Thursday, June 23, 2011

Good Info About Contributing To An Open Source Project

On numerous occasions I get asked about the best way to get involved with open source software. First, I ask them where their interest lies. After they reply, I ask them if they have searched for existing open source projects in this domain. Generally they have not, but once they do, they are on their way. However, there is much more to do before you actually become a participant.

This article on Dr. Dobb's site(via a conversation with Brian Behlendorf) provides excellent information on the expectations one should have when they are first trying to get involved with an open source project. As is the case, there are a multitude of steps one must follow to be a successful and trustworthy member of the project. Being a longtime active participant, Brian provides invaluable information to engineers looking to dip their toe in the water. It is a good read for anyone that is looking to become an open source software contributor.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Will New Contributor Agreement Spur More Open Source Contributions?

Just got done reading about the Harmony project via an article on The Register. It can be found here. It will be very interesting to see if the companies with the most open source contributions adopt this agreement. If they do, then it is obvious that it might have legs and become a de facto standard in the open source software industry.

On one hand, I can definitely see the need for something like this. It would be nice to have a standard agreement that everyone adheres to. Seems like it would take out any potential or existing bureaucracy, and thus speed up the process. But, according to the article, there is also some points to contend that relate specifically to Canonical and the way they have written their agreements to date. Hopefully, that can all get hashed out, and we can see if the Harmony project will succeed or not. If it does not, let's hope that someone can point out its failures and build upon it with a revised version.