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From robert burrell donkin <rdon...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Hello... I'm new to this list...
Date Sat, 23 Jul 2005 20:01:53 GMT
On Sun, 2005-07-24 at 00:27 +0800, James Ng wrote: 
> Hi everyone,

hi james

> My name is James and I am new to this mailing list. Thus I thought it
> will only be right for me to introduce myself to the group 'cos I want
> to actively contribute (if time permits).

cool

> Though I may be new to this group, I am no stranger to the jakarta
> project, having been a developer of four years, using all the
> wonderful packages apache has provided: tomcat, poi, commons, etc.
> Thank you apache for making my job so much easier.

:)

> Now that I have accumalate some experience, I hope to be able to start
> contributing to the apache cause. I no longer want to be just a lurker
> here but to start from being a user to a contributor.
> 
> However, I am not confident in participating in big projects and feel
> comfortable only in writing small program parts. So please give me
> advice in what I am suppose to do next. Thank you very much.
> 

the ASF can be difficult because it tries to keep it's formal
structures minimal and it's social structures maximal. so don't be
surprised if no one has a straight answer for 'what am i supposed to
do'. many folks here have worked with each others for years and it can
be difficult to understand the dynamics. it's sort of expected that
users will change to developers to committers to pmc members by a kind
of osmosis. many do just that but confidence is a factor. however, i'm
sure once you see your patches committed and thanks from grateful users
confidence naturally grows.

no matter how many times this question is asked, i always find it hard
to answer. over the years, a lot of information has accumulated on the
sites (http://jakarta.apache.org,  http://www.apache.org and
http://www.apache.org/dev). reading everything would be a very good
start :)

if you want to start help developing components here in the commons,
you'll need to subscribe to the developer list
(http://jakarta.apache,org/site/mail.html). it's high volume and most
people cope by using filters. i'd strongly suggest just reading for a
little while: this will give you an understanding of the social side as
well as finding out which components are most active and which
committers are most interested in which components.

the classic answer as to where to start is this: pick a component that
interests you and start finding out what needs developing. anytime
people ask for a volunteer to code something, jump in and offer your
services. answering questions on the user list and creating new
documentation are excellent ways to learn a component. 

if you have no particular favourites, then just lurk on the dev list and
whenever anyone asks for a volunteer, put yourself forward. 

- robert

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