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Rules for Running an Open Source Project

Rules to follow when setting up and running an open source project:

  • Your project must have an unintelligible name that cannot possibly be linked to the actual purpose/use of your product. The stranger the better (e.g. Zynga, Apache, Redis, Firefox, Chrome, etc.)
  • Your website must be written from the point of view that everyone viewing your site already knows all about the project.
  • At least half of the download mirror sites listed on your website must have broken links
  • At no time do you ever put a date anywhere on your website, on your downloads, or on your documentation. You don’t want anyone figuring out that your project was abandoned 15 years ago…
  • Every book regarding your project must have a really large opening chapter that tells the uninteresting story of how your project began.
  • All white papers and blog articles on your main website should be written as sales ads rather than offering anything of engineering value.
  • You need to program your online support forums so that whenever anyone asks a technical question, the forum automatically picks a team member name at random and forges a reply post asking “why do you want to do that?”
  • You set up a kickstarter project and once you get the money and start developing your project…you sell out as fast as you can to the first bidder then grab the money and run, leaving all of your donors who thought you’d continue development after your kickstarter project was completed twisting in the wind. It is best if you can be bought out by a very rich punk who runs a social networking site that has no foreseeable use for your technology.

Just lessons learned from a lifetime of working in technology…

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