Contributing to IUS

Summary

This article outlines how you can join the IUS Team(s) and get involved with the project. There are many opportunities for all level of technical backgrounds.

General Project Participation

The easiest, and most effective way to contribute to the IUS Community is to simply participate in the project. All contributors should join the IUS Community Team in LaunchPad [LP] as well as join the mailing list for the team. This is where end-users and community members are encouraged to communicate.

The IUS CoreDev Team will frequently post ‘blueprints’ on LP when they have an idea regarding projects or tasks that need to happen at some point. Contributors can frequently review the Blue Prints page on LP to see if there are any projects or tasks that they can square away.

The IUS CoreDev Team hangs out in #iuscommunity on freenode.net (IRC). Its always tooo quiet in there. Dropping in to say hi, or to simply say “Hey, thanks for adding packageXY!” is always appreciated. (We get lonely too)

Public Relations

IUS started in mid-2009. We have seen, and continue to see significant growth. That said, we believe IUS is one of the best resources available for upgrading software on RHEL... so we want to ensure that the project continues to reach new markets and more users. By googling around for ‘PHP on RHEL’ or ‘MySQL 5.1 on RHEL’ or similar... you will find pages and pages of howtos and blogs about end-users bending over backwards to upgrade their software. Often times this includes source installs, or just one-off recompiles of SRPMS with no real intention of maintaining that package for the long haul. There are still so many people that haven’t found IUS, but the need too! If you come across these posts, contact the author and introduce them to ‘a better way to upgrade RHEL’! Other than blogs you can often find similar posts on sites like http://serverfault.com where users are in desperate need of being introduced to IUS.

Speaking of blogs, the PR team can really help bring new users to the project by blogging themselves. Write a howto on an experience you had with IUS, or how IUS solved a problem for you.

RPM Packaging

RPM Packaging is the heart of the project. There are some limitations to packaging at the moment simply because our ‘build farm’ is internal, and not publicly available. For those wanting to participate in packaging, please see the IUS Developer Guide. A good place to start is by checking out the bug tracking system to report bugs or submit patches or the Package Wish List for packages that you might want to build and submit to the project.

Note

We are currently in the process of coding the next version of our build system which will be released under an Open Source license. Once we have an instance of that setup, contributors will be able to submit and manage builds on their own.

Testing and Q/A

Almost all updates sit in ‘testing’ for around 2 weeks before being pushed to stable. An email is sent out to ‘ius-community’ on Sundays (weekly) with a list of all packages in testing. You can also see what is in testing by simply running ‘yum check-update –enablerepo=ius-testing’ on a box subscribed to IUS.

Testers are encouraged to review this list weekly, and perform standard installations from ius-testing to verify the updates are smooth. Providing feedback to the project (good or bad) regarding an update that is in testing is very helpful for us to know things are running well. If you see an update in testing, and test it... you can provide feedback via any open bugs for that milestone which shouldn’t be hard to find:

  • Go to: https://code.launchpad.net/ius
  • Find the ‘Series’ for the package in question
  • Find the milestone for this release under “Milestones and Releases”
  • Here you should be able to find any bugs associated with the update. There is often a ‘bug’ related to the release (packageXY Source Version Update, etc) which would be a good place to report bugs. If not, and no other bugs listed relate to the issue you saw... feel free to create a bug and link it to this milestone.

Contributors can also help with testing by enabling the ‘ius-testing’ repository on any of their non-production machines that might be running IUS packages... and submitting bugs if anything breaks during nightly updates.

The Testing Team is also responsible for development of testing tools, scripts, and automation. See: Automated Testing with Jenkins CI

IUS Triage Team

Contributors can join the IUS Triage Team on LP and join the mailing list there. Triage is an important part of ensuring the project makes forward progress and that issues don’t sit forever unresolved.

  • Engaging end users on ius-community@lists.launchpad.net

  • Reviewing new issues (bugs) submitted to LP
    • Researching if necessary
    • Posting follow up information that might help developers resolve the issue
    • Making the initial response to end user (possibly requesting more information)
    • Routing the issue to the right developer
    • Linking the issue to relating ‘Series’ and Bzr branches
    • Attaching links to any related external bugs
    • Setting category/status/severity appropriately
  • Following up with idle LP issues and working to get them resolved/closed.

  • Tracking upstream. Ensuring issues are created [or exist] in LP when new source versions are available upstream for IUS package updates.

  • Subscribing upstream ‘announce’ mailing lists to the ius-triage list to ensure updates are handled promptly.

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Contact

  • irc.freenode.net #iuscommunity
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