I asked for feedback on keys to successful source releases and it’s started to trickle in. I figured I’d post what we’ve heard so far. 

Will says that communication is key: “Along the lines of your "Experts" point - it might be taken for granted, but I think an easy method of talking to the developers is vital.  It doesn't matter what the method is (and multiple methods are good), as long as it is appropriate for your audience…”

Kim wants pictures: “I like pictures, lots and lots of pictures so... 1. Architectural overview diagrams. 2. Relationship trees not just for classes but also for project dependencies… “

Stefan makes the case for extensibility: “Extension points, plugins ... whatever you want to call it:  Give people an opportunity to contribute something small yet useful. “

Stuart likes the permissive license: “While I agree with your points, I'd also suggest that the license can be a significant factor. The new Microsoft "permissive" license is beginning to be (correctly) recognized by the open source community as a real Open Source / Free Software license, and I strongly suspect that projects released under that license will get more interest from the open source community than projects released with more restrictions. “ Mike +1’s his suggestion on the importance of the license.

Philip asks to lower the barrier to entry: “…I can't tell you how many open source projects I've wanted to contribute to and didn't because it was near impossible to create a build environment.  …”

I’ll +1 on all of these suggestions. I’m not saying we’ll hit all these in the first wave of our source releases, but they are good things to keep in mind.

Leave your feedback below. :-)