The Development of the Open ACS Community

The Development of the Open ACS Community

Neophytos Demetriou (Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-117-9.ch010
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OpenACS is a high-level community framework designed for developing collaborative Internet sites. It started from a university project at MIT, got momentum from the ArsDigita Foundation, and split up into a commercial and an open source version. OpenACS has proven its durability and utility by surviving the death of its parent company (ArsDigita) to grow into a vibrant grassroots collection of independent consultants and small companies implementing diverse and complex Web solutions around the globe for NPOs, philanthropy, and profit. A heritage from this history is a still dominant position of contributors with commercial interests that, in its intensity, is above the norm found in open source projects. In this paper, OpenACS, with its community is presented as a case study documenting the forces between commercial interests, securing investments, and technical development in a large open source project with a large proportion of commercial involvement.

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