Ondrej Mirtes has offered some advice in this Medium.com post sharing some of his experience in the development and management of his PHPStan project (static analysis for bug detection).
Most developers have side projects. That's how we try out new things or make something that we miss on the market or in our dev stack. But most side projects end up unfinished and never actually see the light of day. And even if a developer builds up the courage to show his work to the public, he quickly finds out that just publishing a repository doesn't actually bring the masses to his doorstep.
At the beginning of last December, I released PHPStan? - ?static analysis tool for PHP that focuses on finding bugs. The project gained a lot of traction resulting in currently over 1 300 stars on GitHub and more than 30 000 downloads on Packagist.
He spends the rest of the article sharing the things he did to make sure that the project "didn't end up in the dustbin of history" and be successful. Topics include:
- Build the hard stuff first
- Serve market needs
- Ask for money
He ends with what he sees as the most important part of any good open source project - as a maintainer you need to "be nice". This means being responsive to incoming feedback, keeping in mind that people contribute/comment because they care about the project (and it's not usually about you).