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9. What To Avoid--Known Problems and Failures

As you work to move your project forward, it is inevitable that you will make some mistakes. How you respond to them can be critical to your project's success. If you are honest with your community about what was done and take steps to correct matters, then your project can move forward with strengthened mutual respect between you and your community. If you refuse to admit that there is a problem or ignore the wishes of your community members, then they will have less trust in you and your intentions. This is especially critical for large companies, because outside developers often start off with a low level of trust concerning the company's motives. Any act that reinforces their fears hurts your project's chances of success. When your actions demonstrate your respect for your community members' opinions, you earn their trust and improve the chances of your project recovering from any future problems.

In this section, we look at some problems that can cause open-source projects to stumble. We hope that by being aware of them you can avoid them in your project.


Not Understanding Open Source

Don't Needlessly Duplicate an Existing Effort

Licensing Issues

Design Issues

Code Issues

Trying to Control Too Much

Marketing Issues

Tension between an Open-Source Project and the Rest of Your Company

Community Issues

Lack of Resources

Recovering from Mistakes

Innovation Happens Elsewhere
Ron Goldman & Richard P. Gabriel
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