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jdunn
November 13th, 2008, 02:01 AM
Hi all,
I'd like to join an opensource project and work in some capacity as a programmer for the next two months. However, I've never worked on open source projects and I'm not sure which ones I could help in. I need a project for the programming experience.

my background: former electrical engineer with some programming experience in Java SE (including Java UIs) and C. I'd be willing to learn and program in C++. The last thing I worked on was a grad school project for a Java RMI based chat program (similar to IRC)

patrickballeux
November 13th, 2008, 02:13 AM
Go to Sourceforge.net, there are 1000s of projects to choose from...

Simply select the ones that you feel confortable working on and ask to join the project.

But fist, download the source code, play with it, fix some bugs. Show that you can do the job (fixing bugs for example).

Good luck!

rbprogrammer
November 13th, 2008, 02:15 AM
My input would probably be: What do you want to work on? Meaning, do you want to work on some sort of a media player? Or something related to the internet (eg. IM programs, browsers, etc..). If you can iron out a particular area, you might get more responses of developing projects.

Or on the other hand, you could think of an idea and start your own project. If you get stuck anywhere in the programming, you could post your code on the forums (since you want to work on an open source project) and people can help you there.

SeanHodges
November 14th, 2008, 11:50 AM
I often visit SourceForge (http://sourceforge.net/index.php), GitHub (http://github.com) and Launchpad (https://launchpad.net/) and search for some keywords that interest me.

Its well worth a try, there are some great projects (large and small) that always need more people working on them.

Also, just get straight on digging into the project (you can search its bug tracker for some tasks to start on), if you start by making lengthy discussions with the other developers about how you should be doing things, you'll soon get bored. Read the project's FAQ and README if they exist, then start asking specific questions whenever you get stuck. Project developers are usually very receptive and happy to help if they can see you're putting the effort in.

Cracauer
November 16th, 2008, 06:28 AM
The best strategy is to fix a bug that is nagging you in a tool you actually use.

Random projects don't take random code from people who they never spotted in their userbase (unless it's exceptional).

ssam
November 16th, 2008, 11:15 AM
The best strategy is to fix a bug that is nagging you in a tool you actually use.

Random projects don't take random code from people who they never spotted in their userbase (unless it's exceptional).

Fixing bugs is a good way to start.

I submitted a small patch to the mailing list of Jokosher, and they used it, even though I had never contacted the project before. so maybe it varies.

Some project leaders have very strong feelings about how their program should work. For example they might not want their music player to also be a video player. If you want to make a big change it is probably worth asking first. most projects have mailing lists, so you can look back through old discussions (gmane (http://gmane.org/) is good for reading list archives).

if you have specialist knowledge. you mention EE, then maybe you could find a related project https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuScience#Electronics

scourge
November 16th, 2008, 12:01 PM
The best strategy is to fix a bug that is nagging you in a tool you actually use.

Random projects don't take random code from people who they never spotted in their userbase (unless it's exceptional).

That may be changing a bit, and http://repo.or.cz/ for example now has a mob branch where anyone can push commits. Of course every project hasn't enabled the mob account, but still, a wiki-style system for source code is an interesting experiment.

jdunn
November 16th, 2008, 01:46 PM
if you have specialist knowledge. you mention EE, then maybe you could find a related project https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuScience#Electronics

Thanks but I want to focus on object oriented programming and unfortunately, the only language that I know and use for that is Java...Its a long story how an EE ended up learning and using Java. Anyway, Java is a hardware-abstracted language so its right out for most electronics and driver development. I only have a few months to work on a project so, I doubt I have the time to get up to speed learning C++. I really just want to use my spare time improving/brushing-up on my programming techniques while contributing to a project and having something to add to my portfolio/resume.

Thanks all for the good advice, everyone. I've been perusing through java projects in Sourceforge and may decide to try one of them.

nvteighen
November 16th, 2008, 01:48 PM
Just for you to know, LaRoza started SysRes (A System Restoring app for Debian and Debian-based systems, specially Ubuntu) https://launchpad.net/sysres

And I also started PycTacToe, a project for Python mid-starters... look at my sig. (Well, if you know Scheme, I'd appreciate some help at FreeTruco too)

pp.
November 16th, 2008, 01:51 PM
Just the other day I reported a bug on an open source project which appears to be a bit shorthanded. It's a port of an interface between Excel and an OLAP database to OpenOffice, and at this point in time it's rather incomplete, lacking some functions I'd sorely need. It's done in Java and caled Palooca.