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Entering ispcp Development: Where to start
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Mastacheata Offline
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Post: #1
Entering ispcp Development: Where to start
I'd like to invest some of my spare time helping with development of ispcp.
I've already read some of the open tickets in trac and caught a glimpse at the source code from the trunk.

I haven't yet worked on any opensource project at all, but read here that you'd appreciate it if interested people send in patches for certain bugs/problems/features.
That means one could start working on standalone problems and don't need to know how one bug fits into the project as a whole.

So now I'm here willing to help where I can but don't know where to start.
Would someone be so kind and shoot me a hint on where to start or just a rough outline how to find out myself.

What kind of bugs are good to get into the project (more the frontend things or should I better start off getting deep into the backend, the daemon or things like that)?

Does every main developer have a certain part of the project they specialized on and work themselves through or do you all do everything?
How do free developers like myself fit in there?

These Questions are thought to give you an idea of what I'd like to know and the answers will help me getting started.
You don't need to answer them if you think you can give me better advice otherwise.

Thank you in advance for devoting your precious time for my silly questions
12-05-2009 03:19 AM
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kilburn Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Entering ispcp Development: Where to start
Quote:I'd like to invest some of my spare time helping with development of ispcp.
Great and welcome! Smile

Quote:I haven't yet worked on any opensource project at all, but read here that you'd appreciate it if interested people send in patches for certain bugs/problems/features. That means one could start working on standalone problems and don't need to know how one bug fits into the project as a whole.
Yes, this is the usual way to get involved in an opensource project because of two main reasons: (1) You start getting in touch with the architecture, style, etc.. of the project while accomplishing specific things, so it's not just "lost study time". Additionally, (2) we get to see how you work and make sure that you are a responsible developer, taking care of your contributions not breaking other things, etc.. before having to give you commit access to the public repository.

Quote:So now I'm here willing to help where I can but don't know where to start.
Would someone be so kind and shoot me a hint on where to start or just a rough outline how to find out myself.

What kind of bugs are good to get into the project (more the frontend things or should I better start off getting deep into the backend, the daemon or things like that)?
You've already started by writting this post! Wink Now, the specific area from where to start is dependant on your skills. Are you mostly a web developer? If so, you could help me getting the new theme ready for the next major version. Are you mainly a php guy? Then gui-related stuff is your natural spot to start. Are you a perl gurú? Get ready for some backend work! Do you prefer the system administration area? Revise the current service configurations and search for possible improvements there...

Quote:Does every main developer have a certain part of the project they specialized on and work themselves through or do you all do everything?
How do free developers like myself fit in there?
We don't have a clear rule about it. In general, each dev works on whatever he/she wants to, but as we are not that much and know each other skills, the usual procedure is to discuss with the other relevant devs before implementing/modifying something. The forum is a great place to ask for questions or make proposals when you don't know whom to address them yet Wink

Quote:These Questions are thought to give you an idea of what I'd like to know and the answers will help me getting started. You don't need to answer them if you think you can give me better advice otherwise.
All your questions are relevant ones if we want to attract developers, so IMHO there should be a full document answering them (among other things) in the documentation. Let's see if someone takes the lead... hehe

Quote:Thank you in advance for devoting your precious time for my silly questions
Welcome aboard, and above all try to have fun while contributing!
(This post was last modified: 12-05-2009 03:36 AM by kilburn.)
12-05-2009 03:35 AM
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Mastacheata Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Entering ispcp Development: Where to start
Quote:All your questions are relevant ones if we want to attract developers, so IMHO there should be a full document answering them (among other things) in the documentation. Let's see if someone takes the lead... hehe

Well that would make ispcp the first opensource project I've seen with a starter's guide for new developers.

Quote:Are you mostly a web developer? If so, you could help me getting the new theme ready for the next major version.
Most definitely not. I'm not particularly on the warpath with HTML + CSS, but I don't have the right touch when it comes to design related issues.

Quote:Are you mainly a php guy? Then gui-related stuff is your natural spot to start.
At least that's what I do for a living (besides studying computer science)

Quote:Are you a perl gurú? Get ready for some backend work!
Hell no. I can read it most certainly, but writing sophisticated perl scripts sounds to me like memorize the english wikipedia in whole and when you're done with that go on with the german one until you reach the chinese or whichever one has the least articles.

Quote:Do you prefer the system administration area? Revise the current service configurations and search for possible improvements there...
Yeah you know, I do systems administration for some small community of about 20 people sharing 3 Servers, but only because all the others do have even less knowledge in that field.

So now that we managed to get my skills clear, I'll have a look around what needs to be done and start working.

Thanks for getting some structure into my thoughts. I'll most certainly be asking further questions soon.
12-05-2009 04:10 AM
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kilburn Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Entering ispcp Development: Where to start
Mastacheata Wrote:
kilburn Wrote:Are you mainly a php guy? Then gui-related stuff is your natural spot to start.
At least that's what I do for a living (besides studying computer science)

(Offtopic: I *was* a computer science student too Smile Pursuing my PhD in AI now... Big Grin)

Now to the point: I've a proposal for you, which you can obviously reject if you don't want to do it! We frequently receive requests for a mail account password changer integrated in the webmail (squirrelmail) by default (see ticket #1257). I adapted the squirrelmail sql_changepass plugin to work with ispcp (encrypting the password, calling the backend, etc.) in a quick-and-dirty way. The resulting code and comments are in this forum thread. Thus, the proposal is to get this code, clean it up (remove unnecessary things, improve it in any way you want) and get it ready to integrate into the default ispcp installation.

In order to provide a fully working installation, it's necessary to create a special mysql user with permission to update the passwords, so this task should be done upon installation/upgrading of ispcp. AFAIK, nuxwin is working on a new installer/updater, so if you undertake the task I'll get you in contact with him to see if he can add this mysql user stuff to it.

Do you like this task, or would you prefer something more ispcp-centric (avoiding squirrelmail)?
12-05-2009 04:50 AM
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RatS Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Entering ispcp Development: Where to start
First of all: Thank you for your interest in participating, Mastacheata.
And a very huge thanks to kilburn for the good answers. Few things I'd like to add:

(12-05-2009 03:19 AM)Mastacheata Wrote:  What kind of bugs are good to get into the project (more the frontend things or should I better start off getting deep into the backend, the daemon or things like that)?
As kilburn said: you are free to develop the part you like most (even if you will get in contact with the other parts). For you it this is PHP. ispCP OMEGA is predominantly written in PHP. Therefore, we need more PHP Coders than C or PERL.
Where to start: This question is not easy. But I try to give you a hint. We organize our tasks in Milestones. The next open Milestone will be Omeag 1.1.0. You can find all open bugs there. If you like an unassigned Ticket there, choose it, work on it, add a patch. (#1257 is okay, too.)

(12-05-2009 03:19 AM)Mastacheata Wrote:  How do free developers like myself fit in there?
Exactly. Sometimes I try to assign tickets to developers where I think they fit. Developers are always free of rejecting this tasks.

If you need any help, feel free to contact someone of the ispCP staff. Internally we have a list with contact data and you will find your way around.

If you have any problems with the code, members of the team or your task, please contact me.

I hope we convinced you, that you find your place in the ispCP Team and there is only left to say: Welcome on board!
12-05-2009 06:37 AM
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