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-   -   How to get involved in Open Source software? (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-general-1/how-to-get-involved-in-open-source-software-629369/)

concoran 03-20-2008 01:44 AM

How to get involved in Open Source software?
 
If I have some free time and free CPU cycles, how do I get involved in Open Source software development? I am a C++ programmer.

budword 03-20-2008 01:51 AM

Linux addressed this exact question himself. He said find something you are passionate about, and work on that. Because you would be more likely to stick with it, rather than working on something you might lose interest in, and leave it hanging.

David

concoran 03-20-2008 02:27 AM

David, Thanks for your response. But that is a very generic and a philosophical answer. Instead of creating an entirely new application, or a new OS itself, I want to see if there are avenues where the OSS projects are looking for people to fill immediate needs, such as fixing bugs or testing apps. I am interested in those, at least to begin with.

chrism01 03-20-2008 02:37 AM

Have hunt through here until you find a proj you want to join, then contact the proj leader: http://sourceforge.net/

TheBeli 03-20-2008 04:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by concoran (Post 3094659)
David, Thanks for your response. But that is a very generic and a philosophical answer. Instead of creating an entirely new application, or a new OS itself, I want to see if there are avenues where the OSS projects are looking for people to fill immediate needs, such as fixing bugs or testing apps. I am interested in those, at least to begin with.

Well, do it.
Many OSS projects have bugs that need to be fixed, or they need some new features. Get the latest source, modify it and send your changes.
You've somehow got to show, that you're capable. This might be the best way to do so.

simplicissimus 03-22-2008 09:05 AM

prove yourself
 
Begin with an application that you do use a lot and where you have ideas on how to make it better.

You will not be much of a help for a tool that you are not using yourself. You simply wouldn't be able to give creative input, it would become a rather academic exercise with mostly no practical results. It would also make it difficult and time-consuming for the project leader to hold your hand all time and working out development tasks for you. usually a waste of time on both sides.

And please check out the mailing list archives first. Do not start out by restarting discussions and flame wars on issues that have been settled already by proper argumentation.

Also do not think that the world has been waiting for you (that only happens in fantasy movies). You have to prove yourself by coding and teamworking.

Regards,
SIMP

Fedora Development

IsharaComix 10-15-2008 04:04 PM

Learn and Work
 
Is there a way to get "on the job training" in a Free Software Project? In other words, is there a way I can join a project for the purpose of learning how to be an active member in such a project?

Most things I see are for dedicated, experienced programmers who have a true interest in developing software and the skills to fulfill it. While I want to be an active part in helping the community, how do I join it without dragging everyone else down or just getting on the nerves of people who really want to improve the programs?

I like to say I'm a programmer, but truth be told: I don't have any "real" programming experience. My portfolio amounts to me making Hello World programs (copied out of Wikipedia, of course). Unless someone hands me an all-in-one IDE and an in-depth text manual, I really can't do much.

I want to be better than that. Any advice there? I know I'm a pathetic loser, but that's exactly why I want to do something about it.

pinniped 10-15-2008 04:29 PM

Most projects are looking for people to do documentation (and translations). For code, generally people expect you to submit patches; the effort needed to produce such patches depends on the project. With the Linux kernel for example, you can spend days on even the smallest patch because they have such a long list of rules on what to do and what not to do.

chrism01 10-15-2008 09:37 PM

If your programming experience is really that minimal, I'd say you need to do some programming at home first. You do need to be able to program at a reasonable level before contributing to a project.

There's plenty of prog courses (as in course contents) on the web these days. Some colleges/Unis are publishing their course for the world (eg MIT I believe). Others, if you hunt around, don't make a big deal about it, but they put them on the web so their students can access them. A lot of the time they're not restricted access, as you can only get the degree/cert if you attend the college and do the exams.

If you google C course, here's the first hit:
http://www2.its.strath.ac.uk/courses/c/ "This course was awarded a NetGuide Gold Award during the 1990s."

MrC (LQ user) teaches Unix: http://cis68a.mikecappella.com/

evaluatinglinux 10-17-2008 02:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by simplicissimus (Post 3096827)
Begin with an application that you do use a lot and where you have ideas on how to make it better.

You will not be much of a help for a tool that you are not using yourself. You simply wouldn't be able to give creative input, it would become a rather academic exercise with mostly no practical results. It would also make it difficult and time-consuming for the project leader to hold your hand all time and working out development tasks for you. usually a waste of time on both sides.
Fedora Development


This is so very very true...


:)

Debian Kernel

loperz7 10-17-2008 07:16 PM

http://www.unmaintained-free-softwar...wiki/Main_Page
A wiki for abandoned software or software the really needs developers.

Gentoo


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