At the Cologne Center for eHumanities we rely on plenty of open source components: programs, libraries, frameworks and so on. Having so many useful components available is great, but we do not want to be just passive users. We are eager to contribute back to the open source community.
In 2014/2015 we started a conscious effort to develop in the open and to be good open source citizens. Here is a small selection of things we have done so far. This is just the beginning.
Our own DH projects
A selection of our most recent projects, including some that are still in progress, are publicly available on our GitHub space: https://github.com/cceh/.
Some of the code we produce could be useful to other researches, so we extracted them from their main project and released them as separate projects. Do you need to filter, extract and publish bibliographic records from your Zotero collection? pybibgen may be what you need. Do you want to automate eXist-db tasks using Gulp? gulp-exist does just that.
Improvements to other projects
Giving back is important. Contributing bug fixes and new features is the best way to say thank you to an open source project. In 2015 and 2014 we contributed to many established projects we used. Our aim is to make the project even better for all other users. For example we provided a new way to generate IDs to Artefactual’s AtoM that made ingestion of millions of records a matter of seconds instead of hours, while generating better URLs at the same time . We also reported other small problems and features [4,5,6,7,8]. In Saxon we pointed out two problems that once fixed made some XSLT run an order of magnitude faster [9,10,11,12]. We also produced detailed problem reports with test cases to eXist-db [13,14,15,16], Chromium  and other development tools [18,19,20].
These were our contributions for 2015. Let’s see what awaits us in 2016.