Communication Networks in an Open Source Software Project

TitleCommunication Networks in an Open Source Software Project
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsRoberts, J, Hann, I-H, Slaughter, S
Secondary TitleOSS2006: Open Source Systems (IFIP 2.13)
Pagination297 - 306
Date Published2006///
ISSN Number978-0-387-34225-2
Keywordsapache, core, developers, email, email archive, mailing list, participation, social network analysis

This study explores the nature of the social network and the patterns of communication that exist in an open source software development project, the Apache HTTP (WEB) server project. Our analysis of archival data on email communications between developers in the Apache HTTP server project suggests an interesting pattern of communication. We find that the core developers self-organize into three sub-groups that communicate intensely in completing the project. Our analysis also reveals that a few prominent developers who are centrally located in the network are driving communications within the project. We identify the implications of our findings and suggest areas for further research.

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