When people talk about the open source maturity model, they mean all the factors that go into deciding whether the project is ready for production use. There are a number of factors beyond the technology that you need to examine. Is there an active developer community, and is a stable structure (either a company or not-for-profit organization) in place to support the project? Is the documentation complete and professional? Is commercial support and training available? Has a third-party aftermarket developed? The answers to these types of questions will give you a sense for whether or not the project is ready for prime time.
This was first published in December 2005