Beginners guide to getting involved (2008-11-08) classroom

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Fedora Classroom - Beginner's guide to getting involved - Paul Frields - Saturday, November 8, 2008

IRC Log of the Class

-!- nirik changed the topic of #fedora-classroom to: Fedora Classroom - Beginner's guide to getting involved with your teacher: stickster - See for more info 22:00
* kdn *hearing the class bell ring** 22:00
fengshaun kdn, LOL!!!! 22:00
stickster Hello everyone! 22:00
fengshaun stickster, hello!!! 22:01
stickster First, thanks to Jon Stanley, a hard man to follow 22:01
Ineluctable are logs going to be posted for every class? 22:01
erinlea80 Hi Stickster! 22:01
kdn hi, stickster 22:01
thomasj hello stickster 22:01
@nirik Ineluctable: yes. 22:01
mattia hello stickster 22:01
stickster And thank you also to Kevin Fenzi for setting up the Fedora Classroom 22:01
fengshaun nirik, where? 22:01
Ineluctable nirik:ty 22:01
@nirik fengshaun: linked from the classroom page: 22:01
stickster and to the other instructors who are donating their time this weekend to help us all learn a little more about Fedora 22:01
fengshaun nirik, good, thanks 22:01
@nirik stickster: thanks. :) take it away. 22:01
stickster So for those who don't know me, I'm the Fedora Project Leader 22:02
stickster You probably know my predecessor Max Spevack 22:02
stickster I started at Red Hat in February 2008 as the FPL 22:02
stickster And I'm going to talk to you about how to get involved in Fedora. 22:02
stickster I want to encourage everyone to ask questions as we go 22:02
stickster Otherwise my typing hands are going to get very tired 22:02
stickster And you'll get very bored. 22:02
stickster The first question I want to talk about, which I'm sure a lot of people have, is "why?" 22:03
stickster Why should I get involved in Fedora? 22:03
stickster Well, let's step back to look at the bigger question, which is why to get involved in free software at all. 22:04
stickster How is it that free software is free anyway? 22:04
Abd4llA the community 22:04
stickster True, some of the work that goes into free software is produced by companies -- like Red Hat, the company I work for. 22:04
They are, for example, the single biggest corporate contributor to the Linux kernel, which runs every Linux box out there
stickster Abd4llA: EXACTLY! Excellent answer 22:05
stickster Free software is free because ALL the work that goes into it is *donated*. 22:05
stickster And the *vast* majority of those donations don't come from companies at all 22:05
stickster They come from people who just love to help each other build and learn new things. 22:05
stickster Free software, just like any software endeavor, is not just about code. 22:06
brunowolff I like being able to fix stuff myself when needed. 22:06
stickster It's also about all the things that bring it to as many people as possible. 22:06
stickster brunowolff: Precisely! 22:06
stickster Isn't that a great pleasure of free software? 22:06
erinlea80 are most contributions non-monetary in nature? 22:06
fengshaun brunowolff, +1 22:06
stickster You can do that because the code has been donated under a free license 22:06
kdn If you can't void the warranty, if you can't open it, you don;t own it. 22:07
stickster Someone took the precise step of making that code free, so you would be able to look at it and fix what you need to, 22:07
to make it do what you want.
brunowolff That makes it easier and republishable, but binaries can get fixed when needed to, 22:07
brunowolff too, 22:07
stickster erinlea80: I think it's hard to say, but that's my suspicion, yes 22:07
stickster Most contributions *are* non-monetary 22:07
stickster They're more often -- I believe -- contributions of time, effort, and knowledge. 22:07
erinlea80  :) 22:08
stickster You don't have to be well-heeled to do something good for your community or for people halfway around the world 22:08
stickster You just need to devote some time 22:08
kdn +1 22:08
stickster Free software is used all over the world by people you may never meet, but whose life you're making better by your 22:08
investment of time and energy
ricky I've been wondering - can the idea of open source apply to patents as well, and is there any common license that is used 22:09
to make patented ideas "open" ?
stickster Teseting and quality assurance, translation, documentation, marketing... 22:09
stickster *Testing 22:09
ricky Patents as in the ideas themselves, as opposed to the expression of the ideas (the code) 22:09
jds2001 ricky: there are things like OIN, if that's what you mean. 22:10
stickster ricky: That's a good question, maybe outside the scope of getting involved, but generally patents can be granted in 22:10
ways that open them up to the community
stickster jds2001: +1 22:10
jds2001 and let's not forget about the Firestar settlement. 22:10
ricky Ah, cool 22:10
stickster OIN is the Open Invention Network: 22:10
stickster 22:10
stickster So where was I? 22:10
stickster OH yes 22:10
stickster Testing and quality assurance, translation, documentation, marketing... 22:11
stickster and many other efforts 22:11
stickster All these things go into making software of any kind 22:11
stickster And with free software, these are efforts the community can join 22:11
stickster (Of course, if you write code, that's great too!) ;-) 22:11
fengshaun stickster, question! 22:11
stickster The more donations there are, the faster that free software improves. 22:11
stickster fengshaun: Ask away! 22:11
fengshaun how much coding knowledge should you have? 22:11
fengshaun to contribute? 22:12
VileGent  ! 22:12
stickster You don't need *any* coding knowledge for many of the things that Fedora needs 22:12
jds2001 as much or as little as you like. 22:12
jds2001 down to none. 22:12
fengshaun for the coding part, I mean! 22:12
fengshaun oh 22:12
stickster If you *can* code, there are additional ways you can contribute, but even complete non-coders can help 22:12
stickster fengshaun: Let me give you an example 22:12
stickster ME 22:12
stickster I am not a coder. 22:12
stickster I started out in 1997 as a Linux user 22:12
VileGent fengshaun, you can always help in #fedora as well 22:12
stickster Linux helped me advance operations in my office, because the code was open and auditable 22:13
fengshaun VileGent, yes, I try to do that as much as I can! 22:13
stickster When I found out the Fedora Project existed, and Red Hat had started a community Linux distribution project, 22:13
I jumped at the chance
stickster I became a documentation writer, which was good for me because I was not an experienced software developer 22:13
erinlea80 What attracted you to the Fedora Project vs. other distro. efforts? 22:14
erinlea80 (besides a paid job at RedHat) 22:14
stickster erinlea80: The funny thing was, I got involved 5 years ago 22:14
nuonguy can I give another reason to get involved? 22:14
stickster erinlea80: And I never wanted a job at Red Hat 22:14
jds2001 the paid job is a very recent thing. 22:14
Abd4llA erinlea80: good question 22:14
erinlea80 ah okay. 22:14
stickster I did it because it was a way of giving back to a community that helped me build my career 22:14
stickster A career that had nothing to do with free software itself 22:14
stickster So I dived in to help 22:15
stickster And eventually one thing led to another 22:15
stickster working in Fedora Documentation became... 22:15
stickster working on the Fedora Docs Steering Committee... 22:15
stickster became... 22:15
stickster working as an inaugural member of the Fedora Board... 22:15
stickster became... 22:15
stickster getting a call from Max to see if I was interested in a job. 22:16
stickster And honestly, I didn't *need* this job, but it was too fascinating to pass up! 22:16
stickster And now I get to spend all day (and many nights) ;-) working with and talking to fine people like yourselves! 22:16
stickster erinlea80: There's another half to your question 22:17
stickster I got involved in Fedora because it was the first community distribution that had its roots in a long-standing commercial product 22:17
stickster I had used the commercial product for a long time so it was natural that I was interested in diving into building it 22:17
erinlea80 That certainly makes sense. :) 22:17
stickster Debian was *obviously* there earlier 22:18
stickster But others like OpenSuSE and Ubuntu came about because Fedora blazed the trail of a partnership between commerce and community 22:18
* stickster pauses now to see if there are other questions he hasn't answered 22:19
* roguedaemon waves 22:19
stickster OK then 22:19
stickster moving on... 22:19
* thomasj waves back 22:19
stickster Now I've done a little rah-rah cheerleading, it's time to talk nuts and bolts a little. 22:19
stickster The first thing you need to get involved is a Fedora account 22:20
Bugz I'm interested a little in how to contribute to documentation, an overview of how the process works 22:20
stickster Bugz: Great question 22:20
stickster Bugz: And I'll get there in just a few minutes 22:20
stickster Docs, like all our other projects, requires a Fedora account 22:21
stickster Where do you get one? 22:21
stickster 22:21
stickster This used to be a really difficult process but fortunately it's all a couple mouse clicks away now 22:21
Abd4llA stickster: would a redhat account do ? 22:21
stickster We don't really treat substantially different from anyone else 22:22
stickster You'd still want a Fedora account 22:22
ricky (they're two different systems) 22:22
stickster ricky: +1, exactly 22:22
Abd4llA k 22:22
stickster What does a Fedora account get you? 22:23
stickster 1. A Fedora identity, which you can use for group access for more technical tasks, if that's where you want to get involved 22:23
stickster 2. A SSH account on, and 150 MB of shareable web space 22:23
* nirik also notes an openid you can use at sites that take openid too. 22:24
stickster 3. Other benefits like the possibility of an IRC cloak that makes you show up as (for example) "fedora/johnpublic" on IRC 22:24
thomasj fas.. ok 22:24
domg472 do we still need a telephone to be able to register? 22:24
stickster 4. A Voice-over-IP account where you and fellow contributors can contact each other 22:24
zless stickster, oh? i thought you still need approval from 'spot' for that IRC cloak. 22:25
stickster zless: It's not automatic but there aren't any real entrance requirements; you just need to request one 22:25
Ineluctable are there free voip accounts? 22:25
ivazquez Not so much approval as much as he has to request it. 22:25
stickster domg472: You need a contact number, whether it's your own or someone who can get a hold of you 22:25
domg472 i don own a telephone :/ 22:26
jds2001 someone you know surely does. 22:26
kdn Could you elaborate on IRC cloaking? 22:26
domg472 thanks for the answer 22:26
stickster domg472: If you have family with a telephone, that would suffice I believe 22:26
stickster This is a legal requirement since Fedora does have to adhere to US laws and regulations 22:27
kdn 'twasn't clear to me how to make the request .. 22:27
stickster Ineluctable: Yes, the VoIP account is free, but it does not allow outgoing calls 22:27
stickster So you can't use it for free long-distance, for example 22:27
ivazquez It doesn't have PSTN connectivity. 22:27
stickster But you can use it to receive calls and to contact other Fedora contributors who are signed onto the VoIP system. 22:27
stickster ivazquez: Actually it does, but only incoming. 22:27
Ineluctable stickster: can I contact other fedora members? 22:27
ricky kdn: 22:27
ivazquez Fair enough. 22:28
jds2001 yes, you can call me at 5102788 for example. 22:28
stickster Ineluctable: Yes, absolutely, if their phones are signed in. 22:28
brunowolff That's neat. Is there a directory? Can people use it to call you? 22:28
kdn tks, ricky 22:28
stickster Yes 22:28
stickster All right, so that's enough about the benefits 22:29
stickster But to keep our eyes on the prize: 22:29
stickster It's not all about what you get 22:29
stickster It's what you *give* 22:29
stickster Being a contributor is more than just being a proud user of free software 22:29
stickster Although I think that everyone here is probably the latter, too 22:29
stickster I know I am! 22:29
stickster What are some ways to get involved in contributing to Fedora? 22:29
stickster I'm going to talk about some of the groups in Fedora and what they do 22:30
brunowolff Filing bug reports 22:30
stickster brunowolff: +1, yes, QA and bug triage 22:30
stickster (which jds2001 spoke about so eloquently earlier) 22:30
stickster Anybody else have ideas? 22:30
doddo packaging 22:30
brunowolff Maintaining packages 22:30
stickster doddo: +1 22:30
stickster brunowolff: OK, you've had your limelight! :-D 22:30
stickster kidding! 22:31
stickster anyone else? 22:31
brunowolff In your intro you didn't mention artists. 22:31
domg472 i am just helping people out on irc 22:31
Sid there's way more, translation, documentation, infrastructure 22:31
stickster What about translation? 22:31
Ineluctable distribution of media or anything else that brings members to the community? 22:31
kdn documenting? 22:31
erinlea80 marketing and advocacy 22:31
cga hi all 22:31
Abd4llA What exactly is "Maintaining packages " ? 22:31
stickster Sid: +3 22:31
stickster Ineluctable: +1 22:31
stickster kdn: +1 22:31
thomasj hopefully, helper in #fedora as well 22:31
stickster erinlea80: +1 22:31
stickster thomasj: +1! 22:32
stickster What about helping with website maintenance? 22:32
stickster Web design? 22:32
stickster What about system administration and infrastructure tasks? 22:32
stickster All of these things allow you to get involved. 22:32
neverho0d local community support 22:32
kanarip Abd4llA, maybe i can answer that for you? 22:32
zless getting ISPs to stop using bastardized and/or EOL versions of Fedora? 22:33
stickster Abd4llA: kanarip: And I think ivazquez is doing a classroom session in ~30 minutes on that very subject 22:33
zless  :) 22:33
Ineluctable how about host events that bring the community togther as well as non-members 22:33
erinlea80 install fests. 22:33
stickster Ineluctable: Yes, Ambassadorial duties +1 22:33
stickster So let's talk a little about some of these groups. 22:33
stickster First, translation 22:33
kanarip Abd4llA, a package, as you know, gets updates to make sure bugs are fixed, security issues are closed, 22:33
enhancements are incorporated
kanarip Abd4llA, somebody has to update those packages and make sure everything works on an installed system; that is 22:34
practically what package maintainers do
Abd4llA gr8 22:34
stickster So... 22:35
stickster There are hundreds -- maybe *thousands* -- of people donating time to translate software and documentation 22:35
stickster We have a Translation (also called Localization or "L10n" for short) team 22:35
stickster that works on these issues 22:35
stickster and a dedicated site and project 22:35
stickster 22:36
stickster There is also a wiki page devoted to the L10n team whre you can find information on joining 22:36
stickster 22:36
stickster All you need is a computer, some time and energy, and knowledge of US English and at least one other language 22:36
fengshaun darn, I have to go out! 22:37
stickster Translators work on the software in Fedora that is specific to Fedora (like system-config-* tools) 22:37
fengshaun sorry stickster, and see you everyone! 22:37
jds2001 FergatROn: that's fine, the logs will be there :) 22:37
stickster and documentation like the release notes and installation guide 22:37
stickster our websites, and so on... 22:37
LinuxCode stickster, I hope you meant International English 22:37
stickster To make Fedora accessible to people all around the world 22:38
fengshaun jds2001, thanks! 22:38
stickster LinuxCode: Any English will probably do nicely ;-) 22:38
Abd4llA what if I'm a developer, I get to work only in the software specific to Fedora ? 22:38
doddo so how does it work IRL, for example the translation part, there must be some workflow, right? I meen you dont 22:38
just start translating randomly?
jds2001 Abd4llA: we would very much encourage you to work upstream as well. 22:39
stickster Abd4llA: Not at all, but if you want to work on non-Fedora specific software, you would probably want to get 22:39
involved with the upstream community that provides that software
stickster doddo: That's right 22:39
jds2001 and anything that you put in Fedora should be on a path to upstream. 22:39
stickster doddo: And the people at the L10n team, as well as a locale-specific team in your nation, can help you get started 22:39
stickster Obviously there's not time for me to tell everyone about how each specific team works 22:40
stickster (and I'd probably get the details wrong if I tried!) 22:40
stickster jds2001: +1 22:40
stickster jds2001 has pointed out a very important part of how Fedora contributions benefit the *entire* free software community 22:40
stickster Everything we do, everything we use, and everything we create in Fedora is 100% free and open source 22:41
Discordian Except the artwork etc? 22:41
stickster Discordian: No, actually, artwork is exactly the same 22:41
Discordian Ahhh ok 22:41
stickster 100% free and open source, and more than that, *created* with free and open tools 22:41
Discordian Yes I appreciate that 22:42
jds2001 the only thing that you need permission for is the logo. 22:42
stickster So the Artwork team uses, for example, tools like GIMP and Inkscape 22:42
jds2001 but that is very specifically not included in the artwork. 22:42
ivazquez Trademark law still applies. 22:42
stickster jds2001: Yes, that's right -- the Fedora logo is an official trademark 22:42
Discordian jds: thanks that's what I was thinking of 22:42
kiakli and rpmfusion-free is 100% free? 22:42
stickster Which is why we specifically *don't* put it in our artwork 22:42
stickster So that others can use it 22:42
Discordian inkscape is very cool 22:42
@nirik kiakli: they are not part of fedora. ;) Ask them what they mean by free there. 22:43
stickster So Discordian helped me get Artwork into the discussion 22:43
stickster How about documentation? 22:43
stickster Just about anyone can help with cleaning up wiki pages 22:43
stickster Or collecting information into helpful pages 22:43
stickster If you are willing to learn a few new skills, you can also work on some of our bigger documents 22:44
stickster like the Release Notes and the Installation Guide 22:44
stickster 22:44
kdn Supposing that I have a FAS account(I do), and supposing I want to contribute(I do), how can I play along? 22:44
stickster kdn: 22:44
kdn brb 22:44
stickster That URL will help you find a team that does things you might want to help do 22:45
Discordian I'd certainly like to help if I can 22:45
zless i suppose typical, example workflows would be helpful 22:45
brunowolff Do you have to be in the Doc group to edit random (not your own) wiki pages or is CLA good enough? 22:45
stickster brunowolff: Great question! 22:45
domg472 i contribute to documents just by helping the writer, answering questions etc 22:45
stickster brunowolff: When you get a Fedora account, that is *all* you need to help on the wiki 22:45
stickster You sign into the wiki with the same user name and password. 22:45
stickster domg472: And you can extend that work into your local community with the Ambassadors program too 22:46
domg472 good to know 22:46
domg472 most of my work is on irc 22:46
stickster Ambassadors spend some of their free time talking to local individuals, groups, schools, businesses, government, etc. 22:46
about Fedora
* erinlea80 would love to hear more about local community initiatives... 22:46
stickster Ambassadors also give Fedora a presence at trade shows in their areas 22:47
stickster To spread the word about Fedora and free software, and help answer questions in person 22:47
stickster erinlea80: You would probably be very interested in what our Ambassadors do, then 22:47
stickster They are really the bridge between Fedora and all the local communities in the world where free software can help make 22:47
people's lives better
stickster I have a quesetion 22:48
stickster Actually, I have a *question* 22:48
stickster Are there any system administrators present (other than current Fedora principals)? 22:48
* erinlea80 raises her hand 22:48
Discordian I'm a sysadmin 22:48
doddo yeah I am too 22:48
kdn a-yup 22:48
stickster You might be interested in our Infrastructure team 22:48
neverho0d me too 22:48
domg472 i adminstrate my system sure 22:48
stickster 22:48
kiakli +1 22:49
stickster In particular, sysadmins who run multiple systems for *other* people? 22:49
domg472 not a pro here ;) 22:49
Discordian Yeah I might be more use packaging stuff 22:49
Abd4llA I amm 22:49
stickster Even if you only administer *your* system 22:49
kdn yep 22:49
neverho0d i am 22:49
stickster you can get involved in Fedora Infrastructure 22:49
Discordian I run stuff for other people 22:49
erinlea80 I run multiple systems for a fortune 100 giant 22:49
stickster They maintain a world-class server backend that makes the whole Fedora Project run 22:49
stickster including technologies like virtualization, change management systems, automated backups, distributed source 22:50
code management, and hosted projects
stickster We have equipment located around the world 22:50
stickster And a "follow-the-sun" team that keeps it all running smoothly 22:50
Discordian I tend to use CentOS for servers but it's all part of the family 22:50
Discordian Yeah I've done follow the sun with USA, JA and AU servers as well as UK 22:51
Abd4llA stickster: are there any "windows" servers :P 22:51
stickster It's a great place to learn about the methods they use for easy and scalable system administration 22:51
stickster Abd4llA: HA HA HA! 22:51
stickster  :-) 22:51
stickster So I would recommend that if you have skill or interest in that, Infra is where it's at 22:52
Discordian Oh dear he said the W* word 22:52
LinuxCode lets flog him 22:52
LinuxCode  ;-p 22:52
LinuxCode in a hypothetically sense 22:52
stickster Jon talked very eloquently already about bug triage, which is part of a larger quality assurance (QA) effort 22:53
LinuxCode stickster, does the infrastructure team run git etc.. and decide on whats run ? 22:53
stickster LinuxCode: I believe they use git for most of their source control tasks 22:53
LinuxCode or does the steering committee decide on what software they want run ? 22:54
stickster LinuxCode: They also provide CVS, SVN, bazaar, and Mercurial 22:54
stickster And there may be one more in there that I'm forgetting 22:54
LinuxCode interesting 22:54
stickster They provide those SCM's for other projects too 22:54
Ineluctable stickster: Just a thought but I think that the fedora-classroom should be add to 22:54
page as an on going live training, or school enviroment type of thing.
stickster So each software project gets to choose its SCM 22:54
jds2001 the main fedora repo uses CVS for specfiles. 22:54
Discordian maybe the other is RCS or perforce? 22:55
jds2001 however, each hosted project is free to choose their SCM. 22:55
stickster Ineluctable: I'm absolutely sure that nirik will be doing that once we have settled into a routine and know that people like 22:55
this as a continuing effort
jds2001 Discordian: neither of those :) 22:55
ivazquez Within limits. 22:55
ivazquez svn, git, hg, bzr, mtn. 22:55
stickster mtn, that's the one. 22:55
jds2001 ahh yes, mtn 22:55
Discordian ahhh ok 22:55
@nirik Ineluctable: yeah, we will be learning from these sessions and updating things. Thats a great idea. 22:55
stickster Thank you ivazquez 22:55
stickster There is also the Websites team, which is different from the Infrastructure team 22:56
stickster They work on design and implementation of our sites 22:56
stickster keeping everything looking good and showing helpful information on each main web page 22:56
Discordian I couldn't design my way out of a paper bag lol 22:56
stickster It's the intersection of usability, design, and Web programming 22:56
stickster Another group I don't want to forget is the Fedora News team 22:57
stickster They provide a weekly newsletter that lets everyone know what's been going on in Fedora 22:57
stickster Being on the Fedora News team couldn't be simpler 22:57
brunowolff They are pretty go about that. There was a bodhi update that required javascript for something to work so I 22:57
filed a complaint and
* kdn noting that the lecture hall now has > 80 members. Good! 22:57
stickster You just have to be able to summarize discussions and events in one specific area of Fedora (like, for example, 22:57
the Websites team) for publishing in the Fedora Weekly News
brunowolff a couple of hours later there was a new bodhi release with a fix. I was stunned. 22:58
brunowolff I think Luke did that. 22:58
stickster 22:58
stickster brunowolff: I'm constantly amazed at how much a volunteer team can get done 22:58
stickster We do have some leadership from paid Red Hat employees in specific cases 22:58
Ineluctable nirik: Awesome I am a beginer at linux and fedora but I do enjoy learning and maby one day teaching. I am going to 22:58
set up an fas account so I can contribute, please let me know how I can help with the fedora-classroom project,
stickster But a *lot* of the work is done by contributors around the world 22:59
stickster Wow, my time is nearly up here 22:59
stickster I hope this has been a helpful introduciton 22:59
@nirik Ineluctable: excellent. Feel free to find me after the sessions are over. 22:59
stickster I would like to give a challenge to everyone watching -- 22:59
stickster Get involved! 22:59
Discordian Thank you stickster 22:59
stickster You can make a difference in the lives of MILLIONS of people 22:59
@nirik thanks stickster ! 22:59
erinlea80 thank you stickster! 22:59
domg472 thanks 22:59
Bugz thank you stickster 22:59
* stickster waves at everyone and thanks nirik again for the opportunity 22:59

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