Growing Open Source Seeds¶
By Kenneth Reitz
This talk will be an in-depth review of the stages that most open source projects go though, and the decisions their maintainers face. Requests will be used as an example — lessons learned and best practices will be covered.
Once upon a time…¶
The Facebook SDK Python library
- Facebook rarely updated it
- Became unworkable
- People complained, got on Hacker News
- Disabled comments
Now replaced by http://pythonforfacebook.com
Public Source Projects¶
- Company open sources code
- Doesn’t maintain it: motivations are unclear
- Really sucks for users of the code
On the other hand.. Gittip!¶
- Platform for sustainable development
- Everything is open source, including internal discussions, interviews with media, etc
- Everything is an issue
- Major decisions are voted on github.
- Interviewed with journalists are live-streamed
“I’m not building Gittip, I’m building the community that’s building Gittip.” – Chad Whitacre
HTTP for Humans¶
- One of the most installed PyPI projects
- Key difference between gittip/django and requests: Kenneth makes all the decisions
- Totalitarian BDFL owns everything
- Dictator makes all decisions
- Community feedback is encouraged, but users with feedback should have no expectation of change.
Be Cordial be on your way
- Keep all interactions with a maintainer as respectful as possible
- They have likely donated a significant amount of time and energy into their project
- be immensely thankful to all contributors
- They are the lifeblood of your project
- Ignore non-constructive feedback
- Some people just take things too seriously
- One of the biggest challenges for open source
- Everyone has a limited amount of time in the day
Learn to do less¶
- When an issue or pull request comes into the repo, two other developers usually triage it.
- This saves an immense amount of time
- I can focus my time on larger issues.
Learn to say no¶
- Saying ‘No’ is really important
- Learn to do it nicely
Simple Code is Good. Complex code is bad.
“Open source makes the world a better place. Please, don’t make it complicated.” – Kenneth Reitz