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Journal Journal: First Entry (from MattJakel account) 1

I switched accounts today from MattJakel to Rylz, but I didn't want to lose this journal entry, so here it is:

Saturday January 08, @01:26PM

I don't know if anyone's actually going to read this, and I don't particularly care, but I thought I'd go ahead and write entries as my nerdification and status in the open source community evolves.

Currently, of course, I am not a very productive member of the open source community. I am a user of predominantly free software (Gentoo Linux, Mozilla Firefox, OpenOffice.org, etc.), but I have yet to make much of a contribution to any open source project. I currently only know one powerful language well enough to make a useful contribution to the open source community, and that is Perl, which is not used for many desktop-based projects, which are the ones I'm interesting in contributing to. Because I only really know the Perl language, I have thought about opening a site to host to open-source CGI scripts, including one that I have been working on called BlogIt. This may very well be in my future, but I feel that I need to become involved with already existing projects and at least make some minor contributions before I begin to start my own.

After realizing this, all that was left to decide was what to contribute to which project. Once I knew which project I wanted to contribute to, I would learn the necessary language and proceed to add my contribution. For a couple of weeks now, I have had a problem with a friend of mine (also a nerd and /.er) who has an AIM crasher that sends hundreds of file-send requests until AIM crashes. As a user of Gaim, I was a bit surprised that a fix for something like this had not been written already. So I decided that I would contribute to Gaim by adding something that either only allowed a set amount of file transfer requests per a set amount of time or that somehow regulated file transfer flooding from specific IP addresses.

If anybody is in fact reading this, I probably sound pretty ignorant. I realize that I don't know much about the process of contributing to open soure or the inner workings of Gaim, but I have to start somewhere. Even if this goes nowhere, it will at least get me a bit more up-to-speed on the open source process. Since Gaim is written in C, I went to the bookstore and bought a copy of "The C Programming Language" last night. I'm counting on being able to pick it up pretty quickly since I can already efficiently program with Perl. Once I've learned the basics of C, I plan to go through the source code for Gaim until I find out how it handles file transfer requests. I will then edit it locally and test it. If it works, I will visit the CVS repository and find out how to contribute it to the official project. Once again, this many go nowhere, but it will get me programming in C and it will get me up-to-speed on the open source process.

I will probably update after I've gotten a bit further on this project. Until then, wish me good luck! And if anybody is in fact reading this, any pointers on the process of contributing to an open source project would be appreciated!

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