Maintaining FOSS free & open-source software
projects without burning out; and contributing successfully.

  • goals
    • :recycle: maintainability/sustainability: keep project manageable
    • :zap: progress: always iterating forward
    • :timer_clock: efficiency: avoid wasting time
  • set direction/plan roadmap
    • :crossed_swords: tension between expanding vs sustainably maintaining (esp. for larger projects)
  • issue/ticket trackers
    • :+1: there will always be contributors (opening valid issues)
    • :-1: maintainers have too limited time/attention to action everything
    • :inbox_tray: (typically) aim for a manageable number of (rather than zero) issues
    • :twisted_rightwards_arrows: treat as priority- rather than check-list
      • judge what is (not) important
      • close based on likelihood of being addressed soon rather than ever (could reassess & reopen later)
        • :thinking: (I think this discourages contributors & produces duplicate issues/fragmented discussion/lost problems. Instead I’d use milestones/project boards to collect “being addressed soon” issues, while labelling unresolvable/low-priority things appropriately)
      • prioritising one issue means de-prioritising another
    • :scroll: stop accepting new issues altogether if too many to manage
      • :scream: (I’d trim prioritised issues instead)
      • set goal of tackling 1 per day
    • :warning: when closing, mention willingness to (re)consider further suggestions
  • :loudspeaker: communicate everything clearly & constantly to contributors
  • :angel: contributors
    • should ideally close more issues than they open
    • solve an issue as “payment” for opening another?
    • try to minimise maintainers’ required effort