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Producing Open Source Software

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Producing Open Source Software is a great book by Karl Fogel, on how free software projects function and how to keep them functioning. "How to Run a Successful Free Software Project." Some ideas are useful for CouchSurfing right now, and some could be of help to make CS even more free and open.

It's available online.

What a project needs

  • Website
    • but not, could be wiki or dev-wiki
  • Mailing lists
    • and not the CS groups please
  • Version control
  • Bug tracking
  • Real-time chat
    • NO Flash!
    • IRC, freenode? #couchsurfing (welcome to check out #couchsurfing on IRCnet!) Or some more closed system

Social and Political Infrastructure


Packaging, Releasing, and Daily Development

Managing Volunteers

  • Getting the Most Out of Volunteers
    • Delegation
      • Distinguish clearly between inquiry and assignment
      • Follow up after you delegate
      • Notice what people are interested in
    • Praise and Criticism
  • Prevent Territoriality
  • The Automation Ratio
    • Automated testing

Treat Every User as a Potential Volunteer

  • Share Management Tasks as Well as Technical Tasks
    • Patch Manager
    • Translation Manager
    • Documentation Manager
    • Issue Manager
    • FAQ Manager
  • Transitions
  • Committers
    • Choosing Committers
    • Revoking Commit Access
    • Partial Commit Access
    • Dormant Committers
    • Avoid Mystery
  • Credit