Karl Fogel Producing Open Source Software. Article 1 “First, look around”

libre software, mswl, mswl-intro, mswl-manage

Hi all!!!

With this article, I begin a serie of posts regarding Karl Fogel’s book “Producing Open Source Software”.

This book is very famous in the floss community, Kar Fogel explain how create a floss project since the beginning to the end.

As the first thing that we must know about start a new floss project, and although it could seems obviuosly, we must check if exist other project that runs the same functionality that we want.

Is a wrong option begin a floss project if any other with the same functionality that we want exists, as Fogel says

there’s no reason for you to reinvent the wheel.

Maybe could exists other reasons that then you can begin a floss project althoug exists other equal, for example:

– as an educational experience, preexisting code won’t help you.

– maybe the project you have in mind is so specialized that you know there is zero chance anyone else has done it.

But there are concrete cases, at the most ones as Fogel says

even if you don’t find what you are looking for, you might find something so close that it makes more sense to join that project and add functionality than to start from scratch yourself.

Besides, get involved in a existing floss project, can give you not only the functionality that you want, but you’ll can get involved in a bigger and well known project that if you begin since zero, you’ll can be relate with other developers, the project surely give you more prestige, etc.

Is a very common discussion point between my geeks friends and me, most of them very far from the floss perspective say that they preffer begin a software project since zero, that is not important if exists other project with the same functionality, they preffer develop for they own, but I say always the same, “Doy you really can develop other project very similar to other floss one better than a big community?” maybe exists concrete cases, but, really, Marck Zuckerbergs (or similar) are few….

As Fogel (and me and others say), if the wheel exists.. why does it reinvent again?

So as conclussion, look first if your desire project is not developed yet, and if it is developed, then think about to get involved and collaborate with others, you win, and the community too.

See you my friends.


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