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Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software

by Nadia Eghbal
Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software

by Nadia Eghbal

Hardcover

$22.00
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Overview

An inside look at modern open source software development and its influence on our online social world.

Open source software, in which developers publish code that anyone can use, has long served as a bellwether for other online behavior. In the late 1990s, it provided an optimistic model for public collaboration, but in the last 20 years it’s shifted to solo operators who write and publish code that's consumed by millions.

In Working in Public, Nadia Eghbal takes an inside look at modern open source software development, its evolution over the last two decades, and its ramifications for an internet reorienting itself around individual creators. Eghbal, who interviewed hundreds of developers while working to improve their experience at GitHub, argues that modern open source offers us a model through which to understand the challenges faced by online creators. She examines the trajectory of open source projects, including:

  • The GitHub platform for hosting and development
  • The structures, roles, incentives, and relationships involved in open source projects
  • The often-overlooked maintenance required of its creators
  • The costs of production that endure through an application’s lifetime.
Eghbal also scrutinizes the role of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, and Instagram, which reduce infrastructure and distribution costs for creators but which massively increase the scope of interactions with their audience.

Open source communities are increasingly centered around the work of individual developers rather than teams. Similarly, if creators, rather than discrete communities, are going to become the epicenter of our online social systems, we need to better understand how they work—and we can do so by studying what happened to open source.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780578675862
Publisher: Stripe Matter, Inc.
Publication date: 08/04/2020
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 449,472
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Nadia Eghbal is a writer and researcher who explores how the internet enables individual creators. From 2015 to 2019, she focused on the production of open source software, working independently and at GitHub to improve the open source developer experience. She is the author of Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure, published by the Ford Foundation, in which she argued that open source code is a form of public infrastructure that requires maintenance. She lives in San Francisco.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

PART 1: HOW PEOPLE MAKE
01: GITHUB AS A PLATFORM
02: THE STRUCTURE OF AN OPEN SOURCE PROJECT
03: ROLES, INCENTIVES, AND RELATIONSHIPS

PART 2: HOW PEOPLE MAINTAIN
04: THE WORK REQUIRED BY SOFTWARE
05: MANAGING THE COSTS OF PRODUCTION

CONCLUSION
CREDITS
NOTES

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