Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software

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Joseph Feller, Brian Fitzgerald, Scott A. Hissam, Karim R. Lakhani
MIT Press, 2005 - Computers - 538 pages
What is the status of the Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) revolution? Has the creation of software that can be freely used, modified, and redistributed transformed industry and society, as some predicted, or is this transformation still a work in progress? Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software brings together leading analysts and researchers to address this question, examining specific aspects of F/OSS in a way that is both scientifically rigorous and highly relevant to real-life managerial and technical concerns.

The book analyzes a number of key topics: the motivation behind F/OSS—why highly skilled software developers devote large amounts of time to the creation of "free" products and services; the objective, empirically grounded evaluation of software—necessary to counter what one chapter author calls the "steamroller" of F/OSS hype; the software engineering processes and tools used in specific projects, including Apache, GNOME, and Mozilla; the economic and business models that reflect the changing relationships between users and firms, technical communities and firms, and between competitors; and legal, cultural, and social issues, including one contribution that suggests parallels between "open code" and "open society" and another that points to the need for understanding the movement's social causes and consequences.
 

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Contents

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About the author (2005)

Joseph Feller is Lecturer in Business Information Systems, University College Cork, Ireland.

Brian Fitzgerald holds the Frederick A. Krehbiel II Chair in Innovation in Global Business and Technology, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Scott A. Hissam is Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.

Karim R. Lakhani is a doctoral candidate in management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, strategy consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, and cofounder of the MIT Open Source Research Project.

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