I released a new version of Milestones PM this morning.  It’s not a huge release, in fact it’s just a bug fix.

Why did I release it?  Because I could.  Because that one bug was important to a user.  There might be other bugs, but this is the one that got reported in sufficient detail for me to go in and fix quickly and easily.

Thank you, Neal Hobert, for creating the issue.

But this process got me wondering: do people know how to participate in a Force.com Labs Open Source project like Milestones PM?  I’m guessing no.  So here’s a quick guide.

I thought I’d create the onramp shown above to illustrate the different ways people can help the project.  Note that helping the project does not require you to code.  In fact, where we could use the most help, identifying and verifying bugs, is a non-code issue.  So is adding ideas.

And all you really need to jump in here is an account on Github which is both surprisingly easy and free to acquire.  Github is easy to use.  And if you want to sign up for an account, and get to know it a little bit, the Github crew will be joining us at Dreamforce in the Open Source Lab Sponsored by Github.

Adding a new issue is simple: just go to the issues section.

And what’s also exciting is this: this same basic pattern holds true for other great Force.com Labs apps.  Maybe you have something to say about Survey Force, Action Plans, Find Nearby, or Lead Scoring.  Note that these are NOT the only #opensource apps on deck — almost all Force.com Labs apps are released under a BSD License so you can use them however you like.  If you have one you’d like to work with that isn’t on Github yet, just let me know.

Edit: Now, if code is your thing, we might have some paperwork for you to process,  but it’s super easy and is really only necessary if you are adding features.  Bug fixes or minor tweaks do not require this.  It’s a simple Contributor License Agreement — as simple an agreement as I’ve read lo these many years. (Note: I added this as an edit because I wanted to make sure the CLA was available but it didn’t think it warranted a new post.)

Questions? Comments? Add here, on http://ReidPl.us or on @ReidCarlberg.

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