[haiku-development] Re: Practical questions from a new developer

  • From: Stephan Assmus <superstippi@xxxxxx>
  • To: haiku-development@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2010 10:52:00 +0200

Hi Wim,

On 2010-04-23 at 03:18:49 [+0200], Wim van der Meer 
<wpjvandermeer@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I am a cross platform C++ applications developer interested in helping out
> with improving the Haiku applications, and possibly the Application and
> Interface kits. This week I have submitted my first patch. I still need to
> learn a lot since I have no previous experience with Haiku or BeOS, but the
> idea of a fast desktop oriented OS based on a (hybrid) micro-kernel sounds
> very appealing.

I think it is a micro kernel when drivers and other add-ons to the kernel 
run in their own address space (and all communication happens via IPC). In 
Haiku, drivers run in the kernel address space, so it would be a classical 
modular kernel. :-) Hope you will stay with us nevertheless, but you were 
bound to find out at some point. :-}

> For now I have some practical questions:
> - When should I add my name to the authors list in a source file? Is that
> allowed even if I make only slight changes?

It depends a bit on your gut feeling. If you make coding style cleanups and 
there is no brain work involved, then I wouldn't think it justifies adding 
yourself to the copyright section. If you spend about three hours to dive 
into a codebase to track down some weird bug and it ends up being a one line 
change, then I think it deserves a mention in the copyright section anyway. 
Your changes to DeskCalc definitely deserved an addition to the copyright 
section. I thought about doing this myself, but something was changed in our 
Trac installations, and Admins (at least not me) cannot look up Trac 
accounts for the full name anymore. I did look up "Wim" on the haiku-os.org 
account, but it was only registered for five days and I wasn't sure it was 
you. :-) And then of course I forgot about it and commited the patch without 
adding you to the copyright section. We can fix that, if it's indeed you who 
submitted the DeskCalc patch.

> - If I want to keep the copyright of the changes I make, Is a copyright
> notice in at the top sufficient, or should I also explicitly mark the
> changes I make?

No, we don't do that. We would like to rely on the SVN history for this. Too 
much clutter in the code otherwise, and it's also very likely that someone 
will change the exact lines you marked as yours... it would get messy 

> - What is the policy for updating the application version number? Should I
> leave that up to the developer who commits the patch?

We are completely ignorant of this. I think we will begin updating these 
numbers on major releases. I am not even sure it makes sense to have them at 
all. Users would look up the Haiku version or SVN revision, I've never seen 
any bug reporter bother about the "version info" of any particular app.

> - Should every application have its own version number that is shown in a
> about window?

Third party apps yes, I would say so. For apps part of the repository, I 
don't really see the point.

> - What is the policy of adding my name to the about window of an
> application?

I think it needs more subsantial changes then with what I wrote about adding 
yourself to the copyright section of a source file. We don't have an actual 
policy for this, though. So it again depends a bit on your gut feeling.

> I am sorry if these questions have been asked before, but the answers where
> not clear to me from reading the information on the web-site.

No problem at all! Welcome on bord!

Best regards,

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