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Some days ago I started working in an open source project. The project was from a famous organization and they have many projects, but unfortunately I found that no one is actively working in the project I've chosen right at now (although there are several people subscribed to the developer mailing list for that project). But I decided to work there as the project seems to be relatively easy and a good starting point for me, as I didn't work in a big project before.

The team leader of the project welcomed me. I found out two bugs and then submitted the patches. I also asked them what kind of contribution they need from me for this project. But it has been three days and no one gave any reply. I want to work more, but I'm loosing my zeal as I'm thinking that I'm not getting proper attention.

Is it a normal scenario? Or I'm really not getting proper attention? How much help and attention I can expect from the community?

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I've just found some patches in that project which were submitted in 2010 but still they are not analyzed, so I'm going to look for a new project. Thanks guys for your helpful suggestion :) –  Rafi Kamal Aug 18 '12 at 8:13
You may also want to look at some of the more active projects on Github. Whether you can contribute to these project, you may be able to learn (especially about how the community works) just by watching some projects. –  Jacob Swartwood Aug 18 '12 at 16:04

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Is it a normal scenario?

Yes. A lot of projects have little activity, and it is not unusual or surprising to find that your bug fixes or pull requests receive little attention, especially if they are perceived to be minor. Ditto for general communication. Remember that the people running these projects are typically volunteers doing stuff in their spare time. Or if they are paid, their time is often committed to aspects of the project that may not be visible to you.

Or I'm really not getting proper attention?

That's up to you to decide. But complaining about it is not likely to help ... unless your contributions really are valuable.

How much help and attention I can expect from the community?

It depends on the project ... and how worthy your work is of attention. There are no definite answers.

Also, you may find it more productive to make your own decisions about what you want to do in the project rather than waiting for the project lead to tell you what to do.

Bottom line. If you don't like the lack of attention, try looking for a different project. And try to select a project that meets your need for attention.

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Based on your description it seems like you have joined a project which has reach "maturity". Well other developers in any open source project have their day jobs and sometimes their pet projects also so you should not expect email replies immediately.

Few days ago when I joined an open source project which was getting ported to a different platform I received an email from the lead with description "Lot of developers join this project and haven't done any major improvements and I am looking for a guy who can take this responsibility of this project so I can start a new project." I worked a few days there and when I lost my interest in that project and I pulled out.

Attention is secondary, zeal to work and contribute should come first and in order to maintain your interest why don't you join a project (or a small project with less team members) which interests you?, has a high activity level or just getting started.

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This depends upon the nature of your contributions and the state of the project: starting up, active development, maintenance, support.

Active development is probably the only time you'll get a quick response, without it being a critical fix.

Before joining any project you should decide what you want to get out of it -- your goals. Then evaluate where the project and how it is progressing towards those goals.

It doesn't sound like you were committed to improving the project, so overall your leaving for another project as indicated in a comment is probably best for all concerned.

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