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Modularity in Action: GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source Software Development Model Unleashed

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  • Alessandro Narduzzo
  • Alessandro Rossi

Abstract

Organizational and managerial theories of modularity applied to the design and production of complex artifacts are used to interpret the rise and success of Free/Open Source Software methodologies and practices in software engineering. Strengths and risks of the adoption of a modular approach in software project management are introduced and are related to the achievements of the GNU/Linux project as a whole, as well as to the outcomes of some of its sub--projects. It is suggested that mindful implementation of the principles of modularity may improve the rate of success of many Free/Open Source software projects. Specific case studies here depicted, as well as indirect observation of common programming practices employed by Free/Open Source developers and users, suggest a possible revision towards an improved theory of modularity that may be extended also to settings different from software production.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy in its series ROCK Working Papers with number 020.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision: 13 Jun 2008
Handle: RePEc:trt:rockwp:020

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  1. Langlois, Richard N., 2002. "Modularity in technology and organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 19-37, September.
  2. Brusoni, Stefano & Prencipe, Andrea, 2001. "Unpacking the Black Box of Modularity: Technologies, Products and Organizations," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 179-205, March.
  3. Marengo, Luigi, et al, 2000. "The Structure of Problem-Solving Knowledge and the Structure of Organizations," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 757-88, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Holck, Jesper & Larsen, Michael Holm & Pedersen, Mogens Kühn, 2004. "Identifying Business Barriers and Enablers for the Adoption of Open Source Software," Working Papers 2004-10, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Informatics.
  2. Sadowski, Bert & Sadowski-Rasters, Gaby & Duysters, Geert, 2007. "Transition of Governance in a Mature Open Software Source Community: Evidence from the Debian Case," MERIT Working Papers 039, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  3. Ghafele, Roya & Gibert, Benjamin, 2012. "Efficiency through openness: the economic value proposition of open source software," MPRA Paper 38088, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Marie Coris & Yannick LUNG, 2005. "Les communautés virtuelles : la coordination sans proximité ? Les fondements de la coopération au sein des communautés du logiciel libre," Revue d'économie régionale et urbaine, Armand Colin, vol. 0(3), pages 397-420.

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