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Larry Garfield:
Giving Back in 2016
Jan 25, 2016 @ 10:57:14

In the latest post to his site Larry Garfield makes a charge to the community - both Drupal and the wider PHP community - to gave back in 2016 and make an effort to contribute in some way back to the projects you use and love.

At the end of 2014, I wrote a follow-up for Acquia's Future of PHP series. In that, I called on people to Build Bridges between communities through not just visiting them, but building with them. Build and launch a real project with some toolkit that's not your usual go-to tool, and then documenting and sharing that knowledge with others.

While recording another episode of the Acquia Podcast with JAM (who seems to like having me on for some reason), he asked me what was next. What was the next 2016 challenge to help build a more robust PHP community?

This one should be easy, right? Give back.

He suggests not only that you get out and give back but that you also do it in somewhat unfamiliar territory. He points out that with most of the software we use we're "standing on the shoulders of giants" and without these people giving their time to help the project, it wouldn't be where it is. He includes a few suggestions of things to think about when looking for a place to contribute:

  • look for projects "affiliated" with the ones you usually contribute to
  • if you've never contributed before, there's an even wider range of options (frameworks, extensions, libraries, etc)
  • report bugs if you don't feel like you can contribute code

He does include a reminder that not all projects and communities will be a good fit for you and how you'd like to contribute, so find a good fit and then dig in.

Three contributions, to three projects, in any way, that is new to you. That's the ask. That's #PHPGivesBack2016. And then talk about it. Giving back is something to be proud of so be proud of it, and encourage others to do so as well.
tagged: give back contribute project opensource phpgivesback2016 community

Link: http://www.garfieldtech.com/blog/php-gives-back-2016

Voices of the ElePHPant:
It's the Booze Talking: Contributing to Open Source
Dec 01, 2015 @ 13:46:27

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has posted their latest episode but this time it's another in their special "It's the Booze Talking" series. In this latest show they gathered together people from several PHP projects and other well-known individuals from the community:

In this episode they talk about how they started in open source and contributing to projects. They also talk about some of their own definitions around what "contributing" means for open source and its projects. Cal also asks the group about how contributing to open source has helped (or hurt) their career. There's also some discussion about leadership and management in open source projects. The group also shares some of the "worst" things they felt when making their first pushes to an open source project.

You can listen to this latest show either using the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 directly. If you enjoy the episode and want to hear more (and other interviews with members of the PHP community) be sure to subscribe to their feed and follow them on Twitter.

tagged: voicesoftheelephpant community boozetalking contribute opensource project roundtable

Link: https://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2015/12/01/its-the-booze-talking-contributing-to-open-source/

Rob Allen:
The beginner's guide to rebasing your PR
Oct 09, 2015 @ 10:30:12

If you've ever contributed to an Open Source project on GitHub (or really even just used Git in general) chances are there's been a time when you needed to rebase your branch with what's on master. It can be a bit confusing to Rob Allen is here to help with this brief guide to walk you through the steps for a successful rebase.

You've successfully created a PR and it's in the queue to be merged. A maintainer looks at the code and asks you to rebase your PR so that they can merge it. Say what?

The maintainer means that there have been other code changes on the project since you branched which means that your branch cannot be merged without conflicts and they would like to you to sort this out. These are the steps you should take.

He breaks it down into three main steps and includes the commands you'll need and how to push the result back up into the waiting repository:

  • Update your target branch from upstream
  • Rebase your branch
  • Push your newly rebased branch to origin

There's really about six steps involved but that's only when you break it down to the individual commands. It's a relatively simple process that, while a bit confusing from the outside, can be very helpful to a project maintainer when it comes merge time.

tagged: rebase pullrequest project opensource process tutorial contribute

Link: http://akrabat.com/the-beginners-guide-to-rebasing-your-pr/

Rob Allen:
The beginner's guide to contributing to a GitHub project
Sep 24, 2015 @ 12:08:10

If you've ever wanted to contribute to an open source project but didn't have any idea where to begin, Rob Allen has a few suggestions to help you get started. His guide is a bit more on the technical level than others that talk more about finding a project or community to be a part of, though.

This is a guide to contributing to an open source project that uses GitHub. It's mostly based on how I've seen Zend Framework, Slim Framework and joind.in operate. However, this is a general guide so check your project's README for specifics.

He walks you through a four step process to getting ready to contribute and make that first submission to the project of your choice:

  • Set up a working copy on your computer
  • Do some work
  • Create the PR (Pull Request)
  • Review by the maintainers

Naturally, some of this depends on the process that the project follows to take in new submissions, either from an issues list or just random buxfixes. It's a pretty standard GitHub-centric guide to follow though. He also recommends reading this article from Lorna Mitchell about code reviews and what the maintainers of most open source projects will look for in submissions.

tagged: beginner guide opensource github contribute project

Link: http://akrabat.com/the-beginners-guide-to-contributing-to-a-github-project/

Sammy Powers:
Contributing to the PHP Manual
Jun 19, 2015 @ 13:23:27

If you've wanted to contribute something back to PHP but aren't familiar with C (or don't feel comfortable enough with it) Sammy Powers offers another solution. In his latest post he shows you how to contribute to the PHP documentation and update the manual for new features, missing information or fixes to current code examples.

If you've been wanting to contribute to PHP internals, starting with the documentation can be a great entry point; especially because it doesn't require dusting off those old C books from college. But knowing where to start can be tricky since information on how to contribute to the docs is scattered across the internet. This article is a step-by-step guide of how to contribute documentation to the PHP manual.

He starts with the "quick and dirty" way of editing the manual through the edit.php.net site, but points out that it's really only useful for smaller changes, not large documentation updates. The rest of the post shows you how to set up the documentation locally and generate the results to validate your changes. He talks some about the DocBook format they're written in, the build process with the PhD (PHP docs generator) and running the php.net test suite against the changes. This ensures that nothing else has broken on the site in the process.

He shows you where to make your changes, how to generate it from either a skeleton or using the docgen script and submitting the changes back to the repository. There's also a few other random changes to make before committing the files back via SVN and pushing them back upstream. He ends the post talking about the GoPHP7-ext project and how to find extensions that are missing documentation or where it's incomplete (easy thanks to an included "check-missing-docs" file included in the repository).

tagged: contribute documentation phpnet manual extension gophp7ext docgen tutorial

Link: https://www.sammyk.me/how-to-contribute-to-php-documentation

PHP Roundtable:
016: Contributing To PHP 7
Apr 03, 2015 @ 12:55:17

The PHP Roundtable podcast has released their latest episode - 016: Contributing To PHP 7 with guests Joe Watkins, Paul Dragoonis, Lorna Mitchell and Joe Ferguson.

You don't need to be a C programmer in order to contribute to PHP internals. We'll be discussing how you can get involved with PHP internals, the GoPHP7-ext project and how you can help get PHP 7 ready for release.

You can catch this latest episode through the in-page video player showing the live recording of the show. If you enjoy the episode, be sure to subscribe to their feed too!

tagged: phproundtable podcast video gophp7 contribute php7

Link: https://www.phproundtable.com/episode/contributing-to-php-7-with-the-gophp7-ext-project

Community News:
Announcing the Pacific Northwest PHP Conference (Seattle, WA)
Jan 29, 2015 @ 11:53:08

The Seattle PHP User Group has decided to follow along with the example set by many other PHP user groups in the past several years. They have officially announced the Pacific Northwest PHP Conference and a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funding to help make it a reality.

The Seattle PHP User Group (SeaPHP) has been around for over 10 years. We love PHP, and we want to build up our local PHP community even further by hosting a PHP developer conference here in Seattle—the technology hub of the Pacific Northwest and cloud computing capital of the world. We invite PHP developers everywhere, and of all skill levels, to come learn, network, and hack together with us in the Emerald City at the first Pacific Northwest PHP Conference (PNWPHP).

The goal of the campaign is to raise some of the initial funding needed to generate more interest for the event, presell tickets and even attract sponsors. The conference itself is planned for September 11th and 12th of 2015 there in Seattle, Washington at the Impact Hub coworking space. If you'd like more information about the conference and updates as they come along, be sure to subscribe to their mailing list and consider helping the PHP conference community grow and contribute today!

tagged: kickstarter campaign pacific northwest conference pnwphp15 contribute

Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/seattlephp/pacific-northwest-php-conference-pnwphp

Adam Culp:
Developer pool sustainability
Aug 05, 2014 @ 12:09:33

In his latest post Adam Culp talks about an interesting (and slightly disturbing) trend he's seeing in the technology and developer community in his area: developers are leaving/being picked up faster than they're being replaced.

Over the past couple years I’ve noticed a rise of good companies no longer outsource offshore to save money, instead they outsource because they can’t find developers here. [...] I’m sad to see the dwindling number of developers available to fill a growing number of jobs in South Florida. [...] Couple this with most companies and recruiters simply drain the pool without giving back, and governments sinking more and more of our hard earned taxes into already flooded non-tech related fields. The end result is higher unemployment, folks with a degree who can’t find work, and the vicious cycle continues on and on.

As the demand grows for more talented technical people, this gap is only going to widen. New developers aren't coming in fast enough (or learning fast enough) to fill the holes. He talks specifically about what he's seeing there in Florida, but it's a story that's happening in many places around the country...and some places around the world. Developers get "snatched up" by companies and they're no longer allowed or have the time to contribute back and teach the newer developers. He links to an article that discusses the same topic and comes to many of the same conclusions.

tagged: developer sustainability hiring contribute company

Link: http://www.geekyboy.com/archives/964

Derick Rethans:
Contributing Advent 1: Xdebug and hidden properties
Dec 02, 2013 @ 09:16:50

As a part of his "Advent Contribution" series Derick Rethans has posted about an update to XDebug that fixes a bug reported around hidden properties.

This first contribution is for bug #987: "Hidden property names not shown". In PHP it is possible to convert an array to an object. [...] Xdebug's standard HTML var_dump() as well as the CLI, the coloured CLI and the debugger interface DBGp all suffered from the same issues that numerical properties were not showing in output.

With the committed fix the output of the var_dump now shows these special property names with curly braces around them and makes them available via the property_get method. If you're interested in the actual commit, you can check it out here.

tagged: advent contribute hidden properties xdebug vardump propertyget

Link: http://derickrethans.nl/advent01.html

Reddit.com:
Why don't you contribute to PHP?
Sep 05, 2013 @ 13:26:29

On Reddit.com today nikic asks you why you don't contribute to PHP, that is to the language itself or the community around its improvement.

I know many of you care about PHP and have suggestions about how to improve it. My questions is: What prevents you from writing a mail to the internals mailing list with your suggestion/proposal (or to participate in existing discussions)? [...] I'd be interested in your opinions and hope that things can be improved based on them.

Some of his own examples to kick off the discussion include time constraints, not being able to write the patch themselves and some of the issues with the culture of the internals mailing list. Other suggestions from the comments include lack of confidence in coding skills (C++), the possible lack of interest in the RFC and the current state of the language's codebase.

tagged: contribute language reason common list

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1lsha2/why_dont_you_contribute_to_php/