How to get involved in open source on CodePlex
There are numerous ways to participate in open source without having to start your own project. Let’s see just how easy it is to get involved using CodePlex, Microsoft's open source project hosting web site. An Open Source Community
At the 2006 O’Reilly Open Source Convention, I attended a wonderful talk by James Howison
on Open Source Communities, why some succeed and others fail.
Based on James Howison’s PhD research
, below is breakdown (see diagram
) of what a healthy open source community looks like.
- Passive users – just download the code; leaves nothing behind except a download count
- Active users – ask questions, report bugs, speak their minds, but no code contributions
- Co-Developer – submits a patch, but doesn’t have write access to source repository. This is the group that also answers questions on the forums, etc.
- Core Developer – full access to source code, fixes bugs and adds features, reviews and approves submissions
- Benevolent Dictator – runs the project, drives the vision, calls the shots, makes the rules
We designed CodePlex based on user personas that map directly to each of these roles. Contributing Feedback
As a registered user of CodePlex, you can
- Leave comments on wiki pages as feedback on the documentation.
- Leave a rating and/or a review on a release.
- Report bugs about a project.
- Vote for a particular bug to be fixed or a feature to be implemented.
All these avenues provide useful feedback to the project owner to make the Open Source Software (OSS) project even better.
One addition to the CodePlex software I’d like to make is to add an editor role which gave write access to the wiki, but not write access to the code repository.Contributing a Patch
Any CodePlex registered user can submit a patch to any CodePlex project.
To submit a patch,
1. Zip up your sources using any utility. CodePlex allows any file type to be uploaded.
2. On the project’s Source Code tab, select the Upload Patch.
3. Fill out the description of the patch, and (optionally) associate the work item the code fixes.
You can view other submitted patches on the Patches page, where a project member can accept or decline the patch.Contributing a Project
For those who have a project that they want to give to the community, any CodePlex registered user can create a new OSS project.
To create a project,
1. Go to the Create a Project page
2. Fill out a few questions regarding your project.
Project owners then have 30 days to setup their project before going live. The owner must have checked in their sources, modified the homepage, and selected a license in order to publish the project. Unpublished projects are deleted after the 30 day period, which helps ensure only high quality projects appear on CodePlex.
There are lots of great projects on CodePlex which you can get involved in. From full blown application frameworks to small helper libraries – the breadth is amazing! And in case you were wondering, my personal project on CodePlex is http://stickfigurekarate.codeplex.com
. The “style of broken limb” bug is especially fun to watch and needs a fix. Maybe you are now tempted to submit a patch?
CodePlex Program ManagerRead Sara's blog
Question of the fortnight
How many monitors do you use for developing software?
One is all a real developer needs!
Just the one but I would love more
Five, Six or Seven
Eight ... honestly!
To take part in this week’s poll question please visit my blog
to submit your answer. Results from last poll:
How interested are you in User Interface design?
54% I am increasingly involved/interested in designing great UI
15% New: I am very interested but hopeless at it!
14% I leave that UI stuff to others - I prefer to code!
13% User interface design is my life - I love it!
4% I don't see anything wrong with cyan and magenta buttons!