Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

New Book Helps You Start Contributing To Open Source

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the sending-experience-downstream dept.

Books 48

jrepin writes "This new book Open Advice is the answer to: 'What would you have liked to know when you started contributing?' 42 prominent free and open source software contributors give insights into the many different talents it takes to make a successful software project; coding, of course, but also design, translation, marketing and other skills. They are here to give you a head start if you are new. And if you have been contributing for a while already, they are here to give you some insight into other areas and projects."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FACT: YOU WILL NEVER STOP CRIME !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38928239)

So let it florish. Let it infest your neighborhood. Your city. Your state. Your country (sorry Russia, too late). Don't bother with stopping crime, BECAUSE YOU CAN'T !! Cops ?? Why ?? Who needs them !! Who needs any sort of 'theft' prevention when we all just want what we can get, so why not just let us have it !!

Brought to you by your friends soon to be released because we don't really belong in prison !! And thanks for your support ... SUCKERS !! I mean, fellow citizens !!

Awesome! (1)

Georules (655379) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928251)

I've been hoping for a book/guide exactly like this. Thanks!

Looks nice (5, Informative)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928283)

It's available as a PDF [open-advice.org] from their site. I downloaded it and skimmed through a few bits, it looks nicely written and seems to contain concrete advice.

Re:Looks nice (2)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928363)

Kudos to them for walking the walk and making this freely available. So, if we want to get a printed copy and support the effort, which purchase avenue sends the most money in the most useful direction?

Re:Looks nice (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38928453)

Apparently, it will be soon available at Amazon, but for now you can buy it here [lulu.com] . The money would go to Lydia Pintscher [lydiapintscher.de] , who has been actively involved in FOSS since 1990, and in recent years KDE. So pretty sure it will get poured into OSS development.

IMHO though, it would probably just be better to directly send donations, bug reports and patches to your favourite open source projects. :)

Re:Looks nice (2)

maxbash (1350115) | more than 2 years ago | (#38930915)

Apparently, it will be soon available at Amazon, but for now you can buy it here [lulu.com] . The money would go to Lydia Pintscher [lydiapintscher.de] , who has been actively involved in FOSS since 1990, and in recent years KDE. So pretty sure it will get poured into OSS development.

IMHO though, it would probably just be better to directly send donations, bug reports and patches to your favourite open source projects. :)

I you expect me to believe that Lydia Pintcher has been involved in FOSS since she was 5 or 6 years old? http://www.lydiapintscher.de/about.php [lydiapintscher.de]

Re:Looks nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38979911)

Sure we could buy it. But... the Open Source scheme needs to be able to self-finance itself better than a: "Yes, you can have it, code locense, feel free to modify. Oh this one it is actually for free" Although we all know that not all OSS is for free. And then here it comes "BTW dude, can you spare some change?" Credibility points down to minus 10. If you are ready to gove something for free, the just have a discrete donation box somewhere. Else, charge for it. Don't try to sell that is a feasible business model and keep constanlty asking for money.

Re:Looks nice (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928463)

Go to the website and click on their link. Would have been faster then typing your question.

Re:Looks nice (4, Informative)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928531)

And reading my question would've been faster than typing your reply.

At the risk of getting banned from Slashdot, I actually did follow the summary's link before I asked the question. I saw two alternatives, a "coming soon" link to Amazon and a link to Lulu. I saw nothing about which path would return more money to the project. So, my question: which way of buying is better (for the project)?

Re:Looks nice (1)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 2 years ago | (#38929257)

Both?

Re:Looks nice (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38929773)

buying through lulu puts more money in the author's pocket than through amazon.

Re:Looks nice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38931403)

I saw nothing about which path would return more money to the project. So, my question: which way of buying is better (for the project)?

Download it from their site and donate the entire amount directly to them?

"Looks nice" (1)

warrax_666 (144623) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928663)

That's TeX for you! :)

EPUB? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38928321)

Looks great. Will there be an EPUB version? In the PDF it says

Visit http://open-advice.org to download this book as PDF or
eBook

As this is all about Open, I hope eBook means EPUB and not some proprietary crap.

Re:EPUB? (5, Informative)

kailoran (887304) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928587)

They publish the source .tex files at http://github.com/lydiapintscher/Open-Advice [github.com] , so it's rather open.

Re:EPUB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38932191)

What about making it available for those of us without personal hygiene issues?

Re:EPUB? (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38937185)

What about making it available for those of us without personal hygiene issues?

Ah, that's a non issue. Simply put the Venn Diagram for those given sets look something like this:
(_) (_)

Re:EPUB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38948945)

I just converted it to ePub by downloading the zip file from github [github.com] , then running:

unzip ~/Downloads/lydiapintscher-Open-Advice-*.zip
cd lydiapintscher-Open-Advice-*
latex2html -html_version 4.0,latin1,unicode -split 0 -show_section_number -local_icons -no_navigation Open-Advice

I then loaded the resulting html into calibre to convert to ePub format and upload to my eBook reader.

we have it in pdf, but not in epub (1)

Amieiro (846543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928395)

I think it would be a good idea that the book will be avaliable in epub format, to read it in most e-readers.

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38929217)

It is. called latex. run tex2epub and have it in your favorite format.

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38931737)

out of curiosity where is this tex2epub convertor. google gives 0 hits but much talk of a need for one.

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38933105)

It is. called latex. run tex2epub and have it in your favorite format.

It would be nice if that tool even existed:

This is on a popular Debian-derived distro:
saturn:~$ aptitude search tex3epub
saturn:~$

And this on CentOS:

[root@neptune]# yum search tex2epub
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
  * base: centos.mirrorcatalogs.com
  * extras: centos.mirror.netriplex.com
  * updates: mirror.raystedman.net
addons | 951 B 00:00
base | 1.1 kB 00:00
c5-testing | 951 B 00:00
c5-testing/primary | 374 kB 00:00
c5-testing 916/916
extras | 2.1 kB 00:00
extras/primary_db | 179 kB 00:00
r1soft | 951 B 00:00
updates | 1.9 kB 00:00
updates/primary_db | 614 kB 00:00
Reducing CentOS-5 Testing to included packages only
Finished
Warning: No matches found for: tex2epub
No Matches found
[root@neptune]#

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38933735)

And before the pedants jump on you:

apt-cache search tex2epub returns nothing as well.

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38934339)

Here is a super secret link to it from the hyper secret search tool called google, it took 3 seconds to get it.

https://github.com/kmuto/latex2epub [github.com]

there is a world outside of apt-get

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (0)

deniable (76198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38934383)

That's nice, but where's the tex2epub you originally mentioned?

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38935409)

With a 5 digit slashdot ID, you should be able to find it regardless, so I'd say, you were having a bad day or truly are that pedant that you were afraid would jump on your tex3latex mistake.
In other words,
this sucked!

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38936591)

Here is a super secret link to it from the hyper secret search tool called google, it took 3 seconds to get it.

https://github.com/kmuto/latex2epub [github.com]

there is a world outside of apt-get

Although I appreciate snide as much as anyone, you might notice that the hyper secret search tool called google has no idea what you are talking about:
https://www.google.com/search?q=tex2epub [google.com]

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38938045)

thank you for posting the link.

as the posts say google really does not give any helpul information on where the tool is located.

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38929221)

I think it would be a good idea that the book will be avaliable in epub format, to read it in most e-readers.

As noted above, the sources are available so you can compile it to epub:
http://github.com/lydiapintscher/Open-Advice [github.com]

That is the spirit of Open Source, I suppose! Upstream provides the source, you compile it as you see fit.

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (1)

meonkeys (528167) | more than 2 years ago | (#38935271)

Anyone have tips on how to actually produce a decent-looking epub ebook with pandoc or latex2html/Calibre?

I tried several incantations of pandoc, none of which produced more than gibberish. For example: pandoc -w epub -o Open-Advice.epub -S -s Open-Advice.tex

latex2html got much further (generated a real HTML book), but it had tons of munged words. I didn't bother trying to munge the mess to epub.

From what I can tell, the conversion tools can help, but the source text really has to have epub in mind if that is to be a useful build target.

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38939243)

I have made a decent 5" PDF by modifying the LaTeX. See: http://staff.washington.edu/high/doc/open-advice/

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38939511)

Okay, I have made a decent EPUB too.

See:
http://staff.washington.edu/high/doc/open-advice/Open-Advice.epub

Here's how, using the LaTeX file I modified (See: http://staff.washington.edu/high/doc/open-advice/) ...

$ tth Open-Advice.tex
$ ebook-convert Open-Advice.html Open-Advice.epub \
          --asciiize --cover Open-Advice-cover.jpg

I got the cover image from the Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Open-Advice/139095016210143

The utilities I used came from (Ubuntu) packages: tth 3.85-2 and calibre 0.7.44.

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38940203)

Thanks for the tip. That's much nicer output than I got with latex2html.

Re:we have it in pdf, but not in epub (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38933787)

Latex2Html produced something and Calibre converted it. I'll give it a try on my reader.

Maybe they could get money (2, Funny)

bobstreo (1320787) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928439)

If they sold it in the apple store.

Pages 209-213 most important. (4, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928627)

It explains why most free software or community projects fail and how to avoid that.

Re:Pages 209-213 most important. (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38931813)

To quote from the book:

People tend to be around when there is something exciting, like a big release, and then disappear until the next exciting thing. Creating a community team should never assume that the people will stay fully committed the entire length of time. You have to factor in that they will be in for a while and then disappear for longer periods and then come back (...) So instead of planning big things, nd something small, doable and useful in itself. Not a wiki page with a plan, but the rst step of what you aim for. And then, lead by doing.

Shut up and patch/fork it yourself (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38928701)

This is the most infamous advice in the open souce community. It may be flamebait but it is unfortunatley true. Thats why abusive open source projects can form. You know witch projects i'm on about, which leads to fragmentation, which is why 300+ Linux distros are fighting over 1% market share.

Re:Shut up and patch/fork it yourself (5, Interesting)

spauldo (118058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38929085)

That's true on some projects. There are a few megalomaniac assholes out there. Some are quite successful [openbsd.org] . Some are not [xfree86.org] .

Sometimes the users are unreasonable. On smaller projects, you can't expect a two person dev team to drop everything they're working on to add whatever minor feature every user wants. In these cases, it's actually sound advice; if you want it, send us a patch, and we'll give it a try. They're not being assholes in these cases; they just don't have the time. In other cases, you have people who disagree with fundamental parts of a project. They demand sweeping changes that would affect the entire codebase. It's just not possible to make everyone happy.

If you think about it, it's not really that much different than the closed source world; software companies don't bow to the whim of every user that submits an idea. Maybe, if enough people want a feature, they'll add it - but there's no guarantee. With open source, if enough people want a feature, one of those people will probably have the ability and time to code it and submit a patch.

None of those are the reason there are 300+ Linux distros out there. There are a few distros that were forked due to poor management, but most of the time it's down to philosophical differences. Debian exists to fulfill the idea of a completely free platform. Redhat exists to make money. Slackware exists because it's been there since the dawn of time and some people like they way it does things. Ubuntu exists to provide a polished, user-friendly version of Debian. DSL exists for small installs. Many distros exist because some people decided they wanted to try making their own distro. When you get down to it, there's only really a handful of relevant distros out there - the other ones are really only for hobbyists, people with special needs, or people who want to try something different. If one of the small ones comes up with a good idea, it might get adopted by one of the big distros. It's useful, and I don't understand why people think multiple distros is a bad thing.

Re:Shut up and patch/fork it yourself (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38929461)

Sorry, but why are entire Linux based OS distributions necesary to meet the demands of those you've listed?

If software development looked at from afar were a genetic algorithm, what is the fitness function of OSS? Number of developers interested? Ubuntu and Fedora are mutants, the result of pouring money down the drain.

Linux will always be plagued by the same problems. OSS needs to be rethought in terms of a serious, sustainable non profit business model for large collective projects like Linux 'the OS' to survive. I think it's hopeless, too many big egos in the way. The drippings from RedHat and Canonical's tables are good enough and will always be that way with no other serious organization.

FYI, the Apache Foundation makes sense to me, they kind of sort of have a purpose outside of spreading some individual's misguided ideals.

Re:Shut up and patch/fork it yourself (2)

spauldo (118058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38931147)

Let's all say it together, once again, for those who somehow missed it:

Linux is not a business!

Again!

Linux is not a business!!

I can't hear you!

LINUX IS NOT A BUSINESS!!!

Ahem. Linux's survival does not depend on marketshare. It doesn't follow capitalistic ideals. It will survive, and continue to survive, because people want to keep working on it. Red Hat might go bankrupt, Canonical may close its doors, Linus might decide to switch to Amiga - but Linux will go on.

If that's not "good enough" for you, then don't use it. Linux will go on without you, too.

Re:Shut up and patch/fork it yourself (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38934759)

Holy carp - I think you've just laid down the tenets of a new religion!

From that book... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38929611)

"It started with reading Slashdot, that mass of poorly filtered tech
and geek news with comments from anyone who can reload fast
enough to get at the top. Every news story was interesting and
exciting, a fresh insight into the tech world I was becoming fasci-
nated with. No more did I have to accept what was given to me
by large software companies, here in the Free Software community I
could see the code develop in front of me."

Re:From that book... (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38930167)

The dot com days were pretty fun and exciting. (and I am showing my age.)

what i'd like to have been taught: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38929953)

Is that it's just like any other social human endeavour: it's not what you know, but who you know. If you socialise and pay homage to all the right people on the project, whether it's BSD or some random game pack, then you'll get advice and the chance to contribute and have your code checked, corrected and checked in with constructive criticisms. But if you rub their Lordships the wrong way, your efforts will be viewed at counterproductive and you'll be cast out.

In a way, it's easier to work in a company than on open source. All that matters then is that your code works enough to build the solution asked of you in return for money. But almost all OSS is written as an ego trip.

Re:what i'd like to have been taught: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38932243)

This smacks of one of those "10x" posts - 10x the wisdom of an average post.

This is relevant to my interests. (2)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38930415)

I've been working on a game project for over a year now. I'd open-sourced it quite some time ago, but I'm currently in the process of moving it from "my project that has GPL'd source" to "an open-source project". I've put it up on Sourceforge, although I'm not yet using SVN/Git or have the downloads there. I've kept community involvement to a minimum and kept the project pretty low-publicity, since it's not quite ready for wide release. The next release, 0.1.0, is supposed to change that, but I've had some rather extreme delays due to personal and personnel problems.

I'm about a quarter through this book now, and while much of it so far has been stuff I already know, even just putting it all together is enlightening. And if the later chapters are more in-depth, it might be a lifesaver.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?