There are so many ways to contribute to FOSS.
Yes. You can contribute to Free Open Source Software.
Are you afraid that you are not a programmer and you know very less about coding?
No Worries. Still you can contribute.
Actually, there are plenty of ways to contribute without coding:
- Submit bug reports
- Suggest new features and options
- Make other comments on how to improve the the quality of the program
- Help write good documentation
- Translate the documentation (and program text) into another language
- Read exisiting documentation, follow the examples, and make corrections
- Correct spelling and grammar mistakes in documentation
- Develop spelling and grammar style conventions for documentors
- Build a glossary of technical terms
- Convert documentation into more useful formats (i.e. DocBook)
- Create templates to write documentation in a WYSIWYG word processor (AbiWord, KWord) and XSLT to transform it into DocBook
- Create diagrams, screen-shots, and graphics for documentation
- Submit graphics (icons, backgrounds) to use in the program
- Help other people learn how to use the program (answer questions on mailing lists or IRC channels)
- Write an email expressing your appreciation for the programs you use
- Send the programmers post cards
- Send the programmers a virtual beer
- Write your legislators about the concerns that Open Source programmers have with recent and upcoming legislation
- Write book reviews and critiques
- Write a book
- Maintain a FAQ or HOWTO document
- Help organize LUG events, including InstallFests, BugFests, and DocFests
- Help write articles for the LUG newsletter
- Help update the LUG web site
- Help maintain a web site for an Open Source project
- Design a better user interface for your favorite program (GLADE and Qt Designer are great for mocking up a new UI)
- Run usability studies
- Create validation or regression test cases
- See how a program handles streams of random data
- Package the application for a particular Linux distro (or other OS)
- Get the program to compile on a new platform
- Create a Linux advocacy web site (probably not so easy to do right)
- Provide training to new Linux users
- Read relevant standards and make sure the program follows them
- Convince people to chose Open Source products when possible
- Write up case studies of successful Open Source implementations
- Send the programmers some money
and can do many more.
You have to look for the calls for contribution or you have to hang around with your favorite application or distro’s irc/mailing list/site.
To overcome this issue and to give a collective overview on the list of “Contribution Needed” tasks, I started a blog
Decided to post on the contribution requests so that you can pick your own interested task and start working on it.
Keep on watching. 🙂