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Hacktoberfest Adds GitLab Support, Updates Participation Requirements to Combat Open Source Project Spam

The 8th annual Hacktoberfest is underway with a few important changes this year. Hacktoberfest, a virtual event sponsored by DigitalOcean and community partners, has traditionally encouraged open source contribution during the month of October by rewarding participants with a t-shirt for submitting pull requests. The initiative has added support for participation on GitLab this year, a highly requested expansion that will include more open source projects that aren’t hosted on GitHub.

Participation has grown from 676 people the first year to over 150,000 in recent years. In 2021, the program has been changed to be only applicable to opt-in repositories after being linked to an influx of spam for open source maintainers in previous years. Maintainers of popular projects were getting frustrated by wasting their time handling nonsense PR’s and marking them as spam during Hacktoberfest.

Starting this year, pull requests will only count towards participation if they are in a repository with the ‘hacktoberfest‘ topic and once they have been merged and approved by a maintainer or labeled as ‘hacktoberfest-accepted.’ Participants must contribute four accepted PR’s to an opted-in repo in order to qualify for the free, limited-edition Hacktoberfest t-shirt.

“Maintainers are the backbone of the open-source community and this year, we’re focused more than ever on ensuring maintainers are receiving the love they deserve,” DigitalOcean Senior Community Relations Manager Phoebe Quincy said. “Our maintainer-friendly rules include allowing repos to opt-in to Hacktoberfest, ensuring only accepted pull requests count towards participants’ Hacktoberfest goals, and for the first time ever, enabling maintainers to receive a Hacktoberfest t-shirt without having to submit pull requests.”

Open source maintainers and contributors can join anytime during the month until October 31st. If you maintain a WordPress-related open source project, you can get your project ready to receive contributions by adding the ‘Hacktoberfest’ topic to your repository, tagging issues with the ‘Hacktoberfest’ label, and adding a CONTRIBUTING.md file. Maintainers are also encouraged to select issues that have a well-defined scope and are self-contained. Merging PR’s, adding the ‘hacktoberfest-accepted’ label, and marking ‘invalid’ or ‘spam’ contributions will all count towards engaged maintenership participation.