I feel that one of the main draws of Open Source Stack Exchange are discussions around licensing.

These are of course essential to free and open source software but they are not all of it.

How could we drive Q&A to other interesting FOSS topics (eventually asking pedagogical questions if needed?

What would be the other hot topics beyond licensing?

For instance Docker and containers could be one such topic. I created a tag and added a new question on this

Another domain could be FOSS package management ?(e.g. Maven, Pypi, Rubygems,NPMs, etc)

Which other areas could you think of? which would you feel like contributing to?

Edits/Additions from feedback by @curiousdannii

I am somewhat crass at dealing with social, ethics and community-related topics... So even though some of these would still gravitate on licensing, what about these question types? Would they fit in?

  • on the FOSS package management side, what about series of questions such as:

How does a (package|container, etc) published on (Maven, Rubygems, Pypi, Fedora, Docker, etc) document the provenance (origin and license) of an source project packaged and published in such a public repo?


I want to publish and release my open source project on the public repository for (NPM, Pypi, Rubygems, Maven, etc). But the package name is already used by another (competing or non-competiting)? What should I do? Who owns the name in the case where I started using it first but published later?


I want to reuse FOSS project XYZ but its is not published as a proper package in (NPM, Pypi, Rubygems, Maven, etc). Is it OK if I publish this myself even though I am not the author? What if the original authors do not respond or do not want to publish such a package themselves or do not want such a package published?

  • on the FOSS "forges" side, what about series of questions such as:

How does (Github, Bitbucket, Sourceforge, Fusionforge, Eclipse, Apache, GNOME, OpenStack, etc) help (or prescribe) documenting the licensing of a project published or hosted in such a public repo or forge?


I need to communicate and contacts users of my project as published on (Github, Bitbucket, Sourceforge). I can collect the userids of all the forks and stars. And I could create a issue that references their @userid and they would receive a notification. Is this OK to do so? If not, what could be are other ways to notify and contact my users (short of having a mailing list of chat room in place)? And what if I need to alert them urgently of a security issue or critical bug?

  • others ideas for series of questions:

I want to submit my project to the (Apache, Eclipse, OpenStack, GNOME, etc) "open source" foundation. What are the steps I need to go through for this? If you have gone through this what are the advices and do's and don't?

  • others ideas:

Vendoring: when is this ethical? I am reusing open source code and I need to vendor (e.g. copy and inline) this code in my own project (possibly with some modifications) rather than using it as-is and or contributing my fixes upstream. Is this OK to do? Is this ethical?


Vendoring: How to document it? I am reusing open source code and I need to vendor (e.g. copy and inline) this code in my own project (possibly with some modifications). What is the best and proper way to document the provenance (e.g. origin and license) for this?

  • 4
    These are all really good ideas! Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 23:07
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    @curiousdannii thanks. I want to make sure I can somehow escape a tad of the licensing while still staying without board bounds... Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 11:50

1 Answer 1


It's a tricky question, because we have to keep to our topic - related topics that apply equally to completely proprietary software development don't belong here and should be asked on other sites. Questions on the use of package managers for simply downloading project dependencies therefore don't belong here, but questions on publishing a FLOSS library with a package manager might. Some questions on Docker might belong here, but the topic as a whole wouldn't.

I think the major other area than licensing which this site should focus on is the social side of FLOSS: how to manage a diverse and distributed team of volunteer developers, QA, documentation authors etc.

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    I tend to think that open source package managers and their repos, all of which are foss tools and quite central to a foss experience both for publishing and consuming have their place here. could you elaborate on why you think this would note be fitting? Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 15:06
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    @Philippe because this site's topic isn't software development, but FLOSS. So generic questions on, for example, using the CLI for Maven or npm don't belong here. Generic semver questions don't belong because it's useful for all kinds of software. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 15:11
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    This makes sense. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 15:57
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    I think you hit it straight on the spot.
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 19:42
  • 1
    @curiousdannii I updated the question Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 19:37

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