The Success of Open Source
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A valuable new account of the [open-source software] movement.--Edward Rothstein"New York Times" (05/08/2004)
In the world of open-source software, true believers can be a fervent bunch. Linux, for example, may act as a credo as well as an operating system. But there is much substance beyond zealotry, says Steven Weber, the author of "The Success of Open Source"...An open-source operating system offers its source code up to be played with, extended, debugged, and otherwise tweaked in an orgy of user collaboration. The author traces the roots of that ethos and process in the early years of computers...He also analyzes the interface between open source and the worlds of business and law, as well as wider issues in the clash between hierarchical structures and networks, a subject with relevance beyond the software industry to the war on terrorism.--Nina C. Ayoub"Chronicle of Higher Education" (04/16/2004)
Weber sees the central issues raised by [open source software] as property, motivation, organisation and governance. He uses a study of the open source movement to illuminate the motivation of programmers and the way [open source software] projects are co-ordinated and governed, and to ask if there are lessons in it for society...Weber's work brings to mind an earlier book, "The Machine that Changed the World", a study of how Toyota's production system transformed the way cars are made everywhere. That book made two simple points: that the Toyota 'system' was a car, and that it was not uniquely Japanese. Steve Weber's book can be--and is--similarly summarised: 'Open source is not a piece of software, and it is not unique to a group of hackers.' And it has the potential to change the world.--John Naughton"The Observer" (06/06/2004)
Weber's book deserves the glowing response it has received within and outwith the computing community, and provides a careful, thought-provoking study of an important phenomenon of the twentieth century. For these reasons alone it is worth reading. And while it will of course appeal to those interested or participating in the Open Source movement, for the information professional, in particular, it offers helpful insight into the advantages and limits of sustainable models of cooperative effort that do not depend on remuneration or hierarchy. This is particularly pertinent as libraries increasingly make available metadata they have created about digital or physical assets, and as they are involved in the management of digital assets...[I]nformation professionals are increasingly called on to administer, arbitrate, and communicate about digital rights. Many of those they interact with in this capacity, especially in an academic setting, will have been influenced by the Open Source movem
Weber's ideas are timely and informative for anyone who wants to explain or advocate Open Source..."The Success of Open Source"...gives a readable, thought-provoking, and occasionally funny account of what Open Source is and means, making it an extremely valuable resource for those who want to engage and discuss these issues on an intellectual level.--Joshua Daniel Franklin"Slashdot" (05/17/2004)
While much in Weber's account will be familiar to anyone concerned with this debate, his book should make this extraordinary phenomenon understandable to a much wider audience...["The Success of Open Source"] deserve[s] the careful attention of a wide audience, including, especially, governments.--Lawrence Lessig"London Review of Books" (08/18/2005)
is--similarly summarised: 'Open source is not a piece of software, and it is not unique to a group of hackers.' And it has the potential to change the world.
occasionally funny account of what Open Source is and means, making it an extremely valuable resource for those who want to engage and discuss these issues on an intellectual level.
structures and networks, a subject with relevance beyond the software industry to the war on terrorism.
Source"] deserve[s] the careful attention of a wide audience, including, especially, governments.
A valuable new account of the Yopen-source software movement. -- Edward Rothstein "New York Times" (05/08/2004)
Weber sees the central issues raised by Yopen source software as property, motivation, organisation and governance. He uses a study of the open source movement to illuminate the motivation of programmers and the way Yopen source software projects are co-ordinated and governed, and to ask if there are lessons in it for society...Weber's work brings to mind an earlier book, "The Machine that Changed the World," a study of how Toyota's production system transformed the way cars are made everywhere. That book made two simple points: that the Toyota 'system' was a car, and that it was not uniquely Japanese. Steve Weber's book can be--and is--similarly summarised: 'Open source is not a piece of software, and it is not unique to a group of hackers.' And it has the potential to change the world. -- John Naughton "The Observer" (06/06/2004)

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