How to get involved in Rosegarden development

We're always looking for people willing to participate on the project. If you're interested, here are a few clues on how to start.

First steps

Subscribe to the rosegarden-devel mailing list.

As with any software project, the documentation is a little thin on the ground but there are some design documents and howtos in the docs/ area of the source tree. You can also browse the code reference documentation which we try to keep up to date. You can also generate it yourself with doxygen and the Doxyfile in CVS.

If you're stuck somewhere or don't understand something then please ask on the mailing list.

What next?

Pick something that you want to do. Make it something you're interested in and think you can help with. This is something you'll have to do for yourself, as we find being prescriptive with tasks just turns people off. If you're really interested in working with us, it's best if you choose your own job and therefore find your own motivation.

If you want to see what we're working on now then have a look at our task lists. They might be a little out of date but they'll give you a rough idea of what we're up to at the moment.

Remember that contributions of any kind are always welcome. You don't need to ask for permission and if the first thing you send to the list is a patch we won't be complaining.

If you think your work might clash with someone else's then just ask. A bit of discussion before coding never hurts and being Sensitive New Age Guys we are big believers in talking about things. If what you're planning to do is non-trivial then it's probably better to discuss it a little first.

Did we mention the mailing list?

But I can't code...

If you're a good technical writer and patient enough to work with lazy and pedantic developers then you can help with the documentation. If you're good at drawing you can draw icons. If you have experience with other sequencers (Logic, Cubase, Cakewalk) or if you're a musician, music technician or producer you can give us the benefit of your experience. We'll always need help refining the user interface and overall direction of our design.

If you're just learning to code then Rosegarden probably isn't the best place to start. Our design is fairly complex and you'll need a reasonable grip of C++ not to mention Qt/KDE programming to understand it. Despite that we do try to make the code as clear and well commented as possible and if you have the C++ but not the Qt/KDE then have a look at the Qt documentation and KDE Developer's Corner.

I've got a great idea!

Sending cool ideas ("hey wouldn't it be cool if...") with no apparent willingness to implement them is usually met with a even cooler silence.

It's not that we don't want cool ideas, we like cool ideas, but until Rosegarden is reasonably competent at the basics there's probably no way we'll be implementing them. The chances are also quite good that we've discussed something like them before so always have a search through the mailing list archives before airing your new idea.

If you're disappointed at our cautious approach to new ideas then please don't see us as dour, humourless corporate drones. We prefer to be thought of as embittered world-weary hackers with a work ethic built upon a realistic mantra - see the bottom of the development history for more details.

So, still here?

We've always found this description of the open-source volunteering process to be quite true. It's a short but very worthwhile read so please take a look.

If you still think you can help and you haven't been put off by much of what you're read here then please get in touch.