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Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1. What this book is
1.2. What it is not
1.3. What it is influenced by
1.4. Essential terminology or 'Read this even if you think you know what it means'
1.4.1. Community
1.4.2. Tactics
1.4.3. Strategy
1.4.4. Planets and blogs
1.4.5. Leaderless organizations
1.4.6. Version control
1.4.7. Content v. code repositories
1.4.8. Open collaboration tools
1.4.9. Open marketing
1.4.10. Science
This book provides an introduction to creating and nurturing communities of contributors. This is a core part of Red Hat's mission, as manifested in the many communities where Red Hat is an active contributor.
Red Hat employs contributors who work directly in upstream development on all parts of the open source architecture stack, from the Linux kernel to the thinnest skin of Ajax4Jsf. How these people interact with their communities is the first part of how Red Hat influences the growth of community.
The qualities of the interaction of each individual contributor are as different as any human-to-human interaction. Over the course of time, these many interactions distill to a set of guiding principles that help us with the community growth and nurturing.
Red Hat has collective community wisdom.
We also have particular skill and luck in being thought and action leaders in many open communities. It has all been done in an open, ad hoc fashion, and it hasn't been written down before.
So this book is a capturing of that distilled knowledge. It is also an active document, as that knowledge grows and changes, so do the contents of this book.
This book is small and written on a wiki to facilitate collaboration and growth. If you have ideas to improve the The Open Source Way, you are encouraged to just start writing it down. Use a page's "discussion" tab to access the talk page.

1.1. What this book is

  1. A book that:
    1. ... describes a principle
    2. ... explains how to implement it
    3. ... and gives real world examples.
  2. A thin reference guide to richer, thicker works that explain Big Principles in Lots of Fancy Words.
  3. An open how-to manual, initially authored by the Red Hat Community Architecture team.
  4. Useful for much more than just code -- art/design, documentation, marketing, translation, IT, and so on