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Ask not what your community can do for you -- ask what you can do for your community!
The first thing to know is that CAcert is organised into three "competencies":
Brain is the wiki area for all the paperwork: policies and arbitration and so on
comma is the wiki area for all communications and marketing
Technology is the wiki area for all the technology
If you're using our free service you might want to give something back. Here is a list of what you can do for CAcert. If you need to ask more questions, here are a few ways that broadly apply to all the ideas here:
Mailing lists: Join (mailing lists service) especially sysadm, devel, board, policy
IRC: hang around on IRC
Email contact: support (at) cacert.org
List of items to help: Check the following wiki pages.
There are three wiki pages about this topic, and of course much information is redundant, but each has a different focus:
This is the section for communications and marketing ("comma"), writing, documentation...
CAcert Support Mailing list
If you want to help CAcert with its daily work, you are more than welcome to help out on the CAcert Support Mailing list. All you have to do is to subscribe to the list on https://lists.cacert.org/wws/subscribe/cacert-support (see GettingSupport) and to wait for questions you can answer.
We collected some rules and hints:
It's OK if you address support seeking people with their firstname, eg. Hi Peter.. We are all pretty relaxed and CAcert is a community and not a company. You might feel strange if someone replies with Dear Mr. ... to you but that's OK
If you're not 100% sure of your answer or if it's something regarding unstable policies, etc. you better add a This is an unofficial answer from the support mailing list to your reply. Make sure that it's easy to see whether it's your opinion or a CAcert fact.
Try to make use of the FAQ and other wiki pages as much as possible. There is no point in rewriting the same answer over and over again. If the wiki is incomplete rather fix the page and send a link. (NB: after joining the wiki you'll need to get someone to give you write permission before you can edit anything. Have a look on the IRC channel or see GettingSupport for someone to do that.)
- Using a mail client that supports showing message threads allows you to see if someone has already answered or not. This allows for it to be easier to work out who needs help and who has already been helped. Thunderbird supports this feature.
Thanks for you help!
Testing new Software Changes
We are continuously fixing bugs in our software or sometimes even introducing new features. Be among the first ones to try them out and at the same time help us to ensure good software quality by reporting errors in our changes. More Information
Something everyone can do
Community and Marketing needs you! Have a look at the communication and marketing ("comma") page and see if there is a programme or campaign that suits your skills.
Help With Translating the Website
Help us translating CAcert.org into different languages. How you do that is described in the documentation for the translation server.
Help with Documentation
There are a lot of questions asked every day on the support mailing list, IRC ... It would be great to have complete documentation, FAQ, Policies etc. for all those questions and maybe you can help us writing, reviewing, optimizing, ... Every now and than we need help to translate drafts into English ...
Got a complaint about something in CAcert? Chances are, the problem is that the documentation or policy in that area is not good enough. Instead of complaining, help us to improve the situation. Adopt a problem and research it!
Help with the News
You can write about CAcert/security on our communal news blog at blog.cacert.org. It is now enabled with client-certs, so you can just dive in there, login and post (spam-free Look at the other posts to get the idea, or ask anyone for some tips.
Photographs! Good photos of the CAcert booth at events are always wanted on the blog.
Programmer / Web Developer
If you are a programmer, and can help with the development, please join cacert-devel maillist and the bugs tracking system. It's like this:
download the test installation and get it working.
- Search for a simple open bug and try and fix it.
upload your patch to https://bugs.cacert.org/ and to the test system.
- marshal your test team.
CAcert looks after a number of systems thanks to our system adminstration team. If you'd like to help our a current system contact the responsible system administration and talk about what you'd like to do.
If you'd like to deploy a new CAcert system to do something cool just let us know. If the board thinks it a good idea we can set it up on a virtual server. Join sysadm list and email your ideas. (Because CAcert has audited critical systems, it isn't always as easy as just downloading a package. Let's see your design/idea.)
Secure Hardware Design
Watch this space for a new emerging programme.
Business, Managers ... the Brain
Managers, Quality, Facilitators, Events
Join the Association or subscribe to the cacert-board mailing list.
If you are an auditor (webTrust, iSO9000, sAS70, commonCriteria, cISSP, ...) or have general governance experience, please go to lists.cacert.org, join the policy or board mailing list.
We need help with bookkeeping the finances, and the production of presentable financial reports. Please contact us directly on the board list.
Here are some miscellaneous things that ANYONE can do:
If you don't have time to get personally involved you can donate money to the CAcert Association using Paymate. CAcert is a non-profit association based in Australia.
See http://www.cacert.org/index.php?id=13 for more information
You can also apply for membership in the CAcert Association. See CacertMembership for details.
Spread the word!
You can help CAcert by spreading the word and getting more people to use our certificates. Just tell your friends what CAcert is and what you can use it for. If you have any kind of contact with software developers or people like Linux distributors, you could ask them about including CAcert in their browsers, certificate stores, software, ...
Perhaps you have a website? Champion your area and link to it. More on this.
Your CAcert Needs You!