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The Open Source Way

Posted by on March 11, 2010

At the start of this year, Red Hat has released the draft of the in-development book The Open Source Way,  under a Creative Commons License. The book already presents a great amount of distilled knowledge from Red Hat’s experience, and it is linked to a public wiki where the most valuable contributions will be selected and sent upstream to expand and complete the various chapters.

The people behind this project at Red Hat believe in, well, the open source way. In an interview at, a platform created by Red Hat itself, the project leader Karsten Wade has clearly explained the reason that brought his team to open source what would otherwise have been an internal handbook: knowing that the quality of the book would have only gained from community-based revisions. The value of a community consists also in being a mean to maintain the book in the future and providing a fail-safe against the possible loss of the contained knowledge, a not impossible event if the book would have been conceived as a private corporate guide.

The scope of the handbook is not just limited to open source software development: the hope is to expand the understanding of the open source model in other domains. The interaction between people in a project is often a key variable that influences  success or failure, and the public collaboration model may be valuable in different industries.

If you work or have experience with open source software and their communities, you may want to check out the book and provide feedback, or even new contributions.

Marco is the keeper of keys and Chief Garbage Collector at Blue Parabola. He can be found on Twitter as @mtabini.
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