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Slashdot: Communication and the Open Source Community

The Open Source movement has produced some of the world’s
finest software through the cooperation of developers worldwide.
While it may be the most effective way of writing software the
planet has ever seen, it creates its own communication challenges,
as well.
The days of private, closed-door meetings in pretty
offices are over; disputes of all kinds are dealt with
publically….”

“While mailing lists represent the tried-and-true method of
disseminating information among your development brethen, it’s not
the only way. IRC has been used as a development meetingplace for a
while, but also has its own problems. Netsplits, nick problems, and
the occasional channel flood can make things difficult….”

“One of the biggest problems is that all arguments are usually
very public, and can lead to a political struggle within the
project. The argument between Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens,
although it took place over a year ago, is still fresh in people’s
minds. When the mainstream media has their ears on the Linux
railroad track listening for the oncoming train, they are more than
willing to consider an argument between two Linux people as a
portent that the house of cards is about to fall. Decentralization
of control leads people to believe that just about anyone can be in
charge, and the media will consistently rally around the
loudest.”

Complete
Story