To Which Open Source Projects Do You Contribute?
Are you regularly contributing to any open source projects?
How many contributions have you made? What attracted you to them?
Beside some minor contributions to other projects (like the Seagull PHP framework), I mostly contributed to the Scintilla and SciTE project.
For a simple reason: I wanted to do my own editor (who hasn't? ;-)) and while searching algorithms to do that efficiently, I discovered Scintilla which I found extremely interesting and well made.
So instead of doing yet another half-backed editor, I chose to contribute... I had the best of two worlds: a solid base to start on, and a project leader flexible enough to accept most decently written contributions that doesn't break his view of the project. So I could inject most of the features I needed.
Note that when I started on this C++ project, I was a newbie on OO concepts and on C++. Although I had already a good experience in programming in general and C in particular. But it shows you don't have to be very experienced to contribute usefully to an open source project. I know I learned lot from this one.
Mozilla (used to contribute daily when I had more time). Three reasons:
- I use it and am interested in web.
- It's a very complex piece of software, so it was interesting to figure out how it works. Coincidentally, it is an excellent way to improve your skills.
- It had very little documentation, and I enjoyed writing some of it and help others with their questions.
I regulary contribute to RunUO, a complex server emulator for Ultima Online (an mmorpg, precursor of WoW). It's a fairly big project but every new thing or change can be easily tested while playing the game. For this reason it's some sort of relax because I can combine some work with a hobby (RPG) and can help other people the same time, too.
Maybe it's no mainstream-project, but thats making it only more interesting for me.
The open-source hack I made which clued me onto why having source was better was xGalaga. I'd been given a laptop which only had 400px of vertical space on screen, and xGal needed 440 or so. I couldn't play the game on my "new" laptop until I changed the rules to fit my ship onscreen.
Initially open-source tools were better for me because when I didn't understand how they worked, I could read the code and understand it better. Now I feel confident enough to contribute back the issues and fixes I find. Currently, mostly web projects - Drupal, CiviCRM, WordPress, Trac especially.
I regularly work on and contribute to DotNetNuke. For me it was about satisfying some need I had at the time. Once I got involved, it seemed pretty natural to stay involved. There are a ton of features I would love to see added, and not enough time to get them all implemented.
I have also contributed to DotNetOpenId and have released a few small pieces of code into the Open Source community, although I don't actively work on them.
I can't say I contribute regularly, but I did post some patches to vim (incorporated), trilead SSH for java (server implementation, still in the queue), glibc (was already fixed by the time I wrapped the patch up, doh...), bdb-je (bugfix patch) and proxool (maybe some others I forgot).
I usually send patches if I find some bug or missing feature that I need, and I can fix/implement it :) Getting my feature patches incorporated in the "mainline" makes my life easier, as others can improve it, and I don't have to hassle with applying my patches to new releases.