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How To Tell The Open Source Winners From The Losers

Filed under: News by alex at 15:45

In the last Information Week issue, there is an article by Charles Babcock on the topic of open source and its feasibility for companies.

Here’s Babcock’s classification of a succesful OS project:

  • A thriving community
  • A handful of lead developers, a large body of contributors, and a substantial–or at least motivated–user group offering ideas.

  • Disruptive goals
  • Does something notably better than commercial code. Free isn’t enough.

  • A benevolent dictator
  • Leader who can inspire and guide developers, asking the right questions and letting only the right code in.

  • Transparency
  • Decisions are made openly, with threads of discussion, active mailing list, and negative and positive comments aired.

  • Civility
  • Strong forums police against personal attacks or niggling issues, focus on big goals.

  • Documentation
  • What good’s a project that can’t be implemented by those outside its development?

  • Employed developers
  • The key developers need to work on it full time.

  • A clear license
  • Some are very business friendly, others clear as mud.

  • Commercial support
  • Companies need more than e-mail support from volunteers. Is there a solid company employing people you can call?

1 Comment »
  1. Here a another link to the Business Readiness Rating for open source.

    Is another source for companies to determine whether the open source software they are considering is mature enough to adopt. It’s could also be a tool to assist open source developers in creating and delivering software geared towards enterprise use.

    Comment by gerhard on February 16, 2007, 20:45

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