"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:
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.
Project Organization The work of open source projects is
investigated and major resulting organizational structures are
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.
Technical Support Currently used and emerging software tools
and support services are investigated, covering experienced
problems, major tasks and some examples for special Internet