How do you decide the right time for the first-release of an OSS project ? Any insight on this would be very helpful.

  • 3
    Is this a corporate thing (group of paid devs have been working on this for a while, and are thinking of throwing it over the wall) or a personal itch-scratching project ("me and my cat want a better mouse interface")?
    – MadHatter
    Nov 3, 2022 at 11:50
  • :-) In this case, it is the former, an organization building something and now looking at seeing what can be done with the project. But any insights on the the later also would be most welcome. Thank you.
    – Poonacha
    Nov 3, 2022 at 13:09
  • 3
    What is a "release" exactly? Announcing in your README file in GitHub? Tagging and making a release on GitHub?
    – ruben2020
    Nov 3, 2022 at 15:09
  • By release I was referring to tagging and making a release on GitHub.
    – Poonacha
    Nov 4, 2022 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


The wikipedia page "Release early, release often" (quoted below) explains this adequately, based on the 25 year old essay "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric S. Raymond, that discussed good open source software engineering methodology (the "Bazaar").

Release early, release often (also known as ship early, ship often, or time-based releases, and sometimes abbreviated RERO) is a software development philosophy that emphasizes the importance of early and frequent releases in creating a tight feedback loop between developers and testers or users, contrary to a feature-based release strategy. Advocates argue that this allows the software development to progress faster, enables the user to help define what the software will become, better conforms to the users' requirements for the software, and ultimately results in higher quality software. The development philosophy attempts to eliminate the risk of creating software that no one will use.

This philosophy was popularized by Eric S. Raymond in his 1997 essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar, where Raymond stated "Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers".

This philosophy was originally applied to the development of the Linux kernel and other open-source software, but has also been applied to closed source, commercial software development.

The alternative to the release early, release often philosophy is aiming to provide only polished, bug-free releases. Advocates of RERO question that this would in fact result in higher-quality releases.

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