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Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project [Paperback]

Karl Fogel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Oct 2005

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.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (17 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596007590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007591
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 17.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 345,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Publisher

This comprehensive guide offers several tried and true steps to help you successfully manage the complex process of developing free software. Topics include project management, developer motivation, technical infrastructure to support collaboration, and project promotion. Producing Open Source Software is ideal for developers starting their own free software projects, or people who simply want to participate in the process.

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Karl Fogel does a fantastic job of covering everything you need to know about open source projects. It contains everything you need to know about contributing to an open source projects: how to interact with other contributors, working with version control, contributing code, etc. He also provides an excellent guide for running an open source project. The book covers a great deal of ground, giving excellent advice on a wide range of topics: selecting a license; maintaining a mailing list, defect tracking system and version control repository; providing a website; interacting with committers; dealing with technical people; gathering consensus; and understanding important project management concepts. Karl is a veteran of several highly visible and widely used open source projects, and clearly draws on his extensive experiences (both positive and negative). The style is pleasantly conversational, and it's clear that he really knows what he's talking about and is speaking from a position of authority.
(Full Disclosure: I was a technical reviewer for this book, and was thoroughly impressed with it while reviewing it.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined to become a classic 31 Jan 2006
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is excellent, for the following reasons.
1. It provides a lot of very useful, non-obvious advice that I don't think is available in other books. At least, I have read 5 or 6 other books on open-source software, and none of them cover much of the material in this book.
2. The writing style is clear and conversational, which makes it easy to read.
3. The book is short, which makes a welcome change from the bloated 800+ page books that are so common in the computer industry.
I am currently writing some software that I hope to release under an open-source license. I am confident that I have sufficient skills to write the software and even document it. However, there is much more to releasing open-source software than that, and this book has educated me about loads of issues that I am likely to face.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Full of practical advice 12 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What I liked about this book is that it discusses the issues that open source projects face and then give practical solutions. Sometimes multiple approaches are possible, in which case the pros and cons of each are presented and discussed in a way that allows you to choose the way that suits your situation best.
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