I'm Sorina and this summer I will be working on Debian Installer network setup during Google Summer of Code. I am a second year bachelor's student at Politehnica University of Bucharest, I am studying Computer Science. I very much enjoy what I am doing even if sometimes I feel that the amount of stuff I want/have to learn/do/work on is infinite and I don't really know where to start.
I am at the beginning of the project, I believe now I am accustomed to the way things work and I am waiting forward to finishing the exam period so that I could really start working.
The hardest part for me in what I've done so far is testing what I am doing. It took me a while to figure out at least a part of how the installer functions and to solve the problems that occurred while building. Luckily, there is documentation and internet and even more important, I had help and support from my mentors.
So far I have only written two patches for netcfg, for bugs #610752 and #636211. For the first one I had a version for a while now, but I was unable to test it (unfortunately, it's likely that you will hear this a lot in the future). The idea was to make the link detection timeout preseedable and for this I have added two new templates, asking the user to provide a value for that matter.
The second one involved a missing "Go Back" button. This seemed to be the result of not letting debconf know that the program is capable of handling the user pressing a back button. That could be solved using deb_capb.
As I said before, testing was my main problem. Eventually, I built the image, wrote it to an USB and rebooted my laptop. This served its purpose, since I had access to anything I needed such as the wireless interface and physical access to the network cable. Running it through a virtual machine did not help much in this case, because I was unable to provide those.
Another thing I considered to be hard was blog posting, but now that I have just finished my first post it seems that I overreacted.
That's all for now, have a nice day!