Linked by Kaj de Vos on Tue 8th Jun 2010 22:07 UTC
Syllable, AtheOS

The Syllable project is pleased to announce that the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated, and that the new version 0.4 of Syllable Server has been released. This release focuses on maturing existing functionality, improving security, ongoing system restructuring, and making the system a suitable base for third-party package managers. Although the project admits it hasn't brought its unicorn factory online yet, extensive work was done on the nitty-gritty, so the full change log is quite long.

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RE[5]: Cool, I guess...
by Kaj-de-Vos on Thu 10th Jun 2010 19:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Cool, I guess..."
Kaj-de-Vos
Member since:
2010-06-09

So what would you suggest non-developers do in terms of helping out Syllable Desktop? File bug reports for things that just don't get fixed? :-)

http://forum.syllable.org/viewtopic.php?t=1326
http://forum.syllable.org/viewtopic.php?t=769
http://forum.syllable.org/viewtopic.php?t=1220

Well, they could report bugs that do get fixed:

http://forum.syllable.org/viewforum.php?f=5

For example, you contributed testing information which helped us to get the OpenSSH server running on Syllable Desktop. Don't you think that is progress?

The bug reports list on our forum occupies five pages, while the fixed bugs occupy three pages. So this rough estimate suggests that three out of eight reported bugs are fixed. This does not include fixed bugs that were reported on our previous web sites and bug trackers, and does not include all the bugs we continuously fix among ourselves during development.

I think you know all this, but at the risk of stating the obvious:

- Software projects have bugs.
- Large software projects have many bugs.
- Any change can create new bugs.
- As in nature, bugs come in all sorts and shapes.
- Bugs take effort to fix.
- Bugs are made by people, so they need to be fixed by people.
- Some bugs are easy to fix, some bugs are very hard.
- Ambitious and large software projects tend to have hard bugs.
- If you run out of cooperative people before you run out of bugs, some bugs are unfixed.
- Some bugs are annoying, some bugs are showstoppers.
- Showstoppers can, well, stop the show, meaning they delay releases.
- Annoying bugs can be ignored by those who can stand them.
- One man's annoyance can be another man's showstopper.
- In a commercial project, someone pays others to fix his showstoppers and annoyances.
- In a volunteer project, people are in the first place expected to fix their own bugs.
- If one volunteer wants another volunteer to fix his bug for him, he needs to figure out something to make him do that.

We are entering the social realm here, but this can take many forms. One way to make someone help you is to make other contributions yourself. On your question how non-developers can help, here's how people have helped us over the years. I'm sure I forgot several:

- Write new system code.
- Write new Syllable applications.
- Port existing programs.
- Test code.
- Report problems.
- Fix code.
- Build code.
- Release code.
- Write documentation.
- Set up web sites.
- Set up communication systems.
- Set up download sites.
- Maintain sites.
- Set up web magazines.
- Write articles for the web sites and magazines.
- Create artwork for Syllable.
- Create artwork for the web sites and magazines.
- Translate Syllable and its applications.
- Translate documentation.
- Translate the web sites.
- Buy our CDs.
- Contract us for a Syllable-related project.
- Download Syllable by BitTorrent and leave it open so others can download from you.
- Donate money.
- Donate used hardware.
- Buy us new hardware.
- Provide us food when we don't have any.
- Provide us shelter when we don't have any.
- Promote the project elsewhere. Elsewhere is big, so there are many opportunities here.
- Write articles for other magazines.
- Write articles about Syllable on your own web site.
- Show Syllable locally.
- Spread our CDs locally.
- Help others install and use Syllable.
- Organise conferences.
- Setup a Syllable booth at some other conference.
- Provide space for a conference.
- Provide equipment for a conference.
- Drive us to a conference.
- Sail us around the country in your ship so we can have a nice conference.
- Make photos of our conferences.
- Film our conferences.
- Pay us a compliment.
- Thank us for offering the gift of Syllable.
- Be nice and understanding.
- Stimulate someone else to do these things for us.

It's really not that hard to think of something anyone can do to support the project.

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