[Dev] The Theova Question

bill-auger bill-auger at peers.community
Tue Nov 26 01:13:56 GMT 2019

i just wanted to point out that neither building packages, nor
having any prior coding/compiling experience are essential;
though regarding any software project, people generally do have
the opposite impression and are reluctant to get involved

though this may not be true for every free software project; one
of the main goals of parabola, beyond merely providing a
fully-libre operating system, is to teach people how to exercise
control of their own computing, by making practical use of
software freedom - although that is the consensus opinion of the
parabola devs (and based on discussions i have had with some of
the most senior team members such as aurelien, that has always
been so), it is not actually expressed anywhere formally - ive
suggested revising the "social contract" into more of a
conventional "mission statement", rather than a list of promises
- in that form, it could be amended to include "advancing
computer literacy" as a stated goal

it would be quite alright for someone with little or no special
experience to join the team - we would be more than happy to
teach the specific skills that one would need to move onto more
advanced tasks - one could start off with bug triaging for
example, and most of the skills necessary for maintaining
packages and documentation, would be acquired in time, as a
matter of course

even for someone who was not interested in coding at all, there
are several ways that one could be considered as a full member
of the team, that would not require any programming or sysadmin
skills - the most important factor justifying the formal
induction procedure, would be the demonstration of one's
long-term dedication to the project, rather than a fleeting
interest, which is often seen

it is merely coincidental that in the past, parabola devs have
been inducted on the merits of their prior technical
contributions - it is a marvelous testament to the relatively
high skill-level of the parabola team as a whole, that we can do
so much with so few hands; but that necessarily leaves some
important, albeit less technically demanding tasks unattended,
such as documentation, aesthetics/UX, and triaging bugs on the
lesser-used DEs

theova, for example, started by updating out-dated wiki articles
- that is a valuable contribution on it's own - one could join
the parabola team if only for the dedication to maintaining the
wiki; or any other special tasks such as artwork, or community
relations such as moderating the forum, publishing news
releases, and fielding/mediating questions from reddit and the
fediverse - it is in practice, more fruitful to have
non-technical people attending to those tasks - the most
technically-skilled people generally approach those tasks from
too high of an abstraction level, which is actually sub-optimal

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