Thursday, November 3, 2011

Team Work in Open Source Projects

What makes a great open source project? Well, first off you have to have an idea. Then you need to execute said idea.

Just over a year ago I decided I wanted to help bring an easily accessible, Enlightenment desktop to Linux users that wanted it. Shortly after the Bodhi Linux project was started.

What has made our project the small success it is to date? Well first, we had a fairly unique idea. When we started we are one of very few distros that ship a default Enlightenment desktop.

You know what really helped us get to where we are today though? Team work. The old saying of "many hands make light work" holds true even in the process of software creation. While there is no doubting that I am the face man of the Bodhi project, this enlightening initiative has been a team project from the start. We started off as a small three man team:

Myself: Packaging Enlightenment and building the ISO image.
Jason Peel: Graphics and Web design.
Ken LaBuda: Server setup and upkeep

There is more to running a quality project than just servers and a website though. We soon found ourselves needing document writers, translators, code monkeys and IRC/forum moderators. Without even having to ask community members started coming forward to partake in these various tasks. This only reinforced what we already knew: Bodhi is a project worth having. The fact that so many other people were stepping forward to lend a hand is proof of this. To date we have over 30 people working on Bodhi to make it better for everyone.

Even if a single person had the ability to modify software, write documents, creature video tutorials, translate into over a dozen languages and create a website - there really just aren't enough hours in the day. So do your favorite open source project a favor: reach out and find out how you can help!

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. Definitely there's nothing more rewarding than helping out a project that you believe in, congratulations.

  2. Unfortunatelly, there just are too many projects aimin for nealy same targets. Like desktops, distros, mail clients. Competition is good and heterogeneous needed but if we only could have more people working on fewer products. We would have more finished software.
    If there is something missing in some sofware, don't always start building a new one. Fix the existing.

  3. The most beautiful open source team work I've seen so far, its the Debian Linux. Why? Because they were able to magnificently achieve in the perfection, the most difficult on a project with those characteristics and dimension: ORGANIZATION !!!
    In my opinion, after we build a team, that's the next most important and difficult priority.