Beginning with Season of KDE 2022 - post #1

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Mon Jan 24, 2022 · 722 words · 4 min

First Try (ft. failure)

I usually learn something between semesters when I have holidays. During September - October 2021, I tried learning some Qt and looking around codebase for KDE apps. But something just didn't work out. I suspect my leaning style wasn't correct.

Transitioning to 2022

November - December was very busy, with college asking us to appear in person. I had practicals and exams.

Starting Christmas, I was supposed to be free during holidays, and hopefully learn some Qt. Something unexpected happened again. A university society I had joined wanted to push out update to one of their apps. I like Flutter, but the way this team worked was simply not my style. I managed to get it done by 8th Jan, and in a series of crisp conversations made it clear I won't be able to help the society further.

During holidays, the SoK announcement mail arrived in my inbox. Most of the ideas were above my knowledge paygrade, but I almost jumped to the ceiling when I saw the word "packaging". No I've never worked with Flatpak before, but I have basic understanding of packaging, and it is in fact, one of the things I take a lot of interest in.

Flashbacks

While my first touch with Linux was in 2014, I could use it on my machine only in 2016. One of the most striking features was that you could install any software (subject to availability) along with its dependencies with a single command.

Much later in 2019, I finally decided to try and understand how packaging on Linux distros work, because I wanted to package applications for the distro I was using at the time. I failed though.

In March 2020, I switched to Endeavour OS and thats when the picture got a lot clearer.

PKGBUILDS ft. success (yay!)

These are build scripts to package applications for pacman, the package manager for Arch Linux. Its stupidly simple to understand, and easy to work with and test.

Out of interest, I decided to publish a python application to AUR. With some help from a user on Endeavour OS forum, I was able to get it right and publish.

I took some more trivial packages later on. I published my application crabfetch too. I adopted two applications, MapTools and BreakTimer. These two are the ones that require regular updates.

Thanks to Endeavour OS...

Back when I signed up on the Endeavour OS forum in April 2020, I didn't expect I'll one day join them. Till date I haven't taken up any task that requires significant effort from me. But I have taken up multiple tiny tasks here and there. I maintain Bspwm and Openbox community editions. Once in a blue moon write tutorial (2 published till yet; one in draft). I do some testing before ISO releases.

Frankly speaking, these might be trivial tasks, but working with a group of experienced people was certainly a head start for an 18 year old. There's much to be thankful about. I still get friends asking me "how to get started with open source" and similar questions. I realize Bryan served me the opportunity on a silver platter.

On the KDE Flatpak Matrix channel

The KDE Flatpak channel on Matrix is exactly my liking. My submissions usually got reviews within reasonable time. I packaged some applications before the contribution period officially started. With some help from Aleix Pol and Albert Cid, I was even able to send some patches to KDiskFree, which was my first contrubution to a Qt/C++ application. (thanks!)

My mentor is Timothée Ravier. I had a quick chat with him today evening (24th Jan). He briefed me about what all I will be working on during the next two and half months. He's a sweet person to talk with. (thats probably the case with everyone at KDE)

Hoping to learn and contribute over the coming weeks. Big thanks to KDE for giving me the chance to work with the team as a part of Season of KDE 2022!

Link to project on ideas page : https://community.kde.org/SoK/Ideas/2022#KDE_Apps_packaging_as_Flatpak_for_Flathub

Projects announcement: https://dot.kde.org/2022/01/26/season-kde-kicks


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