First commit to KDE

After years of reading Linux Format, then Linux Voice, now finding refuge in Late Night Linux; after scouring through countless forums over a decade ago to ornate my desktop with ever fancier bling (and wobblier windows); after wrecking multiple installations from ever more ridiculous projects (who knew that running state-of-the-art games through Wine on a tiny Sony Vaio laptop without a GPU wasn’t a sensible idea?), I have finally contributed back to the open source community.

I stumbled across a recommendation to read the excellent Producing Open Source Software by Karl Fogel. The book demystified the inner workings of open source, and had me itching to join in. So I set about on a mission to do so.

Step 1: Hang out on IRC.

See what’s happening. To be honest, I couldn’t see much happening on IRC, but I quickly became frustrated by Konversation’s inability to log my nickname in automatically.

Step 2: Find out what the issue was.

Apparently NickServ is no longer the go-to identification service and I should have been using SASL instead. Why wasn’t that the default? Nobody was able to say; everybody seemed to think it was a sensible idea. Time to get stuck in.

Step 3: Get the build environment running.

This was a real pain, despite KDE’s impeccable wiki to help get started. Although LTS releases are incredibly useful for a multitude of reasons, I found out the hard way that they’re ill-suited for development.

Step 4: Change the code.

And test, test, test. Diving into new territory always contains several unforeseen pitfalls. However, I soon had something working, and sent it off to review. Again, KDE has excellent documentation for newcomers. After a minor edit...

Step 5: Celebrate.

It got accepted! Woohoo! Champagne for everyone¹!

Ah wait, somebody on the #konversation channel has found another annoying bug... Hold my flute.

¹ Take with a pinch of salt.