Why and How to Build an Open Source Community

Some have claimed the reason most open source projects fail is because “99 percent of the users simply download the programs and fail to give anything back.” I disagree. I think projects fail because the leaders of the project do not know how to build an open source community. In this article, I will begin by explaining why ALL software should be Open Source. I will then outline some of the most important and often overlooked steps in building an Open Source community.


Benefits of Open Source Software
In this article, I will be using the GNU Linux Project, Linux Debian and LibreOffice as examples of successful Open Source projects. The term Open Source means that all members of the community are invited to actively participate in serving the community. This includes not only building the code, but also promoting the code. The benefit to members is they can freely download, use and modify the code. The benefit to developers is that they can have hopefully a large number of people assisting them in building and testing the code for security and function problems. Developers also can also make a good income by offering their services to corporations who need secure and functional software. For example, Linux Redhat makes billions of dollars protecting the Linux servers corporations need to store and manage their data.