Building an open-source community takes dedication, hard work and no small number of late nights. As a community gets started there is generally a sense of momentum, ownership and deep commitment. But what happens once your community becomes established and successful? Inevitably volunteers are going to cycle in and out. As a community leader, you need to consider methods to bring in new members, spread the workload and communicate where and when the project could use help. How can you maximize growth and maintain your momentum?
The GNOME 3.18 Linux desktop, released Sept. 23, offers a milestone feature update. Code-named Gothenburg, the new open-source desktop environment benefits from 25,112 changes from 772 contributors. The GNOME 3.18 desktop includes improvements to the Files utility that make it easier for users to find, access and manage folders as well as files. There is now also a cleaner integration with Google Drive that can enable a user to directly access files from the cloud inside GNOME 3.18. Linux desktop users will also be able to choose a desktop setting that will automatically adjust screen brightness based on ambient lighting conditions. Keeping the hardware firmware on a Linux system updated is easier and more streamlined in GNOME 3.18, thanks to new support for the Linux vendor firmware update service. GNOME 3.18 includes updates to multiple GNOME applications, such as the Documents app, which benefits from a new user interface. The Calendar app has enhanced management features so users can more easily control information. The new release of Builder provides an improved developer experience with source code auto-completion for Python. Here's a look at key features of the GNOME 3.18.
Before Emby, I had limited open source experience. I submitted small bug fixes here and there to different projects that I took an interest in. The Media Browser project was always fully open source, and with the re-branding to Emby we felt that was the best way for the project to continue moving forward.
Open source's technology leadership, along with an exponential increase in the sheer number of projects, leads to a final, somewhat ironic observation: It's still tough to be an independent vendor of open source software. Those few vendors who stick to the traditional pay-for-support-only model tend to struggle, whereas an increasing number of "commercial open source" companies offer multi-tiered subscriptions that recall the proprietary world. In the latter case, less capable community versions sometimes remind you of old-fashioned "free trial" software.