An Introduction to Open Source Communities

Eugene Eric Kim
April 2003

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This report describes what open source communities are and how they work. In particular, it addresses the following questions:

In examining these questions, this report discusses existing, relevant research, and presents original case studies of two open source projects: TouchGraph and SquirrelMail. It identifies some patterns of collaboration that both of these projects share, and describes how these patterns might apply to other types of communities. Finally, it reviews what is not yet well understood about open source communities, and proposes several paths for further research.

This report was sponsored by the Omidyar Foundation.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.