[Sugar-devel] How to get started as a Sugar Labs developer [v8]

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Sun Nov 17 16:30:09 EST 2019

New to Sugar Labs?

Unlock these achievements.  Work from top to bottom.

1.  Use Sugar, Sugarizer, or Music Blocks,


    * by using Sugar, Sugarizer or Music Blocks you will learn how it
      works, and what can be improved.

    * mandatory; we are an open source software project, and these
      three software products are what we produce,

2.  Read our Code of Conduct,


    * especially choose an appropriate forum, and remind others to do
      the same; we use many forums, but only GitHub and the developer
      mailing list have all our members,

    * mandatory,

3.  Join the developer mailing list,


    * for asking questions and helping others,

    * subscribe before posting,

    * don't use digest mode if you plan to post messages or replies,
      as it breaks threads,

    * try to keep discussions public; the default reply mode is
      private, so use reply-all,

    * check the archives in case your question has already been

    * mandatory,

4.  Get a GitHub account,


    * for reporting issues that you won't fix,

    * for fixing coding problems in source code,

    * fix fixing graphical design problems in source code,

    * recommended,

5.  Join the Sugar Labs GitHub organisation,


    * for regular source code contributors, and reviewers, by
      invitation, contact one of the existing members,

    * helpful for mail notification of GitHub activity,

    * optional,

6.  Join as a Member of Sugar Labs,


    * requires some contribution; code, documentation, translations,
      maintenance, running a Sugar deployment, or any other
      non-trivial activities which benefit Sugar Labs,

    * reviewed by committee,

    * optional,

7.  Get a wiki.sugarlabs.org account,


    * needed for maintaining Wiki content,

    * needed as part of moving Wiki content to GitHub,

    * for subscribing to edit notifications.

    * optional,

8.  Get an activities.sugarlabs.org account,


    * needed for releasing new versions of Sugar activities for
      systems that use Fedora 18 and Python 2,

    * optional,

9.  Get a shell.sugarlabs.org account,


    * requires a justification,

    * also provides a @sugarlabs.org mail alias,

    * for releasing new versions of Sugar components, test builds,
      or large data sets,

    * for limited experimentation with non-root network services, such
      as bots or IRC proxies,

    * optional,

10. Get a translate.sugarlabs.org account,


    * if you are bi- or multi-lingual, use your skills,

    * especially if you can test Sugar activities and components, as
      this will inform your translations,

    * optional,

11. Get a bugs.sugarlabs.org account,


    * only if you must maintain old bug reports, many of which have
      not been closed,

    * new bugs may be reported via GitHub issues,

    * optional,

12. Join Sugar on Fedora live system mailing list,


    * download, test, report bugs, fix bugs, package,

    * share your experience with others who focus on this

    * optional,

13. Join Sugar on Debian mailing lists,


    * download, test, report bugs, fix bugs, package,

    * share your experience with others who focus on this

    * optional,

14. Join the Internet Relay Chat channel #sugar


    * for synchronous chat with others,

    * requires registration with freenode.net,

    * stay connected and keep the window open for hours to see
      discussion; does not work well with mobility,

    * optional,

15. Join the Internet Relay Chat channel #sugar-meeting


    * for announced meetings,

    * requires registration with freenode.net,

    * optional,

16. Join Gitter


    * for chat with others, though it really hasn't taken off,

    * best forum is mailing list sugar-devel@ for topics of general

    * requires registration with one of several organisations,

    * optional,

17. Maintain an Activity


    * many learner focused activities (apps) need simple maintenance,

    * adopt an activity you like as your focus.

Hope that helps!


How to ask for directions?

“How to get started as a Sugar Labs developer” above assumes you are
self-directed.  You will decide for yourself what is best for you to
do.  You will use Sugar, Sugarizer or Music Blocks, and choose what to
maintain or improve, based on;

    * your time,
    * your interest,
    * your equipment,
    * how many other people are also interested, and;
    * your previous experience with the languages and tools.

You are always the best judge of these things.  If you fail in one of
these areas, you can self-improve.

Lionel (@llaske) can tell you what needs doing in Sugarizer.  Walter
(@walterbender) can tell you what needs doing in Music Blocks.  For
Sugar, what needs doing is;

    * maintenance of activities, through to release and publishing;
      roughly 90% of our activities are not maintained,

    * maintenance of the JavaScript library and back-porting Sugarizer
      activities to Sugar; roughly 95% of the activities have not been

    * maintenance of the GTK 3 toolkit and shell (for experts),

    * porting old activities to GTK 3, TelepathyGLib and Python 3;
      roughly 85% of the activities need some form of porting,

    * in conjunction with other communities, package Sugar and
      activities for Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, and any other
      distributions of interest; roughly 90% of the activities have
      not been packaged,

It is tempting to do something small like the web site.  Please don't.

New developers should avoid changes to our infrastructure, such as web
sites and documentation, until they have demonstrated their
contribution to and awareness of the source code of Sugar, Sugarizer
or Music Blocks.

This is also a cultural difference.  Sugar Labs is closer to the
innovation culture of Silicon Valley than to a university.  We don't
direct ourselves much at all.

For personal development in the open source innovation culture, please
also read How To Become A Hacker by Eric S. Raymond.

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