Digital sustainability 
of open source communities 
Dr. Matthias Stürmer 
Head of Research Center for Digital Sustainabili...
Research Center for 
Digital Sustainability 
Research, teaching and consulting on 
● Open Source Software: Community 
gove...
Agenda 
1.A historic example of digital sustainability 
2.The concept of digital sustainability 
3.Knowledge perspective i...
Pioneer Plaque (1972) 
Source: NASA, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_plaque 
Digital sustainability of ope...
Voyager Golden Record (1977) 
● Gramophone records included in Voyager 
1 and 2 spacecrafts 
● A „bottle in the cosmic oce...
Method how to read the content 
EXPLANATION OF RECORDING COVER DIAGRAM 
DEFINE THE VIDEO PORTION OF THE RECORDING 
THIS DI...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Images on the Golden Record 
Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 ...
Sustainability of information 
What is needed to provide sustainable information? 
1. Data itself 
2. Data format specific...
Agenda 
1.A historic example of digital sustainability 
2.The concept of digital sustainability 
3.Knowledge perspective i...
Definition of 'sustainability' 
Original idea of sustainability: Only cut as 
much wood so it can grow again. 
(Hans Carl ...
Differenty types of sustainability 
Ecological 
Sustainability 
Social 
Sustainability 
Economic 
Sustainability 
Digital ...
Definition of 'digital sustainability' 
Marcus Dapp defines: 
● Digital resources are handled sustainably if their utility...
Classification of goods 
Rivalry 
rivalrous non-rivalrous 
Private Good Club Good 
Common 
Resources 
excludable 
Access 
...
Characteristics of digital sustainability 
1. Intergenerational justice 
No legal obstacles 
2. Regenerative capacity 
Dis...
Why not 'informational sustainability'? 
Source: IDC's Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, December 2012 
http://www...
Agenda 
1.A historic example of digital sustainability 
2.The concept of digital sustainability 
3.Knowledge perspective i...
Knowledge management theory 
● Explicit knowledge 
– Raw data, databases, documents, multimedia, source code 
– Easy to tr...
Organizational learning 
Source: Nonaka, I. (1994). A Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation. Organization Sc...
Knowledge in open source communities 
What does this mean for open source communities? 
● Source code is publicly availabl...
Mozilla Firefox 
As an Example of Package Dependencies in Debian: The Graph of Mozilla Firefox 
UNIX command: apt-cache do...
Agenda 
1.A historic example of digital sustainability 
2.The concept of digital sustainability 
3.Knowledge perspective i...
Growing of open source projects 
Source: 2014 Future of Open Source - 8th Annual Survey results 
http://www.slideshare.net...
Elements of a 
sustainable open source community 
A) Good governance 
B) Heterogeneous community 
C) Non-for-profit founda...
Good governance 
● Transparent decision processes, participative culture 
● Successful example: Eclipse community initiate...
Bad governance may result in a fork 
● Unfriendly separation of an open source community (mostly) 
● Important sword of da...
History of OpenOffice.org etc. 
Source: Presentation of Apache OpenOffice at OSB Alliance Workshop, 30 October 2013 in Stu...
LibreOffice fork of OpenOffice.org 
Source: Jonas Gamalielsson/Björn Lundell, Sustainability of Open Source software commu...
Source code statistics 
Source: OpenHub comparison https://www.openhub.net/p/compare?project_0=LibreOffice&project_1=Apach...
Elements of a 
sustainable open source community 
A) Good governance 
B) Heterogeneous community 
C) Non-for-profit founda...
Linux kernel development 
Source: YouTube Video „Linux Kernel Development Visualization (git commit history - past 6 weeks...
Linux contributions by companies 
Companies contributing to the kernel from 2012-03-18 till 2013-06-30: 
Source: Linux Fou...
Linux kernel facts 
● Linux kernel development is one of the 
largest cooperative software projects ever 
● Over 10'000 pa...
Diverse motivations 
Why do individuals develop open source software? 
Ideology 
Altruism 
Kinship 
Fun 
Reputation 
Recip...
Elements of a 
sustainable open source community 
A) Good governance 
B) Heterogeneous community 
C) Nonprofit foundation ...
Nonprofit association 
● Many large open source communities have an nonprofit 
umbrella organization: Linux, Apache, Eclip...
Because today's big software corporations are 
marketing companies! 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source ...
Marketing vs. R&D at Adobe 
Sales and marketing FY 2013: 1.6 billion $ → 53% of expenses 
Research and development FY 2013...
Marketing&Admin vs. R&D at Apple 
Sales and administration FY 2013: 10.8 billion $ → 71% of expenses 
Research and develop...
Marketing vs. R&D at Oracle 
Sales and marketing FY 2014: 7.6 billion $ → 32% of expenses 
Research and development FY 201...
Marketing vs. R&D at Microsoft 
Sales and marketing FY 2013: 15.3 billion $ → 50% of expenses 
Research and development FY...
Elements of a 
sustainable open source community 
A) Good governance 
B) Heterogeneous community 
C) Nonprofit foundation ...
Business models with open source 
1. Closed source licenses - For a version of the full project, a larger software 
packag...
OSS Directory 
● Website: www.ossdirectory.ch (and .de/.at/.fr/.com/.org) 
● Relational database of 
– open source product...
Private-collective model of innovation 
● Private investment model 
– Return on investment through intellectual property r...
Elements of a 
sustainable open source community 
A) Good governance 
B) Heterogeneous community 
C) Nonprofit foundation ...
Opportunity for users to get things done 
How can users influence development in case the 
programmers have no „itch“ to w...
A) Open source feature requests 
e.g. on www.bountysource.com 
Source: https://www.bountysource.com 
Digital sustainabilit...
B) Project-specific feature lists 
e.g. ILIAS E-Learning System 
Source: How To Suggest A New Feature 
http://www.ilias.de...
B) Project-specific feature lists 
e.g. ILIAS E-Learning System 
Source: How To Suggest A New Feature 
http://www.ilias.de...
B) Project-specific feature lists 
e.g. ILIAS E-Learning System 
Source: Who Paid What in ILIAS 4.5 
http://www.ilias.de/d...
C) Institutional crowd-funding initiative 
● Overcoming the 'collective action' problem in open source 
● Group of profess...
Process of institutional crowd-funding 
Phase 1: Initialization 
a) Mobilize interest of institutional open source softwar...
Initiating organizations in 2011 
Public Institutions 
● City of Freiburg i.B. 
● City of München 
● City of Jena 
● Swiss...
Challenges 
● Huge knowledge gap: terminology, standard 
specification, structures and processes within public 
administra...
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 80
Current OOXML improvements 
EUR 50k 
Total: approx. EUR 140k (excl. VAT) 
EUR 8k 
EUR 13k 
EUR 4k 
Ernst & Young 
SUSE 
La...
Development results of first project 
Source: http://www.osb-alliance.de/working-groups/projekte/ooxml-filter/projektergeb...
Agenda 
1.A historic example of digital sustainability 
2.The concept of digital sustainability 
3.Knowledge perspective i...
Conclusions and topics for discussion 
My (no-brainer) advices: 
1.Good governance: 
Manage your community in a fair way. ...
...so Semantic MediaWiki will 
continue to fly for millions of years! 
Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 sourc...
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Digital sustainability of open source communities

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What is digital sustainability and what do open source communities have to do with it? The talk will introduce the concept of digital sustainability, discuss characteristics of digital resources that make them sustainable, and explain why and how communities of open source communities create digitally sustainable software. Examples of different community activities such as the LibreOffice project illustrate how collaboration works in various open source initiatives.

Born 1980, Matthias studied business administration and computer science at University of Bern until 2005 (lic.rer.pol) and finished his doctoral dissertation at the Chair of Strategic Management and Innovation at ETH Zürich in 2009 (Dr. sc. ETH Zürich). His research focused on open source communities and firm involvement, the title of his PhD thesis was "How Firms Make Friends: Communities in Private-Collective Innovation". During his studies, Matthias founded two Internet start-ups and was involved in various open source initiatives. After finishing his PhD he then worked at Liip AG, a Swiss software company creating agile Internet solutions based on open source technologies. In 2010 he joined EY (Ernst & Young) as Senior, later he was promoted to Manager. Among other topics Matthias Stürmer consulted global corporations and government authorities on social media governance, open source software, and open government data. He is member of the board of Swiss Open System User Group /ch/open, member of the board of Opendata.ch, secretary of the Swiss Parliamentarian Group for Digital Sustainability, and leader of the OSB Alliance Working Group Office Interoperability. Since 2011 he is member of the city parliament of Bern. In August 2013 Matthias started as post-doc at the University of Bern to focus on topics around digital sustainability. Among other projects he created the new lecture “Open data: data management and visualization” teaching open government data theory as well as tutoring the programming of open data apps by the students.

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Digital sustainability of open source communities

  1. 1. Digital sustainability of open source communities Dr. Matthias Stürmer Head of Research Center for Digital Sustainability at the Institute of Information Systems at University of Bern www.digitale-nachhaltigkeit.unibe.ch 2 October 2014 10th Semantic MediaWiki Conference SMWCon Fall 2014 in Vienna Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 1
  2. 2. Research Center for Digital Sustainability Research, teaching and consulting on ● Open Source Software: Community governance, business models etc. ● Open Data: Visualization apps, open finance, participatory budgeting etc. ● Open Government: open government apps, Open Government Partnership etc. ● Net politics: net neutrality, copyright, data security, Internet governance etc. ● IT procurement: vendor dependencies, transparency, WTO regulations etc. Dr. Matthias Stürmer Post-doc and Head of the Research Center for Digital Sustainability University of Bern Institute of Information Systems Chair of Information Management Engehaldenstrasse 8 CH-3012 Bern Phone: +41 31 631 38 09 Mobile: +41 76 368 81 65 matthias.stuermer@iwi.unibe.ch www.digitale-nachhaltigkeit.unibe.ch Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 2
  3. 3. Agenda 1.A historic example of digital sustainability 2.The concept of digital sustainability 3.Knowledge perspective in open source communities 4.Elements of a sustainable open source community 5.Conclusions and topics for discussion Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 3
  4. 4. Pioneer Plaque (1972) Source: NASA, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_plaque Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 4
  5. 5. Voyager Golden Record (1977) ● Gramophone records included in Voyager 1 and 2 spacecrafts ● A „bottle in the cosmic ocean“ intended to communicate to extra-terrestrials a story of the world of humans on Earth ● Content: 116 images, natural sounds, classical music, spoken languages ● Travelling at 60'000 km/h, now around 20 billion km away ● In about 40'000 years Voyager 1 and 2 will be within 1.8 light-years of other stars Source: NASA, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Golden_Record Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 5
  6. 6. Method how to read the content EXPLANATION OF RECORDING COVER DIAGRAM DEFINE THE VIDEO PORTION OF THE RECORDING THIS DIAGRAM ILLUSTRATES THE TWO LOWEST STATES OF THE HYDROGEN ATOM. THE VERTICAL LINES WITH THE DOTS INDICATE THE SPIN MOMENTS OF THE PROTON AND ELECTRON. THE TRANSITION TIME FROM ONE STATE TO THE OTHER PROVIDES THE FUNDAMENTAL CLOCK REFERENCE USED IN ALL THE COVER DIAGRAMS AND DECODED PICTURES. BINARY CODE DEFINING PROPER SPEED (3.6 seconds/ROTATION) TO TURN THE RECORD (|=BINARY 1, ―= BINARY 0) EXPRESSED IN 0.70 × 10-9 seconds, THE TIME PERIOD ASSOCIATED WITH THE FUNDAMENTAL TRANSITION OF THE HYDROGEN ATOM OUTLINE OF CARTRIDGE WITH STYLUS TO PLAY RECORD (FURNISHED ON SPACECRAFT) PICTORIAL PLAN VIEW OF RECORD ELEVATION VIEW OF CARTRIDGE ELEVATION VIEW OF RECORD PLAYING TIME, ONE SIDE = ~1 hour THIS DIAGRAM DEFINES THE LOCATION OF OUR SUN UTILIZING 14 PULSARS OF KNOWN DIRECTIONS FROM OUR SUN. THE BINARY CODE DEFINES THE FREQUENCY OF THE PULSES. Source: NASA, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Golden_Record THE DIAGRAMS BELOW GENERAL APPEARANCE OF WAVE FORM OF VIDEO SIGNALS FOUND ON THE RECORDING BINARY CODE TELLS TIME OF THE SCAN (~8 msec) SCAN TRIGGERING VIDEO IMAGE FRAME SHOWING DIRECTION OF SCAN. BINARY CODE INDICATES TIME OF EACH SCAN SWEEP (512 VERTICAL LINES PER COMPLETE PICTURE) IF PROPERLY DECODED, THE FIRST IMAGE WHICH WILL APPEAR IS A CIRCLE Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 6
  7. 7. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 7
  8. 8. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 8
  9. 9. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 9
  10. 10. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 10
  11. 11. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 11
  12. 12. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 12
  13. 13. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 13
  14. 14. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 14
  15. 15. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 15
  16. 16. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 16
  17. 17. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 17
  18. 18. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 18
  19. 19. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 19
  20. 20. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 20
  21. 21. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 21
  22. 22. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 22
  23. 23. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 23
  24. 24. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 24
  25. 25. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 25
  26. 26. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 26
  27. 27. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 27
  28. 28. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 28
  29. 29. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 29
  30. 30. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 30
  31. 31. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 31
  32. 32. Images on the Golden Record Source: http://re-lab.net/welcome/images.html Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 32
  33. 33. Sustainability of information What is needed to provide sustainable information? 1. Data itself 2. Data format specification 3. Method how to read the data 4. Data storage hardware 5. Data player device Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 33
  34. 34. Agenda 1.A historic example of digital sustainability 2.The concept of digital sustainability 3.Knowledge perspective in open source communities 4.Elements of a sustainable open source community 5.Conclusions and topics for discussion Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 34
  35. 35. Definition of 'sustainability' Original idea of sustainability: Only cut as much wood so it can grow again. (Hans Carl von Carlowitz, 1713) Today's definition of sustainable development from the Brundtlandt report: „Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.“ Source: Our Common Future (Brundtland Report) 1987 United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 35
  36. 36. Differenty types of sustainability Ecological Sustainability Social Sustainability Economic Sustainability Digital Sustainability Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 36
  37. 37. Definition of 'digital sustainability' Marcus Dapp defines: ● Digital resources are handled sustainably if their utility for society is maximized, so that digital needs of contemporary and future generations are equally met. ● Digital needs are optimally met if resources are accessible to the largest number and reuseable with minimal restrictions. ● Digital resources encompass knowledge and cultural artefacts represented in digital form, e.g. text, image, audio, video, or software. In German: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digitale_Nachhaltigkeit Source: Dapp, M. 2013. Open Government Data and Free Software – Cornerstones of a Digital Sustainability Agenda. In The 2013 Open Reader – Stories and articles inspired by OKCon 2013: Open Data, Broad, Deep, Connected. Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 37
  38. 38. Classification of goods Rivalry rivalrous non-rivalrous Private Good Club Good Common Resources excludable Access non-excludable Source: N. Gregory Mankiw, Principles of Economics, Dryden 1998. e.g. proprietary software Public Good e.g. open source software Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 38
  39. 39. Characteristics of digital sustainability 1. Intergenerational justice No legal obstacles 2. Regenerative capacity Distributed tacit knowledge 3. Economic use of resources Reuse of digital assets 4. Risk reduction No firm dependencies, transparent architecture 5. Absorptive capacity Comprehensible content 6. Highest added value Ideal policy conditions Source: Stuermer, M. 2014 Characteristics of Digital Sustainability – Proceedings of The 8th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance ICEGOV 2014 sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 39
  40. 40. Why not 'informational sustainability'? Source: IDC's Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, December 2012 http://www.emc.com/collateral/analyst-reports/idc-the-digital-universe-in-2020.pdf Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 40
  41. 41. Agenda 1.A historic example of digital sustainability 2.The concept of digital sustainability 3.Knowledge perspective in open source communities 4.Elements of a sustainable open source community 5.Conclusions and topics for discussion Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 41
  42. 42. Knowledge management theory ● Explicit knowledge – Raw data, databases, documents, multimedia, source code – Easy to transfer because it is documented ● Tacit knowledge – Intuition, experience, skills (speaking languages etc.) – Difficult to transfer because it 'sticks' within individuals ● Organizational learning – Knowledge creation, acquisition, diffusion etc. – Knowledge transformations within organizations Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 42
  43. 43. Organizational learning Source: Nonaka, I. (1994). A Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation. Organization Science. Vol. 5, No. 1, pp.14-37. Drawing from http://gotogemba.com/tag/tacit-knowledge/ Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 43
  44. 44. Knowledge in open source communities What does this mean for open source communities? ● Source code is publicly available explicit knowledge ● Know-how about the source code is tacit knowledge ● An open source community has collective intelligence ● Open source projects consist of many components Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 44
  45. 45. Mozilla Firefox As an Example of Package Dependencies in Debian: The Graph of Mozilla Firefox UNIX command: apt-cache dotty firefox | dot -Tps > dependencygraph_firefox.ps Source: Sebastian Spaeth, Matthias Stuermer, Stefan Haefliger, Georg von Krogh 2007 „Sampling in Open Source Software Development: The case for using the Debian GNU/Linux Distribution“ Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 45
  46. 46. Agenda 1.A historic example of digital sustainability 2.The concept of digital sustainability 3.Knowledge perspective in open source communities 4.Elements of a sustainable open source community 5.Conclusions and topics for discussion Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 46
  47. 47. Growing of open source projects Source: 2014 Future of Open Source - 8th Annual Survey results http://www.slideshare.net/mjskok/2014-future-of-open-source-8th-annual-survey-results Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 47
  48. 48. Elements of a sustainable open source community A) Good governance B) Heterogeneous community C) Non-for-profit foundation D) Ecosystem of commercial service providers E) Opportunity for users to get things done More about sustainable open source communities: OSS Watch (UK), Building Communities http://oss-watch.ac.uk/resources/buildingcommunities Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 48
  49. 49. Good governance ● Transparent decision processes, participative culture ● Successful example: Eclipse community initiated by IBM Launch of the Eclipse Foundation Release of source code by IBM Source: Spaeth, S., Stuermer, M. and von Krogh, G. (2010) ‘Enabling knowledge creation through outsiders: towards a push model of open innovation’, Int. J. Technology Management, Vol. 52, Nos. 3/4, pp.411–431. Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 49
  50. 50. Bad governance may result in a fork ● Unfriendly separation of an open source community (mostly) ● Important sword of damocles of open source projects – Necessary if initiator or another central player missuses his control – Sometimes necessary for radical innovations (OpenSSL - LibreSSL) Some famous examples of open source forks: Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 50
  51. 51. History of OpenOffice.org etc. Source: Presentation of Apache OpenOffice at OSB Alliance Workshop, 30 October 2013 in Stuttgart Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 51
  52. 52. LibreOffice fork of OpenOffice.org Source: Jonas Gamalielsson/Björn Lundell, Sustainability of Open Source software communities beyond a fork: How and why has the LibreOffice project evolved? The Journal of Systems and Software 89 (2014) 128– 145 Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 52
  53. 53. Source code statistics Source: OpenHub comparison https://www.openhub.net/p/compare?project_0=LibreOffice&project_1=Apache+OpenOffice Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 53
  54. 54. Elements of a sustainable open source community A) Good governance B) Heterogeneous community C) Non-for-profit foundation D) Ecosystem of commercial service providers E) Opportunity for users to get things done Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 54
  55. 55. Linux kernel development Source: YouTube Video „Linux Kernel Development Visualization (git commit history - past 6 weeks - june 02 2012)“ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_02QGsHzEQ Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 55
  56. 56. Linux contributions by companies Companies contributing to the kernel from 2012-03-18 till 2013-06-30: Source: Linux Foundation 2013 „Linux Kernel Development – How Fast It is Going, Who is Doing It, What They are Doing, and Who is Sponsoring It“ http://www.linuxfoundation.org/publications/linux-foundation/who-writes-linux-2013 Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 56
  57. 57. Linux kernel facts ● Linux kernel development is one of the largest cooperative software projects ever ● Over 10'000 patches for each kernel release, kernel updates every 2-3 months ● Since 2005 nearly 10'000 individual developers from over 1000 different companies contributed to the kernel ● Distributor kernels contain relatively few distribution-specific changes ● At least 80% of developers are paid to work on Linux Source: Linux Foundation 2013 „Linux Kernel Development – How Fast It is Going, Who is Doing It, What They are Doing, and Who is Sponsoring It“ http://www.linuxfoundation.org/publications/linux-foundation/who-writes-linux-2013 Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 57
  58. 58. Diverse motivations Why do individuals develop open source software? Ideology Altruism Kinship Fun Reputation Reciprocity Learning Own-use Extrinsic motivation Career Pay Intrinsic motivation Source: Georg von Krogh, Stefan Haefliger, Sebastian Spaeth, and Martin W. Wallin "Carrots and Rainbows: Motivation and Social Practice in Open Source Software Development" MIS Quarterly 2012, Vol 36 Issue 2, pp. 649-676 Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 58
  59. 59. Elements of a sustainable open source community A) Good governance B) Heterogeneous community C) Nonprofit foundation D) Ecosystem of commercial service providers E) Opportunity for users to get things done Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 59
  60. 60. Nonprofit association ● Many large open source communities have an nonprofit umbrella organization: Linux, Apache, Eclipse, Gnome, KDE, Mozilla, Python, TYPO3 etc. ● Association/foundation takes care of – Legal issues (copyright, committer agreements, liability etc.) – Community building events (conferences, hackathons etc.) – Documentation (end users, developers, statistics etc.) – Public relations and marketing ● So why is marketing so important? Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 60
  61. 61. Because today's big software corporations are marketing companies! Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 61
  62. 62. Marketing vs. R&D at Adobe Sales and marketing FY 2013: 1.6 billion $ → 53% of expenses Research and development FY 2013: 0.8 billion $ → 27% of expenses Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 62 Source: ADOBE SYSTEMS INC. FY2013 Form 10-K http://www.adobe.com/investor-relations/financial-documents.html
  63. 63. Marketing&Admin vs. R&D at Apple Sales and administration FY 2013: 10.8 billion $ → 71% of expenses Research and development FY 2013: 4.5 billion $ → 29% of expenses Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 63 Source: APPLE INC. Form 10-K for FY13 http://investor.apple.com
  64. 64. Marketing vs. R&D at Oracle Sales and marketing FY 2014: 7.6 billion $ → 32% of expenses Research and development FY 2014: 5.2 billion $ → 22% of expenses Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 64 Source: ORACLE CORP FY 2014 FORM 10-K, http://investor.oracle.com/financial-reporting/sec-filings/default.aspx
  65. 65. Marketing vs. R&D at Microsoft Sales and marketing FY 2013: 15.3 billion $ → 50% of expenses Research and development FY 2013: 10.4 billion $ → 34% of expenses Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 65 Source: MICROSOFT CORP. 2013 10-K, http://www.microsoft.com/investor/AnnualReports/default.aspx
  66. 66. Elements of a sustainable open source community A) Good governance B) Heterogeneous community C) Nonprofit foundation D) Ecosystem of commercial service providers E) Opportunity for users to get things done Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 66
  67. 67. Business models with open source 1. Closed source licenses - For a version of the full project, a larger software package, hardware appliance based on the project, or extensions to the open source core. 2. Support subscriptions - An annual, repeatable support and service agreement. 3. Value-added subscriptions - An annual, repeatable support and service agreement with additional features/functionality delivered as a service. 4. Services/support - Ad hoc support calls, service, training and consulting contracts. 5. Software as a service (SaaS) - Paid access to and use of the software via hosted or cloud services. 6. Advertising - Software is free to use and is funded by associated advertising. 7. Custom development - Customers pay for the software to be customized to meet their specific requirements. 8. Complementary products and services - Open source software is not used to directly generate revenue; instead, complementary products provide revenue. Source: Question 16 from the 2014 Future of Open Source Survey https://www.blackducksoftware.com/future-of-open-source Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 67
  68. 68. OSS Directory ● Website: www.ossdirectory.ch (and .de/.at/.fr/.com/.org) ● Relational database of – open source products (projects) – open source service providers – open source client examples ● Statistics (2013-11-04 / 2014-10-01) – Number of products: 282 / 386 – Number of service providers: 149 / 292 – Number of client examples: 126 / 291 ● Daily approx. 150 Unique Visitors and 800 views and requests per day ● News, articles, events, jobs, videos, weekly newsletter etc. about open source software ● French translation available since 2014, English coming 2015 Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 68
  69. 69. Private-collective model of innovation ● Private investment model – Return on investment through intellectual property rights ● Collective innovation model – Public funding for public good production – Solving free riding problem with taxes ● Private-collective model of innovation – Coined 2003 by Eric von Hippel and Georg von Krogh – Private innovations as public goods (knowledge revealing) – Example: production of open source software by firms Source: von Hippel, E. and von Krogh, G. (2003) ‘Open source software and the ‘private-collective’ innovation model: issues for organization science’, Organization Science, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp.209–223. Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 69
  70. 70. Elements of a sustainable open source community A) Good governance B) Heterogeneous community C) Nonprofit foundation D) Ecosystem of commercial service providers E) Opportunity for users to get things done Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 70
  71. 71. Opportunity for users to get things done How can users influence development in case the programmers have no „itch“ to work on certain things? Ideology Altruism Kinship Fun Reputation Reciprocity Learning Own-use Extrinsic motivation Career Pay Intrinsic motivation Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 71
  72. 72. A) Open source feature requests e.g. on www.bountysource.com Source: https://www.bountysource.com Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 72
  73. 73. B) Project-specific feature lists e.g. ILIAS E-Learning System Source: How To Suggest A New Feature http://www.ilias.de/docu/goto.php?target=wiki_1357_How_to_suggest_a_new_feature Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 73
  74. 74. B) Project-specific feature lists e.g. ILIAS E-Learning System Source: How To Suggest A New Feature http://www.ilias.de/docu/goto.php?target=wiki_1357_How_to_suggest_a_new_feature Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 74
  75. 75. B) Project-specific feature lists e.g. ILIAS E-Learning System Source: Who Paid What in ILIAS 4.5 http://www.ilias.de/docu/goto.php?target=wiki_1357_Who_Paid_What_in_ILIAS_4.5 Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 75
  76. 76. C) Institutional crowd-funding initiative ● Overcoming the 'collective action' problem in open source ● Group of professional users of open source office suites in order to bridge the gap between users and developers ● Under the umbrella of the OSB Alliance, organized as Working Group Office Interoperability ● Goals of the group: – Prioritization and specification of requirements from the user perspective – Coordinated funding of requirements – Exchange of experience among professional users Source: Website of OSB Alliance Working Group Office Interoperability http://www.osb-alliance.de/en/working-groups/wg-office-interoperability/ Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 76
  77. 77. Process of institutional crowd-funding Phase 1: Initialization a) Mobilize interest of institutional open source software users, find funding for specification b) Create clear and common understanding of the issues, ask the experts c) Result: aggregated requirements, clustered as Use Cases within a specification Continue only if previous phase is completed successfully Phase 2: Funding a) Publish specification as Request for Proposal (RfP), invite comanies to offer b) Evaluate and decide for best proposal(s) c) Result: find funding from institutional open source software users for each Use Case to implement the specification Continue only if previous phase is completed successfully Phase 3: Implementation a) Define project management, sign contracts, start implementing b) Do testing among open source software users, finalize development c) Result: Publish new source code, pass it upstream to the open source project Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 77
  78. 78. Initiating organizations in 2011 Public Institutions ● City of Freiburg i.B. ● City of München ● City of Jena ● Swiss Federal Court ● Federal Steering Unit for IT (ISB) ● Canton of Vaud ● Another Swiss federal agency Community organizations ● Association Swiss Open Systems User Group /ch/open ● Association Freies Office Deutschland e.V. (former association OpenOffice.org Deutschland e.V.) ● Open Source Business Alliance OSBA Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 78
  79. 79. Challenges ● Huge knowledge gap: terminology, standard specification, structures and processes within public administrations etc. ● Different perspectives: input oriented (=developers) vs. output oriented (=users) ● Different interests: perfect implementation (developers) vs. solving the problem (users) Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 79
  80. 80. Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 80
  81. 81. Current OOXML improvements EUR 50k Total: approx. EUR 140k (excl. VAT) EUR 8k EUR 13k EUR 4k Ernst & Young SUSE Lanedo Funding by ● City of Freiburg i.B. ● City of München ● City of Jena ● Swiss Federal Court ● Federal Steering Unit for IT (ISB) ● Canton of Vaud ● Another Swiss federal agency ● French ministry of culture and communication EUR 13k EUR 14k EUR 15k EUR 25k Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 81
  82. 82. Development results of first project Source: http://www.osb-alliance.de/working-groups/projekte/ooxml-filter/projektergebnisse-ooxml-filter/ Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 82
  83. 83. Agenda 1.A historic example of digital sustainability 2.The concept of digital sustainability 3.Knowledge perspective in open source communities 4.Elements of a sustainable open source community 5.Conclusions and topics for discussion Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 83
  84. 84. Conclusions and topics for discussion My (no-brainer) advices: 1.Good governance: Manage your community in a fair way. 2. Heterogeneous community: Foster diversity within your community. 3. Nonprofit foundation: Empower the central office of your community. (and do as much professional marketing as possible) 4. Ecosystem of commercial service providers: Support companies to provide services for the software. 5.Opportunity for users to get things done: Provide feature request market place or something similar. Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 84
  85. 85. ...so Semantic MediaWiki will continue to fly for millions of years! Digital sustainability of open 2 October 2014 source communities 85 Source: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_2

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