work harder on my project 🙂

    • dholbach

      Personally I found it easiest to get started slowly. Fix some small bug in a random package and take it from there. If you want to create a new project or package a big project from scratch, it is indeed going to be harder because you will likely have to grasp many new technologies at the same time.

      • pavolzetor

         Yes, but I love learning new things, but I give you example, in GDBus, I found signals example after long time googling in one project source code for python, when I improve my skills, I am going to write some guide or so.

        Or, simple thing like Drag and Drop, I do not know how to make it to have it animated for whole widget, and so on.

        I have started with fixing bug 😉

        • dholbach

          Sure, I didn’t mean to say “you’re doing it wrong”. 🙂

          For somebody who is interested in getting started with Ubuntu development and doesn’t have a clear target in front of them (like writing a new app), I’d still recommend working on a few packages to get their feet wet and learn more gradually.

  • Rocketcoder

    The difficulty level would be a nice thing to categorize the bugs by.

    • dholbach

      Good idea.

      It’s hard to automatically detect difficulty level automatically, but if we do have the information – we should be allow categorising by it. I filed https://bugs.launchpad.net/harvest/+bug/978636 about this.

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  • Augusto Chan-Tay-On

    For years, I have convinced some of my customers to change from Windows to Linux. Those who changed, were very happy to do that (Linux

    was a great alternative).

    I was an Ubuntu fan for years, until they decided to use Unity. Now, I have many problems to explain my customers why it is failing in

    some machines (mostly, because of the video card).

    My customers cannot understand the change … If it was working before, what is wrong now? … They assume that every change is for

    improvement; so, is Unity an improvement? … they don’t think so.

    Now, I am installing Mint 13 MATE; because I want to use ALL the computers (not “some”).

    I am a computer guy from the old school (since 1980); and, for me, computers should do the job fast and efficiently (I don’t care about

    fancy improvements) … We (my customers and I) need COMPUTERS, not machines for entertainment.

    … We are serious users; not kids that want to play something or waste our time.

    … Hey! world’s economy is a big mess right now! … We are looking for good systems to make people productive (not lazy people that

    want to play games, listen music, or watch movies until they die).

    Hope there still exist intelligent people somewhere out there.

    • Erik S

      I understand that you dislike Unity. But this is really not the right forum for your distaste.

      Unless, you really want to improve Unity – the Unity development team listens to a lot of feedback. They’re not afraid to try out ideas – but they’re making sure that the ideas work on test users before they decide to go with it.

      Again, I understand your frustration – since the road forward hasn’t been without bumps. Especially not regarding to graphics support with Unity.. But please, if you have anything constructive/objective/subjective that you can put into words, please get in touch with the development team or file Blueprints/bugs/enhancement requests at Launchpad.