Friday, September 30, 2005

Contributing to Debian

Sometimes I think of contributing to Debian in some way. There are three things that stop me, and here they are, in order of importance.
  1. Inertia. Just not getting around to it. Possibly a certain amount of laziness.
  2. Mailing lists. I had to use mailing lists at university, and I hated it. Hundreds of mostly inane emails each day to wade through. Awful. What a wholly inadequate substitute for newsgroups.
  3. Complexity. I started reading about contributing, and that led to the new maintainer process, and all that other documentation stuff. This is the internet age - anything requiring an attention span of more than five minutes will not be read. Remember The Big Chill: "We only have one editorial rule: You can't write anything longer than the average person can read during the average crap." (Actually I'm sure it is not really that complex - this is probably just a restatement of 1. above).
  4. Scale. Debian is big. Really big. Where do you start?
Yes I know that was four things. However since 3 is really just a restatement of 1 then 4 is really 3, and I was right in the first place.

Recently I read somewhere that submitting bug reports is considered at contribution. I guess that's obvious, but for some reason it hadn't occured to me. I have reported bugs a couple of times! Excellent. That means I can stop feeling guilty about my lack of contributedness, and maybe go and read some ctrl-alt-del, content in the knowledge that I am not such a freeloader after all.

Browncoats: You lost. Get over it.

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