OSMAS - it's like christmas but for open source
I used a lot of open source software this year and have been doing so for the past 15 years. But this year i thought i have to give something in return. So I’ll contributing to the projects that helped me this year. So i try to spend at least 2 full working days (>=8 hours) on adding features and closing bugs.
After thinking about it, and of course padding myself on the back for having such a good idea, i thought about talking to coworkers and friends about it. The most important part is giving the baby a name.
So i introduce to you the idea of ‘OSMAS’ - it’s like Christmas but for open source.
So now we have a name, which is also usable as hashtag: #osmas
And now some very basic rules:
If you are a programmer and you used open source software that helped you (a lot), try to contribute some workdays to this project. Look in the bug trackers, are there any bugs you can fix? Is there a feature you always wanted in the tool/framework/whatever try to build it in. Go to the IRC channels, to the mailing lists or the forums, have a look how you can help.
You used a piece of open source software and you know how to do things with it? Write documentation. We all love DOCUMENTATION. So just do it(tm). Write down what you learned. If you are fluent in a language for which no documentation is available in write a translation for you fellow countrymen and woman to help new people pick it up. Finding people that are willing to do that is something projects value a lot.
If you really don’t have any time because you need to work, then you have maybe some Dollars/Euros/$Currencies for the project or the developers. Look for donate button or maybe there are (Amazon)Wish lists or just send him a little ‘thank you’ present via email or, if you know an address, as a package.
tl;dr: Everyone should, at least once a year, appreciate the work the open source world has done for them and the rest of the community in the last year. Write a tweet. Write a blogpost. Send them a nice postcard. (And even full time open source developers use others open source software - no exclusion of you :p).