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Notes on Open Source Community Building by Matthias Stürmer

Some notes and quotes from this excellent paper. If you want to cheat a little jump to page 104, but the entire paper is worth reading. Also see page 112 for some good quotes and the writer’s conclusions. Kudos to Mattias on this work.

In addition to the subject matter, it was quite interesting to observe the evolution of collaboration tools and programming languages in the past 5 years.

On the Open Source Project Community and Members


“Diversity helps to guarantee stability by including different perspectives.” - Wechner

“Open source projects are not one man shows” - Rothfuss

“The community must be able to find consensus and at the same time define priorities.” - Wechner

On the Role of Project Leadership


“When you lose interest in a program, your last duty to it is to hand it off to a competent successor.“ - Raymond

“You’ve got all of these tasks floating around and then people take tasks that they want to do. I think what makes the core programmers special is that they’re willing to do the tasks that no one else does because I think they take a greater sense of personal responsibility and a more long-term approach.” - Ian Clark

“Besides some amount of this good humbleness it’s important to communicate your vision clearly - and to give arguments why you have this specific vision.” - Wechner

Getting Started - Project Prerequisites


“It’s always better if there is already code available instead of just ideas. In SourceForge there are many ideas that never catch on. If some code is already available it’s much easier to find people because usually nobody has time to study ideas and plans. You can’t submit patches for ideas. There are so many other things to do, so it must be attractive.” - Rothfuss

“You should publish a software only when it’s quality is sufficient.” - Bühlmann

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