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Andrea Liliana Griffiths
Andrea Liliana Griffiths

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Breaking down the barriers to collaboration: Open Source and GitHub Codespaces

Being a contributor to open source software empowers us to work together on projects, collaborate, and discover solutions.

A major difficulty faced by open source projects is the onboarding of new contributors. In many cases, new collaborators may find it difficult to integrate into an existing project due to lack of documentation, code complexity, or difficulty setting up a proper development environment.
This is where Github Codespaces can be of great help. In GitHub Codespaces, open source project maintainers have the option to create online environments for developers. This tool allows you to work together without the need for specific hardware, facilitating the recruitment of new contributors. 
Creating Prebuilds is a simple way to ensure that new project contributors feel at home quickly. Prebuilds allow you to assemble the core set of Codespaces components for any particular combination of repository, branches, and the devcontainer.json file. This means that, many times, everything necessary to start working is already ready before the creation of the space, which could take several minutes or even hours if it had to be done manually. By having the Prebuilds available, the recruitment of new contributors for open projects is facilitated by offering them the possibility of contributing from an already prepared environment.

Codespaces Prebuilds allow faster starts for Codespaces created from large repositories with long Developer Container constructs.

Prebuilds allow you to assemble the main components of a Codespace for a particular combination of repository, branch, and devcontainer.json configuration file. They offer a quick and easy way to create a new Codespace. For large or complex repositories in particular, you can create a new Codespace more quickly using Prebuilds because all source code, editor extensions, project dependencies, commands, and settings have already been downloaded, installed, and applied before creating the space. If it currently takes you more than 2 minutes to create a Codespace for some repository, you will likely benefit from using Prebuilds.
In light of our shared interest in providing the best experience for open source maintainers and new contributors, we are offering a limited preview of free Storage Prebuilds for Open Source Projects.
This preview allows us to work with you to evaluate the performance and cost of providing free Prebuild storage. Please complete this form for your project to be considered.
With all these advantages, GitHub Codespaces is an essential tool for any project that wants to attract new collaborators, facilitate collaboration among their team members, and improve the workflow of their open source project. There is no time to lose! Try GitHub’s Codespaces right now to get the most out of your project.

Do you have an organization in mind that you would like to see in the preview? Leave a comment below with the name of the organization.

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