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If you can make them feel that their contribution is appreciated (and it should be) you will have a better chance persuading them to do more things for you in the future :-).
Finding and fixing a broken port
There are some really good places to find a port that needs some attention.
You can use the https://bugs.freebsd.org/search[web interface] to the Problem Report database to search through and view unresolved PRs. The majority of ports PRs are updates, but with a little searching and skimming over synopses you should be able to find something interesting to work on (the `sw-bug` class is a good place to start).
The other place is the http://portsmon.FreeBSD.org/[FreeBSD Ports Monitoring System]. In particular look for unmaintained ports with build errors and ports that are marked `BROKEN`.
https://portsfallout.com/[PortsFallout] shows port issues gathered from the FreeBSD package building.
It is OK to send changes for a maintained port as well, but remember to ask the maintainer in case they are already working on the problem.
Once you have found a bug or problem, collect information, investigate and fix! If there is an existing PR, follow up to that. Otherwise create a new PR. Your changes will be reviewed and, if everything checks out, committed.
When to call it quits
As your interests and commitments change, you may find that you no longer have time to continue some (or all) of your ports contributions. That is fine! Please let us know if you are no longer using a port or have otherwise lost time or interest in being a maintainer. In this way we can go ahead and allow other people to try to work on existing problems with the port without waiting for your response. Remember, FreeBSD is a volunteer project, so if maintaining a port is no fun any more, it is probably time to let someone else do it!
In any case, the Ports Management Team (`portmgr`) reserves the right to reset your maintainership if you have not actively maintained your port in some time. (Currently, this is set to 3 months.) By this, we mean that there are unresolved problems or pending updates that have not been worked on during that time.
Resources for ports maintainers and contributors
The link:{porters-handbook}[Porter's Handbook] is your hitchhiker's guide to the ports system. Keep it handy!
link:{problem-reports}[Writing FreeBSD Problem Reports] describes how to best formulate and submit a PR. In 2005 more than eleven thousand ports PRs were submitted! Following this article will greatly assist us in reducing the time needed to handle your PRs.
The https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/query.cgi[Problem Report database].
The http://portsmon.FreeBSD.org/[FreeBSD Ports Monitoring System (portsmon)] can show you cross-referenced information about ports such as build errors and problem reports. If you are a maintainer you can use it to check on the build status of your ports. As a contributor you can use it to find broken and unmaintained ports that need to be fixed.
The http://portscout.FreeBSD.org[FreeBSD Ports distfile scanner (portscout)] can show you ports for which the distfiles are not fetchable. You can check on your own ports or use it to find ports that need their `MASTER_SITES` updated.
package:ports-mgmt/poudriere[] is the most thorough way to test a port through the entire cycle of installation, packaging, and deinstallation. Documentation is located at the https://github.com/freebsd/poudriere[poudriere github repository]
man:portlint[1] is an application which can be used to verify that your port conforms to many important stylistic and functional guidelines. portlint is a simple heuristic application, so you should use it __only as a guide__. If portlint suggests changes which seem unreasonable, consult the link:{porters-handbook}[Porter's Handbook] or ask for advice.
The {freebsd-ports} is for general ports-related discussion. It is a good place to ask for help. You can https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo[subscribe, or read and search the list archives]. Reading the archives of the {freebsd-ports-bugs} and the {svn-ports-head} may also be of interest.