Open source: Kritiske valg

Jeppe Poss

Student thesis: Master thesis


In this thesis the main goal was to identify certain choices that would be characterised as critical for open source software (OSS) projects. The thesis used motivation, organisation, and the technological growth of the project as the means to determine whether a choice would be critical for a given project. As a bench-mark the common-based peer-production process (Andreev, Feller, Finnegan, & Moretz, 2010) was used. The findings revealed seven generic decision categories; license, architectural (software), distributions, management, cultural, external environment, and when to stop the project. The three projects that were included in this thesis were all selected for the reason that they would be able to provide a different point of view on OSS development. A key finding was how much of an impact the culture of the projects had on how well it performed. Two of the selected projects, both end user programs, began in a commercial context and both were struggling with a culture that made it hard for others to be a part of the community. The third project, a Linux distri-bution, used culture as a mean to control the project, which turned out to work great. There was however some undefined factors that could help explain why two projects were struggling with getting people in-volved as developers. One of which would be to define the type of software that the project was develop-ing. The findings should further the understanding of how critical choices are constituted and help both re-searchers and practitioners better understand the dynamics of OSS development.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages107