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The Community Blog is a personal opinion of community members and by no means the official standpoint of DNN Corp or DNN Platform. This is a place to express personal thoughts about DNNPlatform, the community and its ecosystem. Do you have useful information that you would like to share with the DNN Community in a featured article or blog? If so, please contact .

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Contribute? Yes you can!

Giving a hand with existing modules

A couple of months back, I moved a number of open source DNN modules from CodePlex to the DNNCommunity area on GitHub. Moving the projects to GitHub has some advantages:

  • The source can be easily forked and cloned: So that everyone can have his or her own copy of the source to play with
  • Enhancements can be easily provided: The pull request principle of GitHub is a boost in distributed development and working together in distributed (both in time and location) teams
  • The documentation can be easily enhanced: The Wiki is open to everyone to produce documentation. Any GitHub user can create and edit pages to use for documentation, examples, support, or anything you wish.

I move the following modules to GitHub: DNN.Links, DNN.Forum, DNN.ActiveDirectory, DNN.FormAndList, DNN.Reports, DNN.Announcements, DNN.NewsFeeds, DNN.IFrame, DNN.XML, DNN.Wiki, DNN.Feedback, DNN.Events, DNN.FAQ. You can find a list of the projects if you go to the DNNCommunity group account on GitHub.

Slowly, people seem to find the repositories with the open source modules on GitHub. There is no download counter, so how many times a module has been downloaded remains unclear to me, but there are some comments and some remarks entered in the issue tab of the various modules.

Time for some/your action!

It is nice that the modules are available, but it would be nicer if there was some additional action. At the minimum a build of the modules in VS2013 or VS2015 against a recent version of DNNPlatform, e.g. DNN 7.4.1. That seems to me to be a task that is not that complicated.

  • Fork the repo (10 sec.)
  • Duplicate the repo by creating a local clone (20 sec.)
  • Load the project in Visual Studio and fix references (60 sec.)
  • Update the version # of the module (10 sec.)
  • Build the project (10 sec.)
  • Solve the build errors (that may take a minute or two?)
  • Once done, create a pull request with the results (60 sec.)

Yes, you can!

Yes, I know, I might be a bit optimistic about the effort involved, but in general, if you do some DNN development, this should be a 1-2-3 for you. And since I like being an optimist and also want to contribute, I promise you: if you submit a pull request that enables me to build a new release, I will build that release and put it as a release in the release tab of the repo's on GitHub.

You are not a developer, you say?

Aha, you do not have access to Visual Studio, you cannot code, you cannot read or write of C#? You are "just" a user who downloads a module and tries to use it? Even better! You know how to experiment with modules and manipulate settings, etc. So you would be an excellent tester! Just download an install pack, try it and document any problem you encounter. The issue tab of every repo is an excellent place to share your findings.

Yes, you can!

You are just a content editor, you say?

Aha, you do not install modules, do not fiddle around with settings, you just write content. You are "just" a content editor who uses a DNN based website? Even better! You know how to write text and content. So you would be an excellent person to update some documentation? And fill the wiki in the GitHub Repo's? Do you know that I have a Word document with user documentation of a number of DNN modules? So, there is an excellent starting point and it is just a matter of  applying your content editor quality for the good of the community? And since there is almost nothing, you efforts will be 100% appreciated?

Yes, you can!

Interested in a way to contribute?

Go to the repo on GitHub, fork, clone, correct, improve and enhance the module, publish the result and, if possible, create pull requests for the original copy. And if you are interested to do a bit more, become a project member and handle the enhancements directly on the GitHub module projects.

Yes, we can!


David Poindexter
Nice post Ernst Peter! Maybe this is how I get my feet wet contributing to a GitHub project. Excited to try on a smaller project like one of these before I dive into platform contributions! ;-)
David Poindexter Monday, September 28, 2015 5:37 PM (link)
David Poindexter
I just attempted this for the DNN.IFrame project, but there are no VS project files. Upon spot checking the other projects, the same issue exists. Please advise when you have this issue corrected and I'll gladly try and contribute. Thanks!
David Poindexter Monday, September 28, 2015 5:54 PM (link)
David Poindexter
Correction - some have VS project files. I'll try on one of those. ;-)
David Poindexter Monday, September 28, 2015 6:06 PM (link)
cohen marbliess
So an I also Contribute to the contents displayed on the website and share my views with other members here.
cohen marbliess Tuesday, September 29, 2015 8:57 AM (link)
Will Strohl
@David: I can help you with that. We can start with some small updates to one of my modules to help you get the hang of things. Once you've done it a few times, things start to really click.
Will Strohl Tuesday, September 29, 2015 9:20 AM (link)
David Poindexter
@Will - thanks! I was able to make an edit to someone else' GitHub project via browser and it was pretty slick the way it worked. It auto-forked, I made the edit and then was able to make a pull request there. They haven't responded to the pull request yet, but I think I went through the steps correctly. Of course for more advanced edits, I would want to fork, get a local copy, edit in VS sync with my forked repository and then make a pull request. Given the GitHub client I use, I would like to figure out a smooth process so as not to whack things up. So any help would be greatly appreciated. ;-)
David Poindexter Tuesday, September 29, 2015 12:58 PM (link)

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