Wanted: Python open source volunteers

by Eliezer Yudkowsky1 min read11th Mar 200913 comments

13

CommunityAI
Personal Blog

Less Wrong is a fork of the open Reddit codebase, written in Python.  Less Wrong's code is online at Github (look in r2/r2 for the meat), the issues tracker is at code.google.com.  See Contributing to Less Wrong for a gentle introduction to getting started.

According to Reddit's blog, we are the coolest use of reddit source code they've seen!  But we've still got a long way to go before we're as cool as we want to be.

If anyone out there is fluent in Python and willing to donate a noticeable amount of time to a good cause, an extra hand or two might help us implement many Less Wrong features a lot sooner.

The Reddit codebase does not have unit tests or a whole lot of documentation.  Contributors need to be able to wade through Reddit's code to grok it, and write unit tests for what they do (or better yet, write unit tests for existing code).

Items on the issues tracker marked "Contributions-Welcome" are those that look relatively easy to contribute.  Items marked "Contributions-LeaveItToUs" are those that look big and complicated, or that Tricycle (the main developers) have strong opinions about how to design and implement.  You could hack the big ones, but the developers might need to spend time talking to you - so please don't step up unless you're fluent in Python, have the necessary time, and are serious about it.

An example of a Welcome contribution would be having the registration page explain what is a valid username, or making sure that any HTML generated automatically in comments is also legal to enter directly (like <a href></a>).

An example of a LeaveItToUs contribution would be the future Tag and Sequence system - a next/prev tracking system for tags (so that you can navigate through via "next in self_deception" / "prev in self_deception" arrows); a system that lets authors create sequences which behave like tags but are owned by that author; and RSS feeds for tags and sequences that feed a specified number of posts per day to new users trying to catch up.  An experienced volunteer Python dev with enough block hours free to run out and do this would be very welcome.

Items like making the site fluid-width or importing old posts from Overcoming Bias are probably best left to the current site designers.

Hopefully this gives you an idea of what kind of work needs doing.  See the issues tracker for more.

Community1AI1
Personal Blog

13

9 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 11:31 PM
New Comment

I hope I speak for all when I say thank you very much to everyone who's spending their valuable time and talent on building and fixing this blog. It's a great site, it wouldn't exist without you, and it's very much appreciated.

I couldn't agree more.

This is my first comment, I lurk because I am not a great enough writer to form the great comments, that often match the quality of the post. That is the sign of a really extraordinary community for me. The only other place I feel like this is http://news.ycombinator.com/ .

Reddit has an amazing system, better than any other social news site, but unfortunately the community isn't that great anymore. I still go sporadically, but I am only subscribed to four subreddits, all very niche that aren't default, so that keeps away the crowds I'm not looking for a bit.

The Reddit team did a great thing by opening up the codebase for everyone. Less Wrong wouldn't be here without it, and without the people who give their time up.

I just have been hired at my University as a Residences Web Application Developer and we use python/django for the most part, but I am not yet very good... Maybe in a years time I will have built the skills necessary, but right now I'm still in training.

Thanks to everyone who helps out.

Ooh, I'm fluent in Python, and pretty interested!

I can't do much until next week, but I'll start checking out the docs and stuff.

I'm fluent in Python and wishing I had time to contribute! :(

Maybe later in the year...

Would adding documentation potentially be more valuable than doing coding?

Drupal, thoughts on it?

I have an idea for a site and I am not sure whether Reddit, Drupal, or Java makes more sense.

A quick vote for implementing fluid-width.

...should probably be here instead.

The license of Reddit is free software, so it's better to use that term instead of open source.