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Author Topic: Can anyone tell me how to lift my open-source project off the ground?  (Read 2925 times)

xananax

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TL;DR: How can I get people to test and help with my stuff?

Hello, I am working on an open-source project. It's some sort of framework, but the idea is to create each component in a completely independent way. Not "loosely coupled" as Zend framework is, but completely and totally free from each other. Each components is one php file that you can drag and drop in any project.
My main reason for doing so is that I find a lot of frameworks are great, but are "too much". You don't really know what's happening behind the scenes, and when you try to get into the code, you get bounced from class to class, and you spend so much time mastering the code that I figured I might as well use that time to do something I like more and teach myself some more PHP.
So the project is divided in independent components that can be plugged in any PHP project, but share the same philosophy (event-driven, usage of hooks to modify behaviour without touching code, some sort of traits where applicable, access to all parameters, chainability...).
Thing is, as decoupled as the framework (I prefer to call it toolbox) is, it is getting way out of hand for one lone coder. I have five classes or so that are near finishing, but not quite yet. As of it's current state, it is not usable in production; but I am getting weary of working on my own and I fear all that work will go to waste if I don't find people to participate.
So I am calling out for help.

Anything will do. Checking it out and giving feedback, testing, and of course, contributing if you are interested. Simply pointing me in the right track to attract people would be great.

Some info so you have an idea of what I'm getting to:

https://bitbucket.or...derers/QueryBuilder/
A SQL query builder. Works like this:

Code: PHP [Select]
  1. echo QueryBuilder::getInstance('book')
  2.         ->select()
  3.         ->fields('name')
  4.         ->where('type=horror')
  5.         ->hasManyToOne('author')
  6.                 ->fields('id')
  7.                 ->related('id=book.authorId')
  8.         ->parent();

https://bitbucket.or...es/core/StaticTools/
A class that attempts to "correct" PHP's behaviour with static inheritance; allows classes to merge static variables with parents variables, and stuff like that

https://bitbucket.or...s/compilers/doImage/
A class that allows image resizing on the fly, either by calling a page, or better with a provided htaccess that redirects image calls to this class

https://bitbucket.or...ses/compilers/doCss/
A class that allows variables, nesting, etc in CSS files, aggregates them and (not yet) minifies them. Also works better with a htaccess file

https://bitbucket.or...sses/data/colorHtml/
A simple class that allows colors conversion and operations

https://bitbucket.or...sses/resources/doDb/
A database abstraction class that uses PDO with automatic scaffolding and relation-finding (only if you enable it, like everything else in the toolbox, the "magic" is a choice)

https://bitbucket.or.../datatype/dev/types/
A collection of datatypes to replace PHP's native ones; they allow for more object-oriented coding ($s = new StringData('a string'); $s->upperCase()), easy casting, and are thought to be subclassed and become fields handlers, with user error-checking, etc.


I have a huge amount of other classes, but those are the most "advanced", and they give a good insight of what I am aiming at.
Ultimately, I intend to build a (tighlty-coupled of course) CMS out of all those components, but not before they have been used on production sites (at least mine) for a while.
Any kind of comment would be appreciated.

Have a nice day!


I really weighted my options before posting here, but if this post does not belong in this forum, I apologize.


xananax

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Re: Can anyone tell me how to lift my open-source project off the ground?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2011, 10:53:09 AM »
Oh and of course the project is intended to be released under an open-source license, although I do not know yet which (MIT or BSD is most probable)

40hz

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Re: Can anyone tell me how to lift my open-source project off the ground?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 11:07:19 AM »
First, welcome to DonationCoder. Glad you came by. :)

Second, there's a very good chance you might get the ball rolling here. Drop mouser a personal message and introduce yourself when you get a chance.
 :Thmbsup:

tomos

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Re: Can anyone tell me how to lift my open-source project off the ground?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011, 11:39:16 AM »

mouser's page
Tom

vlastimil

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Re: Can anyone tell me how to lift my open-source project off the ground?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011, 05:41:41 PM »
I am a lame php coder, I just use whatever is at hand to get things done when building my site. The result is ugly, but it is doing its job. I had a quick look on some of your components and they look professional, organized and complex. They scared me.  :'( If I invested enough time to understand them, would that be time well spent?

The cardinal question is: what problem are you trying to solve with this project? If you can answer that and find people with the same problem, you'll have participants.

If you manage to build a full CMS that is sufficiently different from the currently available ones, it will attract attention. If you build a specialized component that simplifies a frequent task for php programmers and does not damage anything (speed, legibility) in the process, people will start to use it.

mouser

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Re: Can anyone tell me how to lift my open-source project off the ground?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2011, 07:10:49 PM »
first, welcome to the site and you've posted in the right section.  :up:

i think the dirty little secret of the open source world is that most open source projects never get any more participation outside of the original developer.
it's just a reality of coding that most people will not find it in their interest to work on an open source project until it is sufficiently active and developed and maintained.  in other words, it's like a chicken and egg problem.  you need more people to help bring your project to the next level, but no one wants to invest their time until it's already at that level..

i think the reality that most of us have to accept is that we have to be willing to largely go it alone when releasing a new open source project, for quite some time, until it proves itself in the real workplace and proves that it's not going anywhere.  that will mean a long term commitment from the original coder.  short of that im afraid most open source projects won't ever get off the ground.


xananax

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Re: Can anyone tell me how to lift my open-source project off the ground?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 07:59:30 AM »
@vlastimil:
Quote
If I invested enough time to understand them, would that be time well spent?
No :)
Well, mostly no at least.
It would be time well spent to understand them if you intend to work on them. They aren't fit for use yet. probably filled with bugs, some functions left in TODO stage, etc.
Some of them are finished though: the colorhtml class, the image provider class, and the datatypes classes. But they lack docs.
Quote
they look professional, organized and complex
I take this as a compliment...Organized and complex, they are; professional I don't know. I have no idea of my level as a coder (I am self-taught). I *think* I am quite good, but I don't know. This is also why I would like input from peers.

@mouser: I was expecting this answer...Well I'll just have to hang on it seems

Thanks all for the answers!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 08:05:44 AM by xananax »

vlastimil

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Re: Can anyone tell me how to lift my open-source project off the ground?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 08:49:48 AM »
If you decide to go the CMS route, here are a two points that could help you differentiate:
* integrated analytics - webmasters and content contributors love feedback. If you can quickly tell which of your articles attracted the most interest, what kind of users liked them, where they came from, if the users became regular visitors, that is very valuable.
* zero-maintenance categorization and interlinking - wikipedia makes it easy to link to another article with [[]]. That's good, but it is still a manual action and as the site grows, the internal linking becomes harder and harder to manage. If you could design a system that would take care of internal linking and categorization, people would love your CMS. It should update links in older articles, when new article is added; it should find popular related content taking the data from the integrated analytics into account.

xananax

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Re: Can anyone tell me how to lift my open-source project off the ground?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 10:43:18 AM »
The CMS is still a very far away idea for now...There is so much I gotta do with the toolbox first.
But these are good idea, if I ever get to that stage, I'll definitely implement the interlinking one (so easy to do, I wonder why it's not frequent), and I'll think about the analytics idea (although a plugin that uses some external API would probably be better-suited).
As a side-note, wordpress comes with "integrated" analytics of sort. It's a plugin, but you don't have to download it.