Oct 13

Community surprise


A few factors took me away from Open Source in the last months. In a way, these months have been a “bus factor test”: looking back, they show how the project would endure without the constant hand of the principal developer.

And the summary is: Surprise!

  • year 2010 saw 6 SSHGuard releases, year 2011 saw one
  • website traffic in 2011 increased 30%
  • several packages appeared for new OSes/distributions spontaneously (we solicited hard for them in 2010)
  • download count conserved for source package, despite spreading binary distros supposedly taking a bigger bite off
  • submissions of patterns conserved (at about 60/year), still more than our processing rate
  • code contributions on the mailing list grew significantly

So, development falls, and popularity rises? Apparently so, and the magic behind is called “community”.

If I have to name a few concrete factors that might have aided this:

  • Federico’s new and awesome website
  • Maturity of the codebase
  • Time. The project has been around long enough to catch up with older massively-ranked projects on Search Engines

What can you do, as a user, to help SSHGuard build upon a stronger community? Give back with a few minutes of your time!
Here’s some ideas:

  • always speak out for stuff you like. Ideas: your blog (yes!), alternative.to, ohloh, twitter, stackoverflow, webhostingtalk, freshmeat, sourceforge
  • mention SSHGuard when someone asks for advice on mailing lists: help people find alternatives to choose from
  • help other users by replying on sshguard’s mailing list. The less posts the team has to reply, the more we can work on code

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