Lowell:Starting Open Source Projects

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Do you have a software project you're thinking about releasing as open source? Are you thinking about starting an open source project? Let's talk!

  • Introductions - who are you, why did you come to this session?
  • What it means to make code open source
    • Licensing (see http://www.opensource.org/ for lots of licensing information)
    • Community
    • Revenue models
      • Yes, you can charge for it, although most don't
      • If it really takes off - revenue for support
  • How to get other people to help
    • Building a community of users and developers
      • what does the software do? If it replicates something an already successful project does, getting it adopted might be hard
      • Find colleagues in organizations that are like yours, that have similar problems to solve.
      • If your organization has resources - hire help
    • Spreading the word
      • Field-specific lists, NOSI list, NTEN lists
  • Documentation and ease of installation
    • Depending on what you are developing - it won't be just serious geeks that want to try it out.
    • It won't go far if people can't install it (take it from me.)
    • Don't let documentation be the last thing you do - document as you go along