Ayende @ Rahien

It's a girl

Ayende's Open Source Project Maturity Model

From my point of view, there is a very easy model for the maturity of an Open Source project. Look at the answers in the project's mailing list. The questions do no matter.

The model is simple, the higher the percentage of answers given by non project members, the more mature the project is.

Comments

Simone
02/12/2009 09:25 AM by
Simone

That's a very good point...

I think you mean "the higher the perc of non member" or "the lower the perc of project member" :)

you might also think of: "the number of posts/articles written by non project members"

Demis
02/12/2009 11:54 AM by
Demis

That really is only a metric of the popularity of the Open Source project not its quality or maturity.

Kyle Szklenski
02/12/2009 12:02 PM by
Kyle Szklenski

I agree with Simone that it should probably be the HIGHER the perc, but I think Demis' objection is powerful, too. So I think it would have to be changed to: The higher the percentage of correct answers from non-members... Hm, even that can have the same objection raised. It might require you to look at the quality of questions, too - if they are not very good questions, then maybe your project is less mature, but if they're good, and maybe complex questions, then it seems like people had time to dig into your project and are now having questions about details. Anyone else's thoughts on the subject?

Anders
02/12/2009 12:15 PM by
Anders

Perhaps when you can find good quality answers on Stackoverflow?

Ayende Rahien
02/12/2009 12:24 PM by
Ayende Rahien

Demis,

No, it is not.

The number of questions is the measure of popularity.

The number of answers is a good indication for its maturity

Krzysztof Kozmic
02/12/2009 12:25 PM by
Krzysztof Kozmic

Either you made a typo, or I completely not agree with you.

If I understand you correctly, the higher percentage of answers is by project members the more mature project is?

That makes no sense.

One man project where only the author cares enough to answer any questions would be mature according to your criteria.

I think you rather mean, as Simone notices, the opposite. That would be true, at least to some extent, although it is merely one of several factors.

Ayende Rahien
02/12/2009 12:34 PM by
Ayende Rahien

Yep, I had a typo.

Fixed the post.

Simone
02/12/2009 12:39 PM by
Simone

Cool... that now makes sense :) I do totally agree with you on this.

James Curran
02/12/2009 05:29 PM by
James Curran

That does lead to the question of how a "project member" is defined. I'm active on the Castle Developer mail list, but I'm not a committer. Am I a member or not?

Billy McCafferty
02/12/2009 08:30 PM by
Billy McCafferty

We need a certification program...I'm officially abandoning CMMI - I wanna be OSPMM Level 5!

Ayende Rahien
02/13/2009 01:14 AM by
Ayende Rahien

James,

Project Member, in this case, is either the founder or the committers.

Daniel Auger
02/13/2009 02:24 AM by
Daniel Auger

I agree, but I would say that this also applies to non-open source projects in some sort of fashion although maturity may not be the most correct word. The other day at work we were having a meeting about moving possibly moving to NHibernate. Maturity and support came up. I made a comment in earnest that it was easier to get help with very difficult issues related to NHibernate compared to getting help with other products that were considered to be very mature such as Crystal Reports.

Tim Barcz
02/15/2009 12:07 AM by
Tim Barcz

I would like to adress the stackoverflow comment...while stackoverlow is very cool it does add "one more place to look. With any software product there should be a single authoritative source for anwers. If an answer cannot be found through this source the net should then be cast wider. I see RhinoMocks questions pop up on stackoverflow and other sites and wonder why the person asked the question there rather than, to me, the most obvious place. (Probably has to due with points or badges or some other metric not awarded on a mailing list)

It probably should be said here that I myself am quite active on the Rhino mailing list and am quite partieal to the help that myself and the other dedicated mailing list members supply.

Tim Barcz
02/15/2009 08:01 PM by
Tim Barcz

So rereading the comments above I sound like a pompous ass depending on how you read the last sentence of the first paragraph of my comment. My point was the obvious place would be the mailing list (not myself personally).

That's what I get for trying to comment on a blog post from a blackberry while sitting in the bathroom at the local Barnes and Noble....

Comments have been closed on this topic.