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The ponderings of a newbie

From: Jay Sullivan
Subject: The ponderings of a newbie
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 16:23:29 -0500

Hi everyone I have a few questions about different things. 

Just so everyone can understand me better, allow me to describe my relation to this project.  I am an C and x86 ASM programmer.  I'm very interested in contributing to GRUB2, and I've been trying to understand it for a while, but there are certain things preventing me from it.  I'm not very experienced with patches and multi-user projects, however, which is why I'm having trouble contributing.

1) Mailing lists:

I'm wanting to avoid asking questions that have already been answered, and I'd like to keep up on current issues with grub2, so I'd like to try to keep the grub-devel mailing list sorted...but I'm clueless.
First of all, is it strange of me to ask, What email managers are everyone using?  I'm more of a forum guy, so I find mailing lists hard to work with, and I'm hoping someone can clue me in on an email application that handles mailing lists properly.  For example, on a forum, you can clearly see which messages were responses to which questions.  But I can see the benefit of a mailing list, as everyone can use their own mail handlers... but I've tried to research things like sendmail, and my my brain nearly exploded.  Is there a simple solution?

2) Documentation:

I've noticed that from inside the grub2 shell, for almost all standard commands, the help "-h" and usage "-u" switches are not verbose at all.  I'm wondering, is this because (A) there is a general consensus that we should avoid verbose documentation until grub2 is past beta stages? Or is it (B) no one has yet offered to write the documentation? Or perhaps it might be (C) everyone except for me finds the usage of commands so obvious that no one but me has needed to type "help" yet? (kidding...but seriously I'm lost here).

3)  Bug? Not a bug?

I consider myself a very detail-oriented person, both with human languages and programming languages, and I have noticed several small "glitches" that some might not consider bugs, but nonetheless they are undocumented and I'm sure other people are having the same issue I am. I have a strong suspicion that some of these bugs have already been well reviewed by the rest of you guys, and I've missed the conversation.  Something I'd like to dicuss in depth with someone who is knowledgeable on grub2 source code is that of the grub2 shell input, and whitespace handling, and tab-completion.  I don't know where to look in the source for this stuff and I'm not sure what has been tried and what has been agreed upon.  Regardless, I really think there are a few simple issues, and perhaps they are not really as simple as they seem.

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