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Geographic origin of libre software developers

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Author Info

  • Gonzalez-Barahona, Jesus M.
  • Robles, Gregorio
  • Andradas-Izquierdo, Roberto
  • Ghosh, Rishab Aiyer

Abstract

This paper examines the claim that libre (free, open source) software involves global development. The anecdotal evidence is that developers usually work in teams including individuals residing in many different geographical areas, time zones and even continents and that, as a whole, the libre software community is also diverse in terms of national origin. However, its exact composition is difficult to capture, since there are few records of the geographical location of developers. Past studies have been based on surveying a limited (and sometimes biased) sample and extrapolating that sample to the global distribution of developers. In this paper we present an alternate approach in which databases are analyzed to create traces of information from which the geographical origin of developers can be inferred. Applying this technique to the SourceForge users database and the mailing lists archives from several large projects, we have estimated the geographical origin of more than one million individuals who are closely related to the libre software development process. The paper concludes that the result is a good proxy for the actual distribution of libre software developers working on global projects.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8J-4T3DCPK-1/2/3981dfbc523eae1d1ce65fb1f0c0edb7
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Information Economics and Policy.

Volume (Year): 20 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 356-363

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Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:20:y:2008:i:4:p:356-363

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505549

Related research

Keywords: Geographical location Data mining Libre software Free software Open source software;

References

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  1. Hertel, Guido & Niedner, Sven & Herrmann, Stefanie, 2003. "Motivation of software developers in Open Source projects: an Internet-based survey of contributors to the Linux kernel," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1177, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Francesco Rullani & Lorenzo Zirulia, 2011. "A Supply Side Story for a Threshold Model: Endogenous Growth of the Free and Open Source Community," DRUID Working Papers 11-06, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  2. Krishnamurthy, Sandeep & Ou, Shaosong & Tripathi, Arvind K., 2014. "Acceptance of monetary rewards in open source software development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 632-644.
  3. Andreas Freytag & Sebastian von Engelhardt & Christoph Schulz, 2010. "On the Geographic Allocation of Open Source Software Activities," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-009, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Andreas Freytag & Sebastian von Engelhardt, 2010. "Institutions, Culture, and Open Source," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-010, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  5. Sebastian von Engelhardt, 2011. "What Economists Know about Open Source Software - Its Basic Principles and Research Results," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-005, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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