Open Source Comes to Campus/Curriculum/Saturday/Project organization

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Pre-requisites: ?

Learning objectives: Understand the question of who makes tarballs. Be able to, given an arbitrary project, decide where to send a patch. Be able to contribute to discussions on bug trackers. Understand the patch submission process.

Group discussion

  • Case studies of different open source projects, and their structure
    • Goal: Help you get a sense of how projects evolve, at a high level, and help you have a sense of what size a project is.
    • First example: Subtantial + organic: Apache (a fork!)
    • Second example: Smallish + organic: GNOME-Do
    • Third example: Enormous + inorganic at start: Mozilla
    • Fourth example: Enormous + organic to the core: Debian
    • Fifth example: Tiny, organic: http://sourceforge.net/projects/gstm/
  • Brief discussion of different roles a person / job descriptions that are possible within a project, and what skills they need; preferably painting a picture by using a specific person in a specific project each time. Emphasize different communication media that different people mostly use.
    • Documentation author
    • Artwork contributor
    • Code contributor
    • Code reviewer
    • Bug submitter
    • Security reviewer
    • Bug manager (AKA triager)
    • Security contact
    • Publicity person (e.g., blogger, or release-notes author or conference-goer) http://osdir.com/ml/dev-httpd/1995-03/msg00598.html
    • Release manager
    • User supporter
  • Quick introduction to "normal" (AKA decentralized) VCSs, vs. old-style centralized ones
    • In git and friends, anyone can "commit"
    • Anyone can push their work anywhere
    • Centralized ones are like this but more restricted.
  • What do project maintainers think of small, first-time patches?