This year, Google sent all the Summer of Code students the Producing Open Source Software: How to run a successful free software project book by Karl Fogel (ISBN 0-596-00759-0) as a welcome present.

I've just finished reading it and I can say that it was a very nice read. The book is very easy to follow and is very complete: it covers areas such as the project's start-up, how to set things up for promoting it, how to behave in mailing lists, how to prepare releases, how to deal with volunteers or with paid developers, etc. Everything you need to drive your project correctly and without gaining much enemies.

While many of the things stated in the book are obvious to anyone who has been in the open source world for a while (and already started a project on its own or contributed to an existing one), it is still a worthy read. I wish all the people involved in NetBSD (some more than others) read it and applied the suggestions given there. We'd certainly improve in many key areas and reduce pointless (or better said, unpleasant) discussions!

Oh, and by the way: you can read the book online at its web page, as it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. Kudos to Karl Fogel.