Improving the Maintainability of FOSS Projects

by chromatic

Way back in December, Tim Janik wrote State of the Gtk+ Maintenance.

Like many large projects, Gtk+ is an essential part of many free software desktops. Like many projects, it's also grown organically. Like many projects, it has far fewer core developers than you might expect.

It can be difficult to mentor new developers through the process of making a first contribution to becoming full-fledged developers. That doesn't happen very often, in my experience. What I appreciate most about Tim's message is that he explores all of the necessary issues to improve the Gtk+ project to the point of making that goal more reasonable.

I've long believed that having source code available under a free license is no guarantee of utility, much less attractiveness to potential contributors. Thoughtful project governance and management is, perhaps, an order of magnitude more likely to make one project more attractive and sustainable.