Contributing to Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Mac

John Miller

Two years ago this month, we made some exciting announcements about the future of Xamarin. One of those announcements detailed the open sourcing of the Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Mac SDK. Open source is fantastic for developers, but it can be a little overwhelming to know where to start on a project as large as the Xamarin SDKs themselves. If you’re curious about how you can contribute, we want to share some tips to help get you started.

Ways to Contribute

Report Issues

There are many ways to contribute to an open source community; writing code isn’t the only opportunity to be helpful. Writing good bug reports is a perfect example of an opportunity to contribute to the Xamarin SDK, while also detailing an issue you are having so it can be fixed.

Use Visual Studio Preview

Another way to contribute to these SDKs is to download and use the Visual Studio Preview. If you’re working in Visual Studio for Mac, use the Channel Updater and update using the Alpha channel. Installing previews and working with them as early as possible is vital to giving us your feedback on the next version of Visual Studio. You’ll also get to experience the very latest in bug fixes, performance improvements, and any new features we may be working on.

Stay on the Bleeding Edge

Things change quickly in the mobile world. When a new version of Xcode is in beta, we make support for that available as quickly as possible and publish a download link on our release blog. You can always find the latest packages on Jenkins as part of our Continous Builds too. This is a great way to experience the latest versions available when you’re working in Visual Studio for Mac.

Join the Community

The Xamarin SDK teams work in the open and you can join the conversation on Gitter. While not for support, Gitter is a great place to talk with the team about the development of these SDKs. If you’re not working on the development of an SDK and need support for a problem, the best option is to file an Issue.

Submit a Pull Request

Writing code is an obvious way to contribute and pull requests are welcome! If you’re looking for the best place to get started, we recommend checking for issues that are labeled help wanted or bug. Be sure to also check out the wiki for additional tips on where to contribute and coding guidelines. Merged pull requests will eternalize your name in the release notes as a contributor, and also gain our deepest appreciation!

We look forward to seeing you in the community and becoming part of the family. Thank you for helping make Xamarin and Visual Studio better!

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