I've rewritten the old (Sodipodi) HACKING file to make it shorter and to
briefly outline our development philosophy for those wanting to get
involved in the future. I've enclosed it below for review.
Contributing to Inkscape
Inkscape welcomes your contributions to help turn it into a fully
SVG-compliant drawing program for the Open Source community.
While many developers work on fixing bugs and creating new features, it
is worth strong emphasis that even non-programmers can help make
Inkscape more powerful and successful. You probably already have an idea
of something you'd like to work on. If not, here are just a few ways you
* Pick a bug, fix it, and send in a patch
* Choose a feature you want to see developed, and make it
* If you speak a language in addition to English, work on your
language's i18n file in the po/ directory
* Find a new bug and report it
* Help answer questions for new Inkscapers on Jabber, IRC or the
* Write an article advocating Inkscape
* Author a HOWTO describing a trick or technique you've figured out
We give CVS access out to people with proven interest in helping develop
the codebase. Proving your interest is straightforward: Make two
contributions and request access.
Our motto for changes to the codebase is "Patch first, ask questions
later". When someone has an idea, rather than endlessly debating it, we
encourage folks to go ahead and code something up (even prototypish).
This is then incorporated into the development branch of the code for
folks to try out, poke and prod, and tinker with. We figure, the best
way to see if an idea fits is to try it on for size.
Please refer to the Coding Style Guidelines if you have specific
questions on the style to use for code. If reading style guidelines
doesn't interest you, just follow the general style of the surrounding
code, so that it is at least consistent.