- Preparing a clean and nice build framework, which due to the tools I'm using meant writing the configure.ac and Makefile.am files. This involved adding some useful comments and, despite I'm familiar with these tools, re-reading part of the GNU Automake and GNU Autoconf manuals; this last step is something that many, many developers bypass and therefore end up with really messy scripts as if they weren't important. (Read: if the package used some other tools, there'd be no reason to not write pretty and clean build files.)
- Preparing the package's documentation, or at least placeholders for it: I'm referring to the typical AUTHORS, COPYING, NEWS, README and TODO documents that many developers seem to treat as garbage and fill them up at the last minute before flushing out a release, ending with badly formatted texts full of typos. Come on, that's the very first thing a user will see after unpacking a distribution file, so these ought to be pretty!
To all those authors:
“Programs should be written and polished until they acquire publication quality.” — Niklaus Wirth