This blog post talks about the identified reasons Ubuntu has been so successful in growth over the past few years. The post uses it as a comparison to Perl, but it holds some lessons for DragonFly. Some items we have now – a Live CD, simple install, regular release schedule – and they’ve been very useful.
On the other hand, the available applications is something that can improve – as nice as it it to build from source, immediate installation of binaries is best. Heck, some companies base their business around it. Pkgsrc is getting closer to creating an “app store” for DragonFly. We’ve got a civil community, but I’d like to figure out ways to make it even more accessible.
(Nobody mentions this when talking about Ubuntu’s success, but having a large, privately-funded company backing your open source project also helps.)
While on the subject, I would love to have a job like Jono Bacon’s. He works with all the issues that I think about.