Lend Me Your Skills

Oct 10

What Can I Do For Mozilla? -

A new website to match programmers up with Mozilla projects.

May 10

Haskell (Wikibooks) -

If you know about Haskell or functional programming or are a theoretical Computer Science wizard, you might want to help write a free book on learning and using Haskell.

Mar 03

AutoWikiBrowser -

AutoWikiBrowser is a Windows application written in C# and licensed under the GPL. It allows users of Wikipedia and other MediaWiki installations. On English Wikipedia, it is used by more experienced editors to do semi-automated cleanup and maintenance.

It’s very useful but a bit hacky. There’s lots of feature requests: if you are a Windows programmer and know C# and Visual Studio, it’d be great if you could hack on some of the many feature requests.

Feb 12

Wikimedia Outreach: Account Creation Improvement Project -

Wikipedia’s sign up procedure is pretty complicated. Go to Facebook’s homepage and the signup procedure is exceptionally simple. The amount of text on the Wikipedia sign-up form is about 10 times higher than that on Facebook. Wikipedia’s sign up form has all sorts of scary warnings about policy and so on.

The Account Creation Improvement Project is something Wikimedia are trying to do about this: by doing surveys of why people sign up and trying to find ways to simplify, streamline and make a lot easier the process of signing up for a user account. Why bother? Well, you need a user account on Wikipedia in order to create new articles, to move pages and to not be pestered by CAPTCHAs. If you don’t have an account, you cannot edit semi-protected articles or articles that are part of the Pending Changes trial. Plus it’s harder to collaborate with people.

If you are a designer, a developer, copywriter, or a user experience expert, your help would be appreciated. In addition, the project will need to deal with making sure any solution is standards-based, accessible and translatable into other language editions of Wikipedia. Whatever your skills, there’s something to work on here.

Jan 18


TVIV is a wiki for TV information: descriptions of TV series and episodes, character profiles and so on. If you watch TV, why not keep it up-to-date?

It’s Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, but you can always cross-license your content by placing a statement on your profile, like this.

Dec 31

SymPy -

SymPy is an open source Python library for symbolic mathematics, and is the foundation of Sage, an open source Mathematica-type application.

There’s lots to do on SymPy: programming, general code review and cleanup, documentation and much more. They are also moving over from SVN to Git (and Google Code to GitHub).

Dec 30

PureDarwin -

Darwin is the underlying kernel and key components of Mac OS. It’s FreeBSD based and open source. PureDarwin is attempting to make an independent distribution of Darwin. They need testers and people to get involved.

Dec 29

Transcribe Wikimedia videos

Have some free time? There’s a whole stack of free and quite interesting content that could be transcribed from video: the videos from the annual Wikimania conference.

Basically just do the Wikimedians an act of kindness and transcribe one of their videos. Go to the Wikimania homepage, choose a session and write down everything the speaker says, then post it on the session page.

Dec 28

Kod -

A new, open source programmer’s text editor for Mac OS X. The code is online on GitHub, so if you know Objective C and Xcode (or want to learn!) you might want to download the code and start hacking with it.

Or if, you know, you are fed up waiting for TextMate 2…

Kod is on Twitter too.

Dec 27

Translatewiki.net -

If you can speak more than one language, TranslateWiki is a place to help translate documentation and UI for a variety of open source projects including MediaWiki, OpenStreetMap and much more.

They also need programmers and designers. It’s MediaWiki and PHP.

TranslateWiki is on Twitter.

Dec 21

Open source: so-nice

so-nice is a Sinatra application for controlling media players including iTunes, mpd and Rhythmbox. Sinatra is a minimalist open source Ruby web framework.

There’s plenty you might be able to do: add more media players (VLC?), test on lots of different devices, add features, write documentation.

Dec 20

Donationware examples?

Over on Wikipedia, you might want to add examples to the article on donationware. I (Tom, that is) have added Vim, but there’s plenty more.

Dec 11

Git# needs C#/.NET developers. It is a Git implementation on .NET much like JGit is for Java and Dulwich is for Python. As it grows, it may also be possible to use it as a replacement for the C Git implementation on Windows, plus it may be possible to use this to implement Git support in Visual Studio and MonoDevelop.

Dec 10

Multiverse 3D: needs developers, testers

Multiverse 3D (MV3D) looks like a really interesting project: it is a sort of distributed Second Life type system. By their own admission, it is very ambitious. The idea is anyone can run their own MV3D server and then link them together to produce a distributed virtual world. It’s all written in Python and it looks like they are trying to do a lot of testing of what they are doing. This could be a really fun way of getting involved in anything from 3D graphics programming to helping implement a network stack.

Dec 09

Help make Linux more accessible

Do you know about accessibility? The GNOME project and other free desktop environments like KDE and Xfce need help being made more accessible for disabled people, blind people and people who have physical issues that prevent them from using a computer in the standard way.

If you work on making open source operating systems and desktop environments more suitable for people with accessibility issues, you are helping them in a direct way: if a disabled person can use open source software, it reduces the cost of technology for them and this software can be modified to fit specific disabilities and issues.

The GNOME Accessibility Project needs programmers, testers and documentation writers. See the participation page.

GNOME is used by default in Ubuntu, so that might be a good starting point for improving accessibility in Linux, but for KDE there is the KDE Accessibility Project (KDEAP, see Wikipedia too).