Dear Rupal,

thanks for your introduction and your interest in the Debian Med project.

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 01:17:41AM +0530, Rupal Jain wrote:
> ...
> In addition to just sounding cool, the work looks challenging too. Being a
> total beginner to Debian packaging or concepts along this line, the project
> surely has a good learning curve for me.

The Debian Med project as quite some record in teaching packaging (as
you are writing below).  To get you starting for the GSoC project we
should start with this soon.

> 1. First and foremost, I have subscribed to your mailing list (have also
> cc'ed it here as I have read that you guys prefer to keep most of your
> conversations public, which does make sense to me).

Very good - so I just write to the list (as per Debian list policy).

> 3. I have gone through this
> <https://debian-med.alioth.debian.org/docs/policy.html> policy document as
> I saw that you have redirected many individuals to this document as an
> essential reading. I got to know about Debian Pure Blend, motivation and
> aim of the "Debian Med project", and also reading like, "Developers
> reference" and "New Maintainers guide", although I couldn't understand the
> technical portion too well.

It seems you did quite well in studying the available documents. :-)

> 4. I also came across the *MoM *program here
> <https://wiki.debian.org/DebianMed/MoM>, I want to be a part of it and in
> the process of learning Debian packaging during MoM, I can also make
> appropriate contributions to the project for Outreachy.

Very good. :-)

> 5. On this <https://blends.debian.org/med/tasks/> tasks page, it shows a
> whole list of Debian Med packages, so is there a particular package on
> which I will be working on in the beginning or is it still to be decided?

In principle I prefer if you might have used some software in your own
work that is not yet packaged since you know the software.  Since in
your current state of education you might not have stumbled upon such a
candidate you can pick freely from the list according to your interest.

In our last sprint we started developing a new list about packages that
are in Bio-Linux but not in Debian[1].  As a random pick I would think
that cap3[2] might be simple enough for a start.  Disclaimer:  I have
not done a single look into the source at all.  The most frequent
blocker for this kind of software is a missing license - feel free to
have a look here.

> 6. Is this <https://www.debian.org/distrib/> the right link for me to head
> towards setting up Debian environment?

Yes.
 
> I have just looked up to the internet to know what do we *mean *by
> packaging in Debian, to get a gist of what is there to be done, but this
> gave me a very broad view/glimpse of what it means, but only *theoretically.

Many Linux distributions consists of a set of prebuilded binaries in
ready to install archives that are featuring metainformation about
dependencies between each others - so called packages.  There are two
wide spread packaging formats: The Debian format which is used by Debian
and its derivatives (Ubuntu, Mint and lots of others) and the Redhat
package format which is used by RedHat, SuSE and others.  These packages
are allowing one click installation and maintenance of very complex
software systems.  The job of a Debian maintainer is to download a
package source and create some files in a predefined directory debian/
that contain the needed information to build the Debian package.  How
this is done is explained in the newbie documentation you have mentioned
in your initial mail.  I hope this is some sufficient information what
"packaging" might mean.

The sense of the Debian Med project is to package free software that is
relevant in life science and medicine.  For instance the packaging of
this software enables setting up a bioinformaticans workstation with a
single command line / mouse click (when using a graphical installer).

> *But to get into actual coding and building packages and understanding the
> *workflow*, without which there wouldn't be much of a point to go on
> solving bugs, I'll need help (as a beginner would do). Like MoM program,
> maybe.

That's fine.  I'd recommend you get your hands on a Debian installation
which should you give some practical understanding.  There you can do
for instance

     sudo apt install med-bio

(and let us know if you have trouble to come to this point!)

Than you should create a login on salsa.debian.org and apply for
membership in the Debian Med team.
 
> I am not sure if I am late in contacting you as the deadline is 22nd March
> for submitting contributions. Although, the contributions we make after
> that (till the results are announced) might also be counted.

Lets see about your progress.

> Let me know what you think.

As I said I'm happy about your interest and will support your attempt to
start with the packaging.

Kind regards

      Andreas.

[1] 
https://salsa.debian.org/med-team/community/bio-linux/blob/master/debian-med_missings.txt
[2] http://seq.cs.iastate.edu/cap3.html

-- 
http://fam-tille.de

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