Do you think to be an open source committer?

We widely use open source developer tools and libraries in our daily dev life. These open source things are driven by community. I am an open source fan. And I think I must contribute to some open source project. Umm yeah, before I become a contributor I must be an active user of that project. So that I may able to see what things that need improvements or where I can fit myself to make a contribution.

There are wide areas where an open source project can be contributed.

We can

  • Blog on it
  • Do marketing on different forums and advocate people to use it
  • Write HOWTOs or FAQs
  • Discuss and reply things with developers on mailing lists

And by doing all that, I think we can earn some reputation in contributors and they can assign us on where we can fit. It’s a good idea to contribute in your favorite open source project.

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8 thoughts on “Do you think to be an open source committer?

  1. I came up with the same idea, recently πŸ™‚

    Contributing to open source product is also a very nice practice. So, it is like “Follow the master” in a way to be a hacker πŸ™‚

    I’m now work on Subtext open source (http://code.google.com/p/subtext/) doing a small bugfixes and features. Spend some of my free time on it πŸ™‚

  2. I can’t agree with you more! I strongly believe you are on the right track as I am myself a great fan of open source solutions. The latest project of my interest is CUBRID, an open source database server (http://www.cubrid.org).

    What kind of OSS do you prefer to contribute to? What area?

  3. Another very important and useful way of helping an open source project is by helping with translation. That’s how I started contributing back to KDE (http://www.kde.org/). Well and I also help a little with their Wiki for users. It’s really a great feeling knowing that I help and learn at the same time.

  4. There is one more way to make the sensible contributions to open source projects. It is through hosting their apps in country-specific local websites, as well as local torrents.

    Most developing countries have quite strict limitation on the eternal bandwidth. Let’s take countries like Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. These are only some of them. The internet users in these countries have two different traffic metrics.

    One is internal – the traffic consumed withing the local domain level like .ru, or .kg. All sites within this namespace like joomla.kz or torrents.ru are considered the internal sites within that particular country. Assume it is prices as $0.01 per 1 Mb.

    Everything else is considered external for the users and priced differently like $0.1 per 1 Mb.

    Therefore, most users within these countries do not download from external sites as they have to pay high price for it.

    What we could do is to host open source applications in some internal sites like upload the CUBRID Database to the local files repository in Kyrgyzstan, for instance. We lose nothing, but help a lot. This is what I am doing right now – searching for some hosting sites to share the CUBRID Database distributives, Documentations, and tutorials.

  5. @Esen: internet bandwith and price is no longer is objective, at least for Ukraine.. i’m sure for Russia too.

    I’ve got unlimited plan with 100 MB/s for UA-X zone, and 20 MB/s for world. It is more than enought to do not feel restricted πŸ™‚

  6. @Esen I am using Apache libraries widely in my work. They have a big pile of developer libraries. Even if I write small tutorials or FAQs on them. It will be great for me to do.

    @alexanderb Its very great to have such a fun contribution. I was also a part of an open source project. That I hosted on Google code. http://code.google.com/p/cos-hms/. Can not manage its subversion as I discontinue from its development. And no one else in that team working on it.

    @Anita I am excited to know that you were contributor in such a popular OSS project.

    @Veera Very valid point. Its a big source of contribution for open source projects.

  7. Really thought provoking issue. I think of following ways:

    1. Writing articles on different OSS, as mostly lacks good docs, is good option.

    2. Selecting OSS when we have commercial alternatives is also a good contribution.

    3. Digging and then providing (commercial) support for OSS with briefing clients about greater ROI in long run. (this model is also used by IBM to some extent … after all why IBM spend so much on OSS committers and tech authors at developerWorks).

    4. Definitely, becoming a committer is most prestigious. But you know, its bit difficult unless you have some indirect commercial interest.

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