14 种贡献开源的方法(14 Ways to Contribute to Open Source without Being a Programming Genius or a Rock Star)

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Plenty of people want to get involved in open source, but don’t know where to start. Here are several ways to help out even if you lack confidence in your technical chops.

有很多人想要参与到开源运动中,但是不懂怎么开始。这篇文章给出了几条建议,帮助非技术人员参与开源。

Open source software has changed computing and the world, and many of you would love to contribute. Unfortunately, many people are daunted by what they imagine is a high barrier to entry into a project. I commonly hear people say that they’d love to contribute but can’t because of three reasons:

  • "I’m not a very good programmer."
  • "I don’t have much time to put into it."
  • "I don’t know what project to work on.”

开源软件已经改变了计算领域,甚至改变了世界,很多人都乐意向开源贡献。不幸的是,很多人都误以为参与一个项目有很高的门槛。我常常听人说他们很想参与,但是他们不能,是因为以下三个原因:

  • 我不是一个好的程序员
  • 我没有很多时间投入
  • 我不知道参与哪个项目

There are three core principles to remember as you look for opportunities to contribute:

  • Projects need contributions from everyone of all skills and levels of expertise.
  • The smallest of contributions is still more than none.
  • The best project to start working on is one that you use already.

当你在寻找贡献的机会的时候,有三个核心的原则要记住:

  • 每一个项目都需要各种不同的技能,各种不同的水平的贡献
  • 再少的贡献也比没有要好
  • 选择你正在使用的项目参与
The most damaging idea that I’ve observed among open source newbies is that to contribute to open source, you have to be some sort of
genius programmer. This is not true. Certainly, there are those in the open source world who are seen as rock stars, and they may certainly be genius programmers. However, the vast majority of us are not. We’re just people who get stuff done. Sometimes we do a little, and sometimes we do a lot. Sometimes it’s programming, and sometimes it’s not.

我发现开源领域的新手往往有一个误解就是,向开源项目贡献,你必须是
天才程序员。这是不对的。开源项目参与者中是有一些天才程序员,他们往往被视为摇滚明星。但是绝大部分的参与者不是。我们只是普通人,把工作做完。有时候我们的贡献很小,有时候我们的贡献很大。有时候是编程的工作,有时候不是。

Most of what makes open source work is actual work, time spent making things happen for the project. Most of these things don’t require the brains or vision of a Larry Wall, creator of
Perl, or a David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of
Rails. Designing a new language or a web framework may take inspiration, but the rest of what makes projects like Perl and Rails successful is perspiration. This work may not get all the glory, but it’s still necessary, and after a while, your contributions 
will get noticed.

使得开源前行的绝大部分工作是实实在在的行动,是在项目进展上花费的时间。这些东西绝大多数时候不需要有像Perl语言发明者Larry Wall或是Rails创造者David Heinemeier Hansson一样的头脑及视角。设计一种新的语言或Web框架需要灵感,但接下来使得诸如Perl和Rails项目成功的则是汗水。这些工作或许无法得到荣誉,但却是必不可少的,一段时间后,你的贡献就会被注意到。

Start listening

Everything in open source involves other people. You’re looking to
join a team, and that means understanding the community and how it works. Walking in to a project and saying "Hi, here’s what I think this project should be doing" is usually not taken as a good thing. Some projects may welcome that sort of approach, but if the project has been running a while, the chances of that attitude being embraced are small. Listening is the best way to know what the project needs.

开源中的任何事情都会有其他人的参与。你正在寻找一个团队加入,这意味着你要了解这个社区,理解这个社区的运作方式。直接跳到一个项目中,对所有人说“嗨,我觉得这个项目应该这么做”将不会有好的效果。可能有某些项目欢迎这种方式,但是如果这个项目已经运行了一段时间,这种态度被接受的机率是很小的。倾听是获得这个项目需求的最好方式。

Join a mailing list: For many projects, the mailing list is the main conduit of communication about the development of the project. On large projects, there are many mailing lists to choose from. For example, the
PostgreSQL project has no fewer than 12 user-oriented lists and six developer lists on its mailing list page. I suggest you follow the main user-oriented list and the core developer list in which to start listening.

加入一个邮件列表:在很多项目中,邮件列表是有关项目开发交流的主要渠道。大项目中,会有很多邮件列表供选择。例如
PosgreSQL项目的邮件列表页上就有不少于12个面向用户的列表及6个开发者列表。我的建议是加入一个主要的面向用户列表及核心开发者列表开始倾听。

Follow a blog: Blogs maintained by core developers often give information about what’s coming up in future releases, and what it’s taken to get there. A planet site aggregates news and blog entries from many sources related to the project. If there is a planet site, like 
http://planet.gnome.org or 
http://planet.mysql.com, start there. Just search Google for "planet <projectname>."

清理故障通知单

代码是任何开源项目的核心,但是不要以为写代码是唯一的贡献方式。在急于添加新功能和修复bug的过程中,代码以及其周边系统的维护常常呗忽略。把这些方面看作是你参与项目的捷径。


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