Changes between Initial Version and Version 1 of HowToStartContributingDev

Mar 17, 2010, 8:28:10 AM (12 years ago)



  • HowToStartContributingDev

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     1= How to start contributing to MapServer Development? =
     3This is a question every eventual contributor faces at some point, and since Frank wrote [ a very detailed answer to that question on the -dev list] we thought we'd archive it here:
     7Until you are on the MapServer commit list you won't actually
     8be able to commit the changes yourself.  So you could take the approach of:
     101) Build MapServer trunk from svn, with debug info.
     122) Scanning the open bug list for something that catches your fancy and
     13seems in within your competency:
     173) Make an attempt to reproduce the problem.  If this is going to take a
     18fair amount of work, you might want to mention in the ticket that you are
     19trying to investigate the problem.  If you succeed or fail to reproduce the
     20problem make notes in the ticket, possibly including a simplified set of
     21steps to reproduce the problem.
     234) If you have reproduced the problem you can start looking for a solution.
     24How to accomplish this is pretty broad, but
     265) If you come up with a solution, attach it to the ticket as a patch.
     27You can create a patch using "svn diff > mybug.patch".  Describe the
     28nature of the bug and the rationale of your change if appropriate.
     306) Now you are dependent on a committer to review and apply your patch.
     31You may find that the originally assignee (like Steve by default) picks up
     32on your patch and proceeds.  But if there is no action after a couple days
     33you might want to prod the ticket holder by email, ask on IRC for help
     34with the patch or here on mapserver-dev.
     367) Repeat steps 1-6 until people become annoyed enough applying your
     37patches that they ask if you would be willing to become a committer so
     38you can do it yourself.
     408) Also consider preparing new regression tests for the "msautotest"
     41test suite when you fix something.
     45In some cases you may not be able to fix a problem, but if you can
     46reproduce it and narrow it down to a test case that is highly forcused
     47and easy for another developer to pick up, then you have already
     48accomplished something useful.
     50In the above, I have assumed you wouldn't assign the ticket to yourself.
     51But once you are a bit more confident, you can start to "seize" tickets
     52that don't seem to be getting any love.  I'd suggest noting politely that
     53you are interested in looking into the issue unless the original owner
     54was wanting to take care of it.