OpenNTF has during the last year done a lot of research and discussions to figure out what is the PERFECT Open Source Project. Based on our research, we have changed the way we look at Open Source. The result is a complete new Process for our Projects. But let us start with a definition about the PERFECT Open Source Project:

Open Source …
Identifies a problem that needs to be solved, by creating a community of people / companies that have a vested interest in solving the problem.

A Problem...
... is always an opportunity. As OpenNTF addresses primary developer or administrators, our problems are related to coding problems like "export this view to a spreadsheet". With solving this particular problem, the developer or the administrator will be faster in execution of his project. The value is total related to the speed the developer or administrator wins.

A Community of people / companies
I know some companies has this particular illusion that they are the only ones that can solve a problem like writing an Connector to Office365 or a Datasource to use Cloudant. But is that the end customer wants? If you are designing an application that consolidates calendars of your company, you should spend your time in the business logic and how you present the results to the customer and not in the magic how to access the data from the different calendar sources. There are a lot of problems that could be solved together and everybody will have success with his one use case. But anyway. We expect to see in a community of people / companies in particular developers, but that's complete wrong. The most important people in the community are the "users" in our case also developers or administrators. Think about this: The simple view export in POI4XPages would not exist without "users" who have asked for this capability. You as a user (developers / administrator) are important for the success of an Open Source project. And we have made it as easy as possible to get in contact with the developers of a project. Join and become part of the discussion. Ask for features and report bugs on for the available projects and push us forward to the next release of the project.

A vested Interest
I'm a strong believer in John Nash's addition to Adam Smith's idea about the economy. There are problems, which should be solved by communities of people and companies. It would not make any sense to have a apache-commons implementation from every developer. But every developer is capable to write a StringUtil.isEmpty() as every developer is capable to write an own implementation of a spreadsheet export. So what is the common goal, that we all have? Is it productivity, quality, speed, time to marked? Ask your self. I'm using Open Source Software, because brighter minds than I have solved a problem. If I find a possible improvement, I try to contribute it back to the community.

But at the end of the day, I've to build solutions that makes my customer happy. Using Open Source Software makes me faster in delivery.

Get inspired!
Please join and share your ideas of Problems that needs to be solved by a community of people!

comments powered byDisqus