Are you looking for projects that could use your help? Fedora Developer Portal is a great project to start with, even if you’ve never contributed before. One of the easiest ways to contribute, but still valuable, is tell the authors what’s missing. More about contributing is under the “Call for your help” header below.
The main purpose of the portal is to serve developers (surprise!). The Fedora Developer Portal team recently released a new version, and their goal is clear: to create the Fedora equivalent of a site like developer.ubuntu.com or developer.apple.com. In just a year, the portal has come a very long way. In this article we talk to Petr Hracek and Adam Samalik, Red Hat engineers who work on this site among other things.
Origins of the Developer Portal
The idea for the Developer Portal originated with Hracek in April 2015. He noticed there were no Fedora pages useful for developers, so he and a few other people started to sketch how the portal should look. Later Samalik joined the team, and they started creating the actual site.
They agreed to build a portal that provided an overview of developer resources for Fedora, such as Copr, and quick starts and simple guides for installing or running tools. They purposely don’t offer in-depth documentation to avoid duplicating upstream efforts. “Simply put,” they say, it’s “a website for developers to help each other.”
So is this portal a way to build a contributor base for Fedora? Not really, according to the developers. Their target audience is “developers who use Fedora as their workstation, not contributors to the project.”
The portal’s mission
“We want to show people that Fedora is easy and great for developers,” say Hracek and Samalik. They want to help developers “choose Fedora as their default developer platform or workstation.” They take inspiration from other major developer focused sites on the web, so the portal feels fresh and informative. “In the future,” the developers continue, “we’d like to integrate FDP into existing Fedora infrastructure.”
That’s the idea behind the portal. But what about the results? We asked the portal team about feedback they got from the official release of the site. “They were really happy for us giving them anything better than Stack Overflow,” they said. “One of our senior software engineers tried a tutorial from our portal about how to install Vagrant and Docker. He said it was really useful.” But there’s always room to improve, and that brings us to how the developer community can help.
Call for help
“We need the community to help us build Fedora Developer Portal,” the team said. “We’re open to include any content to make it as attractive as possible. After we’ve built a solid portal, we can attract the developers themselves.” For instance the Fedora Developer Portal currently has content for languages like Python and Ruby. But it still could use end-to-end guide content, from choosing a language, to installing and running tools, to deploying an application.
“The best thing you can do,” say Hracek and Samalik, “is write something or give us feedback about what is missing, what is needed, what people want, or what is not clear.”
To help, contact the team via their mailing list or through IRC Freenode at the #developer-portal channel. You can also find a route to contribute on the portal itself. Select Learn how to contribute on the main page, which leads to a Github based guide for writing content.