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How do you endorse/support a code project that you find helpful, be it established, emergent or fledgling?

I think there are some obvious answers, but hopefully there will be some novel suggestions too.

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please clarify your question –  user2567 Sep 28 '10 at 16:52
    
@Pierre - When you find a code project that is helpful to you (a library, a framework, whatever) what do you do to contribute to its development? Whatever your interpretation of development is, I'm interested. –  Ian Mackinnon Sep 28 '10 at 17:07

2 Answers 2

Financial Support

If you use an open source project or code, then consider making a donation, even if small. Lots of hard work went into maing the software we love. When you buy a pay-for product, you vote up or down with your dollar by making a purchase, which in turn supports the project. In open source, you can of course contribute back with code, but if you don't have time, financial donations to the project are a great incentive to the current team to keep building the software - because people love it enough to endorse it with cold hard cash (and that's often rare in the age of software piracy)!

Examples:

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I must shamefully admit that it has never occurred to me before to do this, though nor do I remember seeing any obvious suggestions or methods to donate money on websites for open source code that I use. Do you have some examples of projects that have an established method of financial support? Or do you personally communicate with the developers to organise it? –  Ian Mackinnon Sep 28 '10 at 17:15
    
I added some examples to the answer. Some open source projects have foundations that surround them and help support them, which you can donate to, like Firefox. Other, like Cyanogenmod.com and Cyanogen for Android, just have a paypal button on their site, which typically goes to the developer who works on the project or to the coordinator of the project to divvy up as they see fit (or to buy a new phone to test on, etc). –  Ryan Hayes Sep 28 '10 at 17:27

It is really going to depend on what state the project is in. If this is code that is avaialble as a completed app that's offered as free to try/purchase to continue then I'll probably pay for the app if I think I'll use it.

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