I’m giving back to open source communities – are you?

Open source has brought a lot of happiness into my life – exposure to cutting edge technology (thanks Sun Microsystems), an awesome no-cost operating system (running rings around the proprietary alternatives) for me, my friends and family, and thousands upon thousands of applications which allow me to perform practically any computing task imaginable, from the creative to the commonplace.

I’ve often thought about the ways I could contribute back – but given my limited funds and lack of coding chops, what could I possibly do to help out in the communities from which the products I use and enjoy originate?

Well, I’m proud to say I’ve found a way – and I now invest a sizeable amount of time in private to assist with the documentation efforts for Open Wonderland and Ekiga. In the case of Open Wonderland, large amounts of legacy documentation on Java.net (following Oracle’s abandonment of the project) need to be migrated to a community-run instance of JSPWiki (itself an open source wiki engine which comes highly recommended, by the way). For Ekiga, there is already a wealth of excellent documentation, but it’s spread out over a number of different locations, and needs updating and tidying up.

Either way, it’s a great feeling to be giving something worthwhile back, and knowing that other people out there really can benefit from the work of a non-developer. 🙂


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