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AbiWord Development Area

We follow a "standard" Open Source development process. Like most Open Source projects, this one started as a cathedral, but has become more like a bazaar. The "standard" Open Source process is somewhat of a meritocracy. This means that the more you contribute, the more influence you have.

Mailing Lists and IRC

You can sign up for the AbiWord development mailing list by sending a message to abiword-dev-request@abisource.com with "subscribe" in the message body. To reduce spam to this list it has been configured to have an open subscription policy (anyone can subscribe), but only members can submit messages to it; you need to subscribe to send mail. We also host archives of this list. This mailing list is for issues related to AbiWord development only.

Whenever a SVN commit is made by one of the developers, a mail specifying the changes will automatically be sent to the "abisource-cvs-commit" list. You can sign up for the SVN commit by sending a message to abisource-cvs-commit-request@abisource.com with "subscribe" in the message body. This list is read-only and is not archived, as bonsai already archives all SVN commits.

AbiWord developers tend to hang out on #abiword at irc.gnome.org. Feel free to join us for realtime discussion of development issues (among other things). Highly recommended.

Finding A Project

The easiest approach is to help is by searching the bug database. Query for new bugs filed against your platform (or all platforms). Severity, priority, component and so forth are somewhat self-explanatory. When you have a fix, attach it to the bug and set the 'patch' keyword to draw attention to it.

Another approach is to ask around on irc or the mailing list. State your area(s) of expertise and how much time you have to contribute. Beware that this usually leads to being bombarded with suggestions, more or less useful, many of which you probably can't do a thing about.

Learning The Code Base

AbiWord is a large program. You can use the Doxygen tool to get a feel for the code base. The Class Heirarchy may be particularly useful to you.

In addition, you can browse the source code online with ViewVC, which lets you see differences in versions and do all manner of interesting things.

Getting The Source Code

You can download the source code in a number of formats. SVN is probably the best way to go, as you can keep your copy of the code up to date without a lot of hassle.

Code Contributions

If you'd like to submit a source code patch to the AbiWord development team, please send it to the developer mailing list with a brief explanation of what it does (a feature it adds, the bug number it fixes, etc.). This lets other developers know about this new functionality, and is a great place to submit new ideas or ask for assistance or information about the source.