Operating systems

Latent Social Structure in Open Source Projects

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Executive Summary

Commercial software project managers design project organizational structure carefully, mindful of available skills, division of labour, geographical boundaries, etc. These organizational "Cathedrals" are to be contrasted with the "Bazaar like" nature of Open Source Software (OSS) Projects, which have no pre-designed organizational structure. Any structure that exists is dynamic, self-organizing, latent, and usually not explicitly stated. Still, in large, complex, successful, OSS projects, the authors do expect that subcommunities will form spontaneously within the developer teams. Studying these subcommunities, and their behavior can shed light on how successful OSS projects self-organize.

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