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Get involved

ClearlyDefined is under active development. There are lots of areas to explore, decisions to be made, implementation to be done, and communities to be engaged. Just about anyone from Dev to Lawyer to Designer to Community manager has something to get from or contribute to ClearlyDefined.

Below are a few examples how to get involved. If you think of something else, by all means, reach out to the community on one of these mediums:

Using the data

The absolutely simplest thing you can do to get involved is to use the data in ClearlyDefined. The set of data available is growing by the minute so if something is missing today, it might be there tomorrow. If a whole class or community of components is missing, perhaps you'd like to pitch in and contribute some code to support your domain. Either way, the data user's guide has information on how to get and understand the data in ClearlyDefined. Check out the mock job posting for data consumers.


Projects can adopt ClearlyDefined practices by ensuring that the information for their components shows up correctly in ClearlyDefined's definitions. If information is missing or incorrect, it means the tools we use could not figure it out. Could be we need better tools or that a hint or two from you could point the tools in the right direction. Check out the adopter doc for more info on ensuring your components are clearly defined. Check out the mock job posting for project adopters.

Contribute data

If you are like hundreds of others, you may spend a bunch of time figuring out the exact source code commit for a component version, or the license or attribution details for a component. Wouldn't it be great if you could share that with folks or find information that others have discovered? Head over to the data contribution guide to learn more about enhancing the data in ClearlyDefined. Check out the mock job posting for data contributors.

Curate data

The ClearlyDefined tools are not perfect and not all projects have the data folks need. Thankfully there are people out there contributing data. Like any open source project these contributions need to be vetted, discussed and merged. That's what curators do. If you understand free and open source software licensing and have a penchant for 'getting it right', you are a perfect candidate to be a curator. The data curation guide has more information on the role, the processes and the tools for curating data. Check out the mock job posting for data curators.

Contribute code

ClearlyDefined is all about the data but there is a non-trivial service and website that makes it all happen. Whether you are a backend cloud dev, a front-end UI hacker, UX designer, or graphic artist, there are many opportunities to make an impact. The current system is done with Node and React and is just an example of where we're headed. Imagine a system that harnesses 100s (1000s) of cores to scan the world's open source and then analyze and present it to the entire community while enabling simple contribution and curation workflows and change upstreaming to communities from Debian to Node. Yeah, there's lots to do. Check out the code contribution guide and what appeals to you. Also take a look at the mock job posting for code contributor.

Many organizations already have a stash of curated data relating to the components they produce or use. That's awesome. You can contribute that to ClearlyDefined and help kickstart the community in an area you care about. Even if 'all' you've done is figure out the source location/commit that matches a given component version, that's a huge start. Or perhaps you've nailed down the contributor list or clarified some licenses. It's all good. Take a look at the data donation guide for information on donating data you already have. You should also look at contributing any new data you discover on an ongoing basis.

All this data harvesting and analysis takes compute. The ClearlyDefined harvester agent run as a relatively simple Docker container that pulls a request from a queue, processes the request and returns the resultant data. This option is not for everyone. We have some security requirements etc. to help ensure the integrity of the system. If you have a healthy chunk of cores sitting around that can be used to run Docker in a secure environment, we're certainly interested. Signal your interest by dropping an email to clearlydefined.

Often it is easiest for people to simply donate money to support this work. No problem. ClearlyDefined operates as part of the Open Source Initiative, a 501c3 (US charity). When you support the OSI you are able to direct your funds to support the ClearlyDefined work.