Friday, 12 June 2009

How to run a Successful Open Source project

So I never posted about the recent talks I did :). Since using ones blog is great for self advertisement here goes!

The talks were delivered to members of the London Java Community, London Open Source & Agile Community and the London Open Source Jam group, it's a shame that there isn't one overriding interest group that can get together for this sort of thing, but I guess it's human nature to build small tribes.

The first talk covered off a wide range of topics that you need to deal with when setting up a successful Open Source project including:

* Getting started (Choosing your project name, Mission Statement, etc)
* Setting up your technical, social and political infrastructure
* Money
* Communications
* Packaging, Releasing and Daily Development
* Managing your volunteers

It's a long and involved topic, so you're best off seeing the Podcast or reading Producing OSS by Karl Fogel.

The second talk was actually an open forum debate covering licensing and legal issues for Open Source projects. We had some great panelists come in for this one including:

* An actual IP Lawyer!
* The chairman of the UK Open Source Consortium
* An Apache project lead
* An expert in academic licenses.

I decided to switch off the video camera as we wanted a full and frank debate on the issues and it certainly proved to be interesting (the lawyer didn't cop too much flak)!

One overriding message that came out of this talk was that individuals really need to check their contracts for the IP clauses contained within. Often organisations use a default agreement which states that the work you do in your spare time is still owned by them. Most organisations are actually quite reasonable once you approach them about this, so don't hesitate to ask them!

1 comment:

  1. Next month marks 5 years since CAT went into production at ANZ National Bank.

    We are getting together for some drinks. If you want to join contact pollob