Community Building Resources

by Amir Nettler on 10 September 2008


For the Community Building and Open Source Development Workshop, October 2008

OSS Watch produces a variety of material related to open source software all of which is available from the OSS Watch website. We have gathered here a taster selection of our material exploring the idea of community, how to participate in an open source software project, and how to best develop a community around your own project.

  • A guide to participating in an open source software community: Participating in an open source software community can initially seem an intimidating prospect. However, such communities are ultimately composed of people, with all the virtues and foibles of people everywhere.
  • Can you contribute code to an open source project?: So you’ve written some code that tweaks a feature found in a piece of open source software that you use. You’re so pleased with this tweak that you’d like to contribute it to the open source project. How do you go about doing this?
  • How to build an open source community: Having an open source licence is not enough to bring users and developers to your project. You need an active and supportive community too.
  • Sustainable open source: Sustainable open source is an open source project that supports itself. That is the project is able to cover the costs it incurs, which can be significant even in a volunteer driven project.
  • Case studies: Case studies of a number of open source projects, looking at how the projects began and their efforts to reach sustainability.
  • Crossing the Chasm: open source software comes of age: A report from the OSS Watch conference, “Open Source and Sustainability”, held in April 2006. The speakers examined what is meant by “sustainability”, and how this might be achieved and maintained.
  • The community source development model: Traditionally software is produced and distributed following either closed source or open source developments models. Community source is a development model that attempts to find a middle way between the two paths by borrowing elements from both.
  • Community source vs open source: A comparison of the community source development model with the more traditional open source model.