From Planning to Mature: on the Determinants of Open Source Take Off

Comino, Stefano and Manenti, Fabio M. and Parisi, Maria Laura (2005) From Planning to Mature: on the Determinants of Open Source Take Off. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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    Thanks to a recent and vast empirical literature, we know in details how the most popular open source projects are organized and why they succeed. Open source is not only Linux: in this paper we use a large data-set obtained from to estimate the main determinants of the progress in the development of a stable and mature code of an open source software. We show that projects geared towards sophisticated users (i.e. system administrators) or projects aimed at developing tools for the Internet, multimedia and software have greater chances to reach an advanced development stage. On the contrary, projects devoted to the production of applications for games and telecommunication as well as projects distributed under highly restrictive licensing terms (GPL) have a significantly smaller probability to advance. Interestingly, we find that the size of the “community of developers” increases the chances of progress but this effect decreases as the community gets larger, a signal of possible coordination problems. Finally, we show that the determinants of projects’ development stage change with the age of the project in many dimensions thus supporting the common perception of open source as an extremely dynamic phenomenon.

    Item Type: Departmental Technical Report
    Department or Research center: Economics
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
    Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA076 Computer software
    Uncontrolled Keywords: software market, open source software, development status, intended audience, license
    Report Number: 17
    Repository staff approval on: 13 Dec 2005

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