Open sourcing code is more than sticking an OSI approved license on it and putting it up on a public repository. Discussing this is getting to be a bit of a theme at Dev Fu, as many of our experienced open source developers are watching companies and projects swing wildly trying to hit the ball.

In his post How Open Source Is Your Open Source?, Michael DeHaan covers twelve components that are needed for a company to successfully start and lead an open source project.

If you have an open source project, think about how to grow a community of users and a community of developers. The latter is pretty darn hard, but a pretty rewarding thing to achieve.

I could have written this more simply — open source code is great, open everything is better. Hopefully this is useful to some new software companies out there, as well as some developers. The main idea here is, think community, not code. It’s everything — and when you do that, THAT is when you actually reap the benefits of open source. Otherwise the only real benefit you are getting is freedom to debug/fork, which is only a very small part of the equation.