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Open Advice

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 19 March 2012.
Planet PHP

I seem to have not blogged about this, but Open Advice, our book on Free and Open Source Software: what we wish we had known when we started, was published last month.

The book was edited by Lydia Pintscher and includes essays from 42 authors, many of whom you'll recognize if you tend to go to FOSS conferences. The LWN book review concludes:

Open Advice is a book that will be helpful to those who are new to FOSS, but, because of the individual voices, styles, and tones, it doesn't read like a "how to". It could even be recommended to those who aren't necessarily interested in contributing, but are curious about what this "free software thing" is all about. It is, in short, a great book for a variety of audiences and the (mostly) two or three page essays make it easy to read, while the anecdotes and recollections personalize it. The authors, editor, and everyone else who helped should be very pleased with the result. Readers will be too.

I probably shouldn't give the ending away, but my essay on cross-project collaboration, a subject I've also blogged about, ends with:

Good luck with breaking down the project boundaries! In most cases it works if your ideas are good and presented with an open mind. But even if you do not find a common ground, as long as your implementation solves the use case for you it has not been in vain. After all, delivering software, and delivering great user experience is what counts.

The book is licensed under CC-BY-SA, and is available as free download in ePub, mobi and PDF formats, and as paperback from Lulu. The book sources are available on GitHub, patches welcome!