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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