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Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project Paperback – 17 Oct 2005

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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Stellman on 30 Nov. 2005
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 By A Customer on 31 Jan. 2006
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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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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Format: Paperback
I've just finished reading this book. I've never run an open source project, but having read this I feel like I could have a go - at least I'd know where to start and understand a lots of the issues and pitfalls.
There's clearly the wisdom and experience of a lot of years distilled into this book - both about the technology, and the people issues.
Highly recommended.
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