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CAcert is a great thing. A certificate authority run by volunteers. Unique. Great.
Well over a quarter of a million people participate. That means they are enrolled. But help out? Translate a text? Contribute an update? Test a new function? That's maybe a dozen. But CAcert cannot function like that in the long run.
I don't want to take on a task that is too much for me, join a team, meetings, hours to spend! I have a wife and children and a job. I am sorry, I cannot.
How about this: Take a look at our list of most urgent tasks. Do some proofreading in your mother tongue. Try out a new function and then briefly note whether it works or where it's stuck. No obligation for more.
Or in other words: Not to become a volunteer, just giving us a hand.
Find your small contribution
This is our bug tracker. https://bugs.cacert.org/view_all_bug_page.php (you may create an account, if you do not have one already)
Click on the red marked field. Select one of the following choices:
- needs review
- needs testing
needs review & testing
Apply the filter.
You will now see a number of bugs that have probably already been fixed. But before we can put this in, we still need someone to check it. Or better two. And they must not be the ones who have programmed it or the ones who will import it. That's why we need you. Because our core team is too small.
Where to test
Usually, we test on the test server https://test.cacert.org
Access is easy, just follow this steps: https://wiki.cacert.org/Software/Assessment/TestserverManagementSystem
After your test, please leave a note in the bug tracker (see above): "Add a note" on the bottom of the page. You may write in a few words, what you did and as it worked or what did not work. (e.g. "subscribed with 10 different e-mail-adresses; 10 different dates of birth between 1872 and 2036" "OK, no error message if date is in the future")
How to test
Bugtracker crash course (Mantis bug tracker explained for my grand mother)
Software Testers Welcome Pack (Start - Creating accounts - Testserver - Reporting)
I want more!
Join our mailing lists! That way you can get to know a team. And maybe join in. If it suits you.
Software (coding, ...) https://lists.cacert.org/wws/info/cacert-devel
- Infrastructure (maintenance of the infrastructure)
general list https://lists.cacert.org/wws/info/cacert
System administration https://lists.cacert.org/wws/cacert-sysadm-volunteers
Don't be afraid: You don't get thousands of emails a day on our email lists. Or you subscribe for a daily digest (most days there will even be no digest).
Can I join a team and help on a regular basis?
Of course, you can! Just look here https://wiki.cacert.org/comma/Workbench/HelpNeeded to find the team that fits to you and how to get in touch!
Help! I am lost
Oh, no, we want to prevent that. Actually, we should now discuss this with you personally, listen to you, help you.
Unfortunately, that is a bit difficult. Because so few are active. We always have to decide: This or that. If we simply publish an e-mail address here, we need 30% of our volunteers (this is what we experienced a few years ago) to answer within 6 months. That ties up too many resources and takes far too long. So the easiest way is to write on the support mailing list. There you will get the fastest answer: mailto:email@example.com
I would like to help, but you missed to get into the browsers in the last 18 years.
The question is wrongly formulated. CAcert is not a service provider or a company, but a community. We are all in the same boat. We can only achieve our goals together. With your cooperation. Even a very little is enough. If each of the 6000 assurers from the assurer directory helps with something small for 10 minutes per month, that is already 1000 hours of work. That would solve (almost) all problems.
Why is CAcert needed if the root certificate is not in the browsers?
We recently asked ourselves the same question. The medium-term trend leads in other directions. This raises the question of whether we should focus our limited energies on an uncertain future.
Where are the strengths of CAcert, if not in the browser?
With personal assurance, we offer great added value. We have several projects that use the strengths of the Web of Trust and personal assurance. In order to be able to start with them, however, a few legacy issues have to be cleaned up first.
What are the most important next steps?
(1) First of all, the most annoying problems: Someone has taken time here and solved a problem. But due to lack of review, the patch cannot be applied. Partly for years. We have to change that. Immediately. With your commitment.
(2) Our infrastructure is running. But it is old. Software and hardware need constant maintenance. The work must also be documented. At the moment, one person does this alone, in the evenings when the children are asleep. If you want to learn the ropes and get involved for a longer period of time, you can do great things in a team of three or four people and gain great experience. Humanly and technically.
If I were a fairy, what would you wish for CAcert?
Since Google and Mozilla removed the keygen tag from HTML, creating certificates has become technically too complicated for people "like my grandmother". We have two ready-made ideas on how to solve this. It takes two or three to programme it and two to test it afterwards.
I work 80 hours a week, sorry, but I can't invest a second of my time. Could money also be used?
Yes, preferably a recurring (monthly or annual) donation. This will cover the running costs (rack rental and electricity consumption). If everyone in the CAcert community donated just one dollar a year, we could employ three computer engeneers full-time - and not in India or Ukraine. Unfortunately, at the moment, the annual income is rather less than the operating expenses.
What is CAcert's bank account?
IBAN CH02 0077 4010 3947 4420 0
Graubündner Kantonalbank, Chur
BIC (SWIFT) GRKBCH2270A
for Paypal and bank account in Austrlia see https://www.cacert.org on the bottom.
How to help CAcert: https://wiki.cacert.org/HelpingCAcert
Teams overview: https://wiki.cacert.org/Teams
Systems - GIT Repository / Development Workflow: https://wiki.cacert.org/Software/DevelopmentWorkflow
How to get volunteers: https://wiki.cacert.org/HelpingCAcert/Volunteers