Outreachy 2022 Wrap-up Blog

This blog is about my work during my Outreachy internship with conda-forge. Before that a little about me - I am Surbhi, an Outreachy intern with conda-forge for the May-August 2022 cohort and I worked on documenting the conda-forge ecosystem.

The first issue I started working on when the internship began was Better anchoring of announcements(#1611). The goal of this issue was to fix the anchor for each year and also specific announcements in the Announcements section so as to provide better navigation of the Announcements page. This was also the time when I was feeling quite overwhelmed and anxious since I was just starting and was unsure if I would be able to give my best. But thanks to my awesome mentors @Katherine and @Matt, who have always been so helpful, I was able to have a good start. We solved this issue in two parts. The first part was to add anchors to each year which is solved with Improve anchors for each year in the Announcements section. (#1766), and the second part was adding anchors to each announcement and fixing the RSS feed.

The part of the documentation I focused on after completing the first issue was Maintainers’ Documentation. Many open issues needed to be taken care of to make the Maintainers’ documentation more useful and accessible for new maintainers. The open tickets that we have worked on are:

  1. Document extras feedstock-name (#1769) and Explain how to become a maintainer (#1331). Closed with add extra section-recipe maintainer and feedstock-name (#1772).

    As we started with improving the Maintainer documentation, these were the issues we picked first to work on. The first issue was documenting how maintainers can use the “feedstock-name” directive for naming feedstocks differently than their package names in staged recipes. The second issue was documenting how one should become a package maintainer.

  2. Add more steps in Improve the documentation section (#1651). Closed with Update “Improve the documentation” section with more steps (#1776).

    In this issue we added some additional steps for people who would like to start contributing to conda-forge, especially to documentation.

  3. Add more information about Grayskull in the documentation itself (#1655). Closed with #1777.

    The documentation on Grayskull in docs lacked the answers to questions like what exactly Grayskull is and how one should use Grayskull to generate a recipe. With this issue, we added more documentation on Grayskull for users.

  4. Clarify feedstock LICENSE.txt (#803). Closed with Add Feedstock repository structure section (#1786).

    The docs for contributing and maintaining conda recipes discuss when and how to distribute the license for a particular package. The auto-generated feedstock repositories also include a license in the root, which is different from the related package license. With this issue, we added documentation on the differences between those two licenses and briefly explained the feedstock repository structure.

  5. DOC: New maintainer (#1117). Closed with Add “How regro-cf-autotick-bot create version update PR?” section. (#1788).

    With this issue we improved docs for the new maintainers and the working of the bot. A “How does regro-cf-autotick-bot create automatic version updates?” section was added to the docs, which explains the whole process of creating an automated version update PRs by bot.

  6. Add Perl package hints to documentation (#1536). Working on this #1790.

    With this issue we added ​​packaging instructions for Perl packages with different build systems in the documentation.

  7. DOC: Update documentation about tokens (#1532). Closed with #1793.

    Feedstocks have stopped storing encrypted tokens to upload packages, but outdated information on tokens was still present in the documentation. With this issue we removed the outdated information and also added a new section “How to update your feedstock token?” for maintainers.

  8. Improve the documentation on arch_rebuild.txt (#1668). Closed with #1794.

    With this issue we improved the documentation on arch_rebuild.txt and how maintainers can add a feedstock to arch-rebuild.txt if it requires rebuilding with different architectures/platforms (such as ppc64le or aarch64).

  9. Document migrators (#1355), Update migration docs (#862), and document migrators (#737) . Closed with Documenting Migrators and Migrations. (#1801).

    With these, we added more documentation on migrations and migrators, which would help maintainers find answers to questions like - What is a migrator/migration, and what does it do? When can (and why would) they should reject a migration PR? And so on.

  10. Add a section in docs on security aspects of conda-forge (#1808). Closed with #1812.

    Currently, information regarding the security considerations of conda-forge builds is scattered throughout the documentation, and therefore it is hard to find and read. With this issue, we will put all the information together in one place, which will help maintainers and users to know more about how conda-forge secures its packages and infrastructure.

I met some wonderful people during the internship who helped me with all my questions and doubts that I had. The experience during the internship also helped me get better opportunities after completing the Outreachy internship. I have learned so many things during the internship that it would make a long list if I were to write all of those. But the most important things I learned are:

  • The importance of documentation and how to write good documentation.

  • The best practices to follow while writing documentation.

  • More about conda-forge and packaging tools.

And above all, Outreachy helped me feel more confident about my skills and overcome the imposter syndrome I had before. Thanks again to my awesome mentors and the kind people of the conda-forge community! :)