[ba-unrev-talk] Re: Cultural v. Technical Solutions
Well said Mei Lin! (01)
I find it especially interesting in regards to the following two articles 1)
Shaping Code, and 2) Cave or Community? An Empirical Examination of 100
Mature Open Source (SourceForge) Projects, including 3) MIT attempting to
establish "a Free Open Source Research Community in which information will
be freely exchanged, so that we may further the understanding of open source
and its implications outside the realm of software development." (02)
1) Shaping Code
by Jay Kesan < email@example.com > and Rajiv Shah < firstname.lastname@example.org >
< http://opensource.mit.edu/papers/shah.pdf >
"This article addresses how society shapes code. The term "code," as we use
it, consists of the hardware and software components of information
technologies. Code is increasingly being sought as a regulatory mechanism in
conjunction with or as an alternative to law for addressing societal
concerns such as crime, privacy, intellectual property protection, and
revitalizing democratic discourse. (03)
This article analyzes how various societal institutions, that create code
differentially, influence the technical and social characteristics of the
code that is developed by them. The article also provides recommendations on
how society can intervene and proactively shape the development of code to
vindicate societal concerns and preferences." (04)
2) Cave or Community? An Empirical Examination of 100 Mature Open Source
< http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_6/krishnamurthy/index.html > (05)
"Based on a study of the top 100 mature products on Sourceforge, I find a
few surprising things. (06)
* Most OSS programs are developed by individuals, rather than
communities. The median number of developers in the 100 projects I
looked at was 4 and the mode was 1 - numbers much lower than previous
numbers reported for highly successful projects!
* Most OSS programs do not generate a lot of discussion.
* Products with more developers tend to be viewed and downloaded more
* The number of developers associated with a project was positively
correlated to the age of the project.
* The larger the project, the smaller the percent of project
About the Author
Sandeep Krishnamurthy is an assistant professor of E-Commerce/Marketing at
the University of Washington. His MBA E-Commerce textbook entitled
"E-Commerce Management: Text and Cases" will be available in July 2002. His
current research interests revolve around computer-mediated communication
and online communities (e.g. blogs, open source). He welcomes your feedback
at email@example.com. (08)
3) Free Open Source Research Community
"In the spirit of free and open source software (F/OSS), we are attempting
to establish a community in which information will be freely exchanged, so
that we may further the understanding of open source and its implications
outside the realm of software development. We invite researchers to post
their papers on open source and free software here, and to add themselves to
the research directory, so that our community can become steadily larger and
more comprehensive. (09)
Authors rooted in any discipline should consider a submission of their
F/OSS-related work to our database of online papers. Authors can submit
working papers, abstracts and related links for posting on this site. We
welcome quantitative data analyses using a variety of methodological designs
(e.g. simulations, field studies, archival studies, laboratory experiments),
as well as case studies, participant-observations, ethnographies, and other
research strategies that help shed light on F/OSS development."
< http://opensource.mit.edu/ > (010)
< http://opensource.mit.edu/online_papers.php > (011)
Mei Lin Fung wrote: (012)
> Think about two people trying to get to the West Coast in the early 19th
> century (Lewis & Clark for example).
> Lewis has some ideas about how to get across.
> So does Clark.
> They are not all the same ideas. Neither of them knows enough about what
> they are up against to know that their plan is the right one, with any
> It doesn't work for Lewis to say: I'm the leader so do what I say.
> He doesn't know enough. It is helpful to have an evolving plan for how
> to get across, informed by more than 1 intelligent and resourceful
> They plot a path, maybe its informed more by one persons ideas when
> going across Wyoming. Maybe its informed more by the other, to get
> across Idaho.
> By perserverance, luck, and all kinds of other miracles. They make it.
> So, that's how I see Doug's view:
> There are the experts on the Tool Systems.
> There are the experts on the Human Systems.
> They both know how to do some sorts of things.
> Neither knows how to create the Capability Infrastructure for
> improvement for masses of illogical humans to deploy gobs of technology.
> So they try a few steps. Pause. Evaluate where they've got to.
> Plot the next step. Pause. Evaluate where they've got to. Iterate.
> It's ok that its not all a technology solution.
> Its ok that its not all a human solution.
> In fact, its better that neither dominate absolutely.
> Because neither would get us as far as we could go, if we co-evolve the
> Its frightening, because there is a leap of faith involved whenever
> someone leaves their domain of expertise. So working out how to reduce
> the risk of taking steps into the unknown is an important expertise to
> acquire along the way. But that comes later.....
> One of the critical first steps is to have a language and vocabulary to
> "plot the next steps" with.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Peter Jones
> Sent: Monday, October 07, 2002 4:06 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Cultural v. Technical Solutions [was Re: [ba-unrev-talk]
> Re: Just the facts.]
> > Shall I infer that your point would be:
> > Doug Engelbart's vision of coupling masses of illogical humans to gobs
> > technology doesn't have a prayer of achieving anything sufficiently
> > to be able to judge the effort worthwhile? (being somewhat akin to
> > Gerald's earlier comments).
> [pj] No, that's absolutely not what I'm saying. I'm saying the tech
> needs to be
> bent to fit more. I believe that's in line with Doug's thinking (??).
> <massive snippage> (013)
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