How Open Source Ate Software: Understand the Open Source Movement and So Much More, Second Edition

  • 4h 23m
  • Gordon Haff
  • Apress
  • 2021

Learn how free software became open source and how you can sell open source software. This book provides a historical context of how open source has thoroughly transformed how we write software, how we cooperate, how we communicate, how we organize, and, ultimately, how we think about business values.

This fully updated second edition includes an entire chapter on legal considerations such as trademarks and the latest happenings in open source licensing. It also expands on open hardware trends such as RISC-V, open governance, and the difference between community projects and commercial products, especially as seen through the lens of security.

You’ll look at project and community examples including Linux, BSD, Apache, and Kubernetes, understand the open source development model, and how open source has influenced approaches more broadly, even within proprietary software, such as open betas. You'll also examine the flipside, the "Second Machine Age," and the challenges of open source-based business models.

Today, open source serves as shorthand for much broader trends and behaviors. It’s not just about a free (in all senses of the word) alternative to commercial software. It increasingly is the new commercial software. How Open Source Ate Software, second edition reveals how open source has much in common, and is often closely allied, with many other trends in business and society. You'll see how it enables projects that go beyond any individual company. That makes open source not just a story about software, but a story about almost everything.

What You'll Learn

  • The opportunities that open source creates and the challenges that come with them
  • The ways in which companies can create business models to successfully sell "free" software
  • How the open source development model works from creating communities to selling commercial products
  • The important issues associated with open source project and product governance and licensing
  • How open source principles can apply more broadly to DevOps and other organizational practices

Who This Book Is For

Anyone who is contemplating building a community and a business around open source software.

About the Author

Gordon Haff is cloud evangelist for Red Hat, the leading provider of commercial open source software. He is a frequent speaker at customer and industry events. He also writes extensively on and develops strategy for Red Hat’s portfolio of open hybrid cloud solutions.

Prior to Red Hat, as an IT industry analyst, Gordon wrote hundreds of research notes, was frequently quoted in publications such as The New York Times on a wide range of IT topics, and advised clients on product and marketing strategies. Earlier in his career, he was responsible for bringing a wide range of computer systems, from minicomputers to large Unix servers, to market while at Data General. Gordon has engineering degrees from MIT and Dartmouth and an MBA from Cornell’s Johnson School of Management.

He lives west of Boston, Massachusetts in apple orchard country and is an active hiker, skier, sea kayaker, and photographer. He can be found on Twitter as @ghaff, on Google+ as Gordon Haff, and by email at

In this Book

  • The Beginnings of Free and Open Source Software
  • From "Free" to "Open Source" to Products
  • What's the Law?
  • Open Source Development Model
  • Open Source's Connection to the Past
  • Business Models and Accelerated Development
  • The Challenges Facing Open Source Today
  • Open Source Opportunities and Challenges