My cousin Audrey (kindergarten, age 6) just submitted her first ticket to an open source project. It's in the Sugar Labs trac instance as a request for a "clear all" button in the Physics Activity.

This raises some interesting questions. How do we handle feedback from children? In this case, Audrey has an older person (me) who can transcribe and submit her dictation (technically, it's under my account because she's not old enough to make one herself, I believe you need to be 13) and help be a mediator between her and the development community. I live with her - in fact, I'm sitting next to her in the kitchen while her mom cooks dinner right now - so it was very easy for me to ask her parents for permission. Do we need to sign something? What are the limitations on what we can do? What would I have had to do if she hadn't been a cousin that I live with?

Once the legal stuff is all out of the way - what do we want to do with this kind of feedback? How do we teach children how to submit good bug reports? How do we stay responsive to them every step of the way? (I have a short attention span, but even my lack of patience has a longer timeout than Audrey's...) Do we want to spend our bandwidth being responsive to this kind of feedback - over and above other kinds of work we could be doing? How can we help kids help themselves more?

On that last note, here's what I'm looking for in terms of help with this ticket.

Audrey has an older sister named Melanie, who is 14 and a freshman in high school. 2 summers ago she taught herself some python and pygame to make a language-learning flashcard program when she was studying Spanish. She's now looking to make her first code contribution to an upstream open source project, and is wondering if someone would be willing to sit down on IRC with her (nick: mkim - already lurking in GIMP and Fedora Design/Art channels) over the winter break and walk her through checking out the code (she knows what version control is, but has only used SVN before), searching through it to find the right stuff to modify, submitting a patch, and generally walking through the whole "how do you become a code contributor once you know how to code?" process.

Now, I could do this, but it'd be the blind leading the blind - my pygame knowledge can be described as "rudimentary" at best, and I'd rather have her guided by someone who already knows how to do Sugar code development. She needs a better teacher than me to guide her through this project. Would anyone be interested in taking a few hours some evening or weekend and working with her on this?