Yet another myth is related to the belief that anyone can make a direct and immediate impact on an open source project. Although this may be true in theory, you generally need to build a trusted reputation within the community before you are granted any type of privilege. And there are few individuals who are ever awarded direct write access to the source code repository. Anyone has the ability to submit a patch or enhancement suggestion; however, there's no guarantee that it will be added to the open source project code base. In fact, all submissions are rigorously peer-reviewed by trusted resources, and only when they have passed all validation criteria are they introduced to the source code repository. In addition, although a specific submission may appear to be quite useful when judged in isolation, there may be higher-level issues to consider in terms of upgrade support (a situation that can lead to submitter frustration if the issues are not fully explained). From a control standpoint, this is not much different than typical source control management on a traditional software project. However, the open source model does significantly alter this paradigm in that anyone is able to review the source code. As a result, the sheer volume of patches submitted to this process can be substantial.
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Shaun Walker has 20+ years professional experience in architecting and implementing large scale software solutions for private and public organizations. Shaun is the original creator of DNN, a Web Content Management System for ASP.NET which has cultivated the largest and most successful Open Source community project native to the Microsoft platform. Based on his significant community contributions he has been recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 2004 and an ASPInsider since 2005. He was recognized by Business In Vancouver in 2011 as a leading entrepreneur in their Forty Under 40 business awards, was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Outercurve Foundation, and is currently the Chairman of the Advisory Council for Microsoft's .NET Foundation. Shaun is currently a Director & Innovation Group Lead for Arrow Consulting & Design.
Shaun can be reached at email@example.com.