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Question on making changes to desktop and compiling

I posted this to the desktop-devel-list but I am not sure that was the right place and I did not get any response there and so I'm posting the question here. I hope this is the correct list for the question.

I want to get started off with the source code of GNOME Desktop and get comfortable with making changes and compiling it.

In particular, if I wanted to make changes to the source code so that the labels below the Desktop icons used a font file of my choice, where *in the source code* would I make the change and experiment with it?

Let us say I also want to test by making minor changes to the behavior of the desktop when the mouse is clicked on the label or when the Enter key is pressed when it is in the edit state. In which file(s) and function(s) should I modify the code to achieve the above?

Once I make the changes, which modules should I compile?

Once again, it is possible that the above can be achieved by changing some configuration file or parameter but I'm looking to learn the source code and would appreciate any response that helps me navigate the source code. I'm not looking for information on achieving this through adjusting the configuration.

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