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#1 xdeathcorex  Icon User is offline

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Joining an open source development software

Posted 14 August 2012 - 12:55 PM

If I want to start joining an open source software development (maybe there's another term for this) on Sourceforge or Google Code, how should I start?
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Replies To: Joining an open source development software

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Joining an open source development software

Posted 14 August 2012 - 12:56 PM

It will probably vary amongst the projects. Start by finding a project and reading their material about getting involved.
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#3 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Joining an open source development software

Posted 14 August 2012 - 01:06 PM

Typically, a project will have a dev list or some such thing, which should be listed on the project site. Contact there.

By way of prep, learn your way around the software - build it on your home machine, play with it, see what different changes do, and so forth. Screw things up, see what happens. When you know your way around the innards, find a bug on the issues list and make a fix that seems to work. Repeat - basically, you want to know what you're talking about when you talk about this code.

If you have an enhancement that you want to introduce, that's not the best place to start. Start by doing things that everyone agrees are necessary. If it's not clear what those are, ask.
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#4 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Joining an open source development software

Posted 14 August 2012 - 03:57 PM

I tend to agree with Jon on this one.

In order to get into a project you have to first realize that these devs have committed considerable time to this project and it's more or less a child to them. They probably won't like some random guy coming in asking how they can help with no idea what in the world the software even really does.

The goal is to know the project as well as they do, read the release notes, find the bugs, and propose solutions to those bugs. If you have a solid working fix, you're valuable. If you want to completely overhaul their program and give it a fresh coat of paint, there's the door.

No one wants to be told they're wrong on much of anything, so when starting it's best to keep your head down and do what's necessary rather than try and pull off an elaborate masterpiece. Earn your keep and you can do as you will, but until then keep it simple and to the point.
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#5 CarDriver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Joining an open source development software

Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:41 AM

I personally find it overwhelming. I've contributed to WordPress, and even its code was hard to understand. Yeah, they have docs on the functions and such, but I feel like I could write a simple version of WordPress in a couple weeks better than I could fix a simple WP bug. Then again, I have almost no experience in coding with others, so it's pretty foreign to me.
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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Joining an open source development software

Posted 22 August 2012 - 02:29 PM

View PostAVReidy, on 21 August 2012 - 12:41 PM, said:

Yeah, they have docs on the functions and such, but I feel like I could write a simple version of WordPress in a couple weeks better than I could fix a simple WP bug. Then again, I have almost no experience in coding with others, so it's pretty foreign to me.


This is the essence of why "NIH" tends to happen - and why software doesn't tend to progress.
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