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Producing Open Source Software

How to Run a Successful Free Software Project

by Karl Fogel

Translations under way! (click here for more info)

Producing Open Source Software is a book about the human side of open source development. It describes how successful projects operate, the expectations of users and developers, and the culture of free software. The book is released under an open copyright: it is available in bookstores and from the publisher (O'Reilly Media), or you can browse or download it here.

Make a suggestion or comment on the book.

Special thanks to CollabNet for its extensive support in the writing of this book.

Other writings by the same author:

The Promise of a Post-Copyright World
An article about how copyright was designed to support distributors, not creators, and how in a world without distribution costs, copyright must be radically rethought.
Let the Great Cross-Referencing Begin: Google Book Search as a Plagiarism Detector
Google's project to digitize millions of books will create the greatest plagiarism detection engine the world has ever seen. So why is the Authors Guild suing them for copyright violation?
What Is Free Software?
An article at O'ReillyNet that explains free software to those unfamiliar with it.
Open Source Development With CVS
A book about using CVS in open source projects.

Video Presentations:

Ben Collins-Sussman and Brian Fitzpatrick, presenting
What's In It for Me? How Your Company Can Benefit from Open Sourcing Code
Ben-Collins Sussman and Brian Fitzpatrick

As the open source community continues to clamor for more companies to open source their code, more and more executives are asking themselves just what open source can do for their company. There are a number of ways for a company to open source an internal project: from tossing code over the wall on the one hand to running a fully open development project on the other to any combination of the two. This talk will discuss the costs and benefits associated with each method as well as how to successfully launch your new open source project. Given as a Google Tech Talk.

Ben Collins-Sussman and Brian Fitzpatrick, presenting
How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People (And You Can Too)
Ben-Collins Sussman and Brian Fitzpatrick

Every open source project runs into people who are selfish, uncooperative, and disrespectful. These people can silently poison the atmosphere of a happy developer community. Come learn how to identify these people and peacefully de-fuse them before they derail your project. Told through a series of (often amusing) real-life anecdotes and experiences. Given as a Google Tech Talk.

Karl Fogel presenting
Principles of Participation for Open-Information Communities
[slides: OpenOffice ODP, PDF, PowerPoint, HTML]
Karl Fogel

A presentation on principles by which corporations and other organizations can successfully participate in "open-information communities" — communities collaborating around shared, non-monopolized information. Given as a keynote at the Fujitsu Labs of America Technology Symposium (FLATS) 2007.


(2 Guys, 1 Mic)

A "...10-20 minute podcast where Ben and Fitz answer your questions about open source software development, collaborative software development tools, and the problems that inevitably arise when you try to write software with other people."
They take listener-submitted questions.

Meet the translators:

Etienne Savard
Etienne Savard
Giovanni Giorgio
Giovanni Giorgio
Sun Dai Jun
Sun Dai Jun
Masahiro Takagi
Masahiro Takagi
Emilio Casbas
Emilio Casbas

(...we'll list the unpictured ones by name, with links if they want them...)