I often get asked to recommend reading on open source software so I thought I'd share with everyone.
Here are the two staples I recommend to everyone:
Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary.
This is a a collection of essays by Eric Raymond that describe the
bazaar model of open source software development and explain why it is
better than the traditional, closed or cathedral, model of development.
You can also read the essays online at http://catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/.
Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution (O'Reilly Open Source).
This is another collection of essays from many of the leaders in open
source software such as Brian Behlendorf (created Apache), Tim O'Reilly
(O'Reilly Media), Bruce Perens (wrote the Open Source Definition),
Richard Stallman (author of the GPL), Linus Torvalds (created Linux),
and Larry Wall (created perl), among others.
Then, depending on who was asking and what they were looking for, I might also recommend:
- The Business and Economics of Linux and Open Source
by Martin Fink. This book does a good job of explaining why and how
open source software can be useful in an enterprise. How does the new
model fit into business?
- Succeeding with Open Source
by Bernard Golden. If Martin Fink's book is the why open source fits
into business, Bernard Golden's book is the how. It goes over the ROI
of using open source software and describes a selection and evaluation
process in detail.
Then there's two books that I haven't read yet but are high on my
list and come highly recommended by others. (I actually own copies of
them which shows my good intentions!)
- Open Sources 2.
This is a sequel to Open Sources and contains essays by some of the
newer people in the field and people that I think of more as enablers
and business people – the people bringing open source to businesses –
than the people that created the actual open source software.
- The Success of Open Source by Steven Weber. I've been told that this book does an excellent job of explaining the open source movement at a broad level.
So there you go. In case you didn't have anything to read over your
holidays, now you've got a whole list on one of my favorite topics!