How Can I Contribute

If you want to contribute to GPSTk, you have come to the right place!

GPSTk is an Open Source project, and as such relies on the support of users and fans to keep going. So anything you can do to help, is almost certain to be welcome!

There are many ways you can contribute, from simply telling the community your story, through writing applications, or even becoming a fully-fledged core team member. Here are just a few of the more obvious ways you can contribute.

Be an advocate. Tell your friends, tell your colleagues, present papers, use the tool!

Tell the community your success story. Write a page starting at the page GPSTkSuccessStories. There are some examples already there!

If your story isn't a success - and we all know there are some - it's still equally valuable.

Help out with documentation. If you find problems with the documentation, or find it difficult to use, or simply can't find the answer you were looking for, then don't just complain. Go fix it as well!

Crush bugs. Bugs get reported at Bugs. If you are adventurous, you might try your hand at finding a fix, and post that alongside the report! The more relevant information you provide with the report, the more chance there is of there being a fix. Don't forget that your bug may have been reported already, and there might even be a patch to fix it. If you know how to fix a problem, you are very welcome to attach a unified diff to your report (but please make sure it's clear what version of the code it's based on!)

Be a support god. The AskedQuestions is the place to find questions that need to be answered. If you are confident enough, feel free to answer any that you can! The support is an entirely volunteer effort, so the more people who visit and help out, the better.

Contribute brainpower. The Development web is a fertile ground for the seeds of ideas. It's made fertile by the many eyes who read changes to topics, and contribute to the development and refinement of ideas into reality. This isn't onerous; it just means staying aware of what's being discussed and when you think you can contribute, being prepared to speak up. Contributing doesn't just mean voicing opinions, of course. The goal is to refine ideas down to practical solutions, and that requires a positive outlook, and a preparedness to get your hands dirty, even if it's only to refactor (organise) a topic.

And don't forget; the newest contributor often has the freshest ideas!

Become a GPSTk developer. Developers are strongly recommended to work in the GPSTk Git repository, once the ARL Git Server has been set-up; see SoYouWantToBeADeveloper for help in getting set up.

Join the core team. The CoreTeam are people who take on the heavy responsibility of managing the GPSTk development and building releases. They look at contributed changes and decide which changes fit with the GPSTkMission. From there, they build the stable releases of the tool. The CoreTeam also have the last word on the GPSTk architecture and documentation, so it tends to be only the most experienced and adept contributors who are on the core team. If you think you have what it takes to be part of the core team, speak to BryanParsons.

(STOPINCLUDE here, above statement gets included by ReadmeFirst. Anything below is for discussion)



Adapted from:
Topic revision: r11 - 05 Sep 2013, BryanParsons

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