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FunnelWeb vs. Magellan Community
2 min read

FunnelWeb vs. Magellan Community

This is a very old post. Some of the images and links may no longer work. The text is preserved here for posterity.

Working on OSS projects has been interesting not just from a code perspective, but from a community development perspective.

FunnelWeb is relatively new, and hasn't been actively promoted (I haven't even blogged about it yet). Yet check out the reply counts on some of the threads on the FunnelWeb mailing list:

My inbox, looking at the FunnelWeb discussion group

By comparison, here is what the discussion list for Magellan looks like:

Magellan's discussion list

Magellan has been around longer, and I think it's used by more people (going by download counts), yet there isn't much community participation.

Here are some observations that I think might explain the differences:

  • FunnelWeb started with three core contributors (Aaron, Matt and myself), and we're all pretty active. I never really encouraged contributors to Magellan, so it only progresses when I feel like it.
  • When people suggest features for FunnelWeb, we encourage them to submit a patch. With Magellan, I tend to end up implementing them myself.
  • As a web application, FunnelWeb has an advantage - web developers seem to be more comfortable with both using and contributing to open source. WPF developers tend to be pretty insular.
  • FunnelWeb is smaller and simpler than Magellan, so it makes it easier for people to jump in and change things.
  • Features are only added to FunnelWeb because other people want them, and they tend to be discussed a bit before code is written. Features are added to Magellan as I harvest them from my WPF projects, but there may or may not be demand for them, and I push them up without discussion.
  • As a blog engine, FunnelWeb is more likely to be used in people's spare time, so they're more likely to contribute back. Magellan is used by people at work, so they might not be able to contribute as much.

I'm curious to hear any other insights that could explain the differences in community between the two projects.

Of the two projects, I'm having a lot more fun working on FunnelWeb, thanks to the amazing community we're gathering, and the rapid improvements we're seeing. In some ways, although Magellan's source code is available and technically it's "open source", it feels less open source than FunnelWeb.

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Paul Stovell's Blog

Hello, I'm Paul Stovell

I'm a Brisbane-based software developer, and founder of Octopus Deploy, a DevOps automation software company. This is my personal blog where I write about my journey with Octopus and software development.

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