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How to raise the bar to contribute to your open source project

I’ve been doing quite a bit of Ruby development lately, not going to lie.

There have been several times where I’m working with something, and need a better understanding of how it works. Or maybe I think I have a bug. Or maybe I want to add some sort of improvement.

But, it’s not always so easy to do so. So, if you want to raise the barrier to contribute to your project, here are some practices for you:

  • Do…
    • Make a single blog post the authoritative home page
    • Distribute tarballs that can’t reproduce your artifacts (ie gems)
    • Use RubyForge for things like ticket tracking
  • Don’t…
    • Don’t make it obvious where to find the source under version control.
    • Don’t make it obvious where to file bugs
      • Most projects that use their RDoc as their web page
    • Write RDoc, or otherwise comment your code
    • Tag releases

Certainly, this some of this list doesn’t just apply can apply to many other projects, not just Ruby ones.

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