My office-mate, Mario Antonioletti, forwarded a blog post by Randall Degges on Successful GitHub development. The post proposes best practice in programming on GitHub-hosted open-source projects. Randall's recommendations overlap with those proposed by other open development advocates (e.g. OSS Watch and ourselves!), but these are always worth restating!
For maintainers, the emphasis is on providing official documentation, using separate stable and development code branches in the repository, publishing test runs and using an issue tracker. Contributors are, in turn, recommended to read the documentation, look at the issue tracker (before making changes), comply to style guidelines and ask if unsure. Though Randall focuses on GitHub, his guidelines are applicable any open-source project.