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Embracing Insanity: Open Source Software Development

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Embracing Insanity: Open Source Software Development


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  • Copyright 2000
  • Dimensions: 7.375 X 9.125
  • Pages: 192
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-672-31989-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-672-31989-1

In this book, you will learn where the Open Source movement comes from and what motivates its adherents. You will be introduced to the culture that fuels the movement, as well as the personalities and organizations that promote its growth. You will also understand the strengths of the Open Source movement and how it changes the way in which software is written. In addition, people and organizations wishing to participate in the Open Source world will be given a guide regarding what to do - and what not to do - and why. You do not need to be a technical wizard to read this book. It does not matter if you are an IT manager, a programmer, or just someone who is interested in new trends in technology. This book will peel away the mystery and misunderstandings surrounding the Open Source movement.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Community, Not Communism

Table of Contents



1. What's Going On Here?

What Does “Internet Speed” Really Mean?

You Can't Be Serious?

The Open Source Way. Communication and Its Impact on Software.

The Advent of Bidirectional Communication. Pulling Harmony from the Jaws of Chaos. On the Cover of the Rolling Stone?

The Discovery of Joy.

Declaration of Independence. Learning From The Best, Continually. Let the Best Code Win.

The Course of the River Has Changed.

2. How Did All This Start?

Once upon a Time in New Jersey... The Apostle of Freedom. GNU and You. The Helsinki Connection. Open Source Versus Free Software. But Wait...There's More!

An Open Network. An Indian on the Warpath. The Birth and Resurrection of X. A Daemon Awakes. The Postman Knocks. The Distributions are Born.

What Next?

3. Why Should I Care?

From Cost Center to Profit Center. The Essential Disruptive Technology.

Disruption: A New Way of Thinking About Desktop PCs. Disruption: A New Way of Developing Software. Disruption: A New Way of Owning Software. Disruption: A New Way of Influencing Software. Disruption: A New Means of Support. Disruption: A New Way of Educating Technical People. Disruption: Beowulf and a New Way of Solving Problems. Disruption: Freedom.


4. The Key to Many Things: Understanding Geek Culture.

What Is a “Geek”? Geeks Dripping with Culture. From Kicked Dog to Top Dog: The Rise of Self-Esteem.

A New Plant with Old Roots.

Ingredients for Making Geek Soup.

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth. It's Not Who You Know, It's What You Do. The Fame Game. Freedom to Choose. Open Source Requires Open Mouths. Let Freedom Ring. These Uncivilized Brutes.

Why Geek Culture Is the Key to Many Things. The Geeks Are Knocking at the Door.

5. Community, Not Communism.

Size Really Does Matter. It Is Good to Work, But It Is Better to Grow.

Open Development Cycle. Open Development Team. Let the Best Code Win. Fast Turnaround. Open Praise. Simple Philosophy. Fun. Soup Is On!

A Community That Explodes the Myth of the Anti-Social Geek.

The Rise of Geek Speaking.

The Meaning of Beer. The Necessity of Community.

6. Primary Community Value: Truth.

Better Raw Than Wrong. Technical Meritocracy. Learning to Love the Warts. Self-Correcting Community.

Self-Correcting Code. Self-Correcting News. Self-Correcting Opinions. Self-Correcting Rumors. Self-Correcting of Trolls.

Why Some People Will Hate This Book. GNU/Linux and Truth. The Truth Shall Set You Free.

7. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

Classic FUD.

Open Source = Hacker Toys. Open Source = Written by Amateurs and Kids. Open Source = Shareware. Open Source = Old Technology. Open Source = Unsupported Software. Open Source = Insecure.

New FUD.

Open Source = Uncertain Future. Open Source = Increased Risk. Open Source = Difficult to Use. Open Source = Difficult to Install. Open Source = Fragmentation. Open Source Lacks Innovation. Open Source and Brook's Law.

FUD Now and Forever.


8. Cooperate with the Competition? Are You Nuts?

Coopetition and Real Intellectual Property.

Real Intellectual Property. Misunderstanding Intellectual Property. Sharing Code Increases Real Value to the Corporation. Defining Coopetition. The Open-Source Advantage.

Coopetition as an Potential Industry Standard.

9. The Players: Who Does What and Why.

The Leaders.

Alan Cox. Jon “maddog” Hall. Bruce Perens. Eric S. Raymond. Richard M. Stallman. Linus Torvalds.

The Distributions.

Caldera OpenLinux (www.calderasystems.com). Corel Linux (linux.corel.com). Debian GNU/Linux (debian.org). FreeBSD (freebsd.org). Linux PPC (linuxppc.org). Linux-Mandrake (linux-mandrake.com). NetBSD (www.netbsd.org). OpenBSD (openbsd.org). Red Hat Linux (www.redhat.com). Slackware Linux (www.slackware.org). Storm Linux (stormlinux.com). SuSE Linux (suse.com). TurboLinux (turbolinux.com). Yellow Dog Linux (yellowdoglinux.org).

The Reference Sites and Repositories.

Freshmeat (freshmeat.net). Kernelnotes (kernelnotes.org). Linux.com (linux.com). Linux.org (linux.org). LinuxApps (linuxapps.com). Linuxresources (linuxresources.com).

The Watering Holes.

Slashdot (slashdot.org). Linux Today (linuxtoday.com). OS Opinion (osopinion.com).

The Online Media.

Apache Today (apachetoday.com). BSD Today (bsdtoday.com). Linux Orbit (linuxorbit.com). LinuxPlanet (linuxplanet.com). LinuxPR (linuxpr.com). The Linux Show (thelinuxshow.com). Linux Today (linuxtoday.com). Linux Weekly News (lwn.net). LinuxWorld (linuxworld.com). RadioWallStreet's Linux League (radiowallstreet.com). Slashdot (slashdot.org). Technocrat (technocrat.net). WideOpen News (wideopen.com).


Linux Journal. Linux Magazine. Maximum Linux. Open Magazine.

The Development Facilitators.

Collab.net (collab.net). Cosource (cosource.com). SourceForge (sourceforge.net).

The Online Stores.

Cheapbytes (cheapbytes.com). Copyleft (copyleft.net). Linux Central (linuxcentral.com). LinuxMall (linuxmall.com). Linux Systems Labs (lsl.com).

The Systems Vendors.

Atipa Linux Solutions (atipa.com). Penguin Computing (penguincomputing.com). VA Linux Systems (valinux.com).

The Software Developers.

HelixCode (helixcode.com). Lutris Technologies (lutris.com). OpenSales (opensales.com). Sendmail (sendmail.com).

The Other Businesses.

Open Source Development Network (formerly Andover.net). International Data Group (IDG; Media Company). Internet.com (Online Media Company). Linuxcare (Support and Services Company). O'Reilly (books and conferences).

The Projects.

Apache. FreeBSD. GNOME. GNU. KDE. Linux. MySQL, PostgreSQL. Perl, PHP, Python, Tcl/Tk. Samba. Wine.

The Organizations.

Apache Foundation (apache.org). Free Software Foundation (www.fsf.org). Linux Documentation Project (linuxdoc.org). Linux International (li.org). Linux Professional Institute (lpi.org). Linux Standard Base (www.linuxbase.org). Linux Speaker's Bureau (linuxresources.com). Open Source Initiative (opensource.org). Software in the Public Interest (www.spi-inc.org).

The Lighter Side.

After Y2K (geekculture.com). Segfault (segfault.org). User Friendly (userfriendly.org).

And More to Come...

10. The Potholes: What to Avoid.

Forget Business as Usual.

Forget About Demanding Your Own Way. Forget Fluffy, Empty Management Speeches. Forget About Fudging Facts. Forget About Marketing that Alienates the Community. Forget About Pushing Hype Rather than Real Value. Forget About Taking More than You Give.

More Traps to Avoid.

Do Not Open Your Mouth Until You Have Done Your Research. Do Not Fight Wars Not Worth Fighting. Do Not Upset Developers Who Do Not Work for You. Do Not Tread on Other People's Intellectual Property. Do Not Discourage Hard Questions. Do Not Mistake Revenue for Market Share. Do Not Accept All Market Analyst Reports at Face Value. Do Not Mistake Freedom for Lack of Cost.

From Negative to Positive.

11. The Primer: What To Do.

Managers' Issues Regarding Participation in Open Source.

Attracting and Retaining Talent. What Gets Opened? And What Stays Closed? What Else Do I Need to Consider?

Contributor's Issues Regarding Open Source.

Learn to Find Information. Learn to Find Software. Learn to Find Projects in Need of Help. Learn to Do Advocacy. Learn to Write Articles. Learn to Write Documentation.

Get Involved.

12. Licenses, Licenses, Licenses!

Licensing Issues to Avoid.

Open Source Is Not Shareware. Open Source Is Not Freeware. Open Source Is Not Public Domain. Patents and Pain.

License Types: The Good, the Bad, and the Viral.

The Good: Four Essential Freedoms. The Bad: Non-Free or Partially Free Licensing. The Viral. Role of the Open Source Initiative and the Free Software Foundation. Lone Rangers Are a Last Resort.

Existing Open Source Licenses.

GNU General Public License, Version 2 (a.k.a. Copyleft or GPL). GNU Library General Public License (LGPL). 4.4BSD Copyright. Q Public License Version 1 (QPL). Artistic License. Aladdin Free Public License. Python License. IBM Public License Version 1.0. Mozilla Public License Version 1.0. X Window System License X11R6.4. Apache License.

Not-Quite-Open Source Licenses.



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