This section provides a precise definition of what is meant by each category of skills in each level, so an IT department can understand exactly the sort of skills it will need to succeed using open source. (In Chapter 5, a program on skill improvement will be proposed.)
Open source started as primitive fundamental elements, languages, and operating systems that were combined and recombined to create the incredible trove of software available today. Appendix A examines the different sorts of platforms that can be constructed with open source.
One of the earliest and still most active areas of open source is the creation of tools for developers. The keyboard mappings of Emacs and vi editors are deeply embedded in the brains of millions of developers. Other tools such as Ant are used widely to compile and assemble programs. Open source is bundled together with its own set of tools, such as tar.
The fact is, when you start digging into an open source project, you might encounter 5, 10, or 15 open source or Linux development tools or commands that are crucial to understanding how to compile and construct the project on your computer. The first few times you wade through this it can be slow going. But eventually you become one of the informed, and a process that started out taking 6 to 8 hours now takes 15 minutes.
The most important tools to understand are: