Hacktoberfest – Week 4

As October comes to a close, so too does the time we have for Hacktoberfest. This week I actually took on two projects, however one is still currently ongoing with a lot of interesting issues arising from utilization of experimental technology.

The first project I started to work on was initially an addition to JabRef’s installer to associate a custom filetype with JabRef, initially for windows and then figuring out how to do the same for Linux and Mac. The documentation for this feature is incredibly sparse, being only a few lines long with additionally no examples. As such, this issue ended up being a lot of documentation of attempts and how they went. But it wasn’t this simple: Jpackage, the technology we were using, actually had a bug that mandated the use of an implied optional category, which hindered progress.

That can be seen here, with the issue chain being tracked here.

In addition to the bug, Jpackage itself updated over the course of working on this bug, and as a result, the build for windows specifically no longer works, and I have been looking into this as well. As the chances were that this would end up being a larger endeavor than first though, I also worked on another bug to submit in time for the closing of Hacktoberfest.

This bug was a lot more cut and dry, being an update to the dependency for moment, within the contexture-react project. While being used as a dev dependency for quite some time, recent updates mandated a change to ensure that Moment was used on local machines as well, so this pull request was an addition to the list of dependencies and ensuring that if there was any upgrade or change tot he existing versions of moment, that any changes would be rectified and dealt with accordingly. Luckily, the latest version was already in use this time, and the implementation of react in the user dependencies went smoothly.

Contexture React did have an interesting change-log and versioning system. In addition to the dependency for moment, I ended up being in charge of updating the changelog and versioning numbers, meaning an entire entry and version update to the program can be contributed entirely to my pull request. While a minor revision nonetheless, it is quite satisfying to be able to increment those numbers and know that it was because of work you did.

That PR can be viewed here and the issue can be viewed here.

With that PR submitted and merged, my Hacktoberfest draws to a close. I will still work on the issue for Jabref, and see how that turns out. I can safely say that I have learned a lot from working on these issues, and am a little bit more comfortable with working in open source. Hacktoberfest is definitely a worthwhile endeavor to take on for a month if one is interested in getting into open source development, and you get a shirt too, so that’s pretty cool.

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