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Free Book on Producing Open Source Software

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Free Book on Producing Open Source Software

There is a book which has been just released called Producing Open Source Software. The author, Karl Fogel talks about how open source projects operate, their process, intrastructure and workflow to assist the project and social and political aspects within the project community, and communication and other technical related issues.

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If you are interested into open source project. This is the book to get started.

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If not, you can still learn a lot of life hacking in the book. Topics such as Social and Political Infrastructure, Money, Communications, Working with others are some of the good topics. It relates to the life because open source community in some aspects reflect to a bigger social system.

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Here is an snippet from Karl on the situation of open source project:

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… When running a free software project, you won’t need to talk about such weighty philosophical matters on a daily basis. Programmers will not insist that everyone else in the project agree with their views on all things (those who do insist on this quickly find themselves unable to work in any project). But you do need to be aware that the question of “free” versus “open source” exists, partly to avoid saying things that might be inimical to some of the participants, and partly because understanding developers’ motivations is the best way—in some sense, the only way—to manage a project.

Free software is a culture by choice. To operate successfully in it, you have to understand why people choose to be in it in the first place. Coercive techniques don’t work. If people are unhappy in one project, they will just wander off to another one. Free software is remarkable even among volunteer communities for its lightness of investment. Most of the people involved have never actually met the other participants face-to-face, and simply donate bits of time whenever they feel like it. The normal conduits by which humans bond with each other and form lasting groups are narrowed down to a tiny channel: the written word, carried over electronic wires. Because of this, it can take a long time for a cohesive and dedicated group to form. Conversely, it’s quite easy for a project to lose a potential volunteer in the first five minutes of acquaintanceship. If a project doesn’t make a good first impression, newcomers rarely give it a second chance…

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In Book format: Producing Open Source Software

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