Archive | September, 2007

September Project of the Month: OpenBravo

I am pleased to announce that Openbravo is our Project of the Month for September, 2007! You can read all about this highly interesting project on the September 2007 Project of the Month page. Thanks to Jordi Mas for helping to coordinate the interviews with the team at Openbravo!

The Many Hats of SourceForge.net

I thought I had a pretty good idea what Dana Blankenhorn’s post entitled “Yahoo, another list of open source projects” was going to be about before I read it. However, I was surprised to find out that it wasn’t another article about the recent Yahoo acquisiton of our very own Zimbra (which, yes, is very cool), but it was actually about Open Source God, a consumer-facing directory of open source products.

What caught my attention most was where Dana writes that “Sourceforge does a great job serving developers, and Slashdot does fine with kibbutzers, as we do with news, but it would be shocking to me if no one turned this basic idea into a full-fledged, full-time site with its own URL.” Perhaps I’m missing the forest for the trees, but the thing that really stuck with me was the first part.

You know, the part about SourceForge. It’s a mildly embarrassing condition I’ve developed over my time with SourceForge.net: I tend to focus on what people write about us and take it somewhat literally, even if it makes me miss the point completely. Not that I found the actual point of his article uninteresting – in fact, I think he’s got a great point – but it was the first part of that sentence that got my mind moving.

Initially, I was pleased that he believes our efforts over the years have paid off for developers, but as time went by I began to wonder whether that’s how the world sees us: as a site that serves developers. What is SourceForge.net, anyway?

So stay tuned as I do a five part series on The Many Hats of SourceForge.net, about the roles SourceForge.net plays in the open source ecosystem. Each post will explore the site from the perspective of a different type of user with unique needs and expectations. You’ll love it because it’s nutritious and delicious.

See you then.
Ross

[ Continue reading: Part one: Catalyst ]

Why People Don’t Participate

Last week, on his blog, open source software analyst Alex Fletcher highlighted ease of participation as an indicator of successful projects, and asked whether providing incentives is the answer for projects seeking more collaboration. The short answer is yes, but I think it’s also got something to do with barriers. In fact, surprisingly enough, I think that many of the ideas known intrinsically by most salespeople can be used to increase open source participation.
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The Personal Economics of Open Source

I came across an article by Zubin Jelveh at Portfolio.com today about the motivations behind FOSS development. He cites a recent study of SourceForge.net projects from the International Economics and Economic Policy journal that analyzes the productivity of FOSS developers working with differently restrictive licenses.

Zubin suggests that projects with less restrictive licenses provide “a potential monetary payoff down the line” which makes their participants more productive. I find his outlook a tad on the cynical side – especially when he suggests that developers without this potential monetary payoff “don’t work as hard” – but ultimately I agree with him for different reasons.
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