Including design and UX in a true community project is a challenging matter of balance because of the motivational model behind open source projects.
According to The Cathedral and the Bazaar, the key motivation for participants in open source projects is “scratching their own itch.” One consequence of this is co-ordination of contributions to support user-centric design is inherently an optional extra in a true open source project with multiple independent participants. We all wish there was a way to get genuine user experience quality as a key dynamic of open source projects. But there are two big reasons that is challenging. Continue reading
Starting a large-scale open source project? The Apache Software Foundation is the benchmark against which you will be measured.
We’re now well beyond the point where open source has “won”. We’re seeing the open source idea starting to mature beyond even adolescence into adulthood. As it does so, our understanding and expectations of open source communities need to expand. Continue reading
Maturing, successful organisations have recurrent, emergent patterns of failure that can sometimes be predicted and perhaps avoided.
Everything has a season, and as organisations age – communities, charities, companies, churches and more – they face similar diseases of time. These are emergent patterns of failure that arise not from mistakes but from the consequences of earlier success. In open source, we are seeing the same patterns emerge; this should not be a surprise. Continue reading
Accusing a company of “dumping” their project as open source is probably misplaced – it’s an expensive business no-one would do frivolously.
If you see an active move to change software licensing or governance, it’s likely someone is paying for it and thus could justify the expense to an executive. Continue reading
In previous articles, Simon has explored the idea of a seven stage model of open source adoption by large corporations. SAP’s latest moves to embrace open source more fully demonstrate its progression into the middle stages of the ladder. Whilst there’s still a long way to go, this progression is a welcome development. Read Simon’s full article on InfoWorld.