I suppose I should post an #introduction.
"How do I get started contributing to open source? What are some good entry-level tasks to work on?"
These are questions I am often asked, so here's the answer for everyone to read:
Scratch your own itches. Find bugs that are causing you problems, conspicuously missing features you would find useful, and implement them - in literally any free/open-source software you're using. Don't worry about not being familiar with the codebase or programming language or whatever, just solve one problem at a time.
Try this: next time you go to report a bug, report it, and immediately start working on a patch which fixes the problem.
Scratching your own itches is the best source of motivation and maximizes your productivity.
Often that means not contributing to my projects at all, if you're asking how to get started with a specific project. Maybe you like it because it's flawless 😉 (hah!), in which case it wouldn't need your help anyway. Go fix something which is bugging you in another project. Spread the contributor wealth around and eventually it'll come back to my projects, too.
You can find a recording of my talk on Small Web at Creative Mornings Istanbul today at https://small-tech.org/events
(The audio is rather hot and there’s an audio mismatch which I’d thought I’d handled in my tests this week – I’m running off a laptop at the moment and it’s having trouble keeping up – but hey, this was the first time doing anything with this new setup so I will tweak as I go.) :)
General-purpose OS, special-purpose OS, and now: vendor-purpose OS
So suddenly there’s a lot of attention around email and it’s exposing how many people in the web community still use Gmail. Like actually trust all your personal information and communication (and that of your potentially marginalised or vulnerable contacts) with Google. 🤮
There are a lot of hard problems and lack of alternatives when it comes to rights-respecting technology. But email (as imperfect as it is) has a fair few affordable alternative providers. Small change, big difference.
Questions to ask when evaluating an online service
1. Are they open source to an extent that you're comfortable with? Do they ask you to run proprietary software on your devices? Is the code running on their servers open?
2. If they claim to be open source, do they use an OSI-approved or FSF-approved software license? If not, they're misleading you.
3. Is your personal data handled by such proprietary software? Do you ever transmit your personal data to their servers? Even if open source, they would be able to read and use this data however they wish and you wouldn't be able to tell - do you trust them to? What if they're compelled by law enforcement?
4. Do the needs justify the personal data they are collecting about you? If not, why are they collecting it?
5. If they claim to use encryption for the data which is transmitted to their server - question whether or not it's really private. Do they ever handle the unencrypted data? For example, if an email service claims to encrypt incoming emails, they have an opportunity to read the unencrypted email before they store it. Do they disclose these "gotcha"s, or do they make clear the limitations of their encryption? Is any encrypted information decrypted by software they control, like their web application, or a desktop application which is automatically updated without your consent? If so, they could decrypt it on your computer and transmit the decrypted data back to their servers.
6. Are they responsible for any scarce resources, like an email address, phone number, and so on, which you wouldn't be able to take with you if you leave? Are there ways to provide the same functionality without scarcity, such as the use of your own domain? If so, why aren't they offering them? How important are these resources to your identity, will your friends be able to find you if you choose to stop using the service?
7. How do they make money? What is their motivation for providing services to you? If their circumstances change, will their values change? How likely is change?
New post: How to pay your rent with your open source project
Including @Ghost@twitter.com, @firstname.lastname@example.org, @email@example.com, @firstname.lastname@example.org and other great, sustainable open source products.
System76 announce their 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen powered Serval WS laptop https://www.gamingonlinux.com/2020/06/system76-3rd-gen-amd-ryzen-powered-serval-ws-laptop #NewRelease #Hardware
I appreciated this video because he is articulate, insightful, and talks about how to improve the world in a more subtle way than you may have heard before.
This is the kind of git commit messages I would like to write: https://dhwthompson.com/2019/my-favourite-git-commit
Wait, what's that? An 8GB version of the Pi 4?!
Need to send encrypted emails? #Nextcloud mail uses browser add-in Mailvelope for this, and the latest Mail release improves the integration of this add-in.
From HN comments: "Gemini sites load so fast, it's a little crazy". Not at all, what's crazy is that we've come to accept as normal that downloading O(1000) words of text that we actually care about reading takes long enough to notice and sometimes might make your laptop fan spin up a little - in 2020!
Re-Logic detail the new 'Journey Mode' for Terraria 1.4 that lets you do basically anything https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/re-logic-detail-the-new-journey-mode-for-terraria-14-that-lets-you-do-basically-anything.16600 #IndieGame #Upcoming #Update
Announcing the SourceHut project hub 🎉
I don't usually explicitly ask for shares, but this is a big deal for SourceHut - the project hub solves one of our major goals for the alpha. Please help spread the word ❤️
"This current situation is almost prophetically designed to showcase the farce of our societal approach to separating work and family lives.
"We are expected to work from home full time. And care for our children full time. And we cannot have anyone outside our immediate household help. It can’t work and we all are suffering at the illusion that it does."