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1. Introduction

1.1. Why this document?

There is a large body of good-practice traditions for open-source code that helps other people port, use, and cooperate with developing it. Some of these conventions are traditional in the Unix world and predate Linux; others have developed recently in response to particular new tools and technologies such as the World Wide Web.

This document will help you learn good practice. It is organized into topic sections, each containing a series of checklist items. Think of these as a pre-flight checklist for your patch or software distribution.

A translation into German is available.

1.2. New versions of this document

This document will be posted monthly to the newsgroups comp.os.linux.answers. You can also view the latest version of this HOWTO on the World Wide Web via the URL http://www.en.tldp.org/HOWTO/Software-Release-Practice.html.

Feel free to mail any questions or comments about this HOWTO to Eric S. Raymond, .