For more half-baked ideas, see my ideas tag.
Why can’t we have the same for Fedora? This is how it would work …
The View Source button would hover in your task bar. When pressed it opens up this dialog:
Like xkill and xwininfo, pressing the “point at a window” button changes your mouse so you click on the program you want to view the source of. X sort of makes it possible to find out (with a bit of effort) which binary is behind each program (see for example the xprop command).
You do an
rpm -qf on this binary (or use a yum search) to locate the source.
yumdownloader --source to download the source. Unpack it into a standard rpmbuild location, and open up the user’s preferred editor.
With experience, and many custom rules and heuristics, you can extend this idea. For example, if they pointed at a dialog box, search the source for strings from the dialog box to try to locate the exact lines of code.
Or have some debuginfo-like metadata packages which are generated when packages are built, to allow very precise file/line locations to be determined.
Combine the whole thing with LXR so we can browse source intuitively.
This is a great way to encourage contributions to Fedora and Free software in general, because I think it would really make code much more accessible to casual programmers, tinkerers and children. Even experienced programmers would find it useful when tracking down bugs in random applications.