Sonntag, 6 Mrz 2011

FreeBSD needs fresh Blood!

Oh well, it’s time to write some nice job offer, of course it’s all
for free, and you can’t earn any money out of it, but you’ll get a
big thanks, hugs and love from the community. Ask your self, how
long have you been using FreeBSD. Months? Years? Decades? And you
love using it because of whatever reason but at the same time
you’re feeling a bit guilty to use it all for free without giving
anything back? Well now you’ll have the chance to change that.
We at FreeBSD are always in need of new people who are willing
to spare some of their time and effort into FreeBSD development.

Let me share a bit of my experience. I have (re)built a lot of
teams in the past, such as gecko@, kde@, python@, and I was
involved in the creation of FreeBSD vbox@ team. I have always
managed to get assistance from a lot of people, but recently more
and more people have started to complain about the slowness,
broken commits and requested for more Call for Testing. And that
is actually a big problem. I am the kind of person who like to
call for test, but I am also the kind of person who easily gets
disapointed when I’m not getting much feedbacks. The best example
here is ATI, Xorg and Xfce update. I did a call for testing because
Xorg and Driver updates is always a big issue because there are so
many different hardware involved with various configurations. From
the call for testing, we managed to get a total of 19 mails of
positive feedback and after 2 weeks I’ve committed the update.
What happened after that was I received a lot of complains for
not conducting much testing, yadda, yadda. Well I say it ain’t
my fault for not testing much, but it is also your fault for not
helping us. It is always easy to blame instead of helping. Ask
yourself why have you not helped us in testing properly and give
us feedbacks. Complaining is fine when it is done in the right
way, with the right tone.

While I’m talking about Xorg, the FreeBSD Xorg Team is currently
a one man show effort, supported by kwm@ and fluffy@. Xorg alone
is too big to get worked on. Plus you should not think that it is
affecting the ports only, but it affects the kernel as well, which
we are having the most problems at the moment. And of course I
would like to call for help on that as well. Based on my last call
for help, it is funny to see how many people wanted to offer some
help, but after knowing the amount of work involved, I have stopped
hearing from these guys. I understand that to update Xorg is always
a crappy job but I love doing it, because it is nice to get more and
more experience in understanding how things work, and it helps to
improve my skills a lot.

Lets a talk a bit about our FreeBSD KDE Team. KDE is nice, but it
really is a fat project. It needs a lot of love, and maintenance
time. Currently it’s a 4 people project, namely makc@, fluffy@ and
avilla@. While for support Raphael Kubo da Costa is handling it
actively. The thing is, KDE involves more than just KDE packages.
It includes Qt, PY-Qt, KOffice and Cmake as well. It is a big
project too and it would be nice to find more people to contribute
in the development.

And now lets talk about gecko@. gecko@ includes all Mozilla Project,
namely Firefox, Thunderbird and Seamonkey. It is currently maintained
by beat@ and decke@, and supported by flo@ and andreas. So again,
I’d like to see some fresh faces for this project as well. If you are willing
to help, do ping us via mail :p.

As for FreeBSD Gnome Team, well I can’t say much about gnome but
whenever I see the cvs commits in marcuscome tree, it seems like
most work for the upcoming gnome3 is done by kwm@, and supported
by marcus@, mezz@ and avl@. Gnome includes not only Gnome things
but it also include gtk and cairo, the one that always cause
problems in a major update. I think the team would love to have
some fresh blood in the team.

Okay, all of these need an understanding of programming and
scripting. If you think that you can’t do any of that, testing would
also help much. FreeBSD is one of the best documented open source
project, so that’s another area that could use some help too. Check
if FreeBSD.org is available in your language, or start helping to
improve the FreeBSD documents in your language. It would be very
helpful and the community will thank you for that. So if you would
like to offer some help, ping me in irc/jabber/mail 🙂

– Martin


62 Responses to “FreeBSD needs fresh Blood!”

  1. mojo jojo Says:

    No, ty!

    freebsd project is not at all newbie friendly. You don’t got any idea how young devs collaborate and develop these days. Your tools are antiquated and documentation cryptic/usesless. Sure, you got a ton of ‚uptime‘ in the bank but not many are interested in serving static or CGI content anymore.

  2. Oliver Says:

    As I’m using FreeBSD again after some creative absence in the lair of the penguin because of really stubborn machines, I’m certainly ready to commit more of my time to FreeBSD.

    Apart from that, it’s quiet obvious why there is a massive lack of manpower in those areas, seeing most of the developers using some Apple as their desktop. Critique isn’t a one-way street, it’s valid in both directions.

    But as the Romans say: facta, non verba or „shut up and code“;-). I try my best, especially to get more involved in ports per se.

  3. Luiz Otávio Says:

    Well, I realy love FreeBSD. I would like to be helpfull to FreeBSD. I’m a brazilian guy, and I can help with some docs. I dont have much expertize in development, but I know some c, c++ and java…

    Martin, please send me some instructions on how I can help, and what I need to start!

    Tks a lot!

  4. Subhro Says:

    Martin,

    Would expect a reply to the email I just sent you 🙂

  5. Oliver Says:

    @mojo jojo

    >Your tools are antiquated and documentation cryptic/usesless.

    Do you like some fish?

  6. Jeff Says:

    My C skills have been virtually unused in years. I’d be happy to start with some documentation and ease into something if you can find space for me.

  7. projectshave Says:

    I would love to help. Is there a list of open task items & bugs? Even better would be if someone assigned an „difficulty“ level to those items, i.e. easy, medium, advanced. That way a newbie like me can start on the easy items and build up to more advanced tasks/bugs.

  8. Martin Says:

    Fresh blood for APPLE INC ??

    For Free ?

    FreeBSD need fresh retards !

  9. Mark Linimon Says:

    well, mojo jojo, you’ll have to educate us as to what young developers use, then.

  10. neil Says:

    I don’t know if I am competent enough. But I am willing to try. Can you create web pages where you publish work to be done. I can take stuff off from there. The best thing to do would be to ask people interested to subscribe to a mailing list. I currently use linux. I hope that does not offend you – as I will install freebsd also (there are many free partitions …). If you document tasks to be done with a rating of difficulty level that would be good.

  11. Glenn Chen Says:

    Martin,

    I have sent you an email with my development background on C++ and Python. I have been looking for opportunities to join the FreeBSD family.

    Please, count me in !
    🙂
    Bests,
    –Glenn

  12. dsp Says:

    well I’ll try to reach you via jabber.

  13. Frank Says:

    Thanks for your hard work. 🙂

  14. Bernhard Fröhlich Says:

    Looks like we have to better document and connect our todo lists. Well i guess all teams have their own todo list anyway but they are not easy to find. I can only talk for the ones that i am working on.

    Interesting projects that should be ported:
    http://wiki.freebsd.org/WantedPorts

    VirtualBox on FreeBSD:
    http://wiki.freebsd.org/VirtualBox/ToDo

    Gecko (Firefox, Thunderbird, Seamonkey, libxul, …):
    https://trillian.chruetertee.ch/freebsd-gecko/wiki/TODO.

  15. cj Says:

    (1) I’m confident I wouldn’t be a help due to my lack of OS and low-level knowledge (2) BUT, I’d like to propose a small project that would be worthwhile. Of course I’m probably not going to be able to see this to fruition, but I’d love to see someone do it.

    I generally contribute money to open source projects. One problem I have is I don’t know how that money is ultimately spent. I think it would be worthwhile to the ENTIRE open source community if we had a way to contribute DIRECTLY to the developers on these projects. Let’s face it, some people are more capable than others. It’s these capable people we want coding on these projects.

    The way I envision something like this happening. The community at large would donate, but the stipulation on the donation is it is put into a bucket until it reaches a threshold. Let’s say something like $1000. Then once it reaches the threshold it is distributed to a developer on the project. The other stipulation is the CORE teams decide who this money gets distributed to. In fact, ideally someone could be on the „payroll“ without necessarily being invited to the CORE team. The information about who receives donations would be made public, so donors can be assured they’re not donating to the same people. Instead they track, or review the history of donations and can see that they’re not donating to an oligarchy.

    SO, we basically end up with a self-correcting system. If the project is useful, and the core teams ensure the contributors are ultimately rewarded for their efforts, people donate. The CORE teams and other developers are happy since they’re getting paid to do what they love so ultimately they’re free to spend more time doing it. Also it makes the prospect of working on an open source project just that much more appealing. Let’s face it, we all have to pay bills. And it’s far more appealing to me as a donor to know exactly how the money is being spent.

    I think this is a far more tangible reward system. Especially for open source projects that the entire open source community depends on.

  16. jtsn Says:

    First I read „FreeBSD needs fresh blood“ but the rest of the article is about desktop gimmicks like Xorg, GNOME, KDE and Firefox, which have little relation to FreeBSD at all. This is software ported from Linux. And while developing FreeBSD itself may be an exciting experience, porting and patching software from somebody else is not. This is something guys from commercial Linux distributors do all the day to get their paycheck, but not because it’s so much fun.

    The intersection between people, who find BOTH FreeBSD and Xorg, GNOME, KDE, Firefox etc. interesting is apparently too small. The long-term solution of this problem is get developers from the named projects interested in FreeBSD, so they put effort into support of your favorite OS. This is nothing, that a one-man show can do afterwards.

    If KDE and Firefox runs fine ootb even on Windows, but not on FreeBSD, then you have primarily a marketing problem.

  17. zara Says:

    You should ask to DragonFlyBSD.
    FreeBSD is a newbie nightmare, DFBSD is a paradise.
    Just merge with DragonFlyBSD and listen their thoughts.

  18. enclair Says:

    FreeBSD could use pkgsrc to bring together the forces.

  19. Peter Jeremy Says:

    I have been using FreeBSD for about 15 years and have submitted a fair number of PRs (almost all including patches) as well as actively taking part in a number of mailing lists. Overall, I would suggest that one of the biggest problems is that PRs (with patches) languish, unloved, in gnats. This does not encourage people to submit further PRs.

    Since you mentioned Xorg, I believe that the X.org consortium have gone off the rails. In particular, Xorg7 seems to have concentrated on unnecessarily increasing build times and breaking existing functionality – and I have noted this on the lists at various times. In general, my X-related PRs have been either ignored or closed as „no longer relevant“ (even when the problem still exists).

    I have, in the past, complained about Xorg updates being committed with no opportunity for testing and _have_ tested all the „CFT“ pre-releases that have been released. In the case of Xorg 7.5.1, I only had time for some very quick testing (Xserver, twm and xterms start and stop without apparent problem) on one system and so did not respond to the CFT message. I was therefore surprised when the committed port caused that host to hard-hang. Having just checked, it turns out that what was finally committed did not match the test code – in particular, the problematic ATI patch was not in the test code.

    It’s all very nice for you to complain that we don’t test code but it’s also up to you to provide test code that matches what you intend to commit.

  20. C Says:

    I love FreeBSD and have used it for a very long time, but I don’t have the bandwidth to sign on as a developer. However, I do try to contribute by submitting bug reports with as detailed information as possible, however thankless that effort is. If I don’t feel I have enough to submit a bug report, then I post to a FreeBSD mailing list. And whether a bug report or a posting to a developer mailing list, this is where things don’t work very well at all. FreeBSD developers as a whole tend to be unresponsive or, worse yet, throw the problem back at the submitter to debug. End users generally don’t know how to debug the problem. Do you or do you not even want FreeBSD end users? If you do, then expect them to not have the knowledge and/or time to debug your code. The very fact that some will take the time to submit bug reports should be eagerly welcomed, responses should be relatively prompt, attempts to reproduce the bug should occur as soon as possible, positive feedback to the submitter should occur. But no, as a group you tend to discourage bug reports. You tend to be a curt and snarly bunch, although there are some awesome exceptions to that rule. I haven’t given up yet, but I hate submitting FreeBSD bug reports because I know that the work I do to make the report as helpful as possible is almost certain to be a huge waste of my time. My impression is that most end user bug reports die on the vine. When I run into a problem, there’s a good chance that I’ll find someone else has posted with questions regarding the same thing, but there’s a very low chance that the problem was ever resolved one way or another. Again, I love FreeBSD, but that is in spite of its developer support and response to end users, not because of it. FreeBSD is a fantastic project and the quality is generally very good, but from the outside it comes across as wanting to exist without the nuisance of actual real-world end users. My guess is that this at least contributes to the fact that the dog’s breakfast that is Linux manages to outperform FreeBSD from a marketing perspective. If you want more mindshare, then you’d better demonstrate to the end users that you appreciate them.

    I have no doubt that FreeBSD needs more developers, but a fair number of its current ones need a major attitude adjustment as well if FreeBSD is to live up to its potential. Please don’t take on any new developers that are keen on the design and coding work but not on working with end users.

  21. Max Says:

    The BSDs need a KMODSET implementation asap or its game over!

  22. sp Says:

    I love FreeBSD. I used about two years to learn to use it. And now I feel that maybe I can do something help, bug I still not know how… I’m a little programmer, what can I do now?

  23. miwi Says:

    @ Peter the ATI and Xorg code was matching with the CFT code, my mistake was i forgot to added the files directory.

  24. miwi Says:

    @jtsn go back to your kindergarden and enjoy ur playground ..

  25. lEE CHI YU Says:

    I like to try to help!
    The amount of time may depend how successful I can integrate myself into freebsd projects!

    Looking forward to your instruction!

  26. dareni Says:

    Is KMODSET development now underway? http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?t=21840

  27. Thinker Says:

    I have used FreeBSD for 15+ years. FreeBSD is my only desktop OS since 15 years ago. It is time to contribute.

  28. bmildh Says:

    I would love to help.

    I think FreeBSD is mostly about the server-side. And it does that very well. However, many of us would like to run their BSD on their desktop and laptop and that means that sometimes we want to run a graphical user interface on top of this server system. I have never liked Xorg. I think it outdated and is too messy on a architectural level. I think the hole community needs something else but we are kind of stuck with xorg. Is there any work done towards making wayland coming to FreeBSD? Anyway, the problem today with the spread and use of FreeBSD is probably more complex than that. Perhaps a group of long-term developers could sit down and form a working group that analysis the future from the end-user perspective (without compromising the server-side, remember, that is what FreeBSD does best). Like, what does the todays end-user wants and needs, how can we make the introduction easier for newbies, what about PR’s? Do they work today, or does it need to change and if so, how? Documentation? Personally, I think the docs are ok, but could or should be outstanding. I often google for other references when to do something to get a better explanation. Would love to see more books on FreeBSD, does that do exists are very good though. Something like that.

    Sending my offer of help to Martin.

    Anyway, best regards!

  29. Justin Says:

    Personally I think the FreeBSD project is need of group collaboration website were interested parties can come together and collaborate on development.

    I sometimes use the Drupal CMS and I think something along the lines of groups.drupal.org but for FreeBSD or maybe a collaboration system like Open Atruim http://openatrium.com/ could work well.

    But this will not solve one problem I have noticed in the FreeBSD community. FreeBSD devs still run there community primarily away from the web. I remember when PCBSD (I think) moved there forum to use vBulletin the main feature they were looking for was email integration. Once that was implemented there was a lot more activity from the devs on the forum. This shaped my opinion a little of what type of people the senior BSD devs are like. From my point of view the senior devs don’t really want to login to the website bug tracking system or forum when they are used to just sending an email to a mailing list or a PR from the command line. Mailing lists are great for some people but they do alienate your young/fresh blood that did not grow up using mailing lists. I personally stay away from them purely because I don’t have the time to manage the volume of mail you can sometimes get on a large mailing list.

    Just an idea, from a general user’s perspective.
    Keep up the good work guys.

  30. amani Says:

    I enjoy FreeBSD and contribute regularly to the FreeBSD Foundation. I agree that some of the projects are not newbie friendly. I also admit that my programming skills are minimal; my focus has always been on the network side. I do agree with Michael Lucas that BSD needs books, and that is where I plan to focus my efforts.

    http://www.bsdcan.org/2011/schedule/events/221.en.html

  31. xChris Says:

    fix the ACPI first..

  32. miwi Says:

    @xChris, honestly comments like that is total pointless, report a bug and then can ppzl see if there can fix that.

  33. Samuel J. Greear Says:

    Here’s a thought, stop driving potential contributors away with what has traditionally been a closed-minded development attitude and methodology. -MANY- former and potential contributors have gone on to greener pastures because, frankly, FreeBSD is a rather unwelcoming environment.

  34. Mehmet Kose Says:

    Take a look at bug numbered 128587, why the heck should I use FreeBSD if adding one byte takes two years?

  35. FreeBSD, un appello per nuove leve Says:

    […] | BsdCrew (nessun voto) 3 […]

  36. Oliver Says:

    @Mehmet Kose

    http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=128587&cat=

    … and your problem is what?

  37. Justin Says:

    Does FreeBSD have a mentoring program of some kind.

    Based on my personal experiences, in the most active and successful projects the most experienced devs are not the ones writing the bulk of the code.

    The most experienced devs are mostly reviewing patches and giving guidance to patch submitters. If done well this creates a good culture were feedback on patches and contributions is giving back to submitters and they feel like their contribution is valued. New submitters also then enjoy the guidance giving and as they learn new and better ways of doing things, instilling a sense of pride and achievement.

    If new submitters do not feel like there submission is valued they probably will not contribute in future.

    I don’t really have any knowledge of how FreeBSD works and cant speak about the development culture because I have little to no experience with FreeBSD development. Maybe somebody could elaborate more on what the current structure is and maybe some discussions could take place one how the current culture and structures could be improved to make better use of fresh blood and new found enthusiasm.

    The biggest down side to a structured mentoring system is that it requires an investment and commitment in man power and time. In the beginning this commitment will probably be high but over time if successful will actually free up devs time because more people are doing the work and new devs could later become mentors. And most of all a single dev can review far more code than he can write himself.

    FYI: I am ignoring the unproductive comments being made here.

  38. pierre charles Says:

    I spoke this week about this. The big problem is that FreeBSD is not available for 95% of PC users. What good is the pseudo best system, the safer and more just a little more people can use it at the end.
    On the other think, report a bug is so difficult that people give up. It too long. Using a simple example: forum, simple form on website

    FreeBSD need to look are the best of Linux and why

    EX: LinuxMint is one of the best success in recent years. Probably 6 years Linux has 10 times more users of FreeBSD, which was much longer. The reason is simple. The system is accessible. Easy to install, easy to take control etc. …

    Simply lift the forum FreeBSD improvements for users lamba is a sacrilege, a disgrace to the Holy Church FreeBSD.
    I believe the FreeBSD team has a great reflection on his approach to full strength. What was good 15 years ago, is perhaps more common in 2011.

    We must evoluate and his time. Today we live in the fast speed culture, the quick fas live style.
    I think, you must change your approach to user.

    Suggestion: Real solution (we are in 2011 not 1988):
    1. Have a system out of the box for users Lamba
    2. Have an end user approach
    3. Having a boot worthy of the name (not endless 3 minutes)
    4. Create a sense of belonging for users (eg LinuxMint, Sabayon, Fedora)
    5. Do not have eight million CD / DVD option to download. Confusing.
    6. Be more welcoming to the forum for new user

    In conclusion, PC-BSD managed very well * lamba user * and you would benefit from working together.Actually and the form of FreeBSD for me as a user PC is irrelevant. But that is not irrevocable. I tried a few times but I’ve met too many problems. WiFi, sound, screen display and more and more. This configuration on standard PCs.

  39. Jesse Says:

    Though put crudely, I think poster #1 has a point, which was nicely expanded on by others, especially comment 37. FreeBSD is not at all attractive to new developers. I spent some time trying to get into the belly of the Beastie and founds the following:

    1. Documentation is cryptic and out of date.
    2. Reporting old or cryptic documentation results in comments like „we don’t need noobs in FreeBSD“.
    3. PRs can sit around for months without any result.
    4. There does not appear to be any mentoring program.

    To be fair there are some great and helpful people on the mailing lists. I really like a lot of the people in the FreeBSD community. However, there doesn’t appear to be any attraction to new developers, no structure, no way to see who is doing what. There’s a Contribute page with lists of open projects, but what does a new-comer do if their e-mails to volunteer go unanswered?

    I think if FreeBSD wants to get new blood they need to stop treating FreeBSD like an exclusive club and roll out the welcome mat.

  40. Mehmet Kose Says:

    @Oliver

    Fix of a tiny problem took 741 (seven hundred forty-one) days.

  41. efk Says:

    Hi,
    FreeBSD has definitly serious problems with new technologies like kms (which is meant as a technology and licensed independently from Linux kernel). Moreover there ridiculous lacking implementations of simple things like accent grave. See for more:

    https://www.mirbsd.org/permalinks/wlog-10_e20110303-tg.htm#e20110303-tg_wlog-10

    As new „blood“ is needed, I take the metaphor one to one.

  42. FreeBSD braucht dich … » F!XMBR Says:

    […] dem auch sei, FreeBSD benötigt frisches Blut, wie Martin Wilke nebenan treffend bemerkt. Es dreht sich nicht per se um die Firmen, sondern um jene Leute, welche die Gemeinschaft um Open […]

  43. Oliver Says:

    >Fix of a tiny problem took 741 (seven hundred forty-one) days.

    Bad luck in my opinion, I got a fix for a stubborn Microsoft laptop mouse within a week. There is a life aside of FreeBSD and a lack of manpower. The more help, the better. The more watching eyes, the faster you get help. I think this exactly is the intention of Martins article.

  44. Steve Quinn Says:

    I’m very interested in giving back

    I’ve been using FreeBSD on servers since 4.5. I still cannot believe the simplicity and stability of FreeBSD as pure command line server. It took a couple of years to get away from the addiction to a GUI, now I cannot go back 🙂

    In my opinion, the FreeBSD documentation is excellent and the forum participants are mature and well informed.

    I’ve wanted to give more to the BSD community myself and am contemplating the required education towards becoming a better contributor.

    I’m hoping to get pumped/motivated for the next steps to take at my first BSDCan in May 2011 … wohoo!

  45. jobinson99 Says:

    I think freebsd needs some changes friendly for newbie, especially to attract the skilled who has not a mount of time, because they are the powerful source of the flesh blood.

    ways:
    1, flexible committer :use git instead of cvs, but keep the core committers‘ right at present.
    2, all document in wiki : i will be very convient for the amateur to help freebsd
    3,it is humanic to use subject-tree forum instead of mailinglist.

    all of this is to setup a forwrd loop of the project.

  46. miwi Says:

    @jobinson99 still git is a no go nonononogoooooo

  47. Justin Says:

    Hi I have a simple proposal for creating an informal mentoring system that also allows for dynamically creating of working groups.

    I touched on this before in a previous comment. I am come form a web background so the only real exposure I have is to an open source community is that of web projects.

    The one community that I really like the way they are setup is the Drupal community.

    The Drupal community have a group site http://groups.drupal.org/. This site allows users to create working groups that other users can then join and participate in.

    The main module that this site uses is called Organic groups (http://drupal.org/project/og).

    This kind of setup will provide people the ability to create a working group with a specific focus in mind. Users can join and leave groups as needed.

    Groups can be easily categories/tagged to make it easy for users to find groups that interested them EG: newbie, development, support, NYC, London, Desktop, Server, Networking

    User will be able to manage email subscriptions so that they get emailed when there is activity in their groups. Groups can be created for a short period, like for a conference and afterwards closed and archived.

    If a setup like this is desirable but the community does not have the resources to set it up you could look at Open Atrium (http://openatrium.com/) witch is a Drupal Groups setup with a lot of out the box functionality using all the same modules and more. If required features like a case tracker, blog and notes/docs system is available per a group. A recent example of this being used is the White House http://developmentseed.org/blog/2011/feb/14/white-house-using-open-atrium

    All this can easily be setup on a sub-domain to see if it works without affecting the current community systems. If after 6 months it does not work you can kill it off.

    If the foundation wants to take something like this setup seriously and they want to pay for bit of professional assistance in the setup they could speak to Drupal companies like developmentseed and phase2technology who developed Open Atrium.

    Now this is just one example of this kind of setup, if we had to look around we could easily probably find other examples that could also be discussed.

    My point is that the FreeBSD community does not need to develop this kind of setup them selves, they can easily leverage other communities work to provide this.

    Another example is Drupals project system (http://drupal.org/project/issues/drupal) and each community developed module also has its own issue section (http://drupal.org/project/issues/og). This functionality is mostly provided by the projects module (http://drupal.org/project/project) and this can be used to tie in with version control system (http://drupal.org/node/3060/commits). Other communities like jQuery have also used this module for their plugins EG: http://plugins.jquery.com/project/datepicker

    My point is that FreeBSD is not trying to solve problems that others have not tried to solve before so why don’t we look at other projects and see if maybe FreeBSD could learn from and use other projects that fit the FreeBSD community rather than trying to solve and develop all these problems on our own.

    I wish I had the time to get involved in something like this and to help, but unfortunately at the moment I am all talk with no action because of time and financial restrictions.

    I hope that all made sense? I typed it up very quickly.

  48. Frank Says:

    I agree with what most people wrote: it’s too difficult to get involved. And I don’t want to offend anyone by saying this. Really, I love FreeBSD and I enjoy working with it every day.

    But when you get to the point where you want to contribute to FreeBSD you’re totally lost. You don’t know WHAT to do, you don’t know HOW to do it and you don’t know WHO to ask.

    The FreeBSD Forums were a step in the right direction. But stil the various mailinglists are the best place to get help. But for me it takes too much time to handle all these mails. Although I would like to do more, I am stuck. I maintain a few ports and send a PR once in a while. But I’m aware that THIS isn’t enough and doesn’t help much. And on the other hand it’s frustrating that these few PR’s don’t get much attention…

    A new bug tracking system, a new way to contribute CODE, a better way to collaborate, and a good mentoring system would help a lot. FreeBSD should adopt working concepts from other communities, even though not everybody is going to agree with this.

  49. dsp Says:

    cannot reach you via jabber obviously.

  50. Jared Says:

    This is a great post, which I plan to make a follow-up post about.

    The difficulty in contributing to FreeBSD is real. The main reason I started my blog was because contributing to FreeBSD documentation any other way was not worth the time or the effort. I am very good at writing documentation (I got an English degree with the focus on writing but I still have mad computer skills). I could code but not enough to contribute.

    I once tried to update Sysinstall but couldn’t find anyone to help. I submitting an up to date man page, and half of my submits was ignored.

    Anyway, I will post a follow about this post on my blog and see if there is anyway I can help get more contributors.

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