Beginner-friendly projects

Philippe Cloutier chealer at
Sun Jul 19 17:36:33 BST 2020

Thanks for bringing this up Christoph, hi Nate,

Le 2020-05-29 à 12:15, Nate Graham a écrit :
> I agree that it's not very useful right now. I would recommend 
> expanding it, because some projects truly are more beginner-friendly 
> than others, just due to the nature of the code itself. However in the 
> absence of that effort, removing it would probably make sense.

Nate, considering that you created this section[1] and that it saw 
little change in the 2 years since, you should feel free to remove it if 
you think that's best.

For my part, I agree that the section has a worthy objective; there are 
certainly projects where it is preferable for beginners to go compared 
to others. But I agree with both of you that the current list of 
projects is little convincing.

I would first say I find it strange to see Elisa there. For sure being 
beginner-friendly should be the first element considered to make that 
list, but I think we should also consider each project's importance, to 
avoid sending beginners to useless projects. In fact, even beyond the 
community's interest, it seems to me likely that contributing to useful 
(perhaps I should say "used") products will cause beginners to value 
their contribution and therefore enjoy their work, and choose to persevere.

In Elisa's case, I'm surprised that we suggest a music player I had 
never heard of, when - in my book - we already have too many KDE music 
players since Amarok arrived. Are we really looking at having 3 music 
players (JuK, Amarok and Elisa) without much difference in target 
markets? In addition to other applications which can be used to play 
music, plus the even more numerous non-KDE-specific music players?

I have to clarify I don't mean this as an attack on Elisa - as I wrote, 
I had never heard about it, and did not even try it. I am rather writing 
this because ever since Amarok appeared, I find it confusing to offer 
JuK while Amarok is in fact the better option, and I doubt promoting 
Elisa goes in the direction of solving that. But I don't remember 
reading even 1 line of code from either Amarok or JuK, and the last time 
I used JuK was probably before the last decade, so I could be off-track. 
If Elisa comes from the community examining the issue and determining 
that both JuK and Amarok are inadequate and that even their code is 
unsalvageable so that it's better to start a new product entirely from 
scratch, then by all means let's keep promoting it.

Elisa's case aside, I believe the biggest issue is that it's not clear 
why the listed projects were put on that list. I believe it may be ideal 
for those reasons to be displayed to readers to some level (possibly as 
tooltips/footnotes), but as a minimum, the page's source code should 
have comments indicating some of the following:

  * who added the project (and possibly who concurs/disagrees with the
  * when the project was added (and ideally - after some time - when the
    choice was re-assessed)
  * what makes the project beginner-friendly:
      o is it based on popular technologies like C++?
      o is it based on simple languages often taught in schools like Python?
      o is its code clearly written, with lots of clarifying comments?
      o does its community count numerous seniors who can teach juniors?
      o are some of its developers particularly skilled and interested
        in training newcomers?
      o are some of its developers attentive to newcomers who need to be
        granted privileges to contribute?
      o does it have ample developer documentation explaining the
        architecture, indicating which development tools to use, and how
        to perform certain tasks?
      o does the project publish a list of beginner-friendly tasks?
      o does it have a complete test suite making it less costly to spot
        a large share of regressions?
      o is it a non-critical product (like a music player or a game)
        where a defect would have a lower impact?

If the section is kept, I recommend to add a comment in its source 
indicating that projects added without such indications may be summarily 


> Nate
> On 5/29/20 9:54 AM, Christoph Feck wrote:
>> Hello,
>> says:
>>     "Beginner-friendly projects
>>      Here are some beginner-friendly projects with
>>      a variety of opportunities to contribute:
>>      * Elisa, a KDE music player
>>      * Krita, a KDE digital painting suite
>>      * KDE Connect, a tool to connect and integrate your mobile device
>>     "
>> Does this list make any sense? If the list should express the idea that
>> developers of these projects welcome newcomers, does it mean that our
>> other projects are not? If the list is supposed to state that the source
>> code is easy to understand for beginners, shouldn't we add much simpler
>> projects, such as KDE games, utilities, or simple QtQuick widgets?
>> Right now, I would suggest to just remove this section. Someone who is
>> really new to coding seems misguided.
Philippe Cloutier

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