Friday, January 13, 2012

My First Open Source Contribution

It's no secret I am a fan of open source software, but I am not a developer. I use many open source programs. Donated a little to a few. I recommend some to others. Gave what feed back I could. Even still I never felt like I've contributed.

For the first time in my life I ran into a problem with an open source project that I was able to fix, and of course I made those change available to everyone. In the past few months I've been playing with MediaWiki, and have gotten to the point I enjoy using it for different projects. I've added a few simple extensions to my personal and work wiki that have made life easier. Specifically, Tasks Extension and Data. I like them because they are simple enough for me to use, I can actually look at the code and have a clue what is going on, and they do exactly what I want with no extra foo foo. All was great until I went to play with MediaWiki 1.18, and discovered neither one worked.

It took me some time, because I'm am not even an amateur developer, but I did eventually finagle both of these extension until they worked. I even rigged Tasks to work from a single directory (with some help of comments from another user on it's discussion page) like an extension should. All in all I am kind of proud of myself. The only bummer is I am probably the only person on Earth who uses these extensions. On the off chance anyone stumbles here and needs to make either of those extensions work in MediaWiki 1.18, you'll see my changes on their discussion page under the heading "Working in 1.18" (or follow the links I just made below).

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