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A Good Starter Open Source Project

Mark Newton
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 31, 2006
Posts: 129
Hi all,

I've been developing in Java for about 6 years - 3 years at Uni, and I've been working as a developer for 3 years. I use a lot of open source software day-to-day, and am feeling like it would be nice to 'give something back', and start contributing to a project, and also further my personal development by seeing how others solve problems.

The question is, which one? I've had a look around the projects that sprung immediately to mind, but there seems to be a wildly varying level of community / support for them all.

I'm not too fussed about the kind of development, I develop for both the desktop and the server in my job - I guess I have a little more desktop experience, but would like to get some more web experience - so either would be good. Mostly, I'd like to join a 'friendly' project - something where the general attitude is a bit more like this forum, than Sun's Java forum; that is, somewhere where I can ask a stupid question every now and then without being told that I should switch off my computer and never go near it again...

Any thoughts for a good 'starter' open source project (or, indeed, whether you think I'm too inexperienced and should switch off my computer and never go near it again)?
Ulf Dittmer

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42965
This one is moderately high-profile, is publicly asking for help, and something that gets asked about a lot. You could make a lot of people happy pushing it forward
steve souza
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 862
No one is ever too inexperienced to contribute!

I think it is important to find a project you believe in and contribute to it. What are some open source projects you use?

One area I wish people would contribute more in is documentation. Aren't there any documentation specialists out there that believe in open source??

Often open source projects have horrible documentation and lack of examples. Documenting is a great way to learn about the project and most likely any project would welcome that help. After learning and demonstrating your knowledge via documentation you could no the code well enough to hit the floor running on the code side.

Also I think has a section where you can connect with projects that are asking for help.
[ September 13, 2007: Message edited by: steve souza ] - a fast, free open source performance tuning api.
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steve souza
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 862
Here is the link for projects asking for help on sourceforge:
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: A Good Starter Open Source Project
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