This was a small but energetic discussion ... many thanks to all GH.
Hosted by Steffen Evers, Bosch Software Innovations
Stephen Walli, Corbis Images
Mark Atwood, HP
Emma Irwin, Social Coding 4 Good
Filippa Malmegard, LEGO
Main discussion thread was suggestion that the transition is a valuable opportunity to refactor your software so it's more modularized and more suited to the environment of the open development model. It is an underestimated challenge for developers who may feel exposed by the process, and unprepared for that.
Mark: In many cases the build process is the first thing that needs to be migrated.
Stephen: If you're a developer downloading a new project from github or sourceforge, with risk of your time being wasted, you need clarity on expectations, delivery and process. Recommends OpenStack as model of ideal path.
NB - achieving reliable repeatable build to known state with test setup is hugely valuable to the originating company.
Really have to port build environment to open source.
Manrique: Spanish government has set standards for projects moving to open source. (see his comment further down this thread for links)
Steffen: What about documentation?
Mark: Should be Markdown or ReStructuredText deliverable.
Stephen: One of things I've seen lead to failure/problems is when "one true codebase" is owned only by internal developers and community is essentially dis-trusted (GH note: i.e. not given crown jewels). Better to reverse this by extracting from the community the "product" that you are willing to support with for-fee services/licensing. So lawyers need to be comfortable configuring the deal to support that flow, then engineers and business-model can follow.
e.g. Genivi (auto-industry collaborative project) has core project with multiple products derived from that ... also fedora
Also noted that it turns out that almost every software product has licensing issues when they consider going to open source. There are code audit service companies that specialize in this field. What's your legal risk? What's risk to customer using your product?
Final ? (unanswered): Is there an open-source knowledge-base related to the process of becoming OS.