lecture: Open source is just about the source, isn't it?
Stuff your open source project needs to care about that isn't code
Your project's code base is rock solid, you are rolling releases early and often, your test suite is comprehensive and running regularly, your code is well performing without any glitches. Everything is in place that defines a successful open source project - or isn't it?
This talk tries to highlight some of the key questions software developers will quickly be faced with when dealing with open source: In addition to coding skills, topics like people management, naming, trademark enforcement, licensing, patents, pr and more become topics to deal with.
After years of using open source projects, running my own projects, founding meetups and conferences, watching others thrive or fail I believe that coding skills alone aren't sufficient to turn a "private play ground code base" into an open source project that other's can rely on.
Inspired by 140 characters of truth published here: https://twitter.com/janl/status/712593518015987712 the talk will focus on what topics that are usually not taught as part of programming courses will cross your way when dealing with open source - either as a user or as a contributor:
* People: Is the project willing and able to attract more contributors? Is it able to survive if the leader looses interest or time to continue contributing? How does the project deal with requests coming from the user base? How easy is it for users to get their issues fixed?
* Trademarks: Why should you care about trademarks from the beginning? How do you deal with others infringing on your trademarks?
* Copyright: Why should you care, exactly which license you choose?
* PR: While writing release notes is common practice and composing changelogs is pretty easy, the resulting documents are hard to grok for editors and won't get you on the front page of any magazine. Nor will they help you get visibility on common social media systems that might be key in informing your users about recent releases.
While being excellent at all topics isn't vital from the start, answers to governance questions decide what a project looks like a few years from it's start.