Free and Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development projects have been extensively analyzed as virtual settings where the inherent social models and dynamics could anticipate the trends of other business sectors. While there are several studies at individual level (motivations to contribute, reasons to adopt) and at group/project level (business models, intellectual property rights, relationships between FLOSS and private companies), few studies explicitly took into consideration how actors (developer or user) can gather information about the project they are going to choose (to contribute to or to adopt). While in real life direct contacts and face-to-face contacts can provide information useful to choose a specific project among others, in virtual setting the collection of information about the status and the level of activity of a project are more difficult to collect. This theoretical paper focuses on the possibility to aggregate the information about a FLOSS project for measuring its status and its activity. In details, we present a preliminary discussion about the definition of an index for measuring the level of activities in the FLOSS projects. Considering the Activity Index (AI) adopted by SurceForge.net, we propose a new index based on a Structural Equation Model (SEM-AI), computed like a score. We believe that this new index can be considered richer than the traditional one, since this method includes in the computation some additional information about data structure. Early examples of the use of this SEM index are discussed.

Preliminary Proposal of a SEM Activity Index for FLOSS Development Projects

BALZANO, Simona;BOLICI, Francesco
2010

Abstract

Free and Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development projects have been extensively analyzed as virtual settings where the inherent social models and dynamics could anticipate the trends of other business sectors. While there are several studies at individual level (motivations to contribute, reasons to adopt) and at group/project level (business models, intellectual property rights, relationships between FLOSS and private companies), few studies explicitly took into consideration how actors (developer or user) can gather information about the project they are going to choose (to contribute to or to adopt). While in real life direct contacts and face-to-face contacts can provide information useful to choose a specific project among others, in virtual setting the collection of information about the status and the level of activity of a project are more difficult to collect. This theoretical paper focuses on the possibility to aggregate the information about a FLOSS project for measuring its status and its activity. In details, we present a preliminary discussion about the definition of an index for measuring the level of activities in the FLOSS projects. Considering the Activity Index (AI) adopted by SurceForge.net, we propose a new index based on a Structural Equation Model (SEM-AI), computed like a score. We believe that this new index can be considered richer than the traditional one, since this method includes in the computation some additional information about data structure. Early examples of the use of this SEM index are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/14810
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