[OSGeo-Discuss] open-source project site construction

Robert Hollingsworth reh2 at prodigy.net
Tue Mar 8 09:33:35 PST 2011

First, thanks for the book link, looks like an excellent resource.

I see your point about a directory structure 'starter kit' 
and the actual procedures for managing a project as 
open-source.  At best, a pre-populated structure may 
save some busy-work while launching the project, and 
give some hints to the day-to-day operation (what tools 
are installed there, the directory permissions etc.).

I wonder if it is less 'starter kit' and more 'cookbook'

Let's take the utility and telecom personnel attending GITA as an example.   I believe they'll find their problem spaces (e.g., asset network design / maintenance) largely unpopulated at the moment with targeted open-source apps.  Let's assume that no combination of existing open-source tools solves their problem without significant additional coding.

Rather than passively waiting for someone else out 
there to develop the application, or building a solution 
in-house, I'd like these utility folks to feel empowered to 
combine forces and develop their solution as open-source.

Most certainly (we hope) they'll enlist the open-source 
developer community.  But I'd like for as few structural 
hurdles as possible to stand in the way, or the industry 
people will simply dismiss the entire idea as too complex 
and never even get started.

What do you suppose are the most effective things we as
a community can build or do to pave the way for this
model of industry participation?


I think it would be challenging to come up with an "Open-Source Project Starter Kit" that really works. I mean, launching and running an open source project is not only about making the source available under the right project infrastructure and tools, it is also in large part a different way to build and manage software and its community of users and developers, and this knowledge does not come in a box.

The book "Producing Open Source Software" could be a good starting point: http://producingoss.com/

My personal advice to anyone willing to launch and run a successful open source project would be to join and contribute to existing successful open source project for a little while, then try to immerse yourself in the way they do things, and apply those tricks to your project.

-- Daniel Morissette
Provider of Professional MapServer Support since 2000


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