Caution: Feed an Open Source Project and it might become yours.

Hear my cautionary tale,
I fed an OSS project 14 years ago. This article was published in 2018.  It followed me home and I've been keeping it on life support since that time.  OSS is great but know this about small or slow moving projects:
"it may follow you home if you feed it" 
We needed a patch for a project back in 2004. The original author wasn't interested in the project any more. I became a contributor and pushed out that release and 10 more with ever slowing rate of change.  The last release was mid 2015. 

You would think the project was dead, given that the last release: migrated to Windows 7 APIs, added mostly stable 64 bit support, compiled against java 6 and used Visual Studio 2013 for the MS integration. Soruceforge dropped the project version control system, CVS, in 2015.

Two folks recently (2018) submitted a couple new fixes. A quick site check showed the project still has over 900 downloads per week! That was a surprise.

That compelled me to put the paddles to the project one more time and do another release. I had to migrate the code base from Sourceforge CVS to Sourceforge GIT,  rebuild a development environment and verify I could still build and run the tests.  Two days later the project took a fresh breath and had a new release for the first time in several years.  The thing just won't go away.

Open source projects are great because they make it possible to enhance and fix a product on your own schedule.  Source code access means developers can see where their own code or the OSS code has issues and take actions. The project can be used and updated long after the original company or team moves on. This is very different from closed source software.

2020 Addendum

I thought it was dead but still several hundred people per week download the project.

Someone submitted a patch in late 2018.  I migrated the repository to GitHub and rebuilt the development environment again, this time on VS 2019 Community and Windows 10 libraries.  

The original SourceForge home

This project discussed is now old enough to vote:

Now on GitHub

In 2020, project has moved to GitHub


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