skyrocketing how-can-i-help popcon count

Mon 10 February 2014 by Ana Guerrero Lopez with tags contributing

This is a repost from Stefano Zacchiroli's post

how-can-i-help by Lucas Nussbaum is one of the best things that happened in the area of attracting contributions to Debian in quite a while. It can be used both as a standalone tool to list opportunities for contributing to Debian which are related to your installed packages, and as an APT hook (which is also the default configuration) that at each upgrade will inform you of new contribution opportunities.

how-can-i-help is great for newbies who are looking for ways to give back to Debian which are a good match for their skills: among other things, how-can-i-help shows bugs tagged "gift" related to packages you use.

how-can-i-help is also great for experienced developers, as it allows them to find out, in a timely manner, that packages they use are in dire need of help: RC bugs, pending removals, adoptions needed, requests for sponsor, etc. (As highly unscientific evidence: I've noticed a rather quick turnover of RFA/O/ITA bugs on packages installed on my machine. I suspect how-can-i-help is somehow responsible for that, due to the fact that it increases awareness of ongoing package issues directly with the people using them.)

So, if you haven't yet, please apt-get install how-can-i-help RIGHT NOW.

I daresay that we should aim at installing how-can-i-help by default on all Debian machines, but that might be an ambitious initial goal. In the meantime I'll settle for making how-can-i-help's popcon count skyrocket. As of today, it looks like this:

Alt how-can-i-help popularity contest graph 10/02/2014

which is definitely too low for my taste. Please spread the word about how-can-i-help. And let's see what we can collectively do to that graph.

how-can-i-help is just a tiny teeny helper, but I'm convinced it can do wonders in liberating dormant contributions to the Debian Project.