View Full Version : how to find source code?
October 27th, 2009, 10:24 AM
I know some basic C and bash programming but would like to learn more. To find the source code of the open source programs I can do apt-get source package
I would start with the configure file, but do you have any reading suggestion (how the source code is organized, what do the different files do, a simple code as my first example in Bash/C/perl, etc)?
As an example, I would like to make the existing Yahoo mail checker (Yamil Notifier or Webmail notifier), taking the existing ones and making them pop up in the tray as Thunderbird's "New Mail Icon".
October 27th, 2009, 10:29 AM
Moved to Programming Talk.
October 27th, 2009, 10:45 AM
but do you have any reading suggestion (how the source code is organized, what do the different files do, a simple code as my first example in Bash/C/perl, etc)? As an example, I would like to make the existing Yahoo mail checker (Yamil Notifier or Webmail notifier), taking the existing ones and making them pop up in the tray as Thunderbird's "New Mail Icon". Thanks
Re-inventing the wheel springs to mind. :sad:
Its best to write programs for something you are interested in or something your are passionate about, or even something you really need. If something is already written, then contacting the person that wrote it, and writing your additions and asking them to include it, is one thing you can do. Some of the biggest open source projects started that way.
An example would be if you see a project and you are interested in it, then make your additions submit the additions to the person who wrote, and ask what they think. There are loads of projects at http://sourceforge.net/ to join a developer or you could start your own. Most code is written and submitted via subversion.
Its better to collaborate than it would be go it alone.
I have seen some poorly written code, but I have also seen some wonderfully crafted musical well write code. Oh to be flooded with this stuff. Open source is good.
October 28th, 2009, 04:13 AM
configure is a scary file to look it, it's not ment for human consumption. In fact it's generated by a program (it's part of the GNU Autotools, the GNU build system). If you want to look at the build system source code for the package the file is actually called "Makefile.am" or "Makefile.in" if it's using autotools. These files define how the software should be built and installed.
Take a look at some of the directories, sometimes there is a "src", or something named after the package, etc. There will be a bunch of *.c files in them (if it was written in C), this is the source code.
You might want to install git (or bzr, Canonical likes bzr) before you go willy nilly modifying source files though. This is a source control system so you can keep track of your changes. If you make cool changes you can even use it to automatically generate a "patch" file you can send via e-mail or whatever.
October 29th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Thanks guys, i m taking a look at bzr. programing sounds so difficult, but let's see how far I can go .. other suggestions are welcome
October 29th, 2009, 08:32 PM
I recently have been interested in C# (C-Sharp) and found a book from my local library that is excellent. It is a Microsoft book (I know, the Irony!) for writing a complete program from scratch in Visual Studio (a Windows App) but works equally well in mono develop (a Linux Mono C# IDE).
I have used and read lots of programming books over the years and this is the first one where I have been able to pick up a new language and understand it from the get-go.
The ISBN-10 if you are interested is:
and the ISBN-13
My second suggestion is to find a program being actively developed in the language you are interested in and subscribe to the mailing-list/change-log. That way you can examine the code to see how a simple program evolves.
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