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Steffen Evers: An Introduction To Open Source Software Development

Aug 06, 2000, 16:08 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steffen Evers)


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"Open source software is defined by its attached license which abandons essential rights granted to the original creator by copyright law. This procedure gives anyone the opportunity to redistribute and modify any received open source software."

"The aimed target here is the creation of a model as a base for technical support of open source software. The following thesis intends to provide a first approach for this undertaking by identifying structures of involved parties and processes."

"My starting point was the observation of an insufficient technical environment for usage and development of open source software. To help improve the current situation I first tried to identify suitable software tools. After investigating discussion forums, Groupware and other communication and collaboration technologies, it became clear that well-founded results could only be achieved with a detailed prior analysis of the underlying structures of open source software...."

"All the mentioned material helped to establish a solid base to examine the following four aspects of open source software:

  1. Social Background First of all, I investigated the question whether the open source movement as a whole is actually based on common structures or if it is a chaotic collection of many different persons, parties and entities that hardly can be considered as organized. Additionally, special features of open source software are presented, covering history, law, economy, software engineering and others. Furthermore open source projects are introduced as the basic organizational unit.
  2. Project Organization The work of open source projects is investigated and major resulting organizational structures are illustrated.
  3. Involved Processes Firstly, computer systems are presented as the technical context of (open source) software. Secondly, various identified processes of the development, deployment and usage of open source software are illustrated.
  4. Technical Support Currently used and emerging software tools and support services are investigated, covering experienced problems, major tasks and some examples for special Internet services."

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