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Read the <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-bugs">FreeBSD problem reports mailing list</link>. There may be a problem you can comment constructively on or with patches you can test. Or you could even try to fix one of the problems yourself.
If you know of any bug fixes which have been successfully applied to -CURRENT but have not been merged into -STABLE after a decent interval (normally a couple of weeks), send the committer a polite reminder.
Move contributed software to <filename>src/contrib</filename> in the source tree.
Make sure code in <filename>src/contrib</filename> is up to date.
Build the source tree (or just part of it) with extra warnings enabled and clean up the warnings. A list of build warnings can also be found from our <link xlink:href="https://ci.freebsd.org">CI</link> by selecting a build and checking "LLVM/Clang Warnings".
Fix warnings for ports which do deprecated things like using <function>gets()</function> or including <filename>malloc.h</filename>.
If you have contributed any ports and you had to make FreeBSD-specific changes, send your patches back to the original authors (this will make your life easier when they bring out the next version).
Get copies of formal standards like <trademark class="registered">POSIX</trademark>. Compare FreeBSD's behavior to that required by the standard. If the behavior differs, particularly in subtle or obscure corners of the specification, send in a PR about it. If you are able, figure out how to fix it and include a patch in the PR. If you think the standard is wrong, ask the standards body to consider the question.
Suggest further tasks for this list!
Work through the PR Database
<primary>problem reports database</primary>
The <link xlink:href="https://bugs.FreeBSD.org/search/">FreeBSD PR list</link> shows all the current active problem reports and requests for enhancement that have been submitted by FreeBSD users. The PR database includes both programmer and non-programmer tasks. Look through the open PRs, and see if anything there takes your interest. Some of these might be very simple tasks that just need an extra pair of eyes to look over them and confirm that the fix in the PR is a good one. Others might be much more complex, or might not even have a fix included at all.
Start with the PRs that have not been assigned to anyone else. If a PR is assigned to someone else, but it looks like something you can handle, email the person it is assigned to and ask if you can work on it—they might already have a patch ready to be tested, or further ideas that you can discuss with them.
Ongoing Ports Tasks
The Ports Collection is a perpetual work in progress. We want to provide our users with an easy to use, up to date, high quality repository of third party software. We need people to donate some of their time and effort to help us achieve this goal.
Anyone can get involved, and there are lots of different ways to do so. Contributing to ports is an excellent way to help <quote>give back</quote> something to the project. Whether you are looking for an ongoing role, or a fun challenge for a rainy day, we would love to have your help!
There are a number of easy ways you can contribute to keeping the ports tree up to date and in good working order:
Find some cool or useful software and <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/porters-handbook">create a port</link> for it.
There are a large number of ports that have no maintainer. Become a maintainer and <link linkend="adopt-port">adopt a port</link>.
If you have created or adopted a port, be aware of <link linkend="maintain-port">what you need to do as a maintainer</link>.
When you are looking for a quick challenge you could <link linkend="fix-broken">fix a bug or a broken port</link>.
Pick one of the items from the Ideas page
The <link xlink:href="https://wiki.freebsd.org/IdeasPage">FreeBSD list of projects and ideas for volunteers</link> is also available for people willing to contribute to the FreeBSD project. The list is being regularly updated and contains items for both programmers and non-programmers with information about each project.
How to Contribute
Contributions to the system generally fall into one or more of the following 5 categories:
Bug Reports and General Commentary
An idea or suggestion of <emphasis>general</emphasis> technical interest should be mailed to the <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-hackers">FreeBSD technical discussions mailing list</link>. Likewise, people with an interest in such things (and a tolerance for a <emphasis>high</emphasis> volume of mail!) may subscribe to the <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-hackers">FreeBSD technical discussions mailing list</link>. See <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/eresources.html#ERESOURCES-MAIL">The FreeBSD Handbook</link> for more information about this and other mailing lists.
If you find a bug or are submitting a specific change, please report it using the <link xlink:href="https://bugs.FreeBSD.org/submit/">bug submission form</link>. Try to fill-in each field of the bug report. Unless they exceed 65KB, include any patches directly in the report. If the patch is suitable to be applied to the source tree put <literal>[PATCH]</literal> in the synopsis of the report. When including patches, <emphasis>do not</emphasis> use cut-and-paste because cut-and-paste turns tabs into spaces and makes them unusable. When patches are a lot larger than 20KB, consider compressing them (eg. with <citerefentry><refentrytitle>gzip</refentrytitle><manvolnum>1</manvolnum></citerefentry> or <citerefentry><refentrytitle>bzip2</refentrytitle><manvolnum>1</manvolnum></citerefentry>) prior to uploading them.
After filing a report, you should receive confirmation along with a tracking number. Keep this tracking number so that you can update us with details about the problem.
See also <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/problem-reports/article.html">this article</link> on how to write good problem reports.
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