pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma
I threw together a (still somewhat embryonic) wiki page about the design and architecture of the stats system. All requests for clarification or elaboration of specific points welcome. Ditto "Hey, I want to help with that!" requests or demands. :-)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
There's been discussion in a couple of places recently about making it easier for people to start out in development when you know pretty much nothing. I think someone is working on an official guide, but I figured I'd put something up here in the meantime, as [personal profile] 7rin was asking.

Firstly, most of our dev-training currently happens on IRC. The wiki page explains how to get on there. However, I know IRC isn't possible for everyone, so I think the plan is for people to be able to ask stuff in this community as well.

The first thing to do is to request a Dreamhack. These are our development boxes, and are the basic tool you'll need to do anything. Note that getting one and not using it doesn't use up any resources, so don't worry if you have to drop out of dev stuff later. Once you've got it, follow the steps in the getting started wiki page on Dreamhacks, though it may not all make sense at this stage.

You've then got two choices of method, depending on how you prefer to learn. Either way, a really important point to bear in mind is that at various points in this process, it will all go horribly wrong. That's normal. There will be something you don't understand, or something breaks, and you have no idea what's going on. That's okay. Post an entry here, or drop a comment to any dev (*) and we'll find someone who can help you fix it. We all have it happen to us on a regular basis. Things Going Wrong is a normal part of programming, not a sign that you've failed. This is important to remember when you've spent three hours banging your head against a brick wall. Anyway.

Method 1
Start having a look at Bugzilla. For Bugzilla, I'd suggest you first set up a new email address, as it gets displayed publicly, set it to forward to your main address, and then sign up on Bugzilla. The most useful search is for the keyword "effort-minor", which should include all the easy bugs. Once you've got a Dreamhack running that you can log into, and you've found a bug you like the look of, I'd suggest asking in IRC or the community to check whether it's harder than it looks or anything like that.

Method 2
Just look at the code on your Dreamhack for something where you know what it does (for example htdocs/userinfo.bml is the profile) and read a Perl book/online guide to figure out what's going on in there, asking in IRC or here when you're stumped. If you've never used a command line before, this wiki page will help.

This: and are the Perl books we recommend. is the Wiki page for BML. But BML is evil.

Other resources
Other resources to look at, if you haven't already, are the wiki and this community. Membership is open and posting is open to all members so you should be able to post in here if you get stuck. looks like a good Linux introduction and is relevant from lesson 5/6 onwards.

W3Schools have a good basic guide to CSS.

Of course, I've glossed over an awful lot of things, there, so do tell me which bits need more explaining.

(Thanks to [personal profile] yvi for her suggestions and additions.)

(*): This includes me, most of the people commenting in this community, and anyone posting in [site community profile] changelog. Most of us can be contacted by PM, or just leave a comment on any public entry, either here or in our journals.


Jul. 29th, 2009 12:43 pm
aphenine: Teresa and Claire (Default)
[personal profile] aphenine
Hello everybody!

I got a dreamhack account a few days ago and I'm trying to get my head around the Dreamwidth code base, in the hopes that I can contribute something. I just thought I'd introduce myself. I was also going to ask a question, but someone lovely and unexpectedly answered it on LJ. *grin*

I've never coded in Perl before, so it's a bit of a learning curve for me. However, I have web coded in PHP before and I've used MySQL before and I have also used *Nix environments before, so I'm not starting totally from scratch.

I think the dominant reason I signed up for a dreamhack account was that I kept looking at DW and thinking "if it was simple, I could change that". In the end, my curiosity got the better of me and I just had to find out if it really was simple or not. Since then, I've been far too amused sitting in the MySQL console pulling up a test comment and post directly from the database. SELECT * FROM logtext2; has not lost its power to make me squee for the last few minutes. But, a question. No, two questions. Why log for posts? And why talk for comments?

So far the only thing I've really contributed is an entry in the Dreamhack wiki giving an overview of some of the database tables. It's found here. It was in the wanted list and I thought, hey, what the hell.


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