One of the main advantages of using FOSS(Free and Open Source Softwares) is that we get the source code along with the program.. All this time i was just using them, but never tried to get the source code and see the code that was making the program work.. Few weeks back i decided to do so. I asked madhu about how to get the source code and build it.. He told me that GNOME would be the best package to start with.. He gave me some links where i could get all the information about building GNOME..
GNOME uses something called as jhbuild to build its packages. Jhbuild
This page gives the step by step procedure to build GNOME.. It has a large set of dependencies to be resolved. Had to install them before i could start downloading the source code from the repositories. In the beginning i was carrying out the build at night in the free time(2-8), but an error would stop the process and that error had to be resolved before i could resume. This is irritating for anyone but i had no option but to install some dependent package and continue with the build process.. Many a times, i might have slept at 2:15 and an error would have occurred at 2:20 but all this was expected.. I started downloading in the day time itself as i found it difficult to sit all night and take care of errors. I even exceeded the monthly limit of 2.5Gb. The build process takes a lot of time.. something like 1 and half to 2 days without interruption.
Adding more problems was the power failure, it was summer and power used to go every now and then. Today, 2nd of June 2008, I know its a milestone The process successfully completed. After the build process is completed, we can run the source code present on the local disk.. Procedure goes like this :
$ jhbuild build nautilus
$ jhbuild shell
Soon after doing this, a window opens. that's the explorer of GNOME called as the nautilus. I was happy, very happy I can start with looking at the source code, modify it and compile it again to see what happens etc. Though i may not be able to make some significant contribution at this point of time, I'm happy for making a start atleast. Thanks madhu; and vattam for all the moral support ;P..