The many meanings of open source

TitleThe many meanings of open source
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsGacek, C, Arief, B
Secondary TitleIEEE Software
Pagination34 - 40
Date Published01/2004
ISSN Number0740-7459
Keywordsclassification, projects, taxonomy

The term Open Source is widely applied to describe some software development methodologies. This paper does not provide a judgment on the open source approach, but exposes the fact that simply stating that a project is open source does not provide a precise description of the approach used to support the project. By taking a multi- disciplinary point of view, we propose a collection of characteristics that are common, as well as some that vary among open source projects. The set of open source characteristics we found can be used as a tick-list both for analysing and for setting up open source projects. Our tick-list also provides a starting point for understanding the many meanings of the term open source.


"We determined a set of characteristics that are almost always present and others that vary among open source projects, and this serves as the core of this work"
"Section 3 describes some open source characteristics that can be used in determining whether a project is or not open source"

Short TitleIEEE Softw.
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