The institutions of open source software: Examining the Debian community

Juan Mateos-Garcia, W. Edward Steinmueller
2008 Information Economics and Policy  
Free and open source software activities involve and, perhaps, evolve institutions (rules, norms and standards) that influence the formation, growth, and demise of communities. Community institutions are attractors for some individuals while discouraging other individuals from entering or continuing to participate. Their suitability may change as a community grows. This paper examines the institutions of the Debian community where issues of community identity, distribution of authority, and
more » ... ntralisation have facilitated growth and development. These same institutions have also resulted in conflicts regarding community purposes and the quality and delivery of the community's output. We examine the institutional redesign undertaken to address these problems and derive implications for F/LOS communities and companies. JEL Codes: O31, L17
doi:10.1016/j.infoecopol.2008.06.001 fatcat:3ldt3pkdwnbqbbmo5k5hh6no6e