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Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project Paperback – October 14, 2005
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About the Author
In 1995, Karl Fogel co-founded Cyclic Software, a company offering commercial CVS support. In 1999 he added support for CVS anonymous read-only repository access, inaugurating a new standard for access to development sources in open source projects. That same year, he wrote "Open Source Development With CVS" (published by Coriolis), now in its third edition via Paraglyph Press.Since early 2000, he has worked for CollabNet, Inc, managing the creation and development of Subversion, a version control system written from scratch by CollabNet and a team of open source volunteers, and meant to replace CVS as the de facto standard among open source projects. He also participates in various other open source projects as a module maintainer, patch contributor, and documentation writer.
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With this book you will be in touch with topics like the needed infra-structure to setup open source projects, the dinamics of the open source community, strategies for packaging and releasing software, common issues that arise in open source daily development and how to workaround then, a brief about licenses (with properly links for more information on this topic); just to highlight some aspects.
This book was the first hand someone land me into the open source world. It's helping me in three ways: to extract more from open source softwares that already exist, to start my own open source project, and to look at software development through a new, different, and till now better perspective.
Hope this review helps you!
I had a lot of links about Open Source but nothing concrete or unifying. I decided that I should buy a book on the topic. My mind was muddled and I had dozens of questions that I'd need answered.
I searched and found this book. As soon as I started reading it, the author was answering my key questions. Throughout the book, the author covered more like a hundred details. His experience in the field demonstrates that he knows what he's talking about.
I learned that people-management (including how to work with conflicts, different agendas, etc) are more important than the project code itself. I also learned the importance of good documentation. And, as the author quickly pointed out, most Open Source projects are unsuccessful.
I felt that the book spent all its time on the people-dynamics and didn't say much about technologies. Not only was I new to group-development, but I'm still not sure what products to use or how, for example how to set up a forum and run it, send out mailing lists, run a web site, and so on. I guess the author just thinks these are the simple things and not worthy of mentioning. The book is small, given its great coverage of material. I was just hoping, however, that there would be a chapter on technologies. I do know the basics of version control systems, which are required, but not used to working in a team.
Since I don't have experience with leadership or management, Open Source work may be too demanding at present. This is not a criticism of the book, however.
If you are considering doing Open Source work, then this book is a must-have. The book is well written. Karl has a logical mind and good English, and conveys his thoughts clearly. There are no annoying US colloquialisms.
Of the 150 or so computer books I own, Karl Fogel, would be one of the top five authors I've read.