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Contributing to a Java Open source Project

Pratap koritala
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 27, 2006
Posts: 252
Hi All,

I am intrested in contributing to any java open source project like Glass Fish, Struts,AspectJ,Tomcat,Netbeans etc.
Can anybody please show the road to me...?

I mean,

How can I join the developer community? ( Is that just joining the mailing list)

Is there any prerequisites ?

How the work get assigned ?

How they'll maintain a project without knowing much about the developers involved?


Once I checked developer mailing list, most of the people are from organizations such as IBM,APACHE,XEROX,SUN etc .Will they allow other people?
[ July 09, 2008: Message edited by: Pratap Chowdary ]
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

Every project is different in terms of their organization, structure, and management style. But in general, what you do is the same: pick a project, download the source, and build it. Run the product's test suite. Once you're comfortable with building and testing the code, find the project's "to do" list (or bug list, or wish list) and fix a bug. If the project has published style guides, be sure to follow them; otherwise, try to adhere to the project's established conventions, as best you can figure out from the code. Test your bug fix extensively; add one or more tests to the project test suite, if applicable.

Now join the project's mailing list and say "Hey guys, I fixed (whatever), does someone want to look at my code?" Hopefully one of the project developers will check out your patch and approve it. If you do that several times, you may be given "commit privileges", meaning that you can check code into the repository yourself. And then you'll be an official project member!

Do understand that 99% of potential project contributors never actually get to that first bug fix.


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: Contributing to a Java Open source Project