A few years before I was employed at our organization, it demoed a useful but specialized Java application (library plus GUI) to our peers and to a few conferences. We had several requests for copies, and one of my projects when I joined the organization was to release it the code as an open source project. My role was project manager (and licensing expert) and I contracted out the development.
The open source release was undertaken as a goodwill gesture and to raise our profile in our community.
Fast forward a few years, and the software is still on sourceforge, and we have released new versions once or twice when we’ve added features as parts of other projects. It gets a bit of use, but has not attracted any external developer contributions. It is occasionally cited by peer or academic organizations, and we know other developers are using it for their own projects.
We field occasional requests (via support email address) for help from users, usually along the lines of “why doesn’t the installer work when…”. Over the last 18 months I have been able to send these to a colleague who uses the tool internally, but their position is changing and this is no longer possible. I want to recommend to my boss that we stop supporting the software at all.
What I would like to ask is whether there a good way for our organization to withdraw from supporting open source software? What can we can do beyond adding a notice that we no longer provide support to the project website and disabling the email address?
My main concern is the ramifications for our organization’s reputation.