With some minor trepidation, I’m throwing my hat in the ring to become the maintainer of the Cygwin package for the Subversion client. I had a problem on my Windows laptop, and required the actual client, not just the Eclipse plugin, to fix it. I ended up spending two hours building the client (not all my time, but clock time counting the compile). That’s ridiculous to expect everyone to do that. I’d much rather have spent the 2 minutes it takes to install a Cygwin package. Plus, if Subversion is to get towards critical mass, it will take things like this to enable people using it. I’ve already built it and taken the hit for figuring out the gotchas, so why not give back?
I joined both the Subversion developers and the Cygwin packagers mailing lists. First I emailed the Subversion folks, and early returns are that I should do it. Next, I’ll email the Cygwin list, make it official that I’m doing this. That’s the easy stuff. The next bit is figuring out what the hell one does to take a pile of source and turn it into a Cygwin package. I figure that this would be good for me, help me step up my game, help me meet people in the Open Source community, get my name out, etc. At the very least, doing this proves that I am the sort of dude that Can Get Things Done and on whom People Can Depend. At Intertrust, I developed a Perl module that would natively encode and verify PGP messages, using an XSUB and the native PGP libs (I only did it for Windows). We needed this for our own stuff, but I always though that would be a good Perl module to have out there. Same kind of deal, being the (successful) maintainer of a Perl module or a Cygwin pacakge makes a certain statement about one in a way more succint than a degree or a resume. It says “I do this, it works, and lots of people benefit from that. I make entropy decrease and order increase, and thus giving me money to increase order for your organization is a good idea.” Wish me luck (how come no one ever wishes to someone else balls? Wouldn’t that be better? “Wish me some cajones!”)