Developer community

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A motley crew of OSM developers - having a break from coding!

There is an active developer community working on the various aspects of OpenStreetMap development. The project involves many separate components, and a diverse range of programming languages (and spoken languages!).

We have thousands of users all keen for the site to get better - and, like any open source project, not enough committed developers. So you can make a real difference. But the best way to make a difference is by writing and committing code - not by saying "what you're doing is wrong, I think you should do it this way".

Getting involved

  • Absolutely essential - read the mailing list. Major decisions are discussed there - not on this wiki, not on the OSM forum.
  • Learn who to approach for what. The wiki pages about particular projects or servers will tell you who maintains/administers them, or you can ask on the mailing list.
  • Be friendly.

Don't be an "Architecture Astronaut"

  • We all know the database/x/y/z isn't perfect. Really.
  • We would like your help.
  • Telling us how to solve the problem does not help. We probably already know.
  • Solving the problem does help.
  • You may have extensive reasons for not solving the problem. That's fine, but that doesn't help.

If you don't understand the above, please watch this video: How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People (And You Can Too) Or try this list debate about Parkinsons Law:

If you still don't understand, that's fine, but we should now part ways. The best way to help openstreetmap's technical base, as a coder, is do some actual coding.

FIXME need some links to past endless mailing list debates about some of the key issues.

Also see Steve's blog post about 'Architecture Astronauts'


Afraid of walking alone trough the codebase? Join a hackfest and meet the maintainers and get help

See also