So you like the Chamilo project? Now what's the next step? We'll guide you through the ways you can help Chamilo grow and leave your fingerprint in its building blocks...
One of the easiest and most useful ways to contribute is to communicate. How? Just let people know you like the software. Have people try it, and as people try it, hopefully they'll like it, and they'll start contributing, just like you. Spread the word, anywhere it makes sense! If you have contacts in the educational press and you want to put us in touch, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you get used to Chamilo, you will use a lot of little tips and tricks to make a faster and better use of the platform. What about helping others finding their way with your own tips? The forum is a great place to do that. You will also find other people there that will gladly share other tips with you, and you will find your knowledge of the platform grow, and your popularity on the forum grow even faster. If you want to help us document Chamilo, please register to our documentation mailing-list and introduce yourself. You will be greeted by other members.
Did you say you can read English and write Swaeli? Just think for a bit. How many people who speak it will have come to this same page and read this text as you are doing now? Not much! You have a unique set of skills that we would love to see applied to Chamilo! And because we want to make it easy for you to contribute by just using these skills and focus on helping others of your community to use Chamilo in their own language. The application will be available very soon, right here. To keep in touch with other translators and know everytime we need you, just register to our translation mailing-list and introduce yourself.
You can start to translation following the next link: http://translate.chamilo.org/. We are in strong need of translations around the social network tool (you'll see that when entering the system).
Report a security flaw
To report a security flaw, please write directly to email@example.com. We are very concerned about the security of our application, so we will treat it with the due priority.
Now, let's say you found a problem in Chamilo and you are sure this is not just a human problem. *Please*, report it to us. You will have to create an account on our support website and decide which version of Chamilo you are reporting the bug for (it's very easy to find, it shows on the bottom right of your own Chamilo installation). Once you have found the place, just give us the details on:
- What the problem looks like (a screenshot is always welcome)
- How to reproduce it
- Your server/computer/browser details (if you know them)
Someone will then come and look at your report. If it is confirmed, then it will be assigned to one of the official Chamilo developers and will be fixed for the next version of Chamilo.
There are three main ways you can contribute to the Chamilo software:
If you are a designer, then we would definitely want to hear from you. Contact the designers list manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a content developer, i.e. you develop courses, videos or other things that might help our community of teachers, then what are you waiting for? Just jump in and send us your work at email@example.com. We will make it available in our contents repositories.
If you are a developer, then you will find a nice family of developers here. We have a few veteran PHP developers and database designers at hand, and we are always looking for new team members to help us make the software better. You can find all the related information on the Google Code project page: http://code.google.com/p/chamilo/
To give you a little more info right away, this is how we see your contribution:
There are two big projects currently, with a team of its own for each one (although this should be changing soon so that efforts are shared on the same version): Chamilo 1.8 "Classic" and Chamilo 2.0. The differences between the projects are as follow.
Chamilo 1.8 "Classic" was based on Dokeos 1.8 and as such is the form of the tool that most people are familiar with, and the way most users like it. It is mainly made of old (and sometimes ugly) code improved over the years (some of it dating back to 2001), and of new sections of code that have been maturing over the last few months. Its code is mostly sequential, which makes it easy to quick-patch, but more difficult to extend. Its worst issue is probably that one database is created along with every course, which might be a lot when used on huge portals with many users and courses, but that it something we learnt to live with. Although we don't plan to continue supporting 1.8 in the long term, it should be covered for the whole 2010 and 2011 (depending on customer and community demand for support). This means that we are still planning a bunch of excellent stuff in this branch and it is still interesting to join in. As opposed to 2.0, 1.8 has been through an incredible volume of user testing, which makes it a tool very easy to use, fast and reliable. If you decide to join this branch, you will get coached by Yannick Warnier and/or Julio Montoya, current technical leaders of the project, in either French, English or Spanish.
Chamilo 2.0 is a new platform. It is based on a new framework that has been developed by the Chamilo 2.0 team (the first plans were drawn in 2006 to eliminate a series of problems in 1.8). It is probably meant to be the kick-ass e-learning and collaboration tool of the future. Its first public release occured back in December 2010. It is still missing a bunch of features that are present in 1.8, but is offering a series of other features that are more interesting in terms of collaboration. Mostly, the plan for 2.0 stable was to have a stable and extensible platform in which a course space will be considered as one resource type, at the same level as a forum, an exercise, a learning path. This will enable much more customization of the product. Its code is massively MVC and Object Oriented, but extending the current base with an additional tool should be a piece of cake. If you want to join this team, either Stefaan (aka Kariboe), Sven or Hans (aka Scaramanga) will be your coaches.
To warm up, we suggest you connect to the #chamilo IRC channel on irc.freenode.net. You can do that by clicking on the "IRC" icon inside the left sidebar right away.
You will also find development resources on http://support.chamilo.org, inside the wiki of each project. You will also find a roadmap tab that shows what the plans are for future releases. Any bug or feature that has not been assigned yet and that you think you can fix is free for you to take. Assign it to you and get started. Once you have a fix ready, add one of the project leaders as an observer and send your patch inside the task. We will review it and, if OK, we will apply it. Submit about 30 patches that get approved, and you will get write access to the code repository. Once this happened, you will still be under close control for 2 more months.
If you feel like you should get in touch with us right away because you can't wait to send us a patch or a bunch of code, please register to our development mailing-list and introduce yourself.
One great way to help us go further is to become a member. You will automatically be donating your membership fee to the association, which will make sure it is used in the best interest of the software. However, becoming a member comes with a few responsibilities, and limits your donation to the amount of your membership fee. If you want to make a larger donation or if you don't want to hear about the membership responsibilities, you are welcome to make a donation directly to the association, either anonymously or in public. We will gladly publish your name on our website. You can donate using PayPal or a simple bank transaction. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.