Worth a Look: Books on Open Source

#OSE Open Source Everything


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Bazzell, Michael (2013).  Open Source Intelligence Techniques: Resources for Searching and Analyzing Online Information.  CreateSpace.

4.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Contribution–See the Table of Contents January 30, 2013

Garbutt, John (2013). Building an OpenStack Cloud: From zero to the cloud with open source technologies.  O’Reilly Media.

Publication Date: August 22, 2013

There are many challenges to being able to move virtual machines to and from your datacenter and public cloud hosting service providers (in other words to obtain hybrid cloud mobility). In this book, members of the OpenStack and Xen.org communities discuss the open source and open standards approach that they are taking and include some of the challenges they face.

John Garbutt is a Senior Software Developer with Citrix. Since October 2010, John has been contributing to OpenStack, with a particular focus on the XenServer support. Previous to his work on cloud, he worked on Citrix Web Interface, Citrix StoreFront Services and Citrix Receiver. In his spare time, John plays the Tuba.


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Phipps, Simon (2012).  Open Source Strategies for the Enterprise [Kindle 23 Pages].  O’Reilly Media.

So you’re thinking of creating an open source community around your code? Here are some things you ought to know before you make your plans too firm.

–Community Types: There is no single “open source community.” Rather, there are many groups of people gathered around many free software commons. Those gatherings are themselves of several different types; you really need to understand those differences.

–Payment at the Point of Value: Open source is of course free software. But the freedom you’re finding brings you value varies depending on the role you play with respect to the software. “Free” doesn’t mean the same to everyone.

–Open Core Is Bad For You: The “open core” business model is popular with VC-funded startup companies but does not deliver the core freedoms from which lasting business value for customers is derived.

— Transparency and Privacy: The key success factor in an open source community is the equality of all the participants. A strong community is characterized by high levels of transparency about the project coupled with strong respect for the privacy of the participants. Read why you should not impose your business model on anyone.

Steele, Robert (2012).  The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust.  North Atlantic Books / Evolver EditionsRobert Steele long as been one of our most interesting and challenging thinkers (although his writing is clear–a reflection of clear thought), and this book is a cri de couer, his “Give me liberty, or give me death!” demand that our government, our system and our citizenry rethink the far from benevolent disorder into which we have lured ourselves.

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Bulusu, Lakshman (2012).  Open Source Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence.  CRC Press.

Olcott, Anthony (2012).  Open Source Intelligence in a Networked World.  Bloomsbury Academic.

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star Unique Insider-Outsider Record, Major Contribution March 24, 2012

The amount of publicly and often freely available information is staggering. Yet, the intelligence community still continues to collect and use information in the same manner as during WWII, when the OSS set out to learn as much as possible about Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan by scrutinizing encyclopedias, guide books, and short-wave radio. Today, the supply of information is greater than any possible demand, and anyone can provide information. In effect, intelligence analysts are drowning in information.

The book explains how to navigate this rising flood and make best use of these new, rich sources of information. Written by a pioneer in the field, it explores the potential uses of digitized data and the impact of the new means of creating and transmitting data, recommending to the intelligence community new ways of collecting and processing information.

Hai-Jew, Shalin (2012).  Open-Source Technologies for Maximizing the Creation, Deployment, and Use of Digital Resources and Information.  IGI Global.


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IDEO, Human-Centered Design Toolkit: An Open-Source Toolkit To Inspire New Solutions in the Developing World.  IDEO

“An impressive study intended to create a common language around designing for social impact. Most impressive, though, is that the entire body of work is available to all via free downloads.” —John Barratt, IDSA President and Teague CEO

“The HCD Toolkit is probably the most insightful document I have come across within the HCD/interaction design industry.” —Majid Mirza, Micro Drip, Pakistan

IDEO (pronounced eye-dee-oh ) is an award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow.

We identify new ways to serve and support people by uncovering latent needs, behaviors, and desires. We envision new companies and brands and design the products, services, spaces, and interactive experiences that bring them to life. We help organizations build creative culture and the internal systems required to sustain innovation and launch new ventures.

No More Secrets is an academic work, not an expose. But it is an exceptionally stimulating one that brings the theoretical principles of organization management and communications theory to bear on intelligence policy in original and insightful ways. – Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News

“An assiduous and incisive account of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s flirtation with ‘open source intelligence.” – Gordon R. Mitchell, Associate Professor of Communication, University of Pittsburgh

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Bean, Hamilton (2011).  No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence.  Praeger.

Since 9/11, U.S. intelligence organizations have grappled with the use of “open source” information derived from unclassified material, including international newspapers, television, radio, and websites. They have struggled as well with the idea of sharing information with international and domestic law enforcement partners. The apparent conflict between this openness and the secrecy inherent in intelligence provides an opportunity to reconsider what intelligence is, how it is used, and how citizens and their government interact in the interests of national security. That is the goal of No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence.

5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Integrative and Pioneering Work July 27, 2011

In his Preface Dr. Bean makes the point that his book is about institutional change and resistance, and the open source intelligence story is simply a vehicle for examining both the utility of his methods with respect to the study of communications and discourse, and the ebbs and flows of institutional change.

5.0 out of 5 stars The Folly of Secret Intelligence July 28, 2011

Over and over, it has been demonstrated that much, if not most, of the information we require to fully inform national security policy and operations can be gleaned from open sources of information, thus nullifying the issue of sources and methods. Gathering information in this way–open source intelligence–has two benefits: it is cheaper and entails less risk, physical and diplomatic; and, other things being equal, it could permit informing not just “cleared” national security officials, but the general public. This latter enhances the very democracy which national security seeks to protect.

Janert, Philipp (2011).  Data Analysis with Open Source Tools.  O’Reilly Media.

Whitsitt, Landon (2011).  Open Source Church: Making Room for the Wisdom of All [Kindle].  The Alban Institute.


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Coombs, Karen (2010).  Open Source Web Applications for Libraries.  Information Today.

Interest in open source software has never been stronger, yet a general lack of information about specific tools and benefits along with nagging concerns about dependability and support has hampered adoption in libraries. In Open Source Web Applications for Libraries, authors Coombs and Hollister address these issues and provide librarians with guidance on a range of applications that can be used to improve reference services, instruction, and outreach to library users.

In addition to explaining the use, installation, and configuration of such popular resources as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and MediaWiki, the authors cover library-specific open source applications such as SubjectsPlus, Blacklight, VuFind, and SOPAC. They compare and contrast the applications, describing key features, strengths, and weaknesses in order to help librarians make informed decisions. Numerous real-world examples illustrate how different types of libraries are using open source web applications today.

Neteler, Markus (2010).  Open Source GIS: A GRASS GIS Approach.  Springer.

1. The book is a major re-write of the earlier edition, and uses GRASS version 6.x – which has many improvements from earlier GRASS versions
2. It has tons of example applications, drawn and derived from an up-to-date sample dataset for North Carolina. Examples span the fields of hydrology, remote sensing,and a large number of standard GIS operations on vector and raster datasets.
3. It is well organized and succinct in its language.

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Daniel Lathrop and Laurel Ruma, editors (201o).  Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice.  O’Reilly Media.

In a world where web services can make real-time data accessible to anyone, how can the government leverage this openness to improve its operations and increase citizen participation and awareness? Through a collection of essays and case studies, leading visionaries and practitioners both inside and outside of government share their ideas on how to achieve and direct this emerging world of online collaboration, transparency, and participation.

4.0 out of 5 stars Leveraging the Web for Better Governance July 7, 2010


Oxer, Jonathan and Hugh Blemings (2009).  Practical Arduino: Cool Projects for Open Source Hardware.  Apress.

Arduino has taken off as an incredibly popular building block among ubicomp (ubiquitous computing) enthusiasts, robotics hobbyists, and DIY home automation developers. Authors Jonathan Oxer and Hugh Blemings provide detailed instructions for building a wide range of both practical and fun Arduino-related projects, covering areas such as hobbies, automotive, communications, home automation, and instrumentation.

Fogel, Karl (2009).  Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project.  O’Reilly Media.


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Meeker, Heather (2008).  The Open Source Alternative: Understanding Risks and Leveraging Opportunities.  Wiley.

Almost every engineer developing technical products wants to use open source software. It’s free, reliable, and can cut product development cycles. But convincing management to jump on board may be a challenge. Open source can have legal strings attached. How does a company use open source intelligently, without stepping on a lawsuit land mine? Based on the author’s ten years of broad experience in the trenches of intellectual property licensing, The Open Source Alternative is a practical guide for anyone who needs to find out more about the legal intricacies, risks, and rewards of open source.  Written in plain English for both lawyers and professionals, The Open Source Alternative shows you how to implement open source intelligently, without compromising the value of your intellectual property.

4.0 out of 5 stars Stands Apart March 31, 2008

Three different domains – technology, law and business – intersect in the world of open source software and Meeker’s book manages to address each of the three at an expert level while still synthesizing the larger issues relevant to everyone in the field. While the topic of open source has generated a flood of commentary, the type of careful and reasoned analysis offered in this book is in short supply and makes The Open Source Alternative stand apart from similar recent offerings. All that and it’s very readable too!


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DiBona, Chris, Mark Stone, and Danese Cooper (2005).  Open Sources 2.0: The Continuing Evolution.  O’Reilly Media.

Open Sources 2.0 is a collection of insightful and thought-provoking essays from today’s technology leaders that continues painting the evolutionary picture that developed in the 1999 book Open Sources: Voices from the Revolution .

These essays explore open source’s impact on the software industry and reveal how open source concepts are infiltrating other areas of commerce and society. The essays appeal to a broad audience: the software developer will find thoughtful reflections on practices and methodology from leading open source developers like Jeremy Allison and Ben Laurie, while the business executive will find analyses of business strategies from the likes of Sleepycat co-founder and CEO Michael Olson and Open Source Business Conference founder Matt Asay.

From China, Europe, India, and Brazil we get essays that describe the developing world’s efforts to join the technology forefront and use open source to take control of its high tech destiny. For anyone with a strong interest in technology trends, these essays are a must-read.

The enduring significance of open source goes well beyond high technology, however. At the heart of the new paradigm is network-enabled distributed collaboration: the growing impact of this model on all forms of online collaboration is fundamentally challenging our modern notion of community.

The power of collaboration, enabled by the internet and open source software, is changing the world in ways we can only begin to imagine.Open Sources 2.0 further develops the evolutionary picture that emerged in the original Open Sources and expounds on the transformative open source philosophy.

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Weber, Steven (2005) The Success of Open Source.  Harvard University Press

5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark work on the Open Source movement July 10, 2005

Ever since the invention of agriculture, human beings have had only three social-engineering tools for organizing any large-scale division of labor: markets (and the carrots of material benefits they offer), hierarchies (and the sticks of punishment they impose), and charisma (and the promises of rapture they offer). Now there is the possibility of a fourth mode of effective social organization–one that we perhaps see in embryo in the creation and maintenance of open-source software. My Berkeley colleague Steven Weber’s book is a brilliant exploration of this fascinating topic.
–J. Bradford DeLong, Department of Economics, University of California at Berkeley

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Raymond, Eric (2001).  The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary.  O’Reilly.

5.0 out of 5 stars “Given Enough Eyeballs, All Bugs Are Shallow” September 15, 2000

Once Raymond has established the components and players necessary for an optimally running open-source model, he sets out to counter the conventional wisdom of private, closed-source software development. Like superbly written code, the author’s arguments systematically anticipate their rebuttals. For programmers who “worry that the transition to open source will abolish or devalue their jobs,” Raymond adeptly and factually counters that “most developer’s salaries don’t depend on software sale value.” Raymond’s uncanny ability to convince is as unrestrained as his capacity for extrapolating upon the promise of open-source development.

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