48 votes
Accepted

How to explain to users that we do this in our spare time?

Put it on the front page. Put it in a pinned message at the top of the forum. Stop worrying about it. Find a way to create a marketplace where people can put up money if they care to, and someone ...
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  • 4,119
33 votes
Accepted

How do I attract new programmers?

There are a lot of things that you can do to get other programmers contributing to your open source project. Make the project useful for others I think most programmers would like to contribute to and ...
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22 votes

How to react to unhelpful contributions to otherwise unnoticed projects

Note that when you say it's "unnecessary", you mean unnecessary for you. That's not the right way to collaborate: if you want others to contribute then they should have the same conveniences as you (...
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17 votes

How to react to unhelpful contributions to otherwise unnoticed projects

Reject it with a message. Don't accept it; accepting it sends the signal that this is a good contribution and you want more of them. If that's not what you want, don't accept it. What you should do ...
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  • 8,750
16 votes
Accepted

Copyright and Contributing to an Open Source Project

This is where the problem (or advantage) of multiple copyright owners comes in with open projects. There are two scenarios, based on whether a Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) is required to ...
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  • 6,705
16 votes

How do I attract new programmers?

Supposing your app is nice and could be some day a popular one, I recommend the followings: Choose a nice name and description Choose a name which has not been taken by anyone else before. The ...
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16 votes

How to explain to users that we do this in our spare time?

I have started utilizing BountySource. If people are hounding you about an issue/pull request, you can edit the issue to include code similar to this: <bountysource-plugin> [![Bountysource][1]][...
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  • 286
13 votes
Accepted

How can I trust Wikipedia, if everyone can change it?

You are not supposed to trust it - Wikipedia itself tells you that it is not a reliable source. Instead, you are supposed to trust the sources it cites in the articles. This will mostly be secondary ...
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13 votes

How do I attract new programmers?

This works in much the same way that attracting users/a community for other things does. You might want to look at, as suggested in the comments, Community Building, which has some advice about ...
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  • 8,750
13 votes

What tools on GitHub can help me do quality assurance for my projects?

In a way you are already moving forward with help from the community; that's what those pull requests are. In addition to pull-requests, you have other tools at your fingertips The project wiki ...
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  • 6,705
13 votes

How to react to unhelpful contributions to otherwise unnoticed projects

Some guidelines that may be of use: Always thank the submitter for their patch (unless you really don't want them to submit any patches anymore, which could be possible) Establish guidelines for ...
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  • 9,006
12 votes
Accepted

What do I do if my contributors are split into two camps?

Been there, done that. Why does it happen? In my experience, a split due to creative differences usually happens because different people have a different idea of what the project goal actually is, ...
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  • 11.3k
12 votes
Accepted

Should I require that new issues be written in English?

Open-source maintenance is often volunteer work. As a volunteer, you do not owe your time to anyone and can always say “no”. So it is absolutely legitimate to close any issue that is not ...
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  • 33.8k
11 votes

Copyright and Contributing to an Open Source Project

By default under international copyright law, all copyright is owned by the person who wrote the code (or owned by the company they work for if they are an employee, or owned by the client who hired ...
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  • 2,839
11 votes

Whose responsibility is it to test contributions?

I would believe that testing the project is the responsibility of all collaborators. It should fall under the hands of the contributor, as well as the maintainer. For example, a contributor should ...
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  • 6,239
11 votes
Accepted

In open source projects, how do you minimize sabotage risks?

This is part of the purpose of version control systems, like git. When someone makes a new feature, or changes any code at all in fact, they have to commit it to the project. It's a bit like editing ...
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  • 8,750
10 votes

How do I attract new programmers?

Attract a community of users Insert some bugs Wait for the pull requests The above is only partly in jest - the second step will happen by accident without you planning for it. You need to find a ...
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  • 6,705
10 votes
Accepted

What tools on GitHub can help me do quality assurance for my projects?

How about some tools that integrate with GitHub? Do you unit test your code? (Hint: You should be.) Set yourself up with a build server to automatically run the tests when a pull request is received. ...
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  • 5,038
10 votes
Accepted

Dealing with different development environments

In corporate software development, all developers are, typically, using the same IDE running on the same version of the same operating system This is a misconception. Example: I run Eclipse Luna with ...
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  • 216
10 votes
Accepted

GPL Violation - What is our legal exposure to third parties (not our contributors)?

If the project does not create and distribute a combined work of the plugin and the closed source host, then I see no realistic liability. This is because you aren't violating the GPL. A violation ...
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  • 4,119
10 votes

How to deal with "project managers" in an open-source project?

Project management, whether in closed or open development projects, is a hugely valuable role. Therefore, the way you deal with project managers is simple: value their presence, and try to keep them ...
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  • 8,533
10 votes
Accepted

Can a GitHub Organization assert copyright?

I would not expect that Rubberduck VBA, as an unincorporated organization that lacks legal personhood, is an entity that can own a copyright (though this may vary by jurisdiction). Furthermore, unless ...
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  • 31.3k
9 votes

Dealing with different development environments

This is a really broad subject so I'll answer at a very high level and not touch specifics unless they are relevant for OSS. "Works for me" This is really the crux of the problem; you have build ...
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  • 8,533
8 votes
Accepted

What happens when a corporate sponsor goes bust?

This situation is one major strong point in comparison to closed source software. While nobody can claim the copyright anymore and therefore the license must be kept unchanged, the software can still ...
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  • 10.8k
8 votes

How do I attract new programmers?

You should have proper comments in source code and documentation for internals. Absence of such sucks the fun out of contributing. Yes, most professional developers are fine reading other's source ...
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8 votes

In what ways can students get involved in Open Source?

My recommendation is to join the development and commit-notification mailing lists for an Open Source project you have an interest in, subscribe to notifications on GitHub if applicable, join their ...
8 votes

Can anyone contribute to an open source project?

Every open source project has a policy to restrict who can contribute. This is mandatory for a project to succeed in the modern era, otherwise random "contributors" would would be injecting malware ...
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  • 2,839
8 votes
Accepted

Relicensing from GPL v2 to LGPL v2 - What if I can't contact all contributors?

You need all the copyright owners' permission to change license. There's no natural GPL-implied path here because LGPL is more permissive. It allows redistribution of unmodified binaries without the ...
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  • 260
8 votes

How to explain to users that we do this in our spare time?

I don't think you should explain the fact that you are a small dev team, working in your free time, providing zero cost software. This is irrelevant. Emphazise that your project is an open source ...
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  • 215
8 votes
Accepted

How to stop/mitigate damage from abuses of the Collective Code Construction Contract (C4)

Based on what I read the safety is that the process happens in the dev branch not master. Essentially no harm is done as long as someone spots the problem within a reasonable time period: for i = 1 ...
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  • 354

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