Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Patching U-boot: an Excursion Into the Open Source Process

Yesterday, Jim Black had our first open-source patch rejected -- this one to u-boot.

We'd expected it to be rejected, since we don't know what we're doing yet. We're climbing the learning curve.

Our troubles began when we discovered we needed a public ftp site, which the company didn't yet have. (You could argue that our troubles began when we started doing software, but that's too snarky.)

Dean Johnson, our sysadmin, spent some time Monday night getting one set up, and it was down by the next morning. We couldn't figure out why, so we set up another, on a different box and used it to submit the patch. By the time Denks picked it up, an hour or so later, it was down, too.

He asked us to submit the patch via email, and immediately pointed out a variety of style-and-formatting problems -- spaces instead of tabs, lines that are over 80 characters, and so on.

We think we've fixed those, and will re-submit another try this morning. Stay tuned.

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