How to find [easy] stuff to do

Maciej (Matchek) Bliziński maciej at
Sun Jan 4 13:56:48 CET 2015

Hello maintainers,

We're well past the winter solstice, nights are getting shorter, but
there are still many long evenings until the spring. If you're looking
for something easy to do, you have, among other things, backgammon,
and package building. Here's how to find easy (and not so easy) stuff
to do:

1. Find stale packages and update them. You can look for your
packages, and/or packages next to names in red: these are inactive

2. Clean up after package renames. When we rename a package, the old
package becomes a stub. To remove stubs we need to make sure nothing
depends on them. We have a page which lists packages that need to be
rebuilt (to free up stubs for removal):

3. Identify packages that don't work and can be removed. At the bottom
of the stale packages report, there is a list of packages which were
uploaded by someone who no longer uploads anything, and nothing
depends on them. Install the package and try to use it. Does it work?
If not, it should be removed. Broken packages hurt our project's
reputation: People would download one package and if it's broken, they
would assume all packages are like that (which we know is not true).

4. Find a small coding project

5. Review other people's commits

Subscribe to the devel@ mailing list and see what other people are
doing. If you're new, you might learn something new. If you've been
here a while, you might help someone else.



Q: Can I refresh package listed under somebody else's name?
A: Yes! The exception are the core packages like GCC or Apache. In
such case talk to people first. As we talked in October[1], we're
accepting that our package database doesn't reflect reality as to who
owns (cares about) which package. We only have information about who
was the last person to upload each package. The two things are
correlated, but not strongly.

Q: What if I want a package to be assigned to my name?
A: Rebuild it and re-upload.

Have a happy 2015!



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