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MkLinux: Developer Corner[an error occurred while processing this directive]: How to Contribute
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How to Contribute to MkLinux

The System

Donations and Loans

Online Documentation


Use the system (top)
MkLinux is an open source software project run by an all volunteer army. It relies heavily on both the good will and support of its users. In order for companies such as Perforce, Netscape, EDE Development Enterprises and many others to provide software that runs on MkLinux, they need to know that there will be a market for their software. Simply using MkLinux, and politely letting people know that you use it, is a tremendous benefit to the development effort.
Port and build packages (top)
There is a tremendous amount of free software out there. Some of it is well known and some is not. If there is a software package of which you are particularly fond, and it is not available on MkLinux, take the initiative and port the software yourself. Nearly anything that runs on Linux will run on MkLinux with little or no effort. Porting BSD software may be more difficult, but therefore more important.

Once you've packaged the software, let people know that it is available. There are a number of mailing lists available for communicating with the developers and users of MkLinux.

File detailed problem reports (top)
I'll finish this when the problem report database becomes active.
Send and test patches (top)
It's important for users to help with the development process. This can be done in a couple of ways. The first, and most obvious, is to contribute code to MkLinux. The core developers can not possibly purchase every hardware combination available to the system users. This means that we need the user community to test software changes, provide problem reports and (when possible) contribute patches to the operating system.

Contributing a software patch is as simple as joining the appropriate mailing list and sending your unified diff patches to the list. Be warned that the Apple mailing lists won't accept messages with attachments. You will need to embed the patch within the body of your message.


Hardware Donations and Loans (top)
What is the single largest stumbling block in the path of future development? The lack of hardware.

The MkLinux core developers need access to hardware in order to support it. If you, or your company, have hardware which you could donate or loan to the MkLinux development community, or if you want to write a driver but need access to suitable hardware let us know.

What hardware do we need? In no particular order:

If you have hardware which you are willing to donate or loan for development send mail to David Gatwood or mkldev@mklinux.org. We will be happy to help match the equipment with a suitable developer.

Other Contributions (top)
MkLinux.org plans to produce a new CD for MkLinux in the near future. While the distribution will always be available for free via ftp, we are hoping to raise money to purchase development equipment through the sale of this, and future, CDs.

We are not currently in a position to accept direct financial contributions towards the development of MkLinux.


Provide User Support (top)
The Linux community is nothing if not obsessively helpful.
-- Andrew Leonard

New users are always in need of assistance. No one was born knowing how to use a Unix style operating system. Hang out in the mailing lists and offer people your assistance. Be polite and know when to say that you haven't got a clue.

Write Documentation (top)
Documentation plays a vital role in software development. Users need documentation to help them learn the system, and software engineers need it to help them understand the system internals.

While MkLinux is very closely aligned to the monolithic Linux system, it is not entirely the same. A wealth of documentation is available for Intel versions of Linux, but both MkLinux and LinuxPPC need additional documentation to elucidate the hardware differences. For example, PowerPC machines don't possess COM ports and IRQs. We need deltas to the Linux HOWTOs which address the peculiarities of PowerPC systems in general and MkLinux in particular.

Help with the website (top)
This site is the work of coders, not graphic designers and technical writers. If you would like to contribute artwork or content, then let us know at mklinux-www@lists.mklinux.org. The more you do, the less we have to do. We are always happy to get back to work on what we love most.

The MkLinux Journal is a free online magazine for the MkLinux community. We encourage our users to contribute articles for the Journal.

You don't have to write web pages to help with the website! Let us know about broken links and external sites of interest. If you have or know of a web site with content related to MkLinux, let us know about it. We will be happy to provide a link to the site.

If you are Conan the Grammarian and you see that we've said "like" when we meant "as," then let us know. We may silently curse you, but we'll listen.


Fred Bacon
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