open-discussion > Mark projects private during testing?
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Jul 30, 2008  08:07 PM | Bennett Landman
Mark projects private during testing?
Good afternoon,

Is it possible to make our project private during initial development? I'd like to try out several different ideas and do not want anyone to be confused by the placeholder code/files that we place into the CVS and website. Ideally, only "members" of the project would be able to see the project or access the CVS.

Thank you.
Jul 31, 2008  02:07 AM | Luis Ibanez
Mark projects private during testing?
> (enter your response here)
Jul 31, 2008  02:07 AM | Luis Ibanez
RE: Mark projects private during testing?

Hi Bennett,

My humble advice:

Although it may make sense to keep a project private during the initial stages of development, this is in general a bad way to start an Open Source project.

The right to make mistakes in public is a benefit
granted to developers in the context of Open Source development.

Projects that have a private birth, have also the
unfortunate tendency to remain private.

We have heard too many times of projects that are
"Open Source", but for which the code is not available because the authors are still "cleaning up" the code,...year after year...

A big README.txt file stating that the project is
in very active development should be enough warning for any visitor to know what to expect if they see that your project is changing from day to day.

Making a project private will deprive you from the
benefit of the collective intelligence from the
community that could help you make it better, in
particular at the very early stages, when the advice is needed the most.

Best Regards


Aug 1, 2008  07:08 PM | NITRC Moderator
RE: Mark projects private during testing?

You can make a project private and visible only to its members by following "Admin" and then "Edit Observer" under "Group Members."

Luis makes some good points about doing this in general. In addition, NITRC is primarily a site for sharing and discovery (as opposed to a site for supporting development), so we don't normally suggest making projects private. Classifying your project in the tool tree with an appropriate development status (planning, pre-alpha, or alpha) and perhaps making a note in the project summary statement should indicate to users that your tool isn't ready for production use while letting you benefit from the exposure and community interaction for which NITRC was designed.