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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wikimania London

Wikimania in London this year was huge, bigger then any of the previous Wikimania’s I’ve been too. (So, excluding DC & Hong Kong). The amount of people made it easy to get lost but it also meant there was a lot of options in content which is a big plus if you’re not big on [...]

The Material and Social Dynamics of Motivation: Contributions to Open Source Language Technology Development

paper This paper argues that prior research on the motivations of open source developers has focused too much on intrinsic versus extrinsic and the hacker ethic-for profit juxtaposition frameworks. As a result not all motives have received fair attention. A case study is done on the OpenOffice.Org project, a hybrid firm-commnity project exploring other motivational [...]

Contrasting Community Building in Sponsored and Community Founded Open Source Projects

paper A case study of a project, VistA, the primary healthcare information system for the US Department of Veterans affairs, which has been moved from it’s corporate (closed source) context into a public open-source project. Two different models of open source communities are proposed: sponsored and community founded open source projects. Community founded projects are [...]


As @Brionv already dented I’m currently at Wikimania doing interviews for my masters thesis on open source communities. If you consider yourself a Mediawiki developer or that you might become one I’d love to talk to you. feel free to ping me at hennar – at – gmail dot com or find me at Wikimania [...]

Analysing mediawiki commits

CVSAnaly2 is currently processing mediawiki commits based on the git mirror of the main subversion repository . pip install “” git clone git:// mediawiki cd mediawiki cvsanaly2 Traceback (most recent call last): File “/usr/local/bin/cvsanaly2″, line 33, in import pycvsanaly2.main File “/usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/pycvsanaly2/”, line 34, in from repositoryhandler.backends import create_repository, create_repository_from_path, RepositoryUnknownError ImportError: No module named backends [...]

Analysing code repositories

I want to compare activity of non-paid developers in a project before and after the introduction of financial rewards. For this I’ll look at commits as a measure of how active people are. Commits are a useful measurement here as it shows real activity, other activity happens as well (mailing lists, IRC), but code written [...]

Sponsored Open Source Projects

“Sponsored projects,” in academic research, are projects initiated by an organization, commonly a commercial firm but sometimes a government agency. Most research on open source focuses on community-found projects,  examples include Apache or the Linux kernel.  Less studied are the sponsored open source projects, such as OpenOffice.Org or MySQL. A potential third category are the [...]


Open source development has long been thought of as a hobby. Research as early as 2001 however has shown that not all open source is done on a volunteer basis. Organizations are involved in the open source community in different ways: developing open source software, sponsoring open source projects with grants our bounties. The effects [...]

Getting Paid for Open Source Development

Not all open source development is volunteer work (Lakhani & Wolf 2005: 40% paid, Hars&Ou 2001: 16% paid). So far I’ve found the following ways to get paid for open source work: Directly hired to develop open source by the main contributing organisation (e.g. Mozilla developer hired by Mozilla or a Mediawiki developer hired by [...]

Literature Study

Most research starts with a literature study. It helps to clarify the question; makes sure the question hasn’t been answered already and provides enough background to be able to answer the question. While doing literature reviews two things matter, find (all) relevant literature and keep track of what you’re reading as you’ll need to cite [...]