mintCast 274 – Contributing to OSS is Hard!




Main Topic:

  • Isaac and Rob lament how they don’t have enough time in the day to help out with Linux Mint development.

Tips & Websites:

What are you reading?:

  • Rob
    • Reasonable Faith – William Lane Craig
    • His Needs, Her Needs – Willard Harley
    • Aurora – Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Isaac
    • Finished: Naming Infinity: A true story of religious mysticism and mathematical creativity – Loren Graham and Jean-Michel Kantor
    • Infinite Ascent: a short history of mathematics – David Berlinski
    • Everything and more: a compact history of infinity — David Foster Wallace
    • Been listening to “Robert Oppenheimer: A life inside the center
    • The philosophy of Set Theory: a historical introduction to Cantor’s paradise
    • Some linear algebra books

What are you listening to?:

Pre-Show Music:

Podcast Announcements:

  • Next podcast will be Sunday, October 9, 2017 to talk about getting a Linux Mint build environment set up and look at next steps on our new project.

More Information:

Hosts: Rob and Isaac
Live Stream every other Monday 6:00 p.m.(Central):

Contact Us:

More Linux Mint info: website, blog, forums, community


Podcast Entry and exit music provided by Mark Blasco ( Podcast bumpers provided by Oscar.

2 Replies to “mintCast 274 – Contributing to OSS is Hard!”

  1. Will

    Atom and VS Code are packaged as snaps. Snaps show up in the software center in Ubuntu now. That is what the announcement is referring to. I’m not sure what the status of snaps are in Linux Mint but they probably don’t show up in the software center. Also VS Code is an Electron app similar to Atom. It is not the same as Visual Studio (the main IDE from Microsoft for Windows programs).

    The main desktop changes with 17.10 are switching to GNOME and to Wayland, which are a big changes. I’m not sure about the server changes. I haven’t looked at the code myself, but I don’t know if it is fair to say that it is a downside that X is old. It has been maintained and refactored over the years. The main aspects of Wayland that are different is that the client model is more compartmentalized which means it can be more secure. The downside is that some things that you do with X don’t work, mainly having different graphical applications work together — you can’t easily connect to a desktop remotely with VNC or forward a window of ssh. Also, some of the work that X does gets pushed to the compositor/window manager level, which means that GNOME, KDE, MATE, etc. have to all re-implement some things themselves that would have been done by X. Supposedly Wayland allows for better rendering with less screen tearing but I haven’t looked into that.

    • Will

      I just listened to the second half of the episode. Wow, Isaac is busy. I try to chip away at some OSS projects in my spare time, but that is usually only 5-30 minutes before bed (until I fall asleep at the keyboard), so I sympathize with not having the time. I think it would be fun to do a podcast but that seems like a lot of work as well (way more than I have the time for now).

      Still, I’m disappointed that you decided not to continue the Mint contribution journey. Isaac gave a lot of reasons why he doesn’t have the time, but I didn’t understand what issues Rob encountered. Perhaps you were too ambitious? If you were interested in contributing, I would recommend starting small and working your way up. It seemed like you wanted to start off by compiling Cinnamon and the other Mint programs first. Perhaps if you started with some documentation contributions and then fixed some bugs in the Cinnamon spices or Mint Python programs you could learn the Mint development system and build a rapport with the developers before you need to compile anything.

      I haven’t been involved in a project that uses IRC recently, but when I was it seemed like the trick to using it effectively was to run your own server like Quassel core that would stay logged in continuously and then connect to that so that you could see what you missed.

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