How to Run an Open Source Project
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How to Run an Open Source Project

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How to Run an Open Source Project Presentation Transcript

  • 1. How to Run an Open Source Project by Sebastiaan Deckers
  • 2. Who am I?
    • Founder of Pandion instant messenger
      • XMPP client for Windows
      • Open source, soon GPL v3
      • 2-4 million users
    • Working at Directi on Chat.pw
      • Based on Pandion
      • Open source, GPL v3
      • Launching soon!
  • 3. Goals of this Talk
    • Starting a project
    • Useful tools
    • Mistakes to avoid
    • Division of labour
    • Gaining and handling users
    • ???
    • Profit!
  • 4. Getting Started
    • Choose a name
      • Remember Phoenix, Firebird, Firefox?
      • Choose something that is available, easy to remember, pronounceable over the phone, …
      • Acronyms are good, recursion better
        • eg: GNU = Gnu’s Not Unix
    • Choose a logo
      • Humans remember visually
  • 5. Code and Content License
    • Source Code
      • Copyleft: GPL, LGPL
      • Copyright: BSD, MIT/X11, Apache
    • Content
      • Logos, documentation, artwork, presentations, media, mailing lists, blog posts, …
      • Creative Commons Licenses
      • GNU Free Documentation License
    • Contributions
      • Transfer IP or scattered ownership
  • 6. Project Hosting
    • Do-It-Yourself (DIY)
      • Pro: Product demo, commercial projects
      • Con: Productivity drain, attack/spam vector
    • All-In-One
      • Pro: No hassle, integrated suite
      • Con: No flexibility, poor usability
    • Loosely Coupled Mashup
      • Pro: No hassle, specialised
      • Con: Content islands
  • 7. Releases and PR
    • Synchronised Releases
      • Major releases follow fixed cycle with others
      • Minor releases when needed by users
      • Nightly builds for developers and testers
    • PR 2.0
      • Wikipedia
      • Blog
      • Twitter
      • Ohloh
      • Community!
  • 8. Team Management Melting pot of experience and development styles Distributed location & time zone Co-developers fix bugs and improve architecture Code quality Specialist contributors, resilient manpower Easy come, easy go High motivation and passion Ad-hoc productivity Actual Strength Perceived Weakness
  • 9. Team Management
    • Lessons learned
      • Document everything, publically log decisions
        • Lower barriers to join the project or it gets forked
      • Decentralised decisions
        • Core leadership team
        • Listen to your users
      • Follow up, track progress, deadlines
        • Have a project manager who cracks the whip
      • If you build it, they will come
        • Don’t wait for people to join. Just go for it.
  • 10. User Community
    • Problem:
      • The better the product, the more users.
      • The more users, the less time spent improving the product.
    • Solutions:
      • Self Service: documentation, wiki, discussion groups, chat rooms, etc.
      • Empowerment: Expert users assist novice users.
      • Filter and rank feedback so developers can concentrate on what matters.
  • 11. Is there Money in Free Software?
    • Ways to monetise projects as a developer:
      • Sell related service or product
      • Advertising
      • Get better job offers
      • Consulting & paid support
      • Beg for donations
  • 12. Project Foundations
    • Single entity owns the project
    • Why?
      • Fixed representation of ever changing team
      • Survival assurance to users
      • Accountability
      • Legal protection
      • Hiring employees
      • Receiving income
  • 13. EOF Questions? Contact Me [email_address] http://twitter.com/pandion http://blog.pandion.be/ Shameless Plugs http://www.pandion.be/ http://www.directi.com/ http://start.pw/ Thank you for your time!