Keeping free software projects fun as they grow

On the whole I agree with Erich. Subprojects are key to preserving positive energy as a free software project scales. But I wouldn’t say the ill effects suffered by projects as they age is just “a matter of size”. And I wouldn’t de-emphasize the importance of guidelines like the Ubuntu Code of Conduct and the Debian Community Guidelines in countering those effects, though I’d agree they do not provide immunity by themselves.

Ubuntu benefits from the Debian social experiment having started first. So the people involved have the opportunity to learn from and improve on earlier efforts while their project is still young. The DCG and CoC are no panacea, but they are a clue that lessons are being learned; deliberate effort needs to be made to keep work fun, especially as a project grows and people begin to lose touch with each other. Putting these lessons into practice isn’t always easy, but I think it would help if as individual developers we’d reflect more on how we interact within our projects and work on making improvements. I appreciate the personal guidelines Erich shared and will adapt them to make them my own.


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