The Business and Economics of Linux® and Open Source

Martin Fink

Publisher: Prentice Hall, 2003, 242 pages

ISBN: 0-13-047677-3

Keywords: Open Source

Last modified: Aug. 4, 2010, 12:47 a.m.

The managers's guide to using Linux and open source for competitive advantage.

Using Linux and open source technologies, thousands of enterprises are cutting costs, gaining flexibility, and discovering powerful new sources of business value. Now there's an objective, realistic manager's guide to using Linux and open source technology for competitive advantage. Martin Fink helps you get past both the hypesters and the naysayers, so you can accurately assess the benefits, costs, and risks of open source in your organization. Writing strictly from the manager's viewpoint, Fink covers every step of the Linux and open source business lifecycle, and every crucial issue, from licensing to collaborating with the open source community of developers. Coverage includes:

  • Assessing the costs, benefits, and risks of pursuing Linux and open source initiatives
  • Open source licensing: avoiding the minefields
  • Managing Linux and open source projects within your company
  • Assessing the size, breadth, and capabilities of the open source community
  • Building strong, positive, synergistic relationships with external open source communities
  • The crucial role of Linux standards
  • Integration, development, deployment, migration, coexistance, support, and training
  • Understanding and choosing Linux distributions
  • How the open source paradigm impacts commercial software developers
  • Open source business models: what it takes to make a profit from open source technology
  • Applying the open source development methodology in a corporate setting
  • Part  I: Groundwork
    • Chapter 1: The Business of Linux and Open Source
      • Linux Adoption
      • Crash Course in Linux and Open Source Lingo
      • Linux Workloads
      • Business Benefits
        • Cost
        • Availability of Trained Resources
        • Support
        • Control and Vendor Independence
        • Software Development
        • Upgrades
      • Inhibitors to Linux Growth
        • Applications Availability
        • Maturity
        • Scalability
        • Business Risk
      • Who's Who in Open Source?
      • Summary
    • Chapter 2: Linux — Heart of the Operating System
      • The Operating System
      • The Linux Kernel
        • Kernel Design
        • Linux Kernel Modules
        • Linux Kernel Patches
      • Kernel Fragmentation (or Forking)
      • Linux Kernel Development and Version Control
      • Multi-Platform Support
        • Mass-Market vs. Non-Mainstream Processors
      • Linux on the Desktop
      • Vertical and Horizontal Scalability
      • Embedded Linux
      • Summary
    • Chapter 3: Open Source — Navigating the Legal Path to Freedom
      • The Freedom to Be Open Source
      • The Open Source Definition
      • Intellectual Property and Reciprocity
      • Dual-Licensing and Copyright Ownership
      • Licenses — Open Source and Non-Open Source
        • Open Source Licenses
        • The GPL and LGPL
        • Non-Open Source Licenses
      • Export and Cryptography
      • Open Source Development Methodology
        • License
        • Style
        • Attributes
      • Summary
    • Chapter 4: Communities and Organizations
      • Linux
        • Kernel
        • Processors
        • File Systems
        • Device Support
      • Web Services and Application Servers
        • Apache
        • TUX
        • JBOSS
      • Languages
        • GCC
        • Perl
        • Python
      • Desktops and Office Productivity
        • XFree86
        • GNOME
        • KDE
        • Mozilla
        • OpenOffice
      • Databases
        • PostgreSQL
        • MySQL
      • Personal Digital Assistants
        • Handheld Linux
      • Clusters
        • Beowulf
      • Organizations
        • Linux International
        • Free Software Foundation
        • Open Source Initiative
        • Open Source Development Lab
        • Free Standards Group
        • Embedded Linux Consortium
        • Linux Development Project
      • Summary
  • Part II: Operational Linux
    • Chapter 5: Distributions — Completing Linux
      • Linux Distribution
      • Packages
        • Package Formats
      • Distribution Vendors
        • Mainstream Distributions
        • Geographic Distributions
        • Speciality Distributions
      • Non-Linux Operating System Distributions
      • Creating Your Own Distribution
      • Supporting Multiple Distributions
      • Standards
      • Summary
    • Chapter 6: The Cost of Linux and Open Source
      • The Costs
        • The Open Source Effect
      • Adapting to an Imperfect Solution
      • Procuring Linux and Open Source Software
        • Contracts
      • Modifying Open Source Software
      • Summary
    • Chapter 7: Standards — One Linux
      • Why Standards?
      • Free Standards Group
      • Linux Standards Base
        • LSB Distribution Components
        • Conforming Applications
        • LSB Futures
      • Linux Internationalization
      • Testing and Conformance
      • Specialized Linux Distributions
      • Summary
    • Chapter 8: Operations — Using Linux and Open Source
      • Deployment
        • Geographic Deployments
      • Migration and Coexistence
        • Hardware
        • Data
        • Programming Models
        • Applications
        • Desktop
      • Licensing and Purchasing
      • Support
        • Commercial by Component
        • Integrated End-to-End
        • Self-Support with the Community
        • Influence and Relationship
      • Training
      • Summary
  • Part III: Open Source in Business
    • Chapter 9: The Corporate Bazaar
      • The Cathedral and the Bazaar
      • Structure Follows Strategy
      • Structural Bazaar
        • Software Engineering VP
        • Technology Team
        • Human Resources
        • Testing and Integration
        • Finance
        • Market Planning
        • Go-to-Market
      • Other Structural Elements
      • Gated Communities
      • Risks and Issues
      • Summary
    • Chapter 10: Value as a Function of Time
      • Pharmaceutical Industry
        • Cost, Value, Return, and Time
        • Recovering from Commodity
      • Open Source Effect on Software
      • Devaluation as a Competitive Advantage
      • Value Stuck in Time
        • Pilot Foundation Classes
        • Jump
      • Summary
    • Chapter 11: Business Models — Making Money
      • Know Your Value
      • Commercial Software and Linux
      • Support and Services Tied to Open Source
      • Aggregating and Enhancing
      • Commercializing with a Dual-License
      • Hardware
        • Separate Device Interface from Device Functionality
        • Open Documentation to the Hardware Interface
        • Bundling with Hardware
      • End-of-Life Model
      • Building an Ecosystem
      • Summary
    • Chapter 12: Integrating Open Source Into Your Business
      • Outbound Open Source
        • Business Case
        • Implementation
        • Marketing
        • Maintenance
      • Inbound Open Source
        • Training the Engineers
        • Company-Specific Decisions
        • Determining the License
        • Firewall
      • IT Development
      • Indemnification
      • Summary
    • Chapter 13: Human Resources — Getting Top Talent
      • Employment Contracts
      • Participation Policies
      • Hiring the Right Person
        • Technology
        • Community Home
        • Maintainer or Contributor
        • Community Visibility and Respect
        • Online Interactions
        • Contributions
        • Geography
        • Count the Hops
      • Structuring the Teams
      • Hiring Visible Leaders
      • Summary
  • Appendix A: References and Resources
  • Appendix B: Sample Copyright Assignment
  • Appendix C: The GNU General Public License Reference

Reviews

The Business and Economics of Linux® and Open Source

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

OK ***** (5 out of 10)

Last modified: Aug. 4, 2010, 12:45 a.m.

The title is in my opinion slightly misleading. This is a book for IT managers that wants to know what Linux and F/OSS is about. It is also a snapshot in time.

If we look at it as an introduction to Linux/FOSS, it is well worth reading. But if we look to the title and try to look at it from a non-IT managers perspective, it is pure trash.

I'll give it an OK rating anyway, but this assumes you (the reader) is already working in IT.

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