I decided to contribute to the PeerLibrary open source project. I have been involved in the Open Access movement here in Berkeley so I chose this project from all the other options that existed. After having learnt all these amazing methods to ask meaningful questions to make a foray into open source communities, I was really sad that I couldn't apply any of those methods to get accepted into the PeerLibrary community, because I was approached directly by one of the members directly when I was in class. So the process of just joining the community was pretty informal. The next steps I took were to join the mailing list, and fork the github repository to set up a local running version of Peer Library.
The barriers I faced was that the wiki for the project on github was not very descriptive about the setup and the steps for installation were in the wrong order. Anna Swigart and I were working together and she decided to contribute by editing the Wiki and putting the steps in the right order. I also found that during the setup, we were not able to successfully cache all the papers that existed in the library so I logged an issue in the issue tracker on Github. I’m currently familiarizing myself with the system using the wiki and trying to understand the process of contribution from the guidelines provided on the email list archive.
I think my experience of joining the community was very formal but my experience of familiarizing myself with the system and contributing is very formal.
added Comments Thomas 11/6/2013 (see commit description)