Do you contribute to the Open Source culture? If so, how?

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Hi everyone! I'm starting this debate because I want to know how do you contribute to the open source culture, if you do it at all. I just wanted to see if there are any other ways to help apart from fixing bugs or building new functionalities for an open source project.

Don't be shy, I'm looking forward to reading your answers! :)

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I authored jquery-csv. It was the first spec (rfc 4180) compliant CSV parser in JS (and really fast) so it gained a fair amount of popularity in its heyday. So far, it has surpassed 1MM downloads.

I have also authored many other libs/tools over the years. Contributed to many other projects, incl bug fixes, features, tests, and documentation. Participated on a Node working group. Discussed future JS standards via TC39 proposals.

Lately, I created a GH group @vanillawc where I've been building open source standard web components. It's good practice and eventually WC will be common place in the FE ecosystem.

The barrier to creating a project is getting over your own ego. Just because you create something doesn't mean it'll ever gain any traction. So, who cares. Put it out there, try to solve a problem that you think needs fixing.

For every one of my projects that gains any traction, there's dozen that don't. That's the 'hard' part.

The barrier to contributing is understanding the process. Read the, follow it. Understand that everything you touch probably took 10x more effort than you think to create and maintain. Try to add real value not opinion, opinions are worthless. OSS is about working together. You'll have a much easier time if you approach a project with a 'how can I help' attitude.

If you suck at reading other people's code, then work at it. Good thing there is a gigantic collection of open source codebases where you can practice.

That's really the 'secret'. Practice, do work, get better, try to understand users, collaborate, be helpful.

The entire ecosystem depends on people who do all of these things well. If you'd like to be a part of the conversation. Prove that you can add value.


Well, using open source software is actually a contribution to the open source culture.

Personally I am working on several open source projects (Fresh IDE/FreshLib an advanced assembly language IDE and library, AsmBB a web forum engine) and I am actively promoting other open source projects, that I am using and think they are great. For example FlatAssembler the greatest assembler ever made, RWASA ultra-fast web server written in assembly language, fossil scm a really great DVCS, SQLite (well, you know SQLite) and many others.

Also, when I stuck on some bug that no one wants to fix, I am fixing it myself and of course sending the patch to the maintainers. Recently it was a bug in the WINE project.


To be honest, I don't...

While I do maintain a lot of projects, I don't personally contribute to anyβ€”at least not through pull requests. More often than not, I'll open issues on other repos when I run into a problem with a tool, but I've never tried to fix a problem myself.


I contribute.

Some of my projects are private and I don't want to share, some of my projects are owned by my customers, and there are a few ones that I can share with the community because I don't find the reason to not to do that-

For example, one of my project:

I won this one (I won from PHPClasses)


I create issues as I come across. Comment on existing issues. Though I haven't created any PR yet!


I don't really contibute to existing projects, because I usually find them quite intimadating and don't really know how to start, however I make all my personal projects open source.

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Manuel Fernandez profile image
25 years old. Backend developer and creative writer. Views, thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to me, and not necessarily to my employer or current organization.

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