I think I heard Mr. Hanselman say once that a .NET Open Source project does not exist if was not available through Nuget. That was said very, very early in the “packaging game”, but hey, bluffs are so cheap to make!
I did not take it seriously, of course. My lack of vision is legendary as I genuinely believed that finding the OSS project page, downloading a zip and adding an assembly reference was not that painful.
Oh, The Pain
I was wrong. Well, it is not that painful. But there are two steps in the process that can go horribly wrong.
First: finding the project. Even with pages and search engines devoted to the noble task of finding Open source projects, it is not a simple task to get a useful project found.
Second: downloading the binaries. Let’s face it, some of the people that write wonderfully handy tools and library are the same that do not know how to put together a nice, usable site for a fellow programmer to get a glimpse of what your useful piece of software can do and most importantly: how to even download it and get it running. And do not get me started with those projects that you have to build (compile is so unfashionable these days) in order to use. You should be writing OSS for people to use and for the clever, helping ones to contribute and improve it. But do not scare the hell of the less knowledgeable ones with a stupidly complex process when what they only want is use what you have created and, maybe, thank you.
Sucking a bit less
With the advent of packaging systems one of the steps is dead easy: finding the project becomes navigating the equivalent of an App Store (I hope I do not get sued for using the term) and read the more or less descriptive synopsis. That is how spoiled we have become.
Has “I want if now, fast and free” attitude, the instant gratification society, the epicureal orgy ruined the hippy OSS mindset? I do not think so. Everything evolves. What was acceptable some time ago it is not anymore, because something better/more accessible substituted it. And now, there is little to none excuse to be snobbish and not making your OSS project available for the masses.
Not so fast, Tiger
Is it enough? Not for me. Let me tell you how it goes with me, dear OSS project:
Summing it up: if you are not in Nuget chances of finding you are slim and if you are up there, you better have a half-decent project page.
Mind you, I am not being spoiled or arrogant. Do not take it personally. It will be a loss for us both if we do not get to know each other.