Being a part of the Robocup UCOSP project has been an interesting experience.
First, I’ll discusses some of the issues with this project. It’s not actually an open source project, and it’s not really under development by anyone other then my group members. This is an issue because we didn’t really get to experience that side of an open source project (ie. being part of a larger picture and lending a hand). The code we decided to use as a base turned out to be worse then we expected which caused use to have to perform alot of maintenance work instead of adding features or extending the team capabilities. Also, the size of the source tree is actually fairly small which has caused us problems, basically it causes most of the things we do to affect everybody in the group hence greatly slowing down development.
I think it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if we decided to start from scratch and develop a client in C++ (which was an option to us because of the very large amount of freedom we were given). Arguably it would have been worse wrt to everybody depending on each other but at the same time it would have been an experience of the birth of a project.
Interestingly, all of the bad points I’ve made are also the good points. They’ve really taught me how to think about projects and that things are not always going to go as planned. It would have been nice to have more guidance but at the same time it’s nice to have been given the freedom to make decisions for ourselves and learn from the outcomes.