Saturday, June 5, 2010

How to start GNOME development? The website does not make it easy

Welcome to GNOME developer blog. This blog details my journey starting out as a GNOME developer.

I use GNOME and I've decided I wish to contribute. I want to contribute as a developer. The steps I usually take when developing software are:
  1. Download
  2. Build
  3. Run
  4. Learn
  5. Edit
For GNOME getting to step 1 is not easy.

Where to start? I decide is a good place to start. A 'Contribute' link is easy to find. Good work GNOME team.

The 'Contribute' link takes me to a community page. I don't like this page. The page writes about news, reviews and user groups. I want to contribute code. Eventually I find what I am after. At the very bottom of the page is a start contributing link.

Now I am at the 'Joining the GNOME Project...' page. The page layout is clear. I was able to quickly discover the correct section - Development. I followed the GnomeLove link.

I visit the 'Getting started' section. 'How to Start Your GNOME journey' sounds exactly what I want. This page suggests submitting bug fixes. How do I test fix or test bugs before building GNOME? The page doesn't mention building GNOME.

'Technical guides' seems promising - it mentions a guide on building. Alas, the guide is out of date. It details CVS which is no longer used and refers to GNOME servers that don't exist. However the guide indicates JHBuild may be what I am after.

Now I know about JHBuild, I find the JHbuild page. I set-up JHBuild and my GNOME development journey is away. That was too hard. Some developers may already be frustrated. Instructions on how to build GNOME should be more prominent on the GNOME website - not buried five steps below a Contribute link.

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