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The corporate market is now embracing free, "open source" software like never before, as evidenced by the recent success of the technologies underlying LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP). Each is the result of a publicly collaborative process among numerous developers who volunteer their time and energy to create better software.

The truth is, however, that the overwhelming majority of free software projects fail. To help you beat the odds, O'Reilly has put together Producing Open Source Software, a guide that recommends tried and true steps to help free software developers work together toward a common goal. Not just for developers who are considering starting their own free software project, this book will also help those who want to participate in the process at any level.

The book tackles this very complex topic by distilling it down into easily understandable parts. Starting with the basics of project management, it details specific tools used in free software projects, including version control, IRC, bug tracking, and Wikis. Author Karl Fogel, known for his work on CVS and Subversion, offers practical advice on how to set up and use a range of tools in combination with open mailing lists and archives. He also provides several chapters on the essentials of recruiting and motivating developers, as well as how to gain much-needed publicity for your project.

While managing a team of enthusiastic developers -- most of whom you've never even met -- can be challenging, it can also be fun. Producing Open Source Software takes this into account, too, as it speaks of the sheer pleasure to be had from working with a motivated team of free software developers.

Subscriber Reviews

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 rating Based on 1 Rating

"Must read before starting Open Source initiative" - by Tushar Goswami on 13-MAR-2011
Reviewer Rating: 1 star rating2 star rating3 star rating4 star rating5 star rating
We all may have contributed in open source projects to a fair extent, but this time I wanted to manage the entire show. Originally, I had referred this book to understand nitty gritties of patenting & copyright licensing for open source projects. But the book guided me on several bunches of crucial best practices which can make a difference between an a successful actively contributed project & a dormant unsuccessful open project.

From author's rich experience in some popular open source initiates (in some dozen projects including Subversion & Emacs), you save several months & years of time by learning how to manage 'humans & resources' who together spell the success of your initiative.

Ranging from advice on..
- Attracting Volunteers
- to precautions while Communicating
- Marketing your project
- Funding Non-programming & programming activities
- prioritizing ideas of volunteers in evolution of project
- & Technical Infrastructure necessary to facilitate crowd sourcing of project

..Karl has tightly squeezed years of best practices in this 'to the point' 300 page book.

When advising on Licensing, Copyrights & Patenting the book obviously suggests consulting a law practitioner, but the fundamentals described in this book bring you in a position to talk to law practitioner better. I may refer to this book back & forth as my ambitious open project takes shape

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