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Getting Involved with the Community

As an Eclipse user or developer, your first (and best) way to get involved with the community is to use the Eclipse IDE for your development and explore what the many Eclipse projects have to offer you. Let your interest areas guide you towards the projects that you find most interesting.

Don't wait too long to get directly involved with the community. Here are some suggestions on ways to participate. Feel free to add your own ideas to the list.

Communicate

  • Ask questions in the newcomer forum. The forum is monitored by seasoned Eclipse users and developers who are happy to answer your questions.
    • Be sure to read "How To Ask Questions The Smart Way" by Eric Raymond and Rick Moen before you post.
    • Well formed questions tend to be answered while poorly worded ones are not.
  • Contribute to conversations occurring within the Eclipse community (primarily between developers) by adding yourself to one or more mailing lists. Each project has its own mailing list and there are some lists (like cross-project-issues-dev) that span projects and provide a good source of information concerning the integration of various projects.
  • Use IRC channels related to Eclipse to discuss Eclipse-related technologies, chat with the developers of Eclipse and ask questions.
  • Give your opinions and share advice by adding your Eclipse-related blog to Planet Eclipse.
  • Tell people about the Eclipse solutions you like best by favourite-ing them and posting reviews on Eclipse Marketplace.
  • Rate and comment on the demos, podcasts, videos and webinar resources listed on Eclipse Live.

Suggest Improvements

  • File bugs, request new features and pose questions through Bugzilla.
    • Be sure to read How to Report Bugs Effectively by Simon Tatham.
    • If you want to keep informed about the progress of bugs through the system, you can register (by configuring "User Watching" in the Email Settings) to be notified when a bug is created or modified. This is a great way to be a "fly on the wall" as bugs are worked through the system. You can learn about the process while you learn about Eclipse just by watching these notes.

Contribute Patches

The easiest way to contribute code to a project is to provide a patch for a bug.

  • Bugs marked "helpwanted" or "bugday" are a good starting point ("bugday" bugs are oftentimes relatively easy ones to fix)

It's a good idea to communicate with a project that you intend to work with. If you need help getting started, or sorting out a problem, ask. All projects have a website that will provide you with contact information. All project communication is done transparently through mailing lists or Bugzilla.

Bigger contributions, including entirely functionality, may be welcome as well. It's a generally good idea to communicate with the project before you put too much effort into a large contribution to ensure that the contribution fits in with the scope and plan of the project.

Create

  • Create demos and how-to resources on Eclipse like videos, podcasts and webinars and post them to Eclipse Live.
  • Start your own project on Eclipse Labs. Eclipse Labs provides the infrastructure services typically required by open source projects, such as code repositories, bug tracking and project web sites and is hosted by Google. The projects here are not hosted by the Eclipse Foundation and do not have to follow the Eclipse Foundation development and intellectual property policies. It's an ideal place to work on experimental, niche and early stage projects.
  • Eclipse Projects always need help with documentation. Once you're familiar enough with a project, contribute pages to the Eclipse wiki.
  • It's great when people help by reporting bugs, but it's even better when they create patches to fix them! You can submit your fix via Bugzilla.

Evangelize

  • Start or participate in a Regional Eclipse Community group with others in your local area. Regional Eclipse Communities allow people to meet in person and discuss topics of particular interest in your area. RECs are a great way to collaborate in your native language.
  • Sign up for a local IT event in your area and give a presentation on Eclipse.
  • Tell your friends about Eclipse and help us spread the word!

Miscellaneous

  • Become a Friend of Eclipse by donating financially. Donations are used to provide services for the Eclipse community, like providing more bandwidth for users and committers, purchasing additional servers to host Eclipse projects, sending students to EclipseCon and sponsoring Eclipse community events.
  • Help translate Eclipse into other languages through the Babel project.