Frabcus asks: "I founded an Open Source project TortoiseCVS, a Windows Explorer shell extension for using CVS, but now I'm looking to hand on project management to someone else. When I started out, I had an itch to scratch. We started using CVS at work and I didn't like the interface for WinCVS, so I made a better one. Now it's a year and a half later and TortoiseCVS does everything that I want it to, so I'd like to move on to other things and let someone else take it on. There have been over 20,000 downloads, so I have quite a large user base, but not many people are active in supplying patches. Do you guys have experience of handing on an Open Source project? How did you find someone who has similar goals that will fit in with the existing code?" The thing to do is to start asking around in development circles. The best starting place, of course, is among the existing user-base. For those of you who have transferred Open Source projects, how did you go about finding your successor?
Another well timed submission on this same subject, mrgrumpy follows up with this query: "Quite some time ago (around 1997-1998) I built a Java based adventure
game called World.
Developed with Java1.1 (and at the time it was fairly leading
edge, it now looks a bit tired), you run around, collect treasure and kill things. As with all my great projects (hey, I won a Sparc5 for this), I had always intended to finish it,
but never did. Now I want to give it away to a good home where developers will continue to work on the code and bring my ideas to completion.
Every now and then I sit down and have a look at the code but I don't really have the energy left to complete it (most of my energy was soaked up with my Masters degree). Other projects have taken over now, and I'm planning to go overseas for 12-18 months, so I know I won't get back to it for a very, very long time in any serious way.
I am happy to give the code away if a team of developers want to continue developing it. I can act as a grandfather figure to the project to give guidance and wisdom, and to clarify what my vision was, and what the code does. I'd prefer it to be GPL'd or a similar license that won't shut the code up.
There was another project similar to this one called White Orb, which seems to have gone the way of the dodo, a shame because it had a lot of potential, so I don't want to release this one and have it gather dust. I could set the project up somewhere like SourceForge, but as I said I'd rather just hand it all over to someone else and just look after it.
If you're interested, you could email me, or just leave a comment below. I want to pick either a team, or an individual who I can be confident in that they'll get the project up and running."
So here are two projects looking for good homes. What's the best way of giving up control of an Open Source project (with the potential of varying degrees of continued project development by the original maintainer) in the hopes of it continuing on in good health?