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Virtual communities as a resource for the development of OSS projects: the case of Linux ports to embedded processors

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Open source software (OSS) projects represent a new paradigm of software creation and development based on hundreds or even thousands of developers and users organised in the form of a virtual community. The success of an OSS project is closely linked to the successful organisation and development of the virtual community of support. The main objective of this article is to analyse the activity of virtual communities. Social network analysis is employed to analyse Linux ports to embedded processors as a case study to achieve this aim. The obtained results confirm the necessity of structuring the virtual community with a selection of active developers and core members to promote community activity and attract peripheral users, expanding the impact of the underlying software. The obtained result will be useful for the software industry migrating to the open source software paradigm.

Keywords: open source software; regression analysis; social network analysis; virtual communities

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Ingenieria Electronica, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain 2: Departamento de Administracion de Empresas y Comercializacion e Investigacion de Mercados (Marketing), Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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