FOray Users
Module Users

FOray: How You Can Help



Anyone is welcome to use FOray with no strings attached. However, sometimes people want to contribute to the project, for several possible reasons:

  • they need something done sooner rather than later
  • they recognize that the project adds real value to their business or organization
  • they think the project is so beneficial to society as a whole that they want to help it succeed
  • they simply want to say “thank you”

If you would like to help FOray continue its work, there are several good ways to do so.

Use the Software

Believe it or not, one of the most significant contributions that can be made is to use the software, tell us what works and what doesn’t, and help us track down any problems. We spend a lot of time and resources on testing, but there is no test like the real-world, trying-to-get-some-useful-work done testing that our users provide.

Support Other Users

Another great way to help the project is to subscribe to the support mailing lists and help other users solve problems. This allows the developers to spend more time writing code, and helps develop a sense of community within the project.

Another great way to help other users is by writing documentation or improving existing documentation.

Contribute Code or Ideas

If you are a java developer and have the ability to write code for the project, we can use your help. There is a large mountain of work to do. You can start by submitting patches for something that you want to have improved, or, if you prefer, we’ll be glad to help you find something useful to do.

Frequent contributors will be considered for “commit” access to the code repository. Other requirements include a certain amount of general agreement with the direction of the project. Committers are entitled to vote on project issues that come up from time to time.

We have immediate needs for developers who can fill the following roles:

  • Documentation Manager.
  • Release Manager.
  • The internal structure of the Font package has been improved, and is ready for functional improvements. Although we have resources to handle these tasks, those resources could be redeployed if someone came along with a desire to do this work.
  • We need to consider methods for caching the FOTree and AreaTree data structures to disk so that files of arbitrary size can be handled. The Java 1.4 memory-mapped files might be a convenient mechanism to handle this, but other ideas are welcom.

Send Money

If you would like to contribute financially to the project, there are several good reasons to do so. The main point behind open source software is not its low price tag, but the availability of the source code, the ability to make it do what needs to be done. Free (as in free beer) or low-cost is nice, but in reality nothing is free. Contributions you make help keep the project’s momentum going. We know of developers who would love to spend twelve hours a day on FOray instead of four, but that have to make a living somewhere. We would love to have the funds to help them do that.

When you contribute to FOray, 5% of your contribution goes to SourceForge, and 5% goes to the Apache Software Foundation. Both of these institutions benefit FOray and its users greatly, and we want to support them. The remainder goes toward tools, books, equipment, and direct developer support. To financially contribute to FOray, visit the FOray Donation page.