A Framework for Understanding the Open Source Revolution

TitleA Framework for Understanding the Open Source Revolution
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsElpern, J, Dascalu, S
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary TitleInternational Journal of Open Source Software and Processes
Pagination1 - 16
ISSN Number1942-3934

Traditional software engineering methodologies have mostly evolved from the environment of proprietary, large-scale software systems. Here, software design principles operate within a hierarchical decision-making context. Development of banking, enterprise resource and complex weapons systems all fit this paradigm. However, another paradigm for developing software-intensive systems has emerged, the paradigm of open source software. Although from a traditional perspective open source projects might look like chaos, their real-world results have been spectacular. This chapter presents open source software development as a fundamentally new paradigm driven by economics and facilitated by new processes. The new paradigm's revolutionary aspects are explored, a framework for describing the massive impact brought about by the new paradigm is proposed, and directions of future research are outlined. The proposed framework's goals are to help the understanding of the open source paradigm as a new economic revolution and stimulate research in designing open source software.

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