How to contribute to open source

  •        0
  

I could see many many students posting this question in many forums, I want to contribute to open source but How to contribute? There are many ways to do that. I have listed a few and I hope it might be useful.

Contributing to existing project:
Since you are interested in contributing, not all open source products will accept you. Each product has some coding and committing rules and you may need to adhere to that.

Domain of your interest: First pick the project which suits your interest or preferred programming language and technology. Pick the project based on the domain not only by language. Just by knowing Java you may not be able to work on gaming project. You should have that interest.

Understand the project: Check out the project web site, you may find the link How to Contribute, Guidelines etc. Understand their guidelines, coding standards and patch acceptance criteria. Join their development and user mailing list. Download the source and try to learn how they have implemented.

Committers: Every project will have one or more committers. They are responsible to commit the code. Your code should be committed via them. Few projects may ask the volunteers to mail the modified code to the committers and few projects may request to send the patch to the development mailing list. But ultimately your code will be committed to the main branch via the committer.

Testing and Documentation: Coding is not the only way to contribute. You could do beta testing and file bugs. You could help for better documentation. Localize the messages and help manuals to other languages.

Contributing to new project:
Pick a group of like minded people and start a new project with your idea. Choose your license and terms and conditions. Many have succeeded by building open source products.

Re-invent the wheel: If you don't find any unique idea then re-invent the wheel. Try to do what others have done but with added unique feature. There should be some kind of uniqueness or difference which should make people to use your software. Many people will advise not to re-invent the wheel but if it so then there should have been only one product in each category. It is not the case, by re-inventing the wheel you could learn a lot.

Stale projects: Identify some stale or inactive projects from code hosting sites like Sourceforge or GitHub. Last activity of the project might have been some one or two years back. Pick the one, fix the issues and give new life to the project.

Porting: Most people would be interested to do porting. If you are Java programmer and you see some interesting stuff in Python or Ruby, just port it to Java. Port the code from one technology to other. One programmer cannot master over all available languages, porting the good projects will really help and many will appreciate the effort.

Many have interest, just the interest but very are few are actually implementing things. You just start, people will follow you.


   

comments powered by Disqus


Related Articles

How to make money from Open Source

  • opensource how-to money

As open source getting popular day by day, many have questions like How to make money from Open Source? Lot more products are getting introduced and don't know who is making money. Certainly open source means, give the product and source for free then how to make money? Yes sell the product for free but get paid for its services.

Read More


Benefits in contributing to Open Source

  • open-source opensource contribute benifits

What the benefit will i get, if i contribute to Open Source? This is the frequently asked question by many people. I just want to pen down the benefits which i know and i hope you will agree with it.

Read More


Why Experienced Programmers Should Contribute to Open Source

  • contribute open-source

People who have taken programming as their career has to do coding for almost 30 years. Will they always get an opportunity to do complex tasks or to write project from scratch? The answer is NO. Sometimes they may get but not always. What should they do?

Read More


Crowdfunding for Open Source Projects

  • free crowdfunding open-source

Open Source projects requires sponsors to fund their project. Few got good funding but few others are struggling to continue their project. A contributor, who does full time work in open source project requires funding to take care his needs. He has to be paid and he cannot do it for free. For those who don't get fund, check out this crowdfunding sites, these are exclusively for open source projects. Join these, get some fund and continue your dream.

Read More


Google Open Source Pledge

  • google open-source patent

Open Source is the way to innovate and users using it should have complete freedom. Google has came forward to declare couple of its patents on Map Reduce under Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge (OPN Pledge). There are multiple variants of open source license and using that means the product is completely free. Why OPN Pledge is required?

Read More


Open source is the backbone for Startups

  • opensource open-source startups

Many startups are entering in to the business due to open source. Open source acts as a back bone / pillar for their business. It reduces the cost of production, Generates revenue from consulting and support. This article describes about the startups which flourished because of open source. Sun acquired MySQL for $1Bn is the biggest achievement for open source startups.

Read More


How to learn from open source projects

  • open-source learning methodology

Students ask this question frequently steps or methodology to learn from open source projects. There is no single answer or steps available. I listed the steps which i follow and i hope this will help for few.

Read More


Microsoft released F# under Open Source

  • fsharp opensource

F# is a functional programming language for the .NET Framework. It combines the succinct, expressive and compositional style of functional programming with the runtime, libraries, interoperability, and object model of .NET. Microsoft recently released its source code under Apache License.

Read More


Marketing stratigies required to sell open source product

  • opensource selling promote

Many new products are coming in the open source world. Few are forking existing project, adding new features to it and selling it as open source product. Few strategies required to follow to sell the product better.

Read More


Where should i host my open source code?

  • code-hosting open-source code hosting

I have a open source project but where should i host? This is the frequently asked question among developers. Below details will certainly help to choose the best code hosting site.

Read More