Derek Stegelman

Open Source Doesn't Have to Be Ugly

Too many times I have seen freeware open source projects start with such vigor and high expectations, only to fail or take enormous amounts of time and money. Most every time I have seen this happen its blamed on the pure fact that the software itself is free. These projects don't fail because of lack of funding, but a lack of a clear goal and the people resources behind it. I want to dive into the open source philosophy for a second and gather my thoughts.

So Ugly...

Typically, not always, but typically, open source projects are plain ugly. Wordpress may be one exception here, but in general, a lot of the free products have either no designer, or little effort or thought put into their look. And given, it is maybe not the "most" important thing, but if the whole idea behind your product is to gain more use and a wider audience, neglecting your look and feel will certainly not help you achieve that goal.

Release Early, Release Often, but Keep Releasing

So many open source projects follow these first two and then stop once they get to a "satisfying" part of the project. Companies that build professional software don't stop, they keep improving, the keep iterating. Open source needs to follow that as well.

Document, Document, Document.

No explanation needed here I think... These are just a few of my thoughts on where this philosophy is going (or rather should go)