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Managing Open Source Projects: A Wiley Tech Brief

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The only guide to managing and integrating the open source model

With the phenomenal success of Linux, companies are taking open source business solutions much more seriously than ever before. This book helps to satisfy the growing demand for guidance on how to manage open source enterprise development projects. Expert Jan Sandred explores the open source philosophy, describes current software tools for managing open source projects, and provides expert guidance on how to organize and manage open source projects using the Internet as a collaboration tool. With the help of several fascinating and instructive case studies, Sandred explores practical concerns such as building, motivating, and managing virtual teams; structuring tasks and meeting deadlines; establishing trust; project management software tools; maintaining project security; and more.

Arguably, open source is the twentieth century's only true innovative concept in business, all that is truly new in the new economy. All Open source can be defined, basically, as a software developing method. (If the source for a piece of software can be read, redistributed, and modified, it is said to be open; it evolves— it can be improved, adapted, and corrected.) Open source is also referred to— rightly— as the ‘‘gift economy,” because for many people, open source means, simply, software that is given away for free.

However, those definitions leave out a very important— if not the most important— aspect of open source: that it is also a valid business concept with truly unique characteristics. It is this second aspect that this book addresses: the business opportunities open source provides, and how to manage successful open source projects.

To understand the concept of open source it is necessary to be acquainted with its history. Open source has its roots in a sort of “flower-power, left-wing anar-cho-communism” political arena, a far remove from today's multimillion international open source companies, such as Red Hat, Inc. Open source builds on the idea of giving away intellectual property for the benefit of the community— “What is good for the community is good for me.” In the two-plus decades following the May 1968 revolution, the vision of life without interference from the state or the marketplace has inspired numerous community media activists. Consider as one example, the cultural, free radio stations created in the sixties and the seventies in Europe; they refused all

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