A Participation Paradox: Seeking the Missing Link between Free/Open Source Software and Participatory Design

Zegaye Seifu Wubishet, Bendik Bygstad, Prodromos Tsiavos
2013 Journal of Advances in Information Technology  
The success of Free Open Source Software (FOSS) has resulted in thousands of robust and ubiquitous products such as Linux, Firefox and Apache. However, the usability of many other FOSS products is often poor, and the most successful projects are the ones where the user and the developer are one and the same. The lack of broader participation is worrying, because it threatens the entire production model of FOSS. In this paper we investigate the reasons for this situation, drawing extensively
more » ... ing extensively from research on participatory design and commons based peer production (CBPP), and on a case study of three FOSS projects. Potential lessons are also drawn from the CBPP model in general, and the FOSS approach in particular, to mitigate the challenges facing distributed participatory design (DPD). Index Terms-open source software, participatory design, commons based peer production
doi:10.4304/jait.4.4.181-193 fatcat:2yjm63t3ebe6namc6tkyr3o7my