Open Source is the new trend. When most of the major corporations are moving towards an open architecture by using Open Source tools and even pushing there internal projects into open source, it really makes your contributions worthy. But before starting with the contributions a lot of people face the same common set of questions. How they can start, how should they introduce themselves in the community and where they can contribute. To answer these questions, I planned to conduct a session on FOSS and Fedora in my college. During the planning phase, I got in touch with Sumantro Mukherjee, who is himself an open source enthusiast and contributing to various open source projects including Fedora project. With his help, we planned the agenda for the session and gathered the resources to conduct the session. Today, i.e., on 12th August, 2016, this session on FOSS and Fedora was conducted to answer these questions, to bring up new people in the Open source arena, where they can contribute, learn and make an impact.
The session started with a small question, that people who have tried their hands on contributing in the open source, what problems they faced during there journey. The answers to the questions ranged from having issues while working with the codebase of the projects to problems in figuring out about where to start from.
During the session, the main focus was to make the participants aware about what FOSS is and how it is beneficial to the community. The common misconception about freeware and FOSS being the same was also cleared during the session. During the session, a brief overview was presented to the participants about how they can start with their open source journey, from identifying the project where they want to contribute to sending their introduction mails in the mailing lists of the project. The session moved on with the topic about where the participants can contribute, what areas of contribution they can work in consisting of both technical and non-technical. Awareness was created about the fact that a contributor doesn’t need to possess the knowledge of coding to get started with contributions in the project.
After the session on FOSS, we went ahead with our agenda and introduced the Fedora Project and the community behind it. What Fedora Project is, what it aims for and how the participants can get started with Fedora. The participants were guided upon how they can create their identity on the Fedora Project by signing up on FAS and using that identity to get access to various Fedora projects. The session on Fedora moved on with the introduction on how the contributors can get to the mailing list and introduce themselves to the community from where they can get help about starting their introduction. The main focus during the session on Fedora was to introduce the participants to the Fedora QA and Release Validation.
Extending on the basic idea, an introduction to Bodhi and package testing was given to the participants with a live demo on how they can start with package testing. The demo consisted of how to login to Bodhi using FAS and then enabling the updates-testing repository on the Fedora installation to get the packages in testing. An overview of the Karma system was provided to the participants where they were told about what Karma means and how they should give the karma. The session proceeded with an overview of Release Validation and why it is important. The different channels in Fedora, rawhide, branched were introduced to the participants and what they mean. A demo of release validation using relval was provided to the participants.
The next session for the event was focused on getting started with GIT. GIT is a version control system being used by a lot of individuals and corporations to manage their software codebase and to keep track of the changes being made by the developers. During this session the participants were introduced with the basic workflow of GIT. How they can initialize a GIT repository, how they can add a remote repository and how to pull the project code. Participants were made accustomed with the git commit system and how it works and what are the associated benefits with this type of system. Moving on with the GIT session, participants were introduced about how various open source projects use version control systems like GIT to manage their code and accept contributions.
The event ended with an open question answer session where the participants asked variety of questions regarding Open source projects. These questions consisted of things like availability of paid opportunities in open source, competitions in open source, etc. Answering these questions, participants got to know about programs like Google Summer of Code, various conferences that are organized by the Open Source projects and the recognition model being that is being used by these projects.