[Ksummit-2008-discuss] Fixing the Kernel Janitors project

Jiri Kosina jkosina at suse.cz
Wed Jun 4 04:35:27 PDT 2008


On Wed, 28 May 2008, James Bottomley wrote:

> I don't think so.  But that's not really what I'm saying.  I'm saying we
> need to make the process of encouraging useful contributors more
> streamlined (as in less aggro on the mailing list).  If that involves
> cutting out the less useful ones earlier, so be it.  

After think about this a little bit more ...

The projects on kerneljanitors and kernelnewbies pages themselves look 
pretty good to me -- i.e. they are not going to scare people away by being 
too complex, they have the potential to be useful to the community, etc.

Maybe the bigger problem is that the information is simply not widespread.

You know -- we can often see posts to lkml such as "hey, I am a newbie, I 
want to contribute, what should I do?" and then comes response redirecting 
the person to kernelnewbies / kerneljanitors. 

On the other side, I know that universities (in their computer-science 
oriented study programmes, of course) have often problems with not having 
enough interesting projects for "Operating systems" kind of classes; even 
coming up with topics for master theses could sometimes be painful for 
them, if there are more students than creative ideas for work topics.

So maybe

- keeping the list of projects / TODOs interesting enough (*)
*and*
- putting some more effort into making sure that universities are aware of 
  the fact that we have such list of things that could save them effort 
  because they wouldn't have to pull work assignments out from the air 
  completely (**)

we could then receive non-trivial amount of newcomers providing useful 
code and getting closely acquainted with kernel coding for really low 
price.

(*) I guess every subsystem maintainer has a lots of things he would like 
to have implemented in his area; at least I have :)
(**) This would mean really some slight PR aimed towards universities; 
maybe Linux foundation could help here a little bit?

-- 
Jiri Kosina
SUSE Labs


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