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Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software Hardcover – June 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"This important and wide-ranging collection illuminates the social, economic, technical, and legal processes propelling the fantastic growth of free and open source softward."
Mitchell Kapor, President and Chair, Open Source Applications Foundation

"The most comprehensive and objective book on free and open source software and the open source development process I have yet encountered. This book contains a fabulous collection of previously unpublished articles by top researchers and practitioners who are close to the phenomenon. The authors approach the topic from multiple perspectives: individual motivation, software engineering, development practices, business and economics, the law, and society. Individual articles are scientifically rigorous, yet free of jargon and accessible to non-specialists. But most of all, they are fascinating! Anyone who is striving to understand—or is simply curious about—the many dimensions of free and open source software should read this book."
Carliss Y. Baldwin, William L. White Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, coauthor of Design Rules: The Power of Modularity

"An excellent international and interdisciplinary repository of the latest research and thinking on free and open software movements and practices. With this intellectual miracle, the editors and contributors pave the way to a new open science paradigm."
Claudio Ciborra, London School of Economics and IULM, Milan, author of The Labyrinths of Information

"From fringe movement to multibillion-dollar market, free software shows how new modes of production and distribution will change technology, and transform society, in the 21st century. This book contains the words of those who made it happen, those who study why it happened, and those who ineffectively resisted the most surprising social movement of our time. An indispensable introduction to the how and why of the free software revolution."
Eben Moglen, Professor of Law, Columbia University, and Founder, Free Software Foundation

"Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software is the most comprehensive collection of writings on open source software that I have seen. The authors tackle the difficult questions that surround its success, from what motivates developers to write software for free to how companies can incorporate the best of the open source model into their environments."
Martin Fink, Vice President, Linux, Hewlett-Packard

About the Author

Joseph Feller is Lecturer in Business Information Systems, University College Cork, Ireland.

Brian Fitzgerald holds the Frederick A. Krehbiel II Chair in Innovation in Global Business and Technology, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Scott A. Hissam is Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.

Karim R. Lakhani is a doctoral candidate in management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, strategy consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, and cofounder of the MIT Open Source Research Project.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 570 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262062461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262062466
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,270,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The free software or open source movement has, not surprisingly, garnered lots of free publicity. Encouraged by massive hyperventilating by its proponents. In contrast, this book steps back and offers a more dispassionate and nuanced analysis of the zeitgeist, for surely the movement deserves that label.

You get background as to the social motivations and the history of the movement. Which is shown to predate the Web and linux. GNU in the 1980s was all about alternatives to proprietary operating systems and compilers.

The book can help you dial down the hype. Yet, ultimately, it offers a broadly positive affirmation of the movement. There is shown to be no impediment or logical flaw to cause open source to not stop growing. Rather, the book suggests that both proprietary and open source software will always be with us, albeit in a sometimes uneasy coexistence.
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