On 12/29/09 7:40 AM, Thomas Krichel wrote:
>    Brett Bonfield writes
>> I think Jonathan and Nicole nailed it with community health,
>    I beg to differ.
>    If you requiree a healthy community to start working with a piece of
>    software, how do you want a grassroots project to start? Obviously a
>    small project will start with one or two developers, and it won't
>    grow, until a few people work with it despite the fact that it's a
>    small thing to start with.
>    Requiring an upfront healthy community is particurly problematic is
>    a small community such as digital library work.
>    On the other kind, there is widely adopted software that I got
>    cajoled into maintaining, that consider bad. Apache is one of
>    them. I run maybe 50 virtual servers an a bunch of boxes, I am still
>    puzzled how it works and it's trial and error with each software
>    upgrade, where goes that NameVirtualServer thing into, the constant
>    croaks "server foo has no virtualserver". I'm not a dunce, but
>    Apache makes me feel I am one. When I look at these config files
>    that are half-baked XML, I wonder what weed the guy smoked who
>    invented this.
>    If I could do it allover again, I would do it in lighttpd. Oh well
>    it was not there in 1995 where I started running web servers.
>    Other problematic case: Mailman. I run about 130 mailing lists, over
>    80 have a non-standard config, I am running every few months into
>    problems with onne of them, despite the fact that I wrote a script
>    to configure all the non-standard lists the same way.

I agree with Thomas' assessment above. While I don't have the numbers 
for this  I think just like there are more termites than elephants in 
the world, so too software programs. You can follow up that analogy with 
the termites also weigh a lot more than the elephants. ;-)

I think most people look at software development by focusing on the 
elephants and the ecosystem built around them which is frequently flawed 
or buggered down with the "enterprise" crud that is inevitable with 
keeping the community happy. (Do you really get a million hits?, you 
should be so lucky)

IMHO good open source software is driven by people with an itch to fix. 
The community develops and can be cultivated around this itch rather 
than "world domination". The project _MUST_ well documented [0] ideally 
actively maintained. The support of this software will mostly be taken 
care of with good documentation.

I think the OP Eric was being too modest but your MyLibrary Software is 
actually an example of good open source software -unless things have 
changed since I last tinkered with it.


[0] How to != Documentation