Code for and by the people

by Daniel H. Steinberg

We've got two pieces this week that originated with conversations that O'Reilly editor chromatic recorded at this year's FOO camp. In the first he talks with Allison Randall and James Duncan about source code and how you can tell that at least half the target audience are humans. He then talks about the Apache Software Foundation with Greg Stein. (DTF 11-20-2006: 24 minutes, 15 seconds)

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Distributing the Future November 20, 2006: "Code for and by the people"

0:55 Coding for People

Allison Randal and Fotango's James Duncan spent some time at FOO camp talking to chromatic about various metaphors for software code. The three quickly agreed that code is not just written for computers. (9:45)

10:40 Community at the Apache Software Foundation

The Apache Software Foundation's Greg Stein talked to chromatic about building communities around code. People come and go on a project - how do you help the code to survive. Greg pushes us to think long term. Think of software that will be around for thirty or more years. (13:05)

Total running time: 24:15

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Production Notes

The initial montage is from Tim O'Reilly, recorded at OSCON '04 and in a phone interview with Doug Kaye of IT Conversations, and is used with permission. "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet" is a quote from author William Gibson that Tim used with attribution.

The credits, including special thanks to David Battino for composing and performing the theme music. David can be found at and also edits O'Reilly's Digital Audio site. David provided a lot of help and feedback getting this program launched. We used Soundtrack Pro, Bias Peak, and Audio Hijack Pro to put it together. We also ran it through the levelator.

Daniel H. Steinberg is the editor for the new series of Mac Developer titles for the Pragmatic Programmers. He writes feature articles for Apple's ADC web site and is a regular contributor to Mac Devcenter. He has presented at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, MacWorld, MacHack and other Mac developer conferences.

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