ox4 - Final Version

Free Software and Beyond
The World of Peer Production

George Dafermos
Day 3
Room Humanities Bridgeford G7
Start time 09:00
Duration 01:30
ID 35
Event type Lecture
Track Aspects of Free Software
Language English

An empirical study of division of labour in free software development

the case of the FreeBSD project

It has been repeatedly remarked that work in free software projects is not assigned, as contributors undertake the work they choose to undertake. In parallel, it has been argued that there is no limit on the number of developers that a free software project can potentially employ, as a result of which a tendency of mass participation inheres in these projects. Mass participation, in turn, results in significant cumulative improvement: “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”. The centrality thus attributed to mass participation only reinforces the urgency of posing the following question: How is work distributed within the development community?: how many people write code for new functionality? How many people report bugs? How many people fix them? Are these functions carried out by distinct groups of people, that is, do people assume primarily a single role? Do large numbers of people participate somewhat equally in these activities, or do a small number of people do most of the work?