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Friday, July 25, 2008

The Opensource model, what it is and how it works

Excellent article and overview of opensource, covering everything from licensing (yes, opensource has it), its evolution, security, issues, & more.

Raymond has compared the development of OSS to a bazaar, where large numbers of interested individuals congregate to contribute (code contributors are called committers) or to provide peer review of the wares in the market (in this case, testing and new feature recommendations for the software in the repositories [1]). A great deal of research, then, has focused on what motivates individuals to join such communities, how they are organized, the group dynamics, and governance structures. For example, Scacchi asserts that open-source communities form a highly adaptive but loosely coupled virtual enterprise, organized in a “layered meritocracy” with a usual team critical mass of five to 15 people [4]. OSS community cultures have even been likened to those of wasps and other swarming insects, in terms of the social network interactions [5].

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