Its week two of Hacktoberfest! Last week I had a few hiccups but in the end I was able to submit my first pull request, and it’s now been merged! If you go to Civic Data Lab’s website the logo in the footer is now clickable. That is the first piece of code that I have written that has made it into the public! Its not the most impressive piece of code in the world but its a first step.
This week my goal was to go a bit further, to make a bigger impact this time. I ended up having a different problem from the ones i had last time. This time I struggled a lot even finding an issue I felt I could work on. I ended up going over 45 pages deep into GitHub search results for things labeled “good-first-issue”. It was not a pleasant experience. But in the end I was able to find a pretty interesting repo. It is a project called Enterprise Policy Generator, which is a Firefox extension that allows businesses and other enterprises to easily generate configuration files. These files let administrators configure and set up how they want Firefox to be setup across all devices regardless of platform. this seems like a pretty interesting project that can be very useful for businesses.
The issue was requesting some help in adding a new policy. Currently if you were typing in your password and wanted to see what you had typed so far there is an option to reveal what you’ve entered so far. This is pretty useful if you have a long password and think you have made a mistake. But it is also a security issue. It is possible someone looking at your screen will be able to see your password, and in many enterprise situations this could be disastrous. This new policy will allow admins to prevent users from revealing their passwords.
My initial worry was I had never tried worked with a Firefox extension before and was worried as how to get started. But I got some helpful advice from a professor. When working on a big project I really didn’t need to understand how the whole thing worked. I only needed to know how to do the small part I was working on. So that’s what I did. I looked through previous commits made in the repo looking to see other policies that were added to the project. I looked through and thought I knew what I needed to do, so I left a comment on the issue asking to work on it.
Fortunately for me the repo owner replied that I could work on it and that he would provide some instructions on how to add a new policy! This made my job even easier. After getting some very detailed and helpful instructions I was able to pretty easily add the new policy.
I just had to add the new policy to the policies.js file and also the policy message to the messages.json file.
This week I got a lot of help from my professor and the repo owner of the project I was working on. I wasn’t expecting to have a member of the open source community be so willing to help and be so excited to have a random stranger on the internet participate in their project. It opened my eyes to how much this community is really about helping each other. I am really excited about continuing to participate in the community and contribute code. I might even keep working on this project if I am able to!
Original Repo: cadeyrn/enterprise-policy-generator
My Fork: varshannagarajan/enterprise-policy-generator
The Issue: https://github.com/cadeyrn/enterprise-policy-generator/issues/108
My Pull Request: https://github.com/cadeyrn/enterprise-policy-generator/pull/110