Browsing by Subject "kasvatustieteet"

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  • Freeman, Stephanie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The open development model of software production has been characterized as the future model of knowledge production and distributed work. Open development model refers to publicly available source code ensured by an open source license, and the extensive and varied distributed participation of volunteers enabled by the Internet. Contemporary spokesmen of open source communities and academics view open source development as a new form of volunteer work activity characterized by hacker ethic and bazaar governance . The development of the Linux operating system is perhaps the best know example of such an open source project. It started as an effort by a user-developer and grew quickly into a large project with hundreds of user-developer as contributors. However, in hybrids , in which firms participate in open source projects oriented towards end-users, it seems that most users do not write code. The OpenOffice.org project, initiated by Sun Microsystems, in this study represents such a project. In addition, the Finnish public sector ICT decision-making concerning open source use is studied. The purpose is to explore the assumptions, theories and myths related to the open development model by analysing the discursive construction of the OpenOffice.org community: its developers, users and management. The qualitative study aims at shedding light on the dynamics and challenges of community construction and maintenance, and related power relations in hybrid open source, by asking two main research questions: How is the structure and membership constellation of the community, specifically the relation between developers and users linguistically constructed in hybrid open development? What characterizes Internet-mediated virtual communities and how can they be defined? How do they differ from hierarchical forms of knowledge production on one hand and from traditional volunteer communities on the other? The study utilizes sociological, psychological and anthropological concepts of community for understanding the connection between the real and the imaginary in so-called virtual open source communities. Intermediary methodological and analytical concepts are borrowed from discourse and rhetorical theories. A discursive-rhetorical approach is offered as a methodological toolkit for studying texts and writing in Internet communities. The empirical chapters approach the problem of community and its membership from four complementary points of views. The data comprises mailing list discussion, personal interviews, web page writings, email exchanges, field notes and other historical documents. The four viewpoints are: 1) the community as conceived by volunteers 2) the individual contributor s attachment to the project 3) public sector organizations as users of open source 4) the community as articulated by the community manager. I arrive at four conclusions concerning my empirical studies (1-4) and two general conclusions (5-6). 1) Sun Microsystems and OpenOffice.org Groupware volunteers failed in developing necessary and sufficient open code and open dialogue to ensure collaboration thus splitting the Groupware community into volunteers we and the firm them . 2) Instead of separating intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, I find that volunteers unique patterns of motivations are tied to changing objects and personal histories prior and during participation in the OpenOffice.org Lingucomponent project. Rather than seeing volunteers as a unified community, they can be better understood as independent entrepreneurs in search of a collaborative community . The boundaries between work and hobby are blurred and shifting, thus questioning the usefulness of the concept of volunteer . 3) The public sector ICT discourse portrays a dilemma and tension between the freedom to choose, use and develop one s desktop in the spirit of open source on one hand and the striving for better desktop control and maintenance by IT staff and user advocates, on the other. The link between the global OpenOffice.org community and the local end-user practices are weak and mediated by the problematic IT staff-(end)user relationship. 4) Authoring community can be seen as a new hybrid open source community-type of managerial practice. The ambiguous concept of community is a powerful strategic tool for orienting towards multiple real and imaginary audiences as evidenced in the global membership rhetoric. 5) The changing and contradictory discourses of this study show a change in the conceptual system and developer-user relationship of the open development model. This change is characterized as a movement from hacker ethic and bazaar governance to more professionally and strategically regulated community. 6) Community is simultaneously real and imagined, and can be characterized as a runaway community . Discursive-action can be seen as a specific type of online open source engagement. Hierarchies and structures are created through discursive acts. Key words: Open Source Software, open development model, community, motivation, discourse, rhetoric, developer, user, end-user