Monday, 3 March 2008

Other JISC projects - open source, sustainability ... the lot

Following my post last week, related to whether it is feasible for WebPA to become sustainable and the impact of the funding, a post popped up on Rowins blog on essentially the same topic.

Rowin's post is about three JISC funded assessment tools. The three tools though have left becoming open source till their funding has ceased. So what is the future for these projects, well I don't know. I fear that, although there are seven developers and a sourceforge area, there is no wider community to support the future of these projects. Further funding would possibly extend their lives, but as pointed out time and time again, with no community to support the projects, is there a future in the short term worth paying out for.

I would love to know from all of the JISC funded projects, funded at the same time as WebPA;
  • how many have released their code under open source,
  • how many are beginning to build up a community to support their tools,
  • who has waited till the end of the funding to release their tools,
  • has any one really shouted loud enough to gather interest in the tools, to build the community's,
  • is there any tool which is likely to reach sustainability.

I know that WebPA is the exception to all of those, but at times it has been a fight to get every ones buy in to the open source ethos and way of doing things. Some of the barriers and limitations on to the project have been discussed in this blog. I hope to continue raising these sometimes awkward points, at least till the funding ends for us too, or in the perfect world we reach sustainability.

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