How to contribute to FOSS? (not $)

Part of the book: Meeting Admin Placeholder Page

For some reason, FLOSS tickled my brain today with a couple of thoughts. Paul encouraged us to contribute with icky money.

What about contributing directly?

'How to contribute to OSS / Open Source / whatever projects.'
- aka How Feature Requests And Bug Reports Can Suck You In!

If nothing else the list's discussion about top/bottom posting should remind us that those very deep into this, particularly if in a commercial way, have a particular way and lingo all their own that they require to be adhered to. That way can be very daunting to a 'newbie' contributor. What's this stuff all about, how does one typically participate, and what are the common 'things' that surround it.

Participation can take many or any forms, including testing, bug reporting, documentation, marketing, web / content creation, proselytizing, etc., etc. e.g. there was a list thread a while back how bug reporting has a whole system around it, etc., etc.

  • so a portion, for example, might introduce or explain Bugzilla at Mozilla.
    • bug reports there typically get, 'please get latest nightly build and confirm bug still exists.' (However one does that.)
    • There is a flow, sequence of events, process, whatever, there that is not intuitively obvious to a first time user.
  • projects typically have a cvs (or equivalent) system to be used,
    be it for bugs or builds. How does one use them?

And there are many forms of projects. is not only a host for projects, it is probably a project itself! Standards (Open Doc), Documents (, wikipedia, and ???. Guttenburg is probably too far out here, etc., etc.

(Out of the above) -

Why doesn't KW-LUG start a project?
- or, FLOSS equivalent of 'KW-LUG member contributed to project X

I haven't any idea what that project should be, other than it should be something that the K-W community at large can use. I don't think a 'charitable organizations needing computer help web site' makes sense, as Paul pointed out peaceworks recently, presumably services that need . But a project doesn't have to result in a program (icky 'which distro' problem), just something that makes the less participatory members participate.