Making a Hesitant Entry Into Open Source? Here’s What You Need to Know

Entering the open source world by contributing to a project can be a very rewarding experience. But taking that first step can be intimidating. There’s so much you have to learn, strangers you have to interact with, and at the end of it all, code you’ll have to put out there for all the world to see. Needless to say, it can all be a bit overwhelming for a first-timer.

But as intimidating as it seems, it’s really not that difficult and the rewards definitely outweigh whatever challenges you may face. If you find yourself still lacking the courage to take those first steps, here are some nuggets of wisdom that may help you through:

It’s Alright Not to Know Things
No one starts out knowing everything about everything. So it’s okay to admit that you don’t know how to use some of the tools that others are using. It’s alright not to know what certain projects are about, how to start collaborating on projects or where to begin making contributions. You don’t have to know everything right from the start. The great thing here is there is a whole community of more experienced people that can help you and you still have plenty of time to learn.

You Can Start Small
The biggest pressure you’ll face often comes from yourself. But you have to remember that you’re still starting out, so you can, and in many cases should, start small. It’s good to set high expectations for yourself, but you should always keep in mind that you’re still learning things and failures are inevitable but very useful in helping you grow.

Speaking of Failure…
Sometimes your code isn’t going to work. Sometimes the project won’t include your contribution. But you know what? These do not and should not mean the end of your efforts! You can always keep trying to improve your code and get help from community members. If your code never makes it to the project, that’s perfectly fine. You can still use it for yourself, and maybe even distribute it on your own (within the guidelines of the existing license of course).

You Don’t Have to Code
Or at least, not yet. Although most people expect contributions in open source to be code contributions, there are plenty of other ways you can contribute sans code. Reporting bugs, writing reviews and blog posts, and updating documentation are just some of the ways you can contribute with no codes required.

You’re Part of a Community
While this means that you have a responsibility to help other members of the community, it also means that there are plenty others out there who can help you when you’re in need. That’s a pretty solid assurance that no matter what kind of bind you may find yourself in, help is always available.

You Can Do This!
Many great programmers and developers started out just like you. They began only with what they knew. In time, they became project experts and soon had projects of their own. So don’t let those initial fears stop you- go ahead and start making your mark in open source.

SourceForge, Your Open Door to Open Source
SourceForge has been aiding developers of all levels create and contribute to open source projects for over a decade. If you’re new to open source, SourceForge is a great place to find your bearings, discover a lot of great projects and be part of a thriving and supportive community.

Projects of the Week, May 23, 2016

Here are the featured projects for the week, which appear on the front page of SourceForge.net:

PostInstallerF

PostInstallerF will install all the software that Fedora Linux and others doesn’t include by default, after running Fedora for the first time. Its easy for a new user. PostInstallerF contains everything that you need for your daily computing. SPANISH PostinstallerF Instalara todo software que no se incluye por defecto. Es fácil para el nuevo usuario. No te compliques! ————————————————— *How to Install PostInstallerF* from a terminal (5 steps): —————————– * FEDORA 22/23 * —————————– 1) su 2) dnf -y install wget 3) rpm –import https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kuboosoft/postinstallerf/master/GPG/$(rpm -E %fedora)/RPM-GPG-KEY-postinstallerf 4) wget -P /etc/yum.repos.d/ https://raw.github.com/kuboosoft/postinstallerf/master/postinstallerf.repo 5) dnf clean all && dnf -y install postinstallerf
[ Download PostInstallerF ]


TYPO3

TYPO3 is an enterprise class Web CMS written in PHP/MySQL. It’s designed to be extended with custom written backend modules and frontend libraries for special functionality. It has very powerful integration of image manipulation.
[ Download TYPO3 ]


Cool Reader

CoolReader is fast and small cross-platform XML/CSS based eBook reader for desktops and handheld devices. Supported formats: FB2, TXT, RTF, DOC, TCR, HTML, EPUB, CHM, PDB, MOBI. Platforms: Win32, Linux, Android. Ported on some eInk based devices.
[ Download Cool Reader ]


Maxima — GPL CAS based on DOE-MACSYMA

Maxima is a computer algebra system comparable to commercial systems like Mathematica and Maple. It emphasizes symbolic mathematical computation: algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and much more. For example, Maxima solves x^2-r*x-s^2-r*s=0 giving the symbolic results [x=r+s, x=-s]. Maxima can calculate with exact integers and fractions, native floating-point and high-precision big floats. Maxima has user-friendly front-ends, an on-line manual, plotting commands, and numerical libraries. Users can write programs in its native programming language, and many have contributed useful packages in a variety of areas over the decades. Maxima is GPL-licensed and largely written in Common Lisp. Executables can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android; source code is also available. An active community maintains and extends the system. Maxima is widely used: annual direct downloads exceed 100,000. Many other users receive it through secondary distribution.
[ Download Maxima — GPL CAS based on DOE-MACSYMA ]


JasperReports Library

JasperReports Library, the world’s most popular open source business intelligence and reporting engine and JasperReports Server, the most popular open source interactive report server built-on JasperReports Library
[ Download JasperReports Library ]


Wine

Wine is an Open Source implementation of the Windows API on top of X and Unix. Wine provides both a development toolkit for porting Windows sources to Unix and a program loader, allowing many unmodified Windows binaries to run on x86-based Unixes.
[ Download Wine ]


Avisynth rev. 2

Avisynth is a scripting language and a collection of filters for simple (and not so simple!) non-linear video editing tasks. It frameserves video to applications.
[ Download Avisynth rev. 2 ]


Pandora FMS: Flexible Monitoring System

Pandora FMS is a performance & availability monitoring system, ready for big environments. It uses agents for local monitoring and can do several kinds of remote network monitoring (SNMP v3, TCP checks, remote WMI probes…) Agents works on Linux, Windows, AIX, HP-UX, Solaris and BSD systems. Highly scalable (up to 2000 nodes with one single server), completely web-driven and a multitenant interface. It has a very flexible ACL system and a lot of graphical reports and user-defined control screens.
[ Download Pandora FMS: Flexible Monitoring System ]


Battle for Wesnoth

The Battle for Wesnoth is a Free, turn-based tactical strategy game with a high fantasy theme, featuring both single-player, and online/hotseat multiplayer combat. Fight a desperate battle to reclaim the throne of Wesnoth, or take hand in any number of other adventures.
[ Download Battle for Wesnoth ]

“Community Choice” Project of the Month Vote – July 2016

The vote for July 2016 Community Choice SourceForge Project of the Month is now available, and will run until June 15, 2016 12:00 UTC.


Linux Diagnostic Tools

Project’s goal is to create better tools for diagnosing Linux systems. Diagnostics include first failure data capture, error log analysis, preventative testing, and system inventory gathering.
[ Download Linux Diagnostic Tools ]


FreeCAD

FreeCAD is a general purpose feature-based, parametric 3D modeler for CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM, aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design but also fits a wider range of uses in engineering, such as architecture or other engineering specialties. It is 100% Open Source and extremely modular, allowing for very advanced extension and customization. FreeCAD is based on OpenCasCade, a powerful geometry kernel, features an Open Inventor-compliant 3D scene representation model provided by the Coin 3D library, and a broad Python API. The interface is built with Qt. FreeCAD runs exactly the same way on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux platforms.
[ Download FreeCAD ]


GnuCash

GnuCash is a personal and small-business finance manager with a check-book like register GUI to enter and track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. GnuCash is designed to be simple and easy to use but still based on formal accounting principles.
[ Download GnuCash ]


LibreCAD

LibreCAD is a fully comprehensive 2D CAD application that you can download and install for free. There is a large base of satisfied LibreCAD users worldwide, and it is available in more than 30 languages and for all major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Suse, etc. https://github.com/LibreCAD/LibreCAD http://forum.librecad.org/ http://wiki.librecad.org/ http://translate.librecad.org/
[ Download LibreCAD ]


TYPO3

TYPO3 is an enterprise class Web CMS written in PHP/MySQL. It’s designed to be extended with custom written backend modules and frontend libraries for special functionality. It has very powerful integration of image manipulation.
[ Download TYPO3 ]


K-Meleon

K-Meleon is a fast and customizable web browser that can be used instead of Internet Explorer on Windows. Powered by the same Gecko engine as the Firefox and Mozilla browsers, K-Meleon provides users with a secure browsing experience.
[ Download K-Meleon ]


iDempiere

iDempiere = OSGi + ADempiere iDempiere Business Suite ERP/CRM/SCM done the community way. Focus is on the Community that includes Subject Matter Specialists, Implementors and End-Users. iDempiere is based on original Compiere/Adempiere plus a new architecture to use state-of-the-art technologies like OSGi, Buckminster, zk.
[ Download iDempiere ]


ChaletOS

We all know someone who tried to switch to Linux but was unsuccessful. The system that he tried was too different from what he was used to, there were too many new things and the old things were not where he expected. The goal of this project is to let anyone get used to Linux. This system is not too different from Xubuntu, on which it is based, but ChaletOS has a style that everyone knows well, appealing simplicity and an impressive speed. All this will let them to fall in love with this system quickly. Because of its small hardware requirements it will revive some old machines and refresh others, not so old. The name ChaletOS came from the style of the mountain houses in Switzerland. The concept of these houses is similar to the concept that we had while we made this system: simplicity, beauty and recognizability. Since we want the new users to feel at home, we hope this project will meet this goal.
[ Download ChaletOS ]


simutrans

Simutrans is a cross-platform simulation game where players try to successfully manage transportation systems between places by land, air, and water for passengers, mail, and goods. Planes, ships, trains, trams, trucks, buses, or monorails are at your disposal, but factories operate based on contracts and passengers can only travel to their set destinations.
[ Download simutrans ]

SourceForge now scans all projects for malware and displays warnings on downloads

Starting today, SourceForge will display a warning badge next to the download button on any project that has been flagged as containing malware by our malware scans. Our definition of malware includes adware, viruses, and any unwanted applications that may be intentionally or inadvertently included in the software package of any project on SourceForge.

We’ve partnered with Bitdefender to scan the open source software projects on SourceForge so that users feel more secure in downloading clean, safe software from SourceForge that will not put their machines in jeopardy, nor bundle any adware, malware, or unwanted applications. We will also be running additional scans with ESET.

The top 1000 most popular SourceForge projects, representing 84% of all SourceForge traffic, have already been scanned. The vast majority of them contained no issues, but projects that were flagged for malware were notified, and most of them have rectified the issues already by removing the flagged files. For the few projects that have not addressed the issues, the malware warning badge (screenshot below) will display in red next to the download button. At this very moment, in a process that will take weeks, every last project, even dating back years, will be scanned and will display a warning flag if there are any suspicious files flagged by our virus scanners.

screen-malware-1

Interested parties can click the “Files” tab to see exactly which files in the project were flagged. We’ve also disabled automatic downloads on projects that have been flagged, so a user would manually have to proceed with downloading a file that may contain malware. Project admins will get an additional dashboard that will provide more in-depth details on why a file was flagged and how to address it. Project admins will also be able to submit a support request related to any issue detected by the scanners, and they’ll also be able to request a file be whitelisted once we’ve reviewed it.

screen-malware-2

screen-malware-3

Going forward, all new projects uploaded to SourceForge from brand new user accounts will not be accepted if they are flagged by either Bitdefender or ESET scans upon uploading. Projects from users who have been registered with SourceForge for a certain amount of time will be able to upload projects, but if they are flagged they will display the warning.

As with all virus scanners, the method is not 100% perfect, but we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that the open source software hosted and distributed on SourceForge is clean, safe, trustworthy, and free of any adware, viruses, malware, or unwanted applications.

Projects of the Week, May 16, 2016

Here are the featured projects for the week, which appear on the front page of SourceForge.net:

Linux Diagnostic Tools

Project’s goal is to create better tools for diagnosing Linux systems. Diagnostics include first failure data capture, error log analysis, preventative testing, and system inventory gathering.
[ Download Linux Diagnostic Tools ]


LibreCAD

LibreCAD is a fully comprehensive 2D CAD application that you can download and install for free. There is a large base of satisfied LibreCAD users worldwide, and it is available in more than 30 languages and for all major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Suse, etc. https://github.com/LibreCAD/LibreCAD http://forum.librecad.org/ http://wiki.librecad.org/ http://translate.librecad.org/
[ Download LibreCAD ]


simutrans

Simutrans is a cross-platform simulation game where players try to successfully manage transportation systems between places by land, air, and water for passengers, mail, and goods. Planes, ships, trains, trams, trucks, buses, or monorails are at your disposal, but factories operate based on contracts and passengers can only travel to their set destinations.
[ Download simutrans ]


arch-openrc

archopenrc provides OpenRC and eudev packages for Arch Linux and derivatives. For more details check out the links given below. Links ~~~~~ Wiki: https://wiki.manjaro.org/index.php?title=OpenRC,_an_alternative_to_systemd Github: https://github.com/manjaro/packages-openrc Installation guide: http://systemd-free.org/install.php
[ Download arch-openrc ]


FreeCAD

FreeCAD is a general purpose feature-based, parametric 3D modeler for CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM, aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design but also fits a wider range of uses in engineering, such as architecture or other engineering specialties. It is 100% Open Source and extremely modular, allowing for very advanced extension and customization. FreeCAD is based on OpenCasCade, a powerful geometry kernel, features an Open Inventor-compliant 3D scene representation model provided by the Coin 3D library, and a broad Python API. The interface is built with Qt. FreeCAD runs exactly the same way on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux platforms.
[ Download FreeCAD ]


Linux Lite

By producing an easy to use Linux based Operating System, we hope that people will discover just how simple it can be to use Linux Lite. Linux Lite is free for everyone to use and share, and suitable for people who are new to Linux or for people who want a lightweight environment that is also fully functional. Linux Lite is based on the Ubuntu LTS series giving you 5 years of support per major release. The following software is included: LibreOffice Suite, VLC Media Player, Firefox Web Browser, Thunderbird Email, Steam, Gimp Image Editor, Lite Control Center, Lite User Manager, Lite Software, Lite Tweaks, Lite Welcome, Lite Manual and more. https://www.linuxliteos.com/
[ Download Linux Lite ]


SparkyLinux

SparkyLinux is a GNU/Linux distribution created on the “testing” branch of Debian. It features customized lightweight desktops (like E19, LXDE and Openbox), multimedia plugins, selected sets of apps and own custom tools to ease different tasks. Sparky is in-between the distros that are beginner-friendly and those, that require some amount of Linux knowledge. Beginning Linux users are advised to consult the project forums regarding any issues or doubts.
[ Download SparkyLinux ]


fldigi

Fldigi is a modem program for most of the digital modes used by radio amateurs today: CW, PSK, MFSK, RTTY, Hell, DominoEX, Olivia, and Throb are all supported. It can help calibrate a sound card to a time signal and do frequency measurement tests.
[ Download fldigi ]


Vienna

Vienna is an open source Mac OSX RSS reader with support for RSS/Atom feeds, article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa. Feeds can be accessed directly, or through a syncing service supporting the Open Reader API, like BazQux.com, FeedHQ.org, InoReader.com or TheOldReader.com. Development now happens on GitHub: https://github.com/ViennaRSS/vienna-rss
[ Download Vienna ]