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101 ways to help improve open source

From OCAU Wiki

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WIP - add more and correct if you can

I've compiled this list for when you have some time on spare and want to do something useful. Although RTFM and "google it" are generally frowned upon in tech support areas - Please do. The last thing the open source community needs is a horde of newbies raviging everything they see.


Pimp open source software to everyone

Just send them all over to OCAU's Open Source wiki - simple.

Dump your video card data

Open source drivers like the Nouveau, AVIVO and Radeon X.Org drivers are developed through reverse engineering, with no or minimal support from manufacturers. Dumping your video crad bios data provides useful information that these developers would not otherwise recieve.

Beta test everything

Beta testing helps iron out bugs in programs, ensuring that when the final version comes it, it wont be stuffing up on your computer. You might not want to do this on a critical machine, but if you've secondary computer lying around - livecds are your friend.

Submit data/bugs to wineHQ

Wine is an Open Source implementation of the Windows API on top of X, OpenGL, and Unix - a compatibility layer for running Windows programs. By installing the latest buils of wine and submitting testing data and filing bugs for your apps, you'll help improve wine.


Write up HOWTO guides, translate man pages or even just blog your experiences - good quality information is often a mercy while hacking away at something. Also walkthrough through a guide/instructions and see how clear/confusing it is - translating from Engrish is often required

Develop media for the open source community

High quality graphic and sound resources are somewhat lacking in the community - websites such as Free Game Arts and Low Poly Cooperative have sprung up to try and fill the void.

Release source code/old data free

Whatever you have lying around (even if its old and mouldy) release it under a free software licence - you can dual licence if you want - just release the stuff. It's better then letting code bitrot, as many projects will pickup on useful ideas. Old data (such as ancient games no longer available/bloody awkward to get) should also be released - the quake 1 maps are a good example, OpenArena has already intergrated them!

Make your specs publically available

This entry is really for ATI/Nvidia/ARM/TI staff when they come across this once this is slashdotted :) Assist open source developers as much as you can - I understand you don't want to, but come on - is it too much to ask for?

No brainer really - Give to The Free (speech) Software Foundation or Debian Linux or [Insert favourite Open Source project here]

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