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

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

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by Karl Fogel
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780596007591
Publisher:
O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/14/2005
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
952,285
Product dimensions:
7.04(w) x 9.18(h) x 0.74(d)

Meet 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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Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
--JayR More than 1 year ago
Many of the ideas in the book can be used for internal company IT projects as well.  
Guest More than 1 year ago
Producing Open Source Software : How to Run a Successful Free Software Project (Paperback) Are you a software developer or manager who is considering starting an open source project, or has started one and is wondering what to do now? Well, you're in luck! Author Karl Fogel, has done an outstanding job of writing a book that will be helpful to people who just want to participate in an open source project, but have never done so before. Fogel, begins with a brief history of free software, and an overview of the open source world today. Next, the author shows you how to get an open source project off on the right foot, including gathering developers, choosing a license, and announcing the project. Then, he takes an in-depth look at the tools a project needs to function smoothly, including communications, version control, and bug tracking software. The author continues by showing you how to set up formal and informal political structures to enable project members to work together and achieve consensus on important issues. In addition, the author next explains the why and how to have a commercial relationship with an open source project. He also provides a guide to productive conduct in project forums, covering both the social and technical aspects of communications. Next, the author shows you how to manage regular releases of open source software, without disrupting the development cycles of the volunteer participants. Then, he helps you understand why volunteer developers do what they do, and how to treat them in such a way that they keep doing it. Finally, he shows you how to evaluate and choose free software licenses, including an in-depth examination of license compatibility issues. The good thing about this excellent book, is that prior experience with open source software, as either a user or developer, is not necessary. Furthermore, the author has made an extra effort to label sections clearly, because of the wide range of user experience.