Open Behavior

September 19, 2013

Too often in open source, people focus on the code instead of being open. In a recent discussion with Paul, trying to clarify our thoughts on “open source” and realized that we now see open source as more of an approach than about simply sharing code. When we chose the topic for an “open-focused” Regenstrief conference, we chose “Open methodologies.”  That term is closer to what we value.

When we reviewed our values, they included:

These ideas lead to some thoughts about which behaviors or consistent with these values vs. behaviors that work against them:


Open Behaviors

  • Going out of your way to be transparent – e.g., when someone sends an e-mail that belongs on a community mailing list to the mailing list, replying to the list.
  • Committing code first, making it “perfect” later.
  • Thinking long-term by planning for and investing the additional (often nine times) effort needed to collaborate & re-use code.
Closed Behaviors

  • “Reply All” to an off-list e-mail that belongs on a community mailing list (instead of replying on list).
  • “My code isn’t ready to be shared yet.”
  • The engineer’s creed: “I can do it better.”

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