How do I get involved in a project? I've been to freshmeat.net and sourceforget.net (are the two related or hold the same projects?), and besides the enjoyment I have received from downloading and installing some of the projects (and shaking my head in disgust at some of other borked projects), I have not really gotten a grasp on how to get started reading the source code and possibly submitting patches as time and coding skills improve and permit.
This IS something that I want to do. I've been using Linux far, far more than I do Windows anymore. I really have no use for Windows anymore, except for having to use it at the college or to do something for my wife on that computer. If not for the frustrations in trying to get printing working (my SAMBA skills are shot) on Linux and getting the printing to look presentable at that, there would be no reason for my wife and I to be using Windows.
Some have told me to take a look at CVS (I think), but after going cross-eyed looking at the documentation on that, I still got no where. Having said the above, I wonder this: how in the world does patching really work, anyway? Perhaps an article could go up on advogato about this? For us newbies? If you submit a patch, and it wasn't really to fix a bug but to add what you feel is a cool feature, how does someone else deal with not liking this new feature? The concept of patching confuses me. Or, what happens if you and someone else at the same time download a version of a project and you wind up submitting the same patch as the other person? Won't there be a conflict in submission of the patches?
Lately, I've decided to do away with the arm-tugging of peeps who decide that their programming language of choice is the better one for a newbie to focus on, and have decided that C and C++ are my route. I really feel naive for saying that, because besides scripting languages, there really aren't that many more compiled (or are there?) languages that I could choose from. Anyway, I am enjoying learning C, and am just now ready to tackle pointers and structs. Actually, I am holding off C++ until I feel I have a firm grasp on C++. Baby steps! I don't feel I am going to hired in this area of shortage of programming jobs for a long time anyway, so I have a lot of time!
Later, and be cool :) And, now before anyone goes off writing that "bytesplit is probably playing mind games again", I'm not :)