Finally, my first proper OSS contribution
February 14, 2010
For a while now I’ve been working on a Danish forum for Ruby and Rails developers: railsforum.dk. It will be based on the excellent El Dorado “full-stack community web application” by Trevor Turk.
However, I wanted the forum to be in Danish, including menus, system messages etc. Not because Danish Ruby developers don’t understand English, but because I want to emphasize that this is a Danish site for Danish developers.
So I decided to contribute a Danish localization to El Dorado. Quite a work-intensive (read: boring) taks, although it was made a lot easier by another contribution: An almost complete German translation made by a guy called Manfred. So I didn’t have to go through the really boring process of finding all the strings that need to be localized.
Along the way I added a few more features:
- The option to hide the title and tagline, making the entire header image a link to the front page.
- A feature to disable tabs on the site. I need this because I want to keep railsforum.dk as simple as possible, and El Dorado has lots of features.
- Ruby syntax highlighting (incomplete, not yet submitted).
Finally, I rearranged a few items on the front page and added a new “portlet” there after discussing this with Trevor.
Here’s how it looks right now:
Ah yes, and then I had to spend some time untangling my Git repository. Because I am (or was?) such a Git newbie, I had put all my stuff on one branch, making it impossible for Trevor to merge.
It feels really good finally to have made a more significant constribution to an OSS project than the occasional patch or bug report. This has definitely whet my appetite for getting more involved into projects like El Dorado. Also, Github is really an excellent platform for this kind of collaboration – the catchphrase “Social Coding” is spot on.