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I am new to open source development. I want to add some functionality to an open source project PRISM. But I couldn't find any developer guide or code architecture guide sort of a thing for it. How should I begin use its code. I have just imported the archive file in Eclipse and began reading the code. I want to ask whether there are any specific tools which will help me?

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marked as duplicate by MichaelT, Bart van Ingen Schenau, amon, GlenH7, gnat May 6 at 3:30

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The project has a Google Groups discussion group, where you can get in contact with other users, developers and the original authors. Ask your question there.

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Open source projects can be very different from each other in terms of development process. Some are well-documented, some aren't. Generating UML class diagrams might help a little if there is no documentation. You should definitely contact the developers/developer community and tell them what you want to add, they are likely to provide some guidelines for you. This is not always the case, so be prepared for outright rude answers as well (Pidgin, anyone?). Contacting is also important if you want your contribution to be added to the project.

Most projects have a mailing list and IRC channel as primary means of communication, search for those.

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+1, for "rude" developers on open source projects. If you are going to get mad when people touch your "perfect" code then don't open source your personal projects. –  maple_shaft Jun 23 '11 at 13:11
    
open source projects are like parties given by people you don't know. The social rules for one party might be "Get really drunk, act like a fool and have fist fights" where as the other one might be "Eat cheese and crackers and discuss politics." Regardless of the "social" rules, you're best off by 1. being yourself, 2. being as clear as possible but also respectful in your communication and 3. staying open to new ideas and criticism. –  Marco Sep 22 '12 at 11:36
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