Dependencies between modern software projects are common. Jointly, such dependencies form a project network, where changes in one project cause changes to the others belonging to the same project network. This chapter discusses the issues of dependencies, distances, and priorities in open source project networks, from the standpoint of both technological and social networks. Thus, a multidisciplinary approach to the phenomenon of open source software (OSS) development is offered. There is a strong empirical focus maintained, since the aim of the chapter is to analyze OSS network characteristics through an in-depth, qualitative case study of one specifi c open source community: the Open Source Eclipse plug-in project Laika. In our analysis, we will introduce both internal and external networks associated with Laika, together with a discussion of how tightly they are intertwined. We will analyze both the internal and the external networks through the elements of mutuality, interdependence, distance, priorities, different power relations, and investments made in the relationships—elements chosen on the basis of analysis of the network studies literature.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Open Source Project: Undertaking generally involving the development of a piece of open source software.
Open Source Community: Group of individuals who (often voluntarily) work together to develop, test, or modify open source software products.
Properties: Attribute or characteristics of a software package; such attributes often relate to performing a particular function and the degree of success users experience when using that software to perform that function.
Framework: A perspective or context for viewing, observing, and understanding a particular situation or set of events.
External Observer: Member of the research team; this member generally does not participate in the process being studied, but rather assumes the role of an “objective” outsider who is unfamiliar with the nuances of a given process.
Network Studies: Academic review of how connected communities of individuals work together to achieve certain objectives.
System: Software or network of software packages used to perform a variety of tasks.
Complete Chapter List
Kirk St.Amant, Brian Still
Kirk St.Amant, Brian Still
Brian D. Ballentine
Francesca da Rimini
Andrea Bosin, Nicoletta Dessi, Maria Grazia Fugini
Victor van Reijswoud
M. Cameron Jones
Karin van den Berg
Vanessa P. Braganholo, Bernardo Miranda
Alessandro Nuvolari, Francesco Rullani
Marcus Vinicius Brandão Soares
Beatrice A. Boateng, Kwasi Boateng
Ralf Carbon, Marcus Ciolkowski
Bruno Rossi, Barbara Russo, Giancarlo Succi
Daniel Poulin, Andrew Mowbray
Kwei-Jay Lin, Yi-Hsuan Lin, Tung-Mei Ko
Stefano Comino, Fabio M. Manenti
Laurence Favier, Joël Mekhantar
R. Todd Stephens
Wouter Stam, Ruben van Wendel de Joode
Christoph Schlueter Langdon, Alexander Hars
Mikko Puhakka, Hannu Jungman, Marko Seppänen
Risto Rajala, Jussi Nissilä
Thomas Tribunella, James Baroody
Jacobus Andries du Preez
Leila Lage Humes
David J. Solomon
Dick B. Simmons, William Lively, Chris Nelson