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The Open Source Way shows how to (and how not to) engage the community members that influence your projects - it distills years of knowledge our community members have gained while running open source projects.


Book format

This content is converted regularly to other formats for web and printing publication:

Wiki upstream content -- the raw content workshop

This is The Open Source Way wiki upstream. It is ready for you to read and add to.

  1. The Open Source Way: Creating and nurturing communities of contributors -- Main wiki page
  2. Introduction -- What this book is, what it is not, essential terminology (definitions and pointers)
  3. Communities of practice -- The science behind the open source way
  4. How to loosely organize a community -- Structure of a sustainable community
  5. Stuff everyone knows and forgets anyway -- Common knowledge, common mistakes, common recoveries
  6. What your organization does correctly when practicing the open source way -- Distilled "Right Way"
  7. What your organization does wrong when practicing the open source way -- Distilled "Wrong Way"
  8. Business the open source way -- Applying the open source way to business
  9. Who else to watch -- People in the wider world who write, talk, and lead community-oriented discussions and actions
  10. Books you should read -- Online and offline resources
  11. Great stories to tell -- Stories that illustrate the open source way
  12. Community Architecture dashboard -- Overview of this effort with pointers
  13. Data and references -- Data and references that support the book
  14. How to tell if a FLOSS project is doomed to FAIL - A system for evaluating the potential of an open source project
  15. Appendix -- What fits not elsewhere but only here

Contributing to this content

Let your audience do your PR. They're pleasantly biased and decidedly not you.

A bit of wisdom from Rands that applies to communities and contributions: they are pleasantly biased and decidedly not you.

You are encouraged (HIGHLY) to contribute your thoughts, ideas, writing, expertise, critique, and just about anything.

Help improve this telling of how to know and implement the open source way.

A specific goal of this book is to have a community write about community.

This wiki is the upstream for the book and is where all of the collaboration on writing takes place. We can then form wiki-specific processes over time within the authoring community. That process is written up in Contributing to The Open Source Way.

A second step is the conversion of the content to DocBook XML for publication. That process is written up in Converting to DocBook XML.

The DocBook XML source is kept in a git repository at http://fedorahosted.org/tosw . Details on getting accessing, using, and contributing to that repository are in Contributing to The Open Source Way and Using git repository.

The Big task list is a good place to start.

How to contribute

If you get stuck, contact the team
The best way to get answers is to join the mailing list and ask your questions, but we don't want you to feel stuck with that. Contact the project leader with any questions.

Here is the status on the parts of this project you can contribute to, as of 2010-04-18:

Short-cut available
If any existing committer knows you and your work, that committer can sponsor you immediately for a wiki account and access to the git repository.