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Open Source Software Development Projects: Determinants of Project Popularity


  • Ravi Sen


This paper is an initial exploration of the determinants of open source project success as measured by project popularity. We simultaneously model the impact of project-specific characteristics on project popularity, and the impact of intended users and choice of operating system on the choice of end-user license. These models are jointly estimated using Full Information Maximum Likelihood Method. The results show that the software-user license, age of the project, project status, certain types of potential users, and compatibility with certain operating systems have a statistically significant impact on project popularity. An interesting finding is that GPL, the most widely used software license has an adverse impact on the popularity of an open source project.

Suggested Citation

  • Ravi Sen, 2006. "Open Source Software Development Projects: Determinants of Project Popularity," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2006_02, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  • Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2006_02

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    Cited by:

    1. Dorota Celińska & Mirosława Lasek, 2015. "Why do users choose Open Source software? Analysis of the network effect," Working Papers 2015-05, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item


    Open source project; OSS; FLOSS;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • L17 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Open Source Products and Markets
    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • C88 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Other Computer Software


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