Friday, October 11, 2013

If You Want to Code

The best open source contributors are also open source users. When you are already familiar with a program, you are in the best position to develop new ideas and fix existing bugs. Once you've chosen an open source application you want to contribute code toward:

- Get to know the source. Take time to read through the existing source code so you can communicate coherently about the project.

- Develop a patch. Identify a small bug or feature that you feel could enhance the software, and develop the code to do it. You will want to package your code into a "patch" that others can download and incorporate into the project.

- The precise steps for creating a patch will differ depending how the project source code is managed.

- Submit your patch. Some open source projects will have a formal process for submitting projects, but others may not. If the website for the project does not describe a clear process, you should open a dialogue with the community around that project.

- Look for a message board or IRC group where people discuss the project. Here you can describe your patch and the motivation behind it, and hopefully receive a receptive audience. If the project is small enough to be run by one person, you may need to e-mail them directly.

- Starting with small patches, you will become a more trusted contributor to the project community and work up to larger code contributions.

No comments:

Post a Comment