Basic FAQ

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(How do I get the latest code?)
 
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==Where can I find binary packages?==
==Where can I find binary packages?==
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We don't maintain binary packages, but some users do. Look on the [[Download]] page.  
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We don't maintain binary packages for Unix-like systems, but some users and Linux distributions do. We do provide a binary installer for Windows. Look on the [[Download]] page for more details.  
==What's the story of Player's creation?==
==What's the story of Player's creation?==
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The story of the Player/Stage project can be read in the [[PlayerHistory| player's history]] page.
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The story of the Player/Stage project can be read in the [[PlayerHistory| Player's history]] page.
==What other information about the Player/Stage Project is available online?==
==What other information about the Player/Stage Project is available online?==
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=Player=
=Player=
==What is Player?==
==What is Player?==
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Player is a device server that provides a powerful, flexible interface to a variety of sensors and actuators (e.g., robots). Because Player uses a TCP socket-based client/server model, robot control programs can be written in any programming language and can execute on any computer with network connectivity to the robot. In addition, Player supports multiple concurrent client connections to devices, creating new possibilities for distributed and collaborative sensing and control.  
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[[Player]] is a device server that provides a powerful, flexible interface to a variety of sensors and actuators (e.g., robots). Because Player uses a TCP socket-based client/server model, robot control programs can be written in any programming language and can execute on any computer with network connectivity to the robot. In addition, Player supports multiple concurrent client connections to devices, creating new possibilities for distributed and collaborative sensing and control.  
More information on the [[Player]] page.
More information on the [[Player]] page.
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==What hardware and software does Player support?==
==What hardware and software does Player support?==
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There is a [http://playerstage.sourceforge.net/doc/Player-cvs/player/supported_hardware.html list of supported devices].
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There is a [http://playerstage.sourceforge.net/doc/Player-svn/player/supported_hardware.html list of supported devices].
==How do I get/build/install Player?==
==How do I get/build/install Player?==
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==How do I cross-compile Player (e.g., for the iPAQ or Gumstix)?==
==How do I cross-compile Player (e.g., for the iPAQ or Gumstix)?==
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Of course you can find the [http://playerstage.sourceforge.net/doc/Player-cvs/player/group__tutorial__crosscompiling.html proper tutorial] for this.
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Of course you can. Tutorials are available for users of [[Cross_Compile_Player_with_Openembedded_and_BitBake | OpenEmbedded]], and for [[Cross-compiling]] Player from the command line.
==What is the difference between Player and Stage and Gazebo? What is the difference between Player device drivers and simulated device models in Stage or Gazebo?==
==What is the difference between Player and Stage and Gazebo? What is the difference between Player device drivers and simulated device models in Stage or Gazebo?==
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==How do I add a device driver to Player?==
==How do I add a device driver to Player?==
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Read [http://playerstage.sourceforge.net/doc/Player-cvs/player/group__tutorial__plugins.html this tutorial].  
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If you already have a working plugin driver and wish to integrate it, read [[Adding drivers to Player 3]]. If you want to create your own plugin driver, read [[Writing a Player driver]]
==When I run Player (possibly under Stage), it exits with the message "unknown host; probably should quit." What's the deal?==
==When I run Player (possibly under Stage), it exits with the message "unknown host; probably should quit." What's the deal?==
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==I have a syntax error involving PKG_CHECK_MODULES. What's the fix?==
==I have a syntax error involving PKG_CHECK_MODULES. What's the fix?==
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If you get a syntax error involving PKG_CHECK_MODULES, it is likely that aclocal can't find the pkg.m4 file, which defines this macro. This is common on OS X with Fink, as the pkg-config package puts this file in /sw/share/aclocal, while the standard OS X aclocal program is looking in /usr/share/aclocal. Unfortunately, there is no reliable search path mechanism for aclocal, so the best fix is just to copy (or symlink) /sw/share/aclocal/pkg.m4 to /usr/share/aclocal. This FAQ taken from the [http://www.cs.sfu.ca/research/groups/autonomy Autonomy Lab's] [http://deckard.cs.sfu.ca:8080/Wiki/PkgCheckModules P/S Wiki].  
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If you get a syntax error involving PKG_CHECK_MODULES, it is likely that aclocal can't find the pkg.m4 file, which defines this macro. This is common on OS X with Fink, as the pkg-config package puts this file in /sw/share/aclocal, while the standard OS X aclocal program is looking in /usr/share/aclocal. Unfortunately, there is no reliable search path mechanism for aclocal, so the best fix is just to copy (or symlink) /sw/share/aclocal/pkg.m4 to /usr/share/aclocal. This FAQ taken from the [http://www.cs.sfu.ca/research/groups/autonomy Autonomy Lab's] [http://deckard.cs.sfu.ca:8080/Wiki/PkgCheckModules P/S Wiki].
 +
 
 +
Note that this only applied to versions of Player before Player 3.0.0.  Player 3 uses the CMake build system.
==How can I get high data rates from my SICK LMS laser rangefinder?==
==How can I get high data rates from my SICK LMS laser rangefinder?==
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==What is the purpose of the key in a provides or requires field (e.g., the "odometry" in "odometry::position:0")?==
==What is the purpose of the key in a provides or requires field (e.g., the "odometry" in "odometry::position:0")?==
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Look [http://playerstage.sourceforge.net/doc/Player-cvs/player/group__tutorial__config.html#device_key here].
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This is explained in the [[Writing configuration files#The key field in a device address | Writing Confguration Files]] tutorial.
==What is set odometry, and what does set odometry do?==
==What is set odometry, and what does set odometry do?==
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The opaque interface is usually used to prototype new interfaces and/  
The opaque interface is usually used to prototype new interfaces and/  
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or extensions to existing interfaces.  After some testing and 
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or extensions to existing interfaces.  If you would like to add a new
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refinement, these additions can be submitted for consideration to be 
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interface, you have two options: create a plugin interface or add a
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included in player.h, at which point they'll be fully supported, with 
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new interface definition to player. For custom applications, it's
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XDR wrappers, client-side proxies, etc.
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better to create a plugin interface.  If the interface needs to be
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integrated into player, you can follow the instructions at [[Writing_a_Player_interface]]
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=Gazebo=
=Gazebo=
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==Where can I find the full XML specification for gazebo world files?==
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Gazebo 0.9 -> THIS NEEDS TO BE INSERTED HERE
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==What is Gazebo?==
==What is Gazebo?==
Gazebo is a 3D, dynamic, multi-robot simulator. Whereas Stage is intended to simulate the behavior of very large populations of robots with moderate fidelity, Gazebo simulates the behavior of small populations of robots (less than 10) with high fidelity. Read the [[Gazebo]] page for more information.  
Gazebo is a 3D, dynamic, multi-robot simulator. Whereas Stage is intended to simulate the behavior of very large populations of robots with moderate fidelity, Gazebo simulates the behavior of small populations of robots (less than 10) with high fidelity. Read the [[Gazebo]] page for more information.  
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==How do I get/build/install Gazebo?==
==How do I get/build/install Gazebo?==
See the [[Download]] page.
See the [[Download]] page.
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See also [[Install]] page.
==How do I build Gazebo on OS X?==  
==How do I build Gazebo on OS X?==  
Directions for building on Gazebo on OS X can be found in the Gazebo manual, available from the  [http://playerstage.sourceforge.net/index.php?src=doc documentation page].  
Directions for building on Gazebo on OS X can be found in the Gazebo manual, available from the  [http://playerstage.sourceforge.net/index.php?src=doc documentation page].  
==How can I make movies of Gazebo?==  
==How can I make movies of Gazebo?==  
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Gazebo will not make movies directly, but can be instructed to export still frames, which you can then animate (see how to make movies question above). In versions up to and including 0.3.0, click on the window you wish to export, then press the 'W' key'; frames are saved in PPM format in a directory named "frames-". Note that saving frames will significantly affect Gazebo's performance.  
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===Gazebo 0.7===
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Gazebo will not make movies directly, but can be instructed to export still frames, which you can then animate (see how to make movies question above). In versions up to and including 0.3.0, click on the window you wish to export, then press the 'W' key'; frames are saved in PPM format in a directory named "frames-". Note that saving frames will significantly affect Gazebo's performance.
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===Gazebo 0.8===
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Adding <saveFrames>true<saveFrames> to the camera sensor will save those frames. The frames will be saved in .jpg format.
==How can I read image data from a camera?==
==How can I read image data from a camera?==
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==How do I get the latest code?==
==How do I get the latest code?==
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All the code for the project is mantained in a CVS repository at SourceForge. An excellent source of CVS documentation (besides the CVS [http://www.gnu.org/manual/cvs-1.9/cvs.html manual]) is [http://www.loria.fr/~molli/cvs/doc/cvs_toc.html here]. Project-specific instructions for CVS access, both anonymous and read/write, are [http://sourceforge.net/cvs/?group_id=42445 here].
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All the code for Player is maintained in Subversion (SVN) repositories at SourceForge. Project-specific instructions for SVN access, both anonymous and read/write, are [http://sourceforge.net/svn/?group_id=42445 here].
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We keep our code organized into CVS modules, and that is how you should access it. You should '''not''' check out directories directly, because you will bypass any module dependencies that we have set up. The following modules will likely be of greatest interest to you:
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Stage code is maintained in git repositories at Github. Project-specific instructions for git access, both anonymous and read/writem are [https://github.com/rtv/Stage here]
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* player
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* stage
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* gazebo
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Player is in SVN.  To check out Player, use this command:
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<pre>
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svn checkout svn://svn.code.sf.net/p/playerstage/svn/code/player/trunk player
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</pre>
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==How do I build from CVS?==
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Stage is now hosted at Github. You can get the very latest Stage using this command:
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<pre>
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git clone http://github.com/rtv/Stage.git stage
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</pre>
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Since we're using the GNU Autotools, it's a little different to build from CVS instead of from a distribution. First, you need autoconf and automake installed. They are already installed on any reasonable UNIX-like machine, but you might need to upgrade them; you can download both packages from any GNU mirror. We're currently using:
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Gazebo is now hosted at [http://www.gazebosim.org gazebosim.org].  Please see their [http://www.gazebosim.org/downloads.html Downloads] page for more information
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* autoconf 2.53
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* automake 1.9
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Newer versions will probably work, but older ones probably won't. If you do use newer versions, keep in mind that you should not use any macros that aren't available in the versions listed above, because that will likely break the build for other developers.
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Building from CVS involve the same steps:
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===Branches===
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To check out a branch from SVN, say, the release-3-0-patches branch of Player:
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<pre>
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svn checkout svn://svn.code.sf.net/p/playerstage/svncode/player/branches/release-3-0-patches player-3.0.x
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</pre>
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# autoreconf -i -s  OR ./bootstrap
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Recent releases of Stage are git tags in the Stage github repository. After cloning the git repository with the directions above, you can check out tags like so:
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# ./configure [options]
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<pre>
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# make
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git checkout v4.0.0
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# make install (optional)
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</pre>
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The autoreconf tool runs the right Autotools in the right order to generate necessary files, including a configure script. You only need to supply the -i -s arguments the first time you use autoreconf on a checked out copy. If autoreconf doesn't work for you (older versions were pretty buggy), then you can run the bootstrap script instead, which does the same thing.
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Older release of Stage are still in subversion. To check out Stage 3.2, use this command:
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<pre>
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svn checkout svn://svn.code.sf.net/p/playerstage/svn/code/stage/branches/release-3-2-patches stage_3.2
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</pre>
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You only usually need to run autoreconf when some part of the build system, such as configure.in or acinclude.m4, has changed; at other times, you can just run configure, or even just make. However, it's safest to run autoreconf whenever you udpate from CVS, in case something important changed. The exact dependencies among the various files and tools are of course deterministic but extremely complex and it's best not to think about them.
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==How do I build from an SVN working copy?==
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One more thing: since we're using automake, we don't write Makefiles. Instead, we write Makefile.ams (automake files), which are like meta-Makefiles. Except in special cases, Makefiles (and Makefile.ins) are auto-generated and should not be checked in.
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===Player===
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The development version of Player uses [http://www.cmake.org CMake] for its build system. This is an entirely new build system, replacing the old GNU Autotools-based system we used in the past. It's simpler, cleaner and much, much faster to configure, compile and install using this new system. To build Player from SVN, you will need to install CMake (at least version 2.4 is required).
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The better way to compile Player is using an out-of-source build (in-source builds pollute the source tree and are harder to clean up). In this configuration you will have two directories: the source directory, containing the Player source, and the build directory, containing the generated build scripts and compiled objects. Once you have the Player source checked out and CMake installed, create a directory anywhere on your system where you have write privileges and change to that directory. Typically, a subdirectory of the source is used for convenience. For example:
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$ cd player/
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$ mkdir build
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$ cd build/'''
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Within this directory, execute either cmake (for a text-only interface) or ccmake (for an ncurses-based UI), providing the path to the Player source. Continuing the above example, one of the following two lines would be used:
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$ cmake ../
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$ ccmake ../
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If you used cmake, the configuration will be completed in a single run. It will display output indicating the configuration Player will be built with (enabled/disabled drivers, client libraries, etc.). If you used ccmake, you will be presented with a set of configurable options. Press 'c' to run the configuration, and more options will appear. Configure Player to suit your needs (for example, change CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX to change the location to install to, and enable/disable drivers), then press 'c' repeatedly until the generate option appears at the bottom (usually two or three passes are required). Press 'g' to generate the build scripts.
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You can now build and install Player using the build method of your system. This will typically be Make, so execute make:
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$ make
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$ make install
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CMake will re-run itself automatically when a CMakeLists.txt file changes. You will typically not have to run it again unless you remove the contents of your build directory. The CMake equivalent of a make clean is to remove the build directory (assuming an out-of-source build).
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===Stage===
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Stage uses a CMake build system similar to Player's.  Follow the directions for Player above.
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===Gazebo===
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Instructions can be found in:
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*[http://playerstage.sourceforge.net/doc/Gazebo-manual-svn-html/install.html Installation guide for Gazebo 0.8]
==How do I contribute documentation?==
==How do I contribute documentation?==
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Patches to fix up the docs would be most appreciated.  
Patches to fix up the docs would be most appreciated.  
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Patches against CVS are always better.  There's some value to making patches against the latest release, as it's easier for users to apply them.  But if you only make one patch, please make it against CVS (and submit to the [http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=42445&atid=433166 patch tracker] at SourceForge; that way it won't get lost).
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Patches against SVN/GIT are always better.  There's some value to making patches against the latest release, as it's easier for users to apply them.  But if you only make one patch, please make it against SVN/GIT (and submit to the [http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=42445&atid=433166 patch tracker] at SourceForge; that way it won't get lost).
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Please also read the [[Contributing]] page, the [[Roadmap]], and the [[Wishlist]].
[[Category:Documentation]]
[[Category:Documentation]]
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Latest revision as of 03:06, 17 December 2012

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