What it takes to bake a pizza

June 15th, 2008

Some will think "Why should I participate in the Pizza, Bugs and Fun event? Why not just let others fix bugs and write documentation for Joomla!?" After all, you likely have too many responsibilities in life, as it is. Perhaps you don’t see yourself as someone who has the kind of talent needed to help the Joomla! project. Maybe you really would like to help, but you have no idea how to get started. If you are thinking this way, you are not alone. In fact, those are typical reasons people do not participate.

Have you considered how contributing to the Joomla! project could be good for your business? Have you given any thought to the benefit that comes from networking with others who are talented Joomla! developers, site builders, and designers? The benefits from participation are very valuable, most especially for those using Joomla! commercially.

Over the next two weekends, on June 20th and 21st, and June 27th and 28th, people from all over the world will get together in homes, coffee shops, and offices. Some groups will be as small as two or three people. Others will work independently, joining this group of contributors online. Together, these people will fix bugs and work on other tasks important to the Joomla! project. Those who help finalize Joomla! 1.5.4 will directly influence that release. You can be certain that those who participate will have in mind fixes they need available for their customer base.

In an open source community, participants share that which the community makes available. All together, we have more than we could ever produce alone. Those of you who use Joomla! in a commercial setting are encouraged to begin working more closely with the community. We welcome you to contribute in an area of interest that is also smart for your business. Networking with others who provide Joomla! services and help with the community will certainly bring benefit and opportunity. Plus, it feels good knowing you helped improve the Joomla! project and volunteering can be a lot of fun!

Whether you have four days or four hours to help with the Pizza, Bugs and Fun event, the Joomla! project really does need and welcome your involvement. Please, sign up now.

In the initial announcement of the second PBF event we set the date for 21 and 22 of June. On request the event will be extended with an additional weekend so the 27th and 28th are alos part of the planning. If you want to help out during the weeks, or even organize a PBF on your own…feel free to do so, all the help is welcome. Especially companies are encouraged to donate venues to get people together, please register your venue on the wiki or contact me if you have any questions.

Working together on multiple locations…how does that work?

The decentralized approach will be challenging for people not directly involved in the development team or the bug squad. But it works, every day we work together this way in the bug squad. But for people new to this way of collaborating and working together it will for sure be difficult to start, we are pretty aware if that. We plan to set up something like we used during the first PBF event. A shared document with the artifacts categorized. When you want to work on an issue, you "take" the artifact, and work on it. More details on how we set this up will be shared this week in more detail. Until then it is helpful to read through the tracker and asses which issues are reported so you know what artifacts you would like to work on.

For people new to the Joomla! project or people who have no experience in collaborating this way everything can be incredible overwhelming (is sometimes still is with me). Remember that the Joomla! community is known for our ability to help people, a nicer place to start working together in the Free Open Source Software environment is very hard to find. Be confident, and just try to get in, and I guarantee you that it will be a fun experience for sure!

Further Reading

There is a lot of information available on the wiki and the development blog. The information available can be very overwhelming, but if you want to start quickly as you join into the PBF event we advise you to read it. Reading the information will take you between 30-60 minutes.

The use of the tracker is described in the documentation wiki, but as mentioned also in several blogs from the bug squad members. Let’s link to some information here:

  • When people find an issue they can report it on our tracker, all details of this can be found in the reporting issues page on the wiki.
  • Additional information on this can be found on the development blog, check out the blog describing the artifact statuses, the blog describing the artifact priorities and the blog describing some basic things about patches.
  • Reported issues are normally handled by members of the bug squad, but during PBF not only bug squad members will work on resolving issues, everyone is invited! To read how we normally handle reported issues we suggest you read the resolving issues page on the wiki.
  • To help out testing you need to have at least an editor and a subversion client. The editor is obvious for those creating patches, and a subversion client is used to apply or create patched. Maybe you use an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like Eclipse as the editing tool and have integral access to subversion. I personally consider setting up Subversion is an easy task, but I know non-developers can get totally lost. For those using Eclipse we advise you to take a look at the wiki page where the use of Subversion is explained (including an Eclipse video tutorial).

When working on the PBF event it is important to understand the concept of implementing or creating a patch-file since patches are the starting point of registering, analysing, testing and solving reported issues.