Micro-dynamics of Free and Open Source Software Development. Lurking, laboring and launching new projects on SourceForge
AbstractQuantitative methods are employed to describe two fundamental processes in the creation of free (libre) and open source software (FLOSS) that are at work in the collaborative development environment of the SourceForge.Net platform: resource mobilization, and “entrepreneurial initiatives” which generate new development projects. The micro dynamics of the individuals’ involvements in these processes are analysed by defining “activity states” that correspond to “lurking” (contributing to projects without become a member), “laboring” (joining one or more projects as members), and “launching” (founding one or more projects). The transition probability matrices constructed from observations on the activities of 222,835 individuals who registered on SF.net (during a 14-month period, mainly in 2001) characterize first-order Markov chains describing processes that are ergodic. The existence of a limiting “equilibrium” distribution of individual joining and launching activities is used to abstract from effects of transient disturbances (arising from the flow of new registrations), in order to reveal the implications of the underlying entrepreneurial and recruitment dynamics at work on the platform. Although only a small proportion of this cohort of SF.net registrants become even minimally active, and a still smaller proportion among those join projects, the active “core” of project members still numbers in the tens of thousands, and their ranks contain well more a thousand who found new projects. SourceForge is seen to be more than an attractor of projects that are being “born again” under open source licenses: this virtual collaborative development environment shares the regenerative properties of tangible “industrial districts” that give rise to new, innovative enterprises.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2006/26.
Date of creation: 05 Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Open source software; Collaborative development environments; Industrial districts; Project founding; Project joining; Entrepreneurship and social communication skills; SourceForge; Markov chain models.;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-10-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENT-2006-10-14 (Entrepreneurship)
- NEP-INO-2006-10-14 (Innovation)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Juan Mateos Garcia & W. Edward Steinmueller, 2003. "The Open Source Way of Working: a New Paradigm for the Division of Labour in Software Development?," SPRU Working Paper Series 92, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
- Mario A. Maggioni, 2004. "The Dynamics of Open Source Software Communities and Industrial Districts : the Role of Market and Non-Market Interactions," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 107(1), pages 127-150.
- David, Paul A. & Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 1990. "Marshallian factor market externalities and the dynamics of industrial localization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 349-370, November.
- Paola Giuri & Gaia Rocchetti & Salvatore Torrisi, 2002. "Open Source Software: From Open Science to New Marketing Models," LEM Papers Series 2002/23, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
- Fabio M. Manenti & Stefano Comino & Marialaura Parisi, 2005.
"From Planning to Mature: on the Determinants of Open Source Take-Off,"
0507006, EconWPA, revised 29 Sep 2005.
- Stefano Comino & Fabio Manenti & Marialaura Parisi, 2007. "From Planning to Mature: on the Determinants of Open Source Take-Off," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0035, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
- Stefano Comino & Fabio M. Manenti & Maria Laura Parisi, 2005. "From Planning to Mature: on the Determinants of Open Source Take Off," Department of Economics Working Papers 0517, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
- Paul A.David, 2005.
"Path dependence, its critics and the quest for ‘historical economics’,"
- Paul A. David, . "Path Dependence, its critics, and the quest for 'historical economics'," Working Papers 00011, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Jean-Michel Dalle & Paul David, 2005. "The Allocation of Software Development Resources In ‘Open Source’ Production Mode," Industrial Organization 0502011, EconWPA.
- Josh Lerner, 2005.
"The Scope of Open Source Licensing,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 20-56, April.
- Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2002. "The Scope of Open Source Licensing," NBER Working Papers 9363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2003. "The Scope of Open Source Licensing," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000140, David K. Levine.
- Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "The Scope of Open Source Licensing," IDEI Working Papers 219, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Paul David & Dominique Foray & Jean-Michel Dalle, 1998. "Marshallian Externalities And The Emergence And Spatial Stability Of Technological Enclaves," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2-3), pages 147-182.
- Bode, Eckhardt & Bickenbach, Frank, 2002. "Markov or not Markov - this should be a question," ERSA conference papers ersa02p024, European Regional Science Association.
- Francesco Rullani, 2006. "Dragging developers towards the core. How the Free/Libre/Open Source Software community enhances developers’ contribution," LEM Papers Series 2006/22, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Free, and yet better than costly goods: open source software
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-03-19 23:06:00
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.