How to contribute to a OSS / Open Source / whatever project?

It appears that projects 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. There was a list thread a while back how bug reporting has a whole system around it, etc., etc.


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.)
  • projects typically have a cvs (or equivalent) system to be used, be it for bugs or builds. How does one use them?


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 ???.


What's this 'project' stuff all about / how does one participate?


Perhaps kwlug should have a 'project'?