Questions tagged [contributor]

For questions about contributors, and their resources and conditions. Use the collaboration tag if your question is specific to interaction between contributors.

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93
votes
8answers
8k views

How to contribute to Open Source as a non-programmer? [closed]

I really like a specific open source project and would like to contribute to it. Unfortunately I don't know anything about programming. What are meaningful ways in which a non-programmer can ...
46
votes
3answers
4k views

How to explain to users that we do this in our spare time?

Success can be painful for a FLOSS project. We now have nearly a thousand active users and many more people are becoming active contributors to our backlog/issue tracker. Note that while we're getting ...
42
votes
1answer
8k views

How to deal with contributors who write very bad quality code?

As a maintainer of an open source project which strictly enforces coding style and 100% test coverage, how do I deal with enthusiastic contributors who write terrible looking, untested code (that ...
32
votes
2answers
2k views

Copyright and Contributing to an Open Source Project

I'm a little confused by copyright notices on open source projects. Let's say that a particular project is covered by a very permissive license, such as MIT or BSD. A copyright notice appears from ...
29
votes
4answers
1k views

FLOSS projects : How and where can I start contributing?

I'm new to the open source community. I've always wanted to contribute to successful existing open source projects. I thought that contribution to good open source projects was meant only for ...
28
votes
4answers
8k views

Is it legal to have the “// (c) 2019 John Smith” header in all files when there are hundreds of contributors?

Companies use headers like // Copyright 2011 The Go Authors. But countless projects with a single maintainer have // Copyright 2011 John Smith even though they have hundreds of contributors, all ...
25
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I convert users to contributors?

I run a project with a decently-sized userbase - a couple of hundred people, perhaps. It's regularly used by all users, and I've made it clear who developed it, where it can be found, and that it's ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I deal with (enthusiastic) contributors who damage more than they help?

From time to time, an open source project will attract contributors who have a lot of enthusiasm, but lack skill, knowledge (or patience to know the project). These contributors can cause clutter, put ...
20
votes
5answers
5k views

How do I become a regular contributor to GitHub FOSS projects?

I've been foraging GitHub and making small one-off contributions to a variety of codebases that interest me. Typically, the projects that I want to contribute to are very large in nature and already ...
19
votes
5answers
824 views

Can I select who can contribute to my Open Source Project?

Take this into consideration: I post one of my software projects that I had written for school, and give it an open source license, and place it online for people to evaluate and contribute their ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Donations and open source projects with multiple contributors

I recently started accepting development contributions to a project of mine on Github. I've had a PayPal donate button on there for about a month prior and received a few donations already. Now that ...
18
votes
2answers
654 views

What are the upsides for a company to contribute to an open-source software they use?

Many software developing companies use open source tools or open source libraries. Sometimes they even tweak this software for their needs. So, one might argue that this tweaks should be given back to ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the benefits of having a benevolent dictator for life (BDFL) on OSS?

I've seen a number of differing governance styles on open source projects. Some have looser contribution restrictions, with PR approval coming from people who have earned the privilege to do so, ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

How to prevent contributors from claiming copyright on my LGPL-released software?

I have published the first version of my software on my company's git repo and some other developers outside of our company have shown interest in contributing to our work. We are releasing our ...
17
votes
2answers
228 views

What to do when proprietary code is found in your open source project?

We have an open source project and suspect one contributor has submitted code that is not their own and is under a closed source copyright. We know we have to remove the code. Also I assume anyone ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

What do I do if my contributors are split into two camps?

Note: this is a hypothetical situation, not one I have actually encountered. (And one I hope I won't encounter) I started a small open source project and have gathered a few loyal committers. We don'...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Contributing as a company

At my employer we use open source software in our products. Eventually it came to the point that someone in the company fixed an issue in an oss library (a performance thing, not a big deal but ...
15
votes
2answers
794 views

Should I feel guilty for one off contributions?

If I contribute some code to an open source project, ought I to continue to work on that project? If I don't have the time to continue as a regular contributor, should I avoid starting? As an analogy,...
15
votes
2answers
357 views

Must contributor agreements be physically signed?

I've been developing an API internally with a few friends, and hope to expand it and make it open to the broader public. I've highlighted a lot of background in this question, but to recap, it's a ...
14
votes
3answers
212 views

How can I get contributors to document properly?

How can an open source project get volunteer contributors to document their contribution properly? Real-world example: We've got an open source project with a scripting interface. Gradually we are ...
14
votes
2answers
437 views

What happens if the main contributors of an open source project die?

What happens if the main contributors of an open source project die? Are there any guarantee that someone else takes that work? Do project hosting services handle this situation? Are there any systems ...
13
votes
2answers
820 views

What should I do if maintainers are unresponsive/how can I become a maintainer?

I have just a couple years of experience in software development and in the past few months have been dipping my toes in the water of making open source contributions. It was very exciting when my ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How to accept contributions for AGPL / proprietary dual-licensed projects?

Supposed I have written a software that I offer using a dual-license model, using AGPLv3 as OSS license, and a proprietary one as commercial (closed) license. Now, let's assume somebody wants to ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Standard for “CONTRIBUTORS”-style file (format, name, etc?)

In trying to deal with a codebase that was originally proprietary and then open sourced, new contributors are coming along. Each file has names on it (though usually the main author's). At this ...
12
votes
1answer
258 views

Are beginners generally accepted into Open Source projects? [closed]

Whilst some open source projects would be too specialised and too complex, in general, are beginners welcomed into open source projects? When I say beginner I mean someone who has taken an ...
12
votes
2answers
265 views

Studies about harassment in the world of open source development?

I was browsing around when I came across this: "Open Source is awful in many ways, and people should be aware of this". This really struck me and surprised me. While I understand that ...
11
votes
1answer
809 views

Authors and contributors of forked project

There is an NPM package on github geveloped by the company and licensed under MIT. There is one author listed in package.json file of this package, and there is a company copyright in the license. I'...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

In an open sourced project who is the owner?

I am working on an open sourced project with some developers. It occurred to me that I was not sure (legally) who the owner actually is due to it being an open source project. Is the ownership spit ...
11
votes
2answers
425 views

When to list contributors

Many projects have a list of contributors, either as a platform-agnostic AUTHORS text file, or in some way included in the project description metadata of the programming framework in use. When should ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I know how much of a change to make in each of my pull requests?

When contributing to an open source project that uses pull requests exclusively for contributions, I'm left wondering when a good time is for me to send a pull request. I'm especially in doubt when ...
9
votes
2answers
272 views

How can i grow my open source project?

I have recently started my first open source project. I want people to contribute their ideas and to help grow this project. I don't know how I should spread it. I have a guide on how to contribute, a ...
9
votes
3answers
229 views

How do I structure my project in an inviting way? [closed]

When I work on new libraries and tools I potentially would like them to get contributors and activity. However, I'm not sure what I could to in order to encourage more participation. As a project ...
9
votes
1answer
380 views

Is a CLA only useful for copyleft licensed?

Is it useful to have a CLA when you e.g. use an MIT license for your project? I am just asking this, because when you use the MIT license you are already granted to sublicense it, so is a CLA ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

GitHub's “Help wanted” label: What if I want help on all issues?

I have a project with 200 open issues (many more closed), and I want to encourage more people to join and fix issues. Recently GitHub is showing me this: Label issues and pull requests for new ...
8
votes
3answers
289 views

How to deal with “project managers” in an open-source project?

Consider this situation. A person has created a repository for a open-source project with a large scope. This person has project management experience and reportedly has development experience, and ...
8
votes
2answers
419 views

Who owns the intellectual property?

In many open source projects, there are normally many contributors. Ownership of the code is generally clarified during the process of creating the contributor agreements. However, who owns the ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

Method for accounting for non-code contributions?

Code contributions are easy to account; one totals commits, reviews, and lines of code in whatever code management system the project uses. However, non-code contributions, particularly in the areas ...
8
votes
1answer
99 views

What should I do about code style if a GitHub project is missing CONTRIBUTING.md?

I want to contribute to a C# project on GitHub, but the repository is missing a CONTRIBUTING.md file. I've already noticed a few code style inconsistencies, but I don't want to assume the project is ...
7
votes
3answers
921 views

Finding low hanging fruit on open source code

I am interested in contributing to some open source projects in order to learn git and Python better. A lot of the projects I have looked at are fully mature, and the updates are pretty complex, ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Do Contributors Own Copyright After Sending Contributions?

I have a GitHub repository which its license is GPL. Although of this, in the "about" window of my program, I mentioned that I own the copyright (like this: © My name, 2017). And I added the GPL text ...
6
votes
3answers
175 views

Where to start helping with a project?

I'm a scientist that's a self-taught programmer. I've worked on several open source projects before, but the developers gave me a better idea on what to work on. This guy just sent me a link to github ...
5
votes
2answers
309 views

Do you need a degree to become an open source developer?

I know that people don't need degrees to create closed source software. My question: Because open source programming is different to closed source, is any other education REQUIRED to program open ...
5
votes
2answers
172 views

Open-source, when (not) to go on a crusade for a feature?

I've submitted a patch to an open source library that was ignored by the maintainers. Some time after the submittal one of the maintainers implemented a different patch for the same problem. The ...
5
votes
2answers
243 views

How does contributing to a FLOSS project work from a legal perspective?

Some points I know: Contributors own copyright over their contributions, which means the author (= the owner of the repo and original author) cannot re-license the code (= change the license of the ...
5
votes
1answer
76 views

How long to wait until the contributors will make a PR

I have some #hacktoberfest issues in my project. All of them are occupied by users but mostly nobody made PR. So should I wait until the end of #hacktoberfest or may I ask them about theirs plans to ...
5
votes
1answer
275 views

GitHub workflow and Apache License

The Apache License requires: 4. Redistribution. You may reproduce and distribute copies of the Work or Derivative Works thereof in any medium, with or without modifications, and in Source or Object ...
5
votes
1answer
70 views

Are there standard templates or clauses to exempt contributed code from rights assignment?

A customer project built on an FLOSS platform or framework (a CMS like Drupal for instance) may require some fixes to the underlying platform if it is pushing the limits or is being delivered on a ...
4
votes
2answers
54 views

How to start committing to small opensource Python modules

To become better Python programmer I decided to start contributing Python FOSS. I would like to start by contributing to smaller modules I use myself and this raises a question. Should I just fork ...
4
votes
3answers
553 views

How to note contributors work with MIT license?

Many of my coding projects are licensed under the MIT license, with my copyright notice at the top: Copyright (C) 2019 David Callanan Anyone making modifications to my code must keep the MIT ...
4
votes
1answer
175 views

Do I still own code I donated to GPL project?

If I contribute code to a project that is under the GPL (or similar), can I still use my code (without any other parts that were contributed by other people) in a closed-source app? If yes, can I also ...