Introducing the Open Source Club on CodePlex – Project of the Month: Rawr

What is the Open Source Club?

The Open Source Club (OSC) is a group of volunteers who contribute what they can to the specified open source project each month. If you’ve ever wanted to contribute to an open source project, but didn’t know where to start or didn’t have much time, this is your chance.

Even if you just spend 20 minutes just writing up a bug report, a “how-to” user guide, or a blog entry about the tool, it counts! It’s about making the most of the time you have right now to contribute.

Project for March: Rawr

Rawr is a program for comparing and exploring gear for characters in the MMORPG, World of Warcraft. It has been designed from the start to be fun to use, and helpful in finding better combinations of gear, and what gear to obtain. (.NET, WinForm, C# 3.0, XML)"

The Rawr project is looking for

  • Issue Tracker management -  going through the issue tracker, sorting out bugs from what should be on the discussion boards, figuring out which bugs are still reproducible, and so forth
  • Writing documentation for the end user
  • Software Testing – for those familiar with World of Warcraft
  • C# and .NET WinForms developers to fix bugs and help with features
  • Blogging about Rawr and getting the word out

If you have time to help, go to the Rawr project and jump in. Contact Astrylian for any help getting started.

Special thanks to Rawr for volunteering to be our first project!

We’re looking for projects!

If you’re a project owner that could use an extra set of eyeballs on your project, or if you know of a cool project that could benefit from this, please let us know.

Projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Uses an OSI-approved License
  • Is active on CodePlex
  • The project owner wants to participate =)

If interested or want to nominate a project, contact Sara Ford.

Why did we started the OSC?

We started the Open Source Club because we want to help Open Source projects become as successful as possible.

Why a “club?”

It’s been our experience that many consumers of open source software would like to contribute back some way. It’s just a matter of finding the right project with the right needs at the right time, which can at often times be challenging. There’s also a matter of time commitments. Even if a potential contributor finds the perfect project, he or she may not have enough time to commit to finishing the task. Thus, projects are left without contributions, and potential contributors are left wishing they could have helped.

One solution is to harness the potential of as many contributors as possible and focus their combine efforts into just one project at any given time. For example, imagine if 20 people wanted to contribute just an hour once a month to a project. That would be the equivalent of nearly 3 full-time days of contributions to a project.

Similar to a book club model, the Open Source Club will announce a project for the month.  Then people in the community can choose how to assist that one project in whatever way makes sense for him or her.

How is a project chosen?

Since we’re just getting started, the OSC Leadership Team (Jim Holmes, Leon Gersing, James Avery, and Sara Ford) will select the project of the month.

Thanks to Jim Holmes, Leon Gersing, and James Avery for sharing these ideas with me, knowing good and well I would be “called to action” to make these great ideas happen!

Comments (15)

  1. Over on the CodePlex Team Blog, I announced the Open Source Club on CodePlex . An except from the post:

  2. Matt Yoho says:

    Always a good thing to see increased visibility of open source principles the world of blue. I hope it gets a lot of activity.

  3. Aaron says:

    This is a great idea and I would like to be apart of it. Is there away to subscribe to the Monthly project announcements? Could you add a OSC tag to the blog for these or maybe an email subscription? I see the "community" tag but there is a lot of other noise along with that tag.

  4. Chris Roland says:

    Awesome idea.  Mike Wood just put out the idea of doing a CodeShare week next week.  This might be a perfect match.

  5. Chris Roland says:

    CodeShare Week March 8th – 14th

  6. Kalle Hoppe says:

    This is perfect, there have been so many times that I have found a great project but find it to tedious to get involved. Again perfect!

  7. I hate to state the obvious, but why not create a project on CodePlex. That way, we’d have a wiki, forum, and… well, you get the idea. I’m thinking it’d be nice to see what the OSC has done for each project (maybe on a dedicated wiki page?) along with feedback from the team. I could also see having a list of contributors, but that could be like members of the OSC or just a list on the aforementioned wiki page.

  8. says:

    Very good idea!

    Exactly I like to be in an opensource project, but I don’t know how and where to start!

    I wish to be in one..

  9. Kiran Patel says:

    Me too! It sounds interesting to get involved.

  10. unruledboy says:

    off-the-topic: why there is no built-in bookmark functionality of codeplex? the bookmark of a browser is not portable, but built-in bookmark like the one on is portable.

  11. unruledboy says:

    off-the-topic: why there is not built-in bookmark functionality of codeplex? the bookmark of a browser is not portable, but built-in bookmark like the one on is portable.

  12. saraford says:

    @unruledboy See the feature request at Feel free to vote on it.

  13. Bil Simser says:

    So what happened to this initiative? It seems sort of klunky. Post a profile on the #1 project on CP but then nothing. A community has to grow and growth needs seeds and saplings, not fully grown trees.

    I would like to see a) this effort re-started again and b) spotlighting projects other than ones in the top 10. They’re already in the spotlight, showcasing them is like writing a People article about Brad and Angelina. It’s boring.


  14. saraford says:

    Thanks for your feedback. I would like to try this again, but I really struggled with what was the best way to connect volunteers to the project. Maybe I should have had the project owner assign work items to those who volunteered. Or maybe I should have created a wiki page to show who was signing up for which item.

    Picking the Rawr project was completely my idea to kick off this effort. Because it was already a popular project, I was hoping to see how people would volunteer and work on the project, so that i could put together a template. The original plan was to pick a less-known project moving forward.

    I’m completely open to idea of starting it again. Feel free to contact me directly (or as a comment) how we can make this happen.

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