Who Should Read This Book?

This book is meant for software developers and managers who are considering starting an open source project, or who have started one and are wondering what to do now. It should also be helpful for people who just want to participate in an open source project but have never done so before.

The reader need not be a programmer, but should know basic software engineering concepts such as APIs, source code, compilers, and patches.

Prior experience with open source software, as either a user or a developer, is not necessary. Those who have worked in free software projects before will probably find at least some parts of the book a bit obvious, and may want to skip those sections. Because there's such a potentially wide range of audience experience, I've made an effort to label sections clearly, and to say when something can be skipped by those already familiar with the material.