Diving into GNOME Development
Submitted by Joshua Hesketh on Thu, 24/01/2008 - 23:32.
I have just finished writing: A brief overview of how to get started developing and contributing to GNOME with the GNOME Developer Kit.
Wanting to change and/or contribute to open source software is one thing, but diving into development can be a very daunting and challenging process. Every software project has their own repository of code, their own programming methodologies and their own development environment and tools and as such it can be hard to know where to start.
My favourite open source project would have to be the GNOME Project. Within the desktop environment there are numerous applications designed to achieve certain tasks and functionality. Until recently it has been somewhat a chore for somebody to easily set up a development environment in which they can play around with the latest and greatest development (unstable) version of GNOME. Thankfully the GNOME Developer Kit came along. This is simply a Linux distribution with the latest GNOME applications, libraries and builds from the GNOME SVN. This purpose-packaged Linux distribution is a great way to not only trial the new developments and progress made within GNOME, and even Linux, but to also contribute back to the GNOME project.
Since the developer kit has the latest libraries and tools required for GNOME development it is very easy to download and compile the source of any GNOME module. Thanks to the help and brillient guidance of Ken Vandine I have written a document/tutorial on how to utilise Foresight Linux's brillient package manager, Conary (developed by rPath). You can find the tutorial here which will walk you through the process of downloading, building, modifying, patching, creating patches and contributing to the GNOME module of your choice from start to end.
I'm hoping that this guide will be a great way for software developers to quickly and easily jump into GNOME development, and not only them, but also testers and translators. The developer kit really is a great way to generate clean patches and test the mainstream GNOME project without going through the dependency nightmare to build the application.
- Foresight Linux is the parent distribution of the GNOME Developer Kit. That is, the GNOME Developer Kit is based off Foresight Linux.
- If you are unsure of the terminology used in this sentance, then the chances are that the tutorial isn't for you. However if you are interested, take a look at it for more information