48 votes

Security of GitHub.com

Show the site is safe and will not infect our computers It's not "safe". GitHub allows anonymous users to upload anything they want including malware. You could get infected by downloading/...
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  • 2,839
33 votes
Accepted

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

what is the best way to go about being an active, influential FOSS contributor? The two goals I bolded that you seem to be asking about are quite different. Many open source projects start because ...
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  • 1,756
24 votes
Accepted

What's the difference between bazaar-style and cathedral-style open source projects?

The idea of the Cathedral and the Bazaar is a metaphor from the book named surprisingly 'The Cathedral and the Bazaar' from open-source avangelist Eric S. Raymond. The metaphor describes two ...
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  • 10.8k
24 votes
Accepted

How can I convert users to contributors?

Make it clear that you want contributions. Make it easy. I would start by putting a friendly note in your project's ReadMe file. This project is looking for contributors. If you have a feature ...
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  • 4,988
22 votes

How to react to unhelpful contributions to otherwise unnoticed projects

Note that when you say it's "unnecessary", you mean unnecessary for you. That's not the right way to collaborate: if you want others to contribute then they should have the same conveniences as you (...
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22 votes

Security of GitHub.com

There is a giant problem with the logic behind this fuss. Storing the source code of malware is not strongly correlated with being infected with malware. Consider http://www.metasploit.com/. It's a ...
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  • 4,119
21 votes

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

I would say that projects having a BDFL ultimately trust the vision of the project to one person, as opposed to design by committee. You can refer to the list of BDFLs. Many of the individuals listed ...
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  • 1,756
20 votes

How can I get contributors to document properly?

Don't merge, unless it meets your demands. All contributions are welcome, but only those that meet your standards are merged. Whether that is test coverage, a style guide, or documentation, it ...
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  • 8,986
19 votes

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

Most FLOSS projects are a kind of meritocracy: those who contribute(d) a lot, they have a say. The well-known projects are not new projects and especially the maintainers often work on them for many ...
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  • 8,270
19 votes
Accepted

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

I've always seen the BDFL model as halfway between a traditional open-source project structure and a traditional corporate project structure. You have the openness, transparency, and general culture ...
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  • 726
17 votes

How to react to unhelpful contributions to otherwise unnoticed projects

Reject it with a message. Don't accept it; accepting it sends the signal that this is a good contribution and you want more of them. If that's not what you want, don't accept it. What you should do ...
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  • 8,700
15 votes
Accepted

How to deal with a very productive contributor who wants to steer the project in a different direction?

Discuss, discuss, discuss This is absolutely essential. You can't solve personal problems digitally - so when I say discuss, I mean call a meeting. You need to sort out some things with them: Project ...
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  • 8,700
15 votes

How can I convert users to contributors?

To me, this question is very similar to how do I attract customers to my business? except instead of cash, you want contributions. Successful salespeople deeply understand their customers' needs and ...
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  • 8,463
14 votes

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

Be more of a team player. Comments like There's always an "in" group that's running things about how the project works and aren't accepting of new ideas and innovations even if they are backed up ...
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13 votes

How to react to unhelpful contributions to otherwise unnoticed projects

Some guidelines that may be of use: Always thank the submitter for their patch (unless you really don't want them to submit any patches anymore, which could be possible) Establish guidelines for ...
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  • 8,986
13 votes

How to handle a pattern of GitHub volunteers wanting to work on an issue then disappearing

Congratulations! The problem you face is a common one for a popular open source project. IMHO, beginners should above all learn to communicate! So you could explain in your CONTRIBUTING file what a ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Should I require that new issues be written in English?

Open-source maintenance is often volunteer work. As a volunteer, you do not owe your time to anyone and can always say “no”. So it is absolutely legitimate to close any issue that is not ...
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  • 33.2k
11 votes
Accepted

In open source projects, how do you minimize sabotage risks?

This is part of the purpose of version control systems, like git. When someone makes a new feature, or changes any code at all in fact, they have to commit it to the project. It's a bit like editing ...
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  • 8,700
11 votes

Whose responsibility is it to test contributions?

I would believe that testing the project is the responsibility of all collaborators. It should fall under the hands of the contributor, as well as the maintainer. For example, a contributor should ...
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  • 6,229
11 votes
Accepted

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

I'm playing with the wording in your question a little bit, but don't change it up because it will likely make this entire answer invalid. Anyways, let's break down the question by well... question: ...
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  • 6,229
11 votes
Accepted

Security of GitHub.com

I'm a solo programmer, not any firm. But suppose if I were to form a small firm tomorrow and decided to write a security guideline regarding what to allow/disallow from github, it will be implemented ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Dealing with different development environments

In corporate software development, all developers are, typically, using the same IDE running on the same version of the same operating system This is a misconception. Example: I run Eclipse Luna with ...
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  • 216
10 votes
Accepted

How can I prevent abandoning a project due to a lack of time?

Start by writing down a list of current issues and make sure it's easily accessible. Other contributors will then have a clear objective: they can fix issues! Continue by writing down a list of ...
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9 votes

Dealing with different development environments

This is a really broad subject so I'll answer at a very high level and not touch specifics unless they are relevant for OSS. "Works for me" This is really the crux of the problem; you have build ...
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  • 8,463
9 votes

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

Sadly, there is little you can do. I believe you can argue that you accepted the code in good faith, and avoid the worst. Try to collect and organize any evidence of the affair (emails, commit ...
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  • 4,999
8 votes

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

I'm a maintainer in various projects in GitHub with ~50 million weekly downloads but I am one person and can only share what worked for me. Persistence. The number one mistake I see people get is ...
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7 votes

How do I structure my project in an inviting way?

I can think of a few points Documentation is key - Not just usage documentation, but also development documentation! How do I build your project? How do I run tests? How do the internal APIs work? ...
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7 votes
Accepted

How can I recover content from an open source project host that has shut down?

You can recover that specific link via the way back machine: http://web.archive.org/web/20150507060802/http://jira.codehaus.org/browse/MASPECTJ-131 codehaus says from their termination page that ...
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  • 392
7 votes

How to deal with a very productive contributor who wants to steer the project in a different direction?

Bring it up, clearly. This might seem obvious, but can't be stressed enough. If you are positive that the direction they taking the project into is incompatible with the vision of most, then this ...
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  • 2,070
7 votes

Whose responsibility is it to test contributions?

First and foremost, testing the contribution is responsibility of the contributor himself, before submitting a patch, to see if it breaks something or otherwise causes problems when combined with the ...
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  • 171

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