What do you write when you are about to announce the future? What do you say when you are the harbinger of big changes to come? When you have your finger on that red button and you are ready to launch?
I guess you just come out and say it!
After many months of hard work by many people, the Magento team, the members of the Community Advisory Board, as well as many members of the community, I am very proud to announce the general public availability of the Magento Contributor Agreement to the community.
One of the goals we have been working towards is now a reality--the ability to accept code and other forms of contributions from community members around the globe!
What does this mean for the community?
Practically, it means that we can now start officially accepting code and other forms of contribution, such as documentation, etc. from the community for inclusion into Magento. All you need to do is download, sign, scan, fax, mail or email back the contributor agreement and you will be an authorized and approved Magento contributor.
What can I contribute?
Almost anything that is relevant to the project that you feel would help enhance Magento. That can be code, documentation, artwork, videos, etc. or even time to review other people’s work and participate in activities focusing on QA.
I want to just give you stuff. Why do we need an agreement to contribute?
If you’re really interested in the whole story, check out Intellectual Property and Open Source by O’Reilly. The executive summary is simply that writing software is complicated, especially when it’s done by more than one person. There are many legal rights and responsibilities that need to be protected and the Magento Contributor Agreement ensures that all community members, Magento users, contributors, developers and Varien have their rights for using, developing and contributing to Magento legally protected and ensured.
How do I get code to you guys?
The primary focus, initially, will be on code that revolves around bug fixes and/or performance enhancements. This will help us review code contributions quickly and efficiently and merge them relatively easily. It will also allow contributors to become more familiar with the code base, before moving on to more complex portions of the code and larger items such as coding new features.
You’ll want to join the Magento Development Google Group that we have set up to facilitate communication, discussion and submission of code. Please join with the same email you put down on the MCA form. Code should be submitted there, either through the web or via email in patch format only. If you’re not sure what that means or how to create a patch, please see this tutorial for more information or ask your fellow community member.
How will code and other contributions be reviewed and accepted?
Code will be reviewed by members of the Magento team, the CAB and/or other community members. If the code you submit is accepted, you will be notified, mostly likely via email. If your code needs work, or if someone else has submitted something similar, or any other reason, you may also be notified that changes need to be made in order to be accepted.
We are also working on enhanced functionality and making more tools available to help make this process even quicker and give you more insight into the process.
What about other forms of contributions, i.e. documentation?
Contributing docs will most likely take place via the wiki and we are in the process of selecting someone to oversee the process. We are in the process of setting up submission and review mechanisms for other forms of contribution. The CAB is also in the process of selecting other areas of focus for contributions and dividing up responsibilities for the community outlook and we will be meeting again at the end of October and expect to hear more then.
Who takes the questions?
That’s me! If you have any questions or comments, I have opened a thread related to this post in the forums, please post them there and I will try my best to reply. Also, as always please feel free to send me about anything, especially if you have a cool Magento story!
I would personally like to also thank everyone who helped in this process, especially the many community members who have reached out to me over the last few months. Thanks to everyone for helping to make Magento what it is today--the world’s fastest growing eCommerce platform. We are all very excited and are all looking forward to working more closely with the community on this. We are also planning some very special things for the future and you will hear about those soon. For now, go grab an energy drink (or two), throw on that geeky t-shirt and start coding--the future is what you make it!