Contributing to Mahara

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If you wish to contribute to Mahara, go for it! There are many ways you can help contribute:

  • Submit bug reports and feature requests
  • Improve the documentation on this wiki
  • Become a helpful member of the forums
  • Become a Mahara Partner
  • Translate Mahara into another language
  • Write a new plugin
  • Fix bugs in Mahara itself
  • Make a Case Study View on mahara.org

Submit bug reports and feature requests

This is an easy one :). If you find a bug in Mahara, and you're sure that it's not a result of any customisations you have made to your Mahara, then make a bug report for it on the tracker. And if you think there's a feature you'd like to see in Mahara, submit a feature request so that we can examine, and hopefully implement, your idea!

Improve the documentation on this wiki

If you find a spelling mistake, a factual error, know something about Mahara that wiki doesn't, or understand another language, there's lots you can do simply by browsing around the wiki and correcting/adding what you can. Especially if you know another language, consider starting a page for it like the existing languages have (see the Spanish and Japanese pages for example). The most important page you can translate - other than this one of course - is the installation instructions.

Become a helpful member of the forums

How easy is this! All you have to do is subscribe to any forums you like, and answer people's questions and enquiries. There are forums for pedagogy and an open discussion forum, as well as technical forums, so it doesn't matter what kind of background you have. There are even entire groups for specialist subjects like Moodle/Mahara integration.

Become a Mahara Partner

The term "Mahara" and related terms are protected by trademark internationally. If you're an organisation that is selling services that use Mahara - whether that be hosting, support, integration or any other kind of service - you are not allowed to use the word "Mahara" unless you are a Mahara Partner. Partners gain the right to say they sell "Mahara Services", in return for contributing a small portion of the revenue from those services back to the Mahara project. It makes sense - the base Mahara software and excellent support services are available to everyone for free, but that doesn't mean they cost nothing to provide!

You don't have to become a partner to sell services based on Mahara - but you won't be able to market that you sell Mahara services to potential customers unless they specifically contact you and ask if you do. You are able to say that you sell "ePortfolio services" without being a partner, of course.

Partners receive several benefits along with being able to say that they sell Mahara services, such as being featured on mahara.org, gaining access to partner-only support and having increased ability to contribute enhancements to Mahara. If your organisation is interested in becoming a partner, please fill out the registration form.

Translate Mahara into another language

Speaking a language other than English and having a small understanding of Mahara is all you need to be able to translate Mahara into another language. It might pay to ask in the translations forum to check if someone is already translating your language - you may be able to help with the existing effort.

We're in the process of writing documentation to help new translators out, but for now you might want to check out the translations forum and read this wiki page.

Write a new plugin

People with a good understanding of PHP and an idea should be able to write plugins for Mahara. There is not much developer documentation at this time, but we're working on this. You can look around the Mahara source tree and try to gather a picture of how things work, and join #mahara on freenode to have realtime chat with the developers.

If you want a plugin but are unable to develop it yourself, consider getting in touch with the developers or a Mahara Partner in your area, who should be able to help you. And if you are able to develop a plugin, you should definitely get in contact with the core developers - we will be able to suggest how your work could be architectured, and developed in such a way that it has the best chance of getting into the Mahara core distribution.

The developers can be contacted through the forums or the #mahara IRC channel on freenode.

Fix bugs in Mahara itself

If you have skills with any of the technologies underlying Mahara - the main ones being PHP, PostgreSQL/MySQL, Apache and Linux - you are well placed to help out by finding and fixing bugs. Submitting bug reports with patches attached is a great way to earn yourself a beer next time one of us core developers is in your area :). Not to mention the associated fame of being listed as a contributor on Ohloh!

If you have itchy coding fingers and want a bug to fix, check out the tracker - there's a big list of them there just waiting for you! Details on how to get the latest code from git / gitorious are on the Download Mahara page.

Make a Case Study View on mahara.org

If you've been using Mahara, we'd love to hear about how things are working out for you. A good way to do that is to make a View on mahara.org as a Case Study of your usage of Mahara. There's a template View already created that you can use to get started, and it doesn't have to be too detailed or take you much time. Read the forum post for more information.