Contributing Code to OpenSolaris

We started a little conversation on the forums yesterday about contributing code to OpenSolaris, primarily around the request-sponsor program. The request-sponsor program has been in place for about eight months, and I think things are going very well. Two years ago when we were planning OpenSolaris, we genuinely didn’t have a good feel for how many code contributions we’d get and at what level. Well, at this point, we have 89 contributions offered by 18 non-Sun community members with 39 putbacks into the ON consolidation. Also, there are more than 20 fixes in progress and a few have generated ARC cases, which is excellent. The details about all the code contributions are on the website in the request-sponsor report.

We’d like to keep the momentum going by increasing the number and diversity of contributions, while at the same time improving the process for participation. There’s always room for improvement, but I’m finding that the people who are already contributing code are working with the existing system pretty well. We know we have to improve bugs.opensolaris.org, and many people have offered good suggestions. And we are moving forward with the evaluation process for source code management (conversations here, here, here). But in the meantime, how can we improve what we have right now?

If you are already contributing code to OpenSolaris, what can we do to make it easier for you to keep contributing? If you are thinking about contributing code, what can we do to help you get started? Adding more oss-bite-size bugs has been suggested, and that’s certainly a viable option to engage new contributors. For those of you who are fixing bugs locally or writing code for ports or distributions, what would enable you to offer some of the more generic bits to the project for integration where appropriate?

All feedback is welcome, of course.

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