Much ado about scripting, Linux & Eclipse: card subject to change


Help me help y'all

Hey there, cowpokes! Do you spend long days and longer nights wondering how to get your code to work? Eclipse got you down? Feel like there's no one to turn to for help?

Well, friends, look no further!

Y'see friends, one fine day I was hanging out in #eclipse and was amazed at the sheer volume of quickly answerable questions coming in from Eclipse fans like y'selves -- questions already well documented! Now, I'm not talking about questions about CTRL-3 and the several hundred blogs singing its praises -- no sir! I'm talking about real -- and real easy -- questions like 'How do I start Eclipse?' or 'What's the deal with gcj?' or 'How can I solve my memory problems?'

Now, I know it's sometimes hard to know where to turn in a moment of crisis, and the internet can be a mighty scary and complex place for a greenhorn at times. We've all been there.

And so, without further ado, I give ya'll: my Top N List of places to go to for help...

  1. Read The FAQs: IRC FAQ, Eclipse FAQs, More FAQs
  2. Learn about the tools/projects you use from their websites
  3. Ask a question in the newsgroups
  4. Submit a question / discuss an issue / keep up to date in the mailing lists
  5. Browse source code in CVS to find an existing solution
  6. Read the online ISV help docs and APIs at
  7. Read articles, blogs, and other resources
  8. Watch videos of demos, walkthrus, and howtos
  9. Find, report, patch, triage, fix, or verify a bug or feature request
  10. Search with Eclipse or Google
  11. Seek legal advice about 3rd party code and IP
  12. Ask a question or discuss an issue in real time in #eclipse on freenode

But wait! That's not all! As if by coincidence, most of the items in the above list are also ways to contribute to Eclipse and the community. Once you find your answer, pay it forward by blogging about it, writing or expanding a wiki entry, contributing to a FAQ, answering a questing in a newsgroup or hanging out in #eclipse to help others.

Hell, ya'll could volunteer to be testers and take a few minutes to report a detailed bug -- with steps to reproduce, platform/config details, screen shots, logs, JUnits, and/or patches (as appropriate). Or, if you prefer to squash bugs than to unearth them, participate in BugDay. Want to start your own project? Check out next year's Google's Summer of Code and start contributing now!

Now I expect you're asking yourself, "Self, here comes the sales pitch where they ask for all mah hard earned greenbacks." But thanks to the magic of Open Source... everything you see before ya'll is free. Free as in 'free beer' -- open, transparent, and ultimately funded by your time and effort. So, please, give generously. ;-)


Chris Aniszczyk (zx) said...

btw, good proper use of "y'all"

nickb said...

A number of years ago in my phase, I used to work with IBMers located in Atlanta. Got very comfortable (some say *too* comfortable) with the way ya'll from the South talk.

Luckily, I resist using phrases like 'Ya'll come back now, y'heah?' and 'Are all y'all fixin' ta stay?'. I'm from Vancouver, after all. ;-)