[Python-Dev] Encouraging developers

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Thu Mar 8 02:11:05 CET 2007

Facundo Batista schrieb:
> I finally understood the problem, and build python from the repository,
> and made the tests from *this* python (actually, this was an easy step
> because I'm on Ubuntu, but *I* would be dead if working in Windows, for
> example).
> Ok. *Me*, that I'm not ashame of asking what I don't know, if I didn't
> resolve it I'd finally asked in python-dev. But how many people would
> have throw the towel withoug getting so far?
> How many people want to submit a patch, or even a bug, or finds a patch
> to review, but don't know how to do something and thinks that python-dev
> is not the place to ask (too high minds and experienced people and
> everything)?

If people want to contribute to open source, they just need to learn
the rules. One of the primary rules is that most of it is a meritocracy:
it's not "high minds" that give reputation, but past contributions.

Sure, some people will be shied (sp?) away by merely thinking about
python-dev. For them, the barrier is high for *any* contribution to
open source software.

> What I propose is a dedicated place (mailing list, for example), that is
> something like a place where you can go and ask the silliest questions
> about helping in the developing process.

In principle, python-dev should be such a place, but I can see how it
isn't (due to nobody's fault). However, people should  feel free
to ask any question on python-help at python.org, and actually do so.

> - How can I know if a patch is still open?

Easy: if it's marked as Open.

> - I found a problem, and know how to fix it, but what else need to do?

Go to www.python.org, then "CORE DEVELOPMENT", then "Patch submission".

> - Found a problem in the docs, for this I must submit a patch or tell
> something about it? How?

Read CORE DEVELOPMENT, Intro to development.

> - I found an error in the docs, and fixed it, but I'm spanish speaker
> and my english sucks, can I submit a patch with bad wording or I must
> ask somebody to write it ok?

What would your intuition tell you to do?

> Me, for example, has an actual question to this list: "How can I know,
> if I change something in the doc's .tex files, that I'm not broking
> the TeX document structure?".

You don't have to know. As a general contributor, just submit your
patch, and perhaps the reviewer will catch the error. As a submitter,
just submit the code, and George Yoshida will catch it. It's not
strictly necessary that the documentation actually builds all
the time. If you want to be sure it builds, run "make html" in


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