CodeShelter, hope for abandoned medical/ healthcare open source projects!
CodeShelter is an open source initiative to save abandoned open source projects by providing volunteer maintainers. There are numerous open source projects released to the public to be used, redistributed or built upon though many are built as experiments, student projects or learning purposes, some others lack the marketing and the packing to gather enough community support by other developers as their core developers and maintainers loose the interest overtime leading to abandoning the project.
Open source healthcare and medical related projects are not different, There are hundreds of EMR, HIS, Patient-oriented projects listed have not been updated for years. Some of them even got users and they are still usable around the world in clinics, hospitals, and labs.
One man's army vs maintainers support
Many open source medical projects are built by one single developer, One man's army style, the developer is forced to choose between advertising his intentions, plans, and marketing to gather open source community support or start the actual work to release the first release of his product. Unfortunately, that decision will carry on the tradition of single developer till either the project is saved by building community or aging and dying over time.
Building a community to carry on the idea is the hardest part in an open source project, especially with one man's army developer, maintainer, system designer, ( everything ).
While Codeshelter is about to support the popular open source projects which are abandoned by their developers, It's not aiming to support building community of developers so the main issue stands.
There are daily/ weekly downloads to several abandoned medical and healthcare related projects. They didn't get updates for years yet they are still getting attention. Though there is no enough statistics about if those projects are begin installed and used or not.
Codeshelter has mainly development packages, extensions, and libraries not complete solution or projects.
There is no word about applying the concept to full-product base code like DICOM, EMR or even new projects to acquire the support of maintainers. But hopefully, in the future, we may see some.