When working on a software project, making use of third-party products, tools, or libraries can often save a lot of time and effort. But we have to be careful. If we choose poorly, we might be causing work further down the line.
As a member of Engine Yard's distribution team, I am constantly reviewing open source projects for their inclusion in our stack. Having been through this many times in the past, I thought I'd share with you some of the things I take into consideration.
In part one of this miniseries, we'll take a look at indicators of basic suitability. And in part two, we'll look at more in depth evaluation areas such as ease of modification, dependencies, size, and community.
How much weight you put on any of these factors is up to you, and will often vary from one project to the next based on how critical it is, how you expect to use it, and so on.
Sometimes you won't be able to satisfy everything, but that doesn't have to be a showstopper. More often than not, compromises have to be made. The goal in assessing any project is to understand the risks involved.Read More