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SCons / HowToContribute

How to contribute to SCons

If you ever wanted to contribute to SCons but don't feel like "Joe Hacker" himself, here's a list of things you could do instead of programming. These are all good ways to give something back to the project, and they let the actual developers concentrate on what they do best: improving the code.

If you try to pick up one of the following ideas but get stuck or have additional questions, please come to our User mailing list and ask. We're open to your suggestions and would appreciate your help very much.

Ideas that don't involve programming

Tell a friend
Point other people to our website. Tell interested people that this project exists and what our mission is. Point them to the Wiki, the manuals, or the mailing lists if they have questions.
Goodies store
Buy some merchandise stuff from the SCons goodies store, and wear or use them in public. Come up with ideas for additional designs.
Improve the Wiki pages in general. If you find errors, correct them. If you found some info only after hours of searching, provide additional links to it in the places where you'd have found them much quicker.
Add your useful snippets to the SconsRecipes page of this Wiki.
Detect spelling errors, provide additional examples, restructure and rewrite contents with the help of our new doc toolchain. If you're good at drawing, add graphs and images. We need more of those all over the place! Improve the design and flexibility of the current styles (XSLT for PDF and HTML outputs).
Answer questions
Try to answer questions on our mailing lists, or in other forums e.g. StackOverflow. Even if you don't have the exact answer at hand, asking for more specific information (What version of SCons do you use? On which OS?...) might help other developers to save time and fix the actual problem much quicker.
Your opinion/experiences
Link your blog entries and articles on our WhatTheUsersSay page. Tell us about why and how you use SCons, in your company or in private.
Sharing knowledge
Publish slides about an SCons talk that you gave in the past. Or even do a short video/screencast about something that you learned or a problem you had and how you solved it. Then post it on YouTube/Vimeo/... and add a link to our TalksAndSlides page.
If you have a spare machine that's not very busy, consider adding it to our Buildbot system. Running a testing slave doesn't require a lot of cycles, and it's possible to do this in a VM if you care about not mixing up your current system.
Other ideas
Simply add them to this page...or discuss them first on our User mailing list

Some hacking skills required

Adopt a Tool/Builder from the Wiki and convert it into a DVCS repo. Publish a simple Builder that you wrote, via the ToolsIndex page.
Bug tracking
Scan recent posts on the mailing lists for bug reports that haven't been added to the bug tracker yet. Help other users to create proper bug reports.
Volunteer as a mentor for our Google Summer of Code program, or come up with new ideas for the students.
Help in development by hacking the core and fixing bugs. Add more tests or improve the existing ones.