How to get started with contributing?

I’m a beginner at open-source, was trying to contribute to Fortran. Any good first issues that I could take up?


Welcome to the forum, and thanks for your offer to help. Gfortran issues are listed at bugzilla. Gfortran is written in C. LFortran (written in C++) issues are here. You could contribute Fortran code or review code for stdlib, for which there is a list of good first issues.


From my personal experience, I began to contact open source half a year ago, and although my ability is very limited, I can still take the initiative to find some small things that I am interested in and can do, and persevere.
Happily, there will always be enthusiastic bigwigs in the community to help newcomers complete their contributions.


There are so many places it is hard to answer without knowing a particular area of interest.

fortran-lang could use more tutorials and other documentation

gfortran and LFortran can use developers

If you want to work on robust implementations of general-purpose procedures contributing them to the stdlib project will help propel that.

For more domain-specific packages, structuring them as fpm(1) repositories and adding them to the fpm registry would be great.

the fpm (Fortran Package Manager) needs developers and reviewers.

Organizing information and code samples for the Fortran Wiki is one of the easiest forums to contribute to.

Discussions and tips on Fortran Discourse, the Fortran newsgroup, the FortranTips twitter account …

Making your project available under licenses such as MIT and placing them in public repositories is useful as well.

So, the short answer is to jump in, there is room everywhere.


I think reviewing for stdlib is an excellent way to get started because:

  • It’s important: stdlib needs reviewers to help get pull-requests approved in a timely fashion.
  • You learn from a lot from other reviewers and contributors. For example, I’ve learned about:
    • Algorithms (in particular hashing and quick-selection).
    • Coding standards and testing
    • Build systems
    • Preprocessing with fypp (thus better understanding the current limitations of Fortran)
    • How to use git and github at a level that is sufficient for modern collaborative software development.

Many Fortraners are strong on math in their domain, but weaker on some of the above. Reviewing for stdlib is a great way to fill those gaps, and a good basis for making further contributions.