New to Opensource and want to help

  • S L M

    S L M - 2011-08-29


    I am a CS student wanting to contribute to an opensource project.  This project was referred to me by some friends because it has an excellent support community.  Also, it's a game engine which I think would be really cool to work on.  I just had a couple of beginner questions if you didn't mind:

    - How much Java experience do I need to be able to contribute to this project?  I have only about 6 months of Java programming experience currently and this has only been in a classroom environment. 

    - Can anyone recommend a good tutorial/site for getting started with opensource in general?  I have read through the wiki pages and it is daunting to me.  I don't really even know what it is that I don't know.  How do you contribute and view source code, etc.?

    As you all can tell from my questions, I am a super newb to all of this.  I appreciate any help/advice you may have.  I know I'm in (or trying to get in) over my head, so please, be gentle :-)


  • Kimmo Rundelin

    Kimmo Rundelin - 2011-08-30

    Hello smacktruck,

    Java experience would not be even necessary. Several contributors have had none before (that includes myself), and some have had no previous programming experience in other languages either. There are suitable tasks for both new and old programmers. (Non programming tasks like graphics, mapping and music as well, but I assume that is what you're interested in as a CS student).

    The code base is fairly large, so it takes some time to learn the way. Nowadays the usual introduction to the code is writing a quest. It's a fairly well contained subset of code it needs dealing with, and there's a lot of example code.

    Welcome to the #arianne channel (see to talk so that we can help finding an interesting task. Usually the best time to chat with developers is after central European work hours, but don't get desperate if it seems quiet sometimes. The channel is logged so any specific questions can be answered even if nobody happens to see them when you ask them.

    As for open source in general, I don't know if there even can be a very good introduction. Typically being free time projects, people pick conventions they happen to like, so every project works a bit differently. We have our contributors documentation in the wiki (though that seems to lack an introduction to new contributors - that really needs to be written; the relevant sections are Contributing, Extending, Developing and Building & Hosting)

  • S L M

    S L M - 2011-08-30


    Thanks so much for your response! I have never done anything like this before so it is overwhelming to me and I feel lost.  I will read through the information you posted.  I've been hanging out on the #arianne channel for the last couple of days. 



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