Open source can be incredibly powerful and valuable for your organization. The trick is figuring out how to select the right piece of code for your needs and how to minimize risk. That can sometimes be easier said than done, given the sheer number of open source projects out there. According to Wikipedia there were 230,000 open source projects as of February 2009, and we can safely assume that number is far greater today. This week, my “Logical Expression” blog entry recommends a few key questions to ask when checking the “vital signs” of a project and determining the level of risk. Take a look at the list at and share your own best tips for determining whether a project is dead or alive.