Open source contributor onboarding

Open source contributors are instrumental in ensuring the success and advancement of open source projects, and creating a smooth and efficient onboarding process for contributors significantly enhances the likelihood of success.

Below is a guide that outlines essential steps for both open source maintainers and contributors to expedite the onboarding process. By following these guidelines, maintainers can establish an environment that welcomes contributors and allows them to quickly integrate into the project. And contributors can efficiently get up to speed and start making valuable contributions.

Specific features usually reserved for Enterprise users may be required for certain open source projects. Our team is ready to help by enabling the Enterprise features necessary for your open source project. Contact us to find out more.

Onboarding steps for open source maintainers

  1. Create Platform Project
    • Make sure to set it as a Public project so it will be available to other contributors.
  2. Link the project to a publicly available GitHub repository. Now anyone who activates the project will also pull down that git repo into their project folder. One command will fetch both your repo and runtime.
    • If you plan on having contributors make changes to the project (for example, adding or removing dependencies) be sure to add them as an “Editor” or “Admin”. More information on setting account permissions can be found here.
  3. As a maintainer, you will need to specify the preferred method contributors can use when working on the project. ActiveState supports both forking and branching.
  4. Advertise your ActiveState public project so others can download, work with, and contribute to it.
    • Include the “Install via command prompt” link found in the Download Builds tab of the project page. Note that entering this command will install the project, the State Tool, and pull down the project’s git repo to the contributor’s local machine.

Onboarding steps for open source contributors

  1. Create an account on the ActiveState Platform. If you plan on using the runtime as-is, without changing dependencies, you can skip this step and move straight to accessing the project.

  2. Access the project, git repo, and install the State Tool by downloading the project via your command prompt. Enter the “Install via command prompt” code posted by the project’s maintainer directly into your command terminal.

  3. To begin working on the project, it may help to integrate your IDE with your ActiveState runtime. The following IDEs are supported

  4. After downloading and installing the project, you may need to create a copy of the main project (provided the project maintainer has enabled these features). The contribution guidelines may specify that you fork from the original project, while others may prefer you branch from the original project before merging. ActiveState supports both forking and branching.

    While forking will create an independent copy of the project, branching can be kept in sync with the dependencies of the main project as they change. Depending on the project requirements branches and multiple operating systems may be needed.

  5. After completing work on the project, you can add, remove, or change packages (or package versions) on your branch without affecting the main project branch.

  6. In the future, enter state shell <orgname/projectname> to activate your project and check the current branch by entering state branch. Enter state switch <branchname> to switch to the correct branch if needed.

  7. If you have made any changes to the project, you can push your changes using the state push command. These changes will be pushed to the current working branch.