Here’s Babcock’s classification of a succesful OS project:
- A thriving community
- Disruptive goals
- A benevolent dictator
- Employed developers
- A clear license
- Commercial support
A handful of lead developers, a large body of contributors, and a substantial–or at least motivated–user group offering ideas.
Does something notably better than commercial code. Free isn’t enough.
Leader who can inspire and guide developers, asking the right questions and letting only the right code in.
Decisions are made openly, with threads of discussion, active mailing list, and negative and positive comments aired.
Strong forums police against personal attacks or niggling issues, focus on big goals.
What good’s a project that can’t be implemented by those outside its development?
The key developers need to work on it full time.
Some are very business friendly, others clear as mud.
Companies need more than e-mail support from volunteers. Is there a solid company employing people you can call?