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CONTRIBUTING: John Papa on Peacock

Leading up to (and during) the month of October, we want to help you discover open source projects to work on, and put your Hacktoberfest contributions to excellent use. Meet John Papa, maintainer of the Peacock program.

Check out this page regularly for more interviews with contributors & maintainers

Peacock is a way to colorize your Visual Studio Code instance. We will show you what that looks like in just a few moments. It's a fun tool and it has got 850.000 people using it right now. It became a project that I had no idea so many people would be into. But I love it, and I hope you'll contribute to it as well.

What can you tell us about your project?
The Peacock project is exactly what it sounds like. Peacocks have lots of colors in them, and so does Visual Studio Code if you have multiple instances and you use Peacock. If you have different parts of your code open, like a React project, a Node project, Python project, ... You can put color on each instance of VS Code to make it blue, red, green, orange, purple, whatever your favorite colors are, and make it easier for yourself to find the different instances you're working on.

What contributions are you welcoming?
Several issues in the issue tracker are labeled help-wanted, and there are opportunities to improve the Docs, add new features, and to test out some of the bugs reported, and to add tests. Always looking for contributions!

One person helped out quite a bit in the creation of Peacock, helped assess the colors for accessibility, and find compatible color combinations - I'm colorblind, so it's kind of ironic that I created this.

Peacock has been around for a year and a half, and there are still lots of issues that I'd love your help with.

What skills do people need to contribute?
A discerning eye. We have an issue and a pull request template to help us figure out what you are looking to have happen as opposed to what's happening now, your expectations... If you're looking to contribute code, pull down the repo and follow the contributing guidelines. And make sure you write tests for your code.

How do folks get started?
The best way to start working on Peacock is to go to, the one-stop-shop for everything about Peacock. It's a hosted Azure Static Web App, because I work at Microsoft. It's a Vuepress site that hosts my Docs, which read to Markdown. It also has the code, the changelog, Code of Conduct, contribution guidelines, or you could use the product right from there.

Peacock is free to use. I'm sure there are lost of great things we can add to the project with your contribution!

Check regularly for more interviews with contributors & maintainers, as well as online events to help you get involved in open source.

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