|Syntactic Confectionery Delight|
Criterion for success in open sourceby Scott7477 (Chaplain)
|on Feb 13, 2007 at 23:07 UTC||Need Help??|
I took the title of this post from a post by Andrew Cowie of Operational Dynamics. His post is not specific to Perl, but I feel his thesis is very relevant to the Perl community. His post is an abstract for a presentation he gave at an open-source conference. The thesis is that
"There is a fundamental structural problem in the open source movement. Within a given project, things generally find a way to get done, but when a problem lies between two projects (be they peers, one dependent on the other, whatever) then things often remain unresolved…. This is actually the cutting edge area in the free software movement at the moment - trying to find a common ground for not just projects but constellations of projects.."
The idea of constellations of projects sounds an awful lot like CPAN to me. Cowie goes further to say that
"Why there are there 80,000 unfinished one man show projects on SourceForge? The “not-invented-here” syndrome means that so many of us keep re-inventing the wheel; and that’s so often because we think its easier for us to start work on something new than to contribute to an existing project. We all know there are lots of reasons for this, but a big part of the truth is that contributing is hard. That’s what we have to change."
Just replace "SourceForge" with "CPAN" and I think one would agree that Cowie's statements apply to the Perl community.
The closing statement of the post states with respect to open-source projects that "the criterion for success...(is)ensuring that the barrier to other people contributing to your project is low. If we can remove the impediments to collaboration then together we can really make free and open source software the road that into the future."
To me, the single biggest barrier to contribution to CPAN modules can be in communication with the module maintainer(s). I've observed many comments on Perlmonks where someone was trying to do something with a module and the biggest problem was that the module maintainer wasn't responding, had disappeared, etc...
What does the monastery think?