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  Revising Producing Open Source Software  

If you were pointed here by a link in the online copy of the book, it just means you encountered a part of the book that's in the middle of being revised. Please don't expect the material in that section or chapter to be complete, vetted, etc.

In early 2013, I ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to enable me to revise this book, which badly needed updating after seven years. The campaign was successful, raising USD $15,000 — thank you, everyone! — and I began work on the revisions in March 2013. See the project updates at Kickstarter for progress reports. Throughout the book, sections under construction or revision are marked with the special string "poss2". Below is my explanation from the Kickstarter campaign about why I felt it was time to update the book:

It's time to update my 2005 book "Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project". Help me do it right.

In 2005 I wrote a book called Producing Open Source Software, about the human side of running free software / open source projects. It was published by O'Reilly Media, and simultaneously released online under a free license. It's been pretty successful, at least in the ways I'd hoped: it's cited frequently by people I respect, it even sells decently, and I get plenty of constructive bug reports (my favorite measure of success). It's also been translated into many languages, often by volunteer translators or translation teams.

But 2005 is a long time ago. The world of free and open source software is changing -- technically, culturally, even legally -- and the book really needs to be updated after seven and a half years. To give you an idea: GitHub didn't even exist when the first edition came out!

I've been doing a lot of open source consulting since the first edition was published -- consulting about open source processes, how to launch and run projects, etc -- with a wide variety of clients: governments, for-profit companies, non-profits, and individual developers. I've also been talking to people in many different open source projects. Along the way, I kept thinking that I'd love to incorporate the things I'd learned into a second edition. Eventually, I realized that the way to find time to do it was to treat the book like a client -- hence this Kickstarter campaign.

The second edition, like the first, will be published by O'Reilly Media, and will be under the same free license.