Open source is a broad term that encompasses many different types of projects. There is a wide range of open source approaches, and sometimes it helps to think through how your open source approach matches your goals, resources, and environment. In too many places we look, we see "open source" used as a catch-all term to refer to every project. We don’t have a common vocabulary to discuss open source in ways that take account of important differences.
Open Tech Strategies and Mozilla prepared a field guide to open source project archetypes:
It is a first step in filling in that missing vocabulary. The report catalogs a number of archetypes we observe around the community. Considering which archetypes apply to a project has proven very useful to OTS and Mozilla when crafting strategy, weighing tradeoffs, and committing support to open source endeavors.
This talk is all about helping projects get better at thinking through their open source strategy. We want to help projects make investments that are tailored to their environment and the type of open source benefits they seek. We will frame the discussion around the need for terms more specific than "open source", contrast some archetypes, and detail how archetype categorization can drive strategic choices.
The field guide is not a complete document. We published version 1, but are actively seeking input so we can issue an improved update. You can see the document in progress on GitHub: