After much thought, I have finally selected my open source project.

The road to selection was not easy, but it was a fun and learning experience.

For a week I stayed signed in on IRC’s paladin & processing.js channels and tried to bother others with questions via personal messages. Several were friendly and helped me with my questions, but no one could tell me what I wanted to know – “What role can I play in this project that would be right for me and last about 6 weeks?”. I knew the answer is not an easy one for me, and even harder for someone else to answer as without knowing my background, it will be very difficult to ascertain.

All I knew after going through a lot of reading material on paladin and processing.js, I wanted to get involved. But what does it require? Will I code in java? C++? What about understanding the background of the project? Is there a mentor I can discuss my progress with? What if my code isn’t going anywhere?

As I got closer to the deadline, I was frantically searching on bug trackers for mozilla, paladin and processing.js for a ticket to take up. Paladin was too small, and mozilla was too huge. Processing.js was just right!

Having previously worked on processing.js in an assignment, I was already familiar with the language. I also understood what role it plays among other web technologies and what need it fulfills. As the deadline grew closer, I grew more confident that I needn’t address all my concerns about the project size etc right now. I thought, that’s what the course is about – about the experience of contributing to an open source project. And this confusion I had was part of the learning exprience. I realized I had already learned much in the first 3 weeks of the course – where would I look if I wanted to find an open source to contribute to, where I can communicate with its developer community, what tools and utilities I need to get started.

I felt I had delayed long enough, and it was time to jump in, grab a code by the horns and get hacking.

Still as unsure as I could be which project I would contribute to, the best start was reading the details of bugs I found interesting myself. Looking through its history and making sense of what it might require and judging for myself if I understood what I had to fix, was a good enough start.

I settled on a bug I discovered on processing.js’s bug tracking software – lighthouse. (There was another bit of stuff I had learned in just 3 weeks – getting familiar with bugzilla, pivotal tracker and lighthouse).

After setting up my account on github and lighthouse, I got the ticket assigned to me from processing channel on irc.

Then came the next big step – I have selected the project, where do I go from here? Subject of my next blog post…

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