I agree those were good guides. Maybe they were geared towards libraries, bacause I felt that some didn’t apply neatly to my biggest open source project (Calva). A lot depends on what kind of software you are providing, I guess.
And there are tons of ”it depends” in an answer to a question like this.
As with so many things I think that leveraging ones strengths and doing things the way one enjoys it is key.
The guides were especially good in that it started with stating a bare minimum.That said, I think the minimum might be a bit smaller than that. The amount of time I have spent on trying to instrument the Calva project along a lot of the things that is brought up in those guides is… I don’t want to think about it. Haha. But I have had so much good luck along the way, The project quickly gained attention and encouragement. Working hard with documenting, talking to users, scratching itches, greasing the contributor track, researching how things are done, and, of course, improving the product, all makes more sense when there are users and people wanting you and the project to succeed. So, applying a bit of Lean Startup to it all is good. Put in the work when there is traction.
Listening is maybe the most important thing. Stay super curious about what your users and contributors want. This is easier if it is clear how you are stewarding the project. So consistency and trying to communicate clearly is also good, I think.
I think I could go on about this. Might do later, even. Haha. But to someone wondering about how to steward his or her project, I’d mostly say: Use your empathy. Put yourself in your user’s and your contributor’s shoes. What would you appreciate about the project from their perspective? One way to go about it is to consider open source projects you like, as a user, and as a contributor. What about them do you like? Also consider projects you don’t like. What about them don’t you like? I think you’ll find success if you mix the answers to these questions with yourself, what you are good at and what you think is fun.
Also, if your project is for the Clojure community, you are in luck. It is uniquely friendly and helpful. When I announced Calva (on this site) I clearly stated that I was in over my head, that I didn’t actually know what I was doing. People encouraged the project anyway, maybe even more because of that. It was, and still is, amazing.
To some extent I think that The Tao of Calva is a bit of my answer to this question in general.