Finding my first Open Source bugs

This week on my Open Source journey, I started hunting for my first bugs to work on. I was hoping to find something simple, so I could understand how the whole process works. Once I know how to contribute, I'll start looking into more difficult bugs.

When looking for bugs, I was mostly looking for JavaScript or CSS bugs. There is a large variety of bugs available, from Python on the Mozilla Network site, to Java and C++ on Firefox Mobile Android. There was a few projects that I narrowed my search down to: Thimble, Firefox Dev ToolsRust, and rr.  Each has plenty of bugs to start with.

It's hard to understand what any of these bugs mean. Even after reading the description, I couldn't get a clear understanding on what I need to do. A lot of the bugs were also assigned to a contributor. So I kept looking for something that I felt comfortable with.

On Firefox DevTools, I finally came across something I'd be interested in. The bug [1403883] is not very difficult or breaks anything. Deep inside of the Firefox dev tools, the boundaries of a button extend to the very end of the row, instead of only over the image.

That seems like it could be an easy CSS fix, so I looked into it. It's a good first bug, explanation was clear and concise, and the author of the bug even included an easy to follow video to show what is going on. Nobody is assigned this bug either. Perfect! I asked for this bug right away.

A few days later, the bug was assigned to me. I was excited, finally my first bug to work on. I was even assigned a mentor, so if I have any questions, I have somebody to ask.

Now for my Open Source class, I had to find at least two different bugs, so the search still continued. I found one potential bug that was not assigned to anybody. The bug [3639] states that when the preference pane is open, the outer element should not be scroll-able. Basically, there are two scroll-able elements, and there should only be one. The bug does not sound too threatening. So then I asked for the bug and waited for it to be assigned to me.

In the meantime, I kept looking up at other bugs. I found an interesting Thimble bug [2140] from May 15, that nobody has claimed. A user is able to reduce the window down to a few pixel, making the window unreadable. There should be some sort of minimal width for the editor. That seems like a bug that I would like to work on, so I asked for the bug and quickly got it assigned to myself.

During my hunt for bugs, I joined a few slack groups, introduced myself, asked for any bugs that I could work on.

The developers were very welcoming. I started off by asking about my first bug [1403883] and I asked about it in the wrong channel. I was welcomed, and guided properly to the correct channel.

One developer, jlast, send me a few bugs that I could work on. 

The community was very welcoming to me, a new contributor. I was welcomed with open arms. So that's two bug that I have assigned to myself, and one potential that I am still waiting for. That gives me plenty of work to start with.I'm excited to start working on these bugs! Stay posted for an update on the next blog.


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