Froscon Talk about Managing Open Source Projects

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Froscon Talk about Managing Open Source Projects

Felix Natter
hello Devs,

Volker and I attended froscon [1] on the weekend, and found an
interesting talk regarding management of open source projects which I
would like share with you [2].

Here are some random notes I took:
- Marketing/communication: twitter, facebook, ...
  - discussions: produces feedback, ...
    prefer references ("testimonials") from users over "bragging" by the
    team --> we already have collected many use cases that should be put
    on a wiki and linked from the front page.
  - articles in magazines (c't ;-)), blog posts, ...
  - documentation as a book ;-)
  - Froscon or other OS conferences: talk/booth?

- Support:
  - FAQ where each item can be linked directly (from doc map or wiki)
  - domain experts needed (looks like we're in good shape)
  - localized resources --> our wiki is already multi-language capable!
  - two-way mirroring between a mailing list (technical) and a forum
    (for users) --> more or less what we have
- apply for google SoC?

- user -> contributor?
  - usually "scratch your own itch"
  - communicate explicitly what features/fixes Freeplane needs ("call to
    action"), so that contributors steer in the right direction
  - provide a vision and priorities
  - provide tiny changes for contributors to get started. This way,
    prospective devs learn their way around including setting up dev
    environment (this is actually what we do to support Nnamdi/nnako)
  - provide clear patch rules (e.g. most clean code rules)
  - Important: provide feedback ("thanks!!!") to contributors!

- get funding, see ASF (not really relevant for freeplane)

- communication: Isabell discusses several media along with its
  advantages and disadvantages
  - some advantages of meeting in person or in a video chat
  - web forum, ML, issue tracker, wiki, web page, ...
   --> use the right tool for the task!

- one canonical place for documentation?

- if you are not sure that you will finish a task, make sure you don't
  block others from working on it

- project growth --> take care of the non-full-time devs (not for

- handling trolls/"poisonous people" ("jeff"?):
  - well-defined rules for communication in the community are helpful
  - take a step back and then formulate a professional reply (Dimitry
    does that very well!)

- in case: prepare your exit from the project well enough
  i.e. hand over! delegate!

- many books on the topic, search for "building successful online
  communities for open source projects"

If you agree with me in that this is useful, I would post this
in the open discussion forum.

There was also a keynote about caring for open source users [3],
but I do not consider it very informative.

The only idea I got from that talk is that we could use slack for
developer communication (can it handle audio communication as well?).


Cheers and Best Regards,
Felix Natter