When looking to get involved with the open source community, the first challenge is finding a project to contribute to. This can be a non-trivial task:
- some old repositories get abandoned and their maintainers disappear,
- some projects aren't setup to be able to accept outside help,
- 'trending' and 'popular' repositories which are often promoted on the homepage of GitHub etc., are not generally very personalised
- these repositories are often promoted for use, rather than for contribution to, so don't consider current open issues, contribution policies and licenses etc.
What it does
contributeto.tech recommends both specific repositories, and their open issues, to users interested in contributing to open source. It analyses a user's history with programming languages and topics, and searches GitHub in realtime for similar repositories. By showing targeted repositories and issues, contributeto.tech reduces the bridge to the user creating their first pull request.
How we built it
Greg Brimble and James O'Donnell are both full-stack engineers, who have worked together on a number of projects in the past. Greg primarily worked on the backend application and infrastructure setup, and James O'Donnell, primarily on the frontend, but both lent a hand to the other when needed.
Challenges we ran into
OAuth never Just Works.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We managed to create an aesthetic, polished proof-of-concept well within the timelimit, and had enough energy to begin investigating some extra features.
What we learned
We originally wanted to investigate using a new package, Responder, but ran in to difficulties with its setup, so had to leave it for another time. We both further improved our web development skills, re-affirming learning in Python, Flask, Angular JS, and Bootstrap.
What's next for contributeto.tech
- Better repository and issue suggestions for a user. GitHub have been expanding on their security alerts for vulnerable dependencies, which actively scrapes a repository's dependencies, looking at the technologies and frameworks it uses. If contributeto.tech could either connect to, or implement its own version of this, it would be possible to better refine suggestions by filtering on individual projects that a user has experience with.
- More user exposed controls in the application, allowing the user to refine and/or search the suggested issues (e.g. sorting by old to new, popular etc.)
- Expose repository licenses to the application and exclude any non-OSS-friendly projects
- Implement a lazy-load endless scroll in the application to continuely generate new suggestions of repositories and issues
- Integration with Bountysource or similar, showing the monetary reward for particularly challenging issues.