Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software (Hardcover)

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software By Nadia Eghbal Cover Image

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software (Hardcover)

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An inside look at modern open source software development and its influence on our online social world.

Open source software, in which developers publish code that anyone can use, has long served as a bellwether for other online behavior. In the late 1990s, it provided an optimistic model for public collaboration, but in the last 20 years it's shifted to solo operators who write and publish code that's consumed by millions.

In Working in Public, Nadia Eghbal takes an inside look at modern open source software development, its evolution over the last two decades, and its ramifications for an internet reorienting itself around individual creators. Eghbal, who interviewed hundreds of developers while working to improve their experience at GitHub, argues that modern open source offers us a model through which to understand the challenges faced by online creators. She examines the trajectory of open source projects, including:

The GitHub platform for hosting and development

The structures, roles, incentives, and relationships involved in open source projects

The often-overlooked maintenance required of its creators

The costs of production that endure through an application's lifetime.

Eghbal also scrutinizes the role of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, and Instagram, which reduce infrastructure and distribution costs for creators but which massively increase the scope of interactions with their audience.

Open source communities are increasingly centered around the work of individual developers rather than teams. Similarly, if creators, rather than discrete communities, are going to become the epicenter of our online social systems, we need to better understand how they work--and we can do so by studying what happened to open source.
Product Details ISBN: 9780578675862
ISBN-10: 0578675862
Publisher: Stripe Press
Publication Date: August 4th, 2020
Pages: 256
Language: English