Mininal skills

Brandon Helsley brandon.helsley at
Wed Jun 3 23:26:14 UTC 2020

By "without any skills" I mean that I'm new to computers and am not even familiar with the terminology thrown around in the FreeBSD community. 

I've never heard of this documentation updating, I'd love to learn more. Who should I be talking to or where should I be referring to so I can learn... 

I sent a PR from some account I created about a bug in the loading of the kernel modules for bhyve. I'm starting to think I didn't quite format it correctly or rather communicate the issue correctly. I heard that filing PR's is also a good starting point to get involved. Could someone help me find the documentation that explains how to file a PR or update documentation.


On June 3, 2020 4:58:59 PM MDT, Polytropon <freebsd at> wrote:
>On Wed, 03 Jun 2020 15:54:28 -0600, Brandon Helsley wrote:
>> I've searched around FreeBSD documentation and have found
>> that most of the contributions require at least minimal
>> programming skills. My question is whether or not there
>> is anything I can contribute or maintain for freebsd
>> without any skills.
>What does "without any skills" imply for a human being?
>If you cannot program, then there are other aspects of
>FreeBSD you can contribute to, for example documentation.
>You can read and write - those _are_ skills (even though
>in our "modern world" there are often undervalued).
>> What direction should I take my education if I wish to
>> be able to maintain a port.
>That primarily depends on the port. Just as an example,
>the FreeBSD documentation is also a port. The toolset
>to use it is already present. So if you wanted to become
>a documentation contributor, you would have to learn how
>to _use_ those tools, not how they work interally.
>> Is c++ programming required?
>Depends on the port. Knowing C++ is not useful when the
>port uses C or assembly (like a device driver would), or
>Python, or Lua. To become a port maintainer, you should
>be able to use the programming language(s) the port uses.
>So when a patch is needed, you will often have to use
>the required programming language(s); sometimes upstream
>will provide patches for FreeBSD, sometimes they won't,
>so you have to find out for yourself what to do to make
>the port work again, for example if a security fix is
>needed, or if an enhancement in functionality requires
>a specific action for FreeBSD.
>> What else is required?
>Primarily, learning by doing. :-)
>You should first make yourself familiar with how the whole
>ports thing works. The FreeBSD Porter's Handbook is a good
>resource for that. Of course you should be able to use
>FreeBSD as an operating system. Furthermore, you should
>be able to use the required programming language(s) of
>the port in question. Additionally you should probably be
>able to deal with the FreeBSD bug tracking system and have
>the required communication skills to talk to upstream, if
>needed. If it hasn't become clear yet, you should of course
>learn how to use the ports infrastructure, working copy
>checkout, creation of patches, building and testing, and
>so on. Yes, this sounds quite trivial, but it is often
>neccessary to be able to do all this as a port maintainer.
>While reading the porter's handbook, it will become clear
>to you if this is a task you want to learn more about, and
>acquire more skills while (!) you do so. You will recognize
>which tools you are already familiar with, and which ones
>you'll have to learn. Without any doubt, you will grow your
>skillset already with those first steps.
>Magdeburg, Germany
>Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
>Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.

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