Sunday, December 03, 2006

How to Contribute to wxWidgets Guide

We often have the impression that wxWidgets could be so much better if only we had more time to fix the known problems with it, to implement all these exciting new features it still lacks or even just to fix the numerous old bugs. But unfortunately the time is always lacking (isn't it funny that you can regularly find jokes about 48 hour days in wx-related email since the beginning of the nineties?) and so many things remain undone. So the next idea, after failing to change the duration of the day, is to encourage more people to work on wxWidgets -- and it seems especially actual now that programming is becoming all about parallelization to take advantage of new multi-processor machines. And attracting new contributors does work rather nicely (better than trying to construct time dilatation machine, anyhow), for instance several new developers joined us relatively recently and brought us great things like AUI, custom comboboxes and almost all other new controls in the upcoming 2.8.0 release.

But we'd still like to attract even more! And maybe it's our own fault, after all, if people don't flock to wxWidgets development. We don't do much advertisement (real programmers hate marketing) and we don't even explain clearly how to become a wxWidgets contributor anywhere. Personally, as I want to keep my real programmer badge, I can't really address the former issue but at least I tried to help with the latter and so wrote this guide to explain how you can help with wxWidgets development. It is probably not as useful as it could be as it's hard for me to understand what questions and problems can a newcomer to wxWidgets (and/or open source development in general) have. But hopefully this guide is better than nothing at all and I'm looking forward to improving it in the future with feedback from the people it is really addressed to.

So thanks in advance for any comments about this guide! As for me, I'm finally going to log off and have a few hours of sleep after my 40 hours wxWidgets working day, safe in the knowledge that hundreds of new developers are going to join the project tomorrow ;-)
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