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Considering the Use of Walled Gardens for FLOSS Project Communication

Abstract : At its core, free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS) is defined by its adherence to a set of licenses that give various freedoms to the users of the software, for example the ability to use the software, to read or modify its source code, and to distribute the software to others. In addition, many FLOSS projects and developers also champion other values related to “freedom” and “openness”, such as transparency, for example in communication and decision-making, or community-orientedness, for example in broadening access, collaboration, and participation. This paper explores how one increasingly common software development practice - communicating inside non-archived, third-party “walled gardens” - puts these FLOSS values into conflict. If communities choose to use non-archived walled gardens for communication, they may be prioritizing one type of openness (broad participation) over another (transparency). We use 18 FLOSS projects as a sample to describe how walled gardens are currently being used for intra-project communication, as well as to determine whether or not these projects provide archives of these communications. Findings will be useful to the FLOSS community as a whole as it seeks to understand the evolution and impact of its communication choices.
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Megan Squire. Considering the Use of Walled Gardens for FLOSS Project Communication. 13th IFIP International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS), May 2017, Buenos Aires, Argentina. pp.3-13, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-57735-7_1⟩. ⟨hal-01776277⟩

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