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CTRL-OSS: controlling Linux

Mercoledì, 1 Febbraio, 2023 - da 11:30 a 13:30


This study considers the problem of control in open-source software. In particular, it aims to characterize manifestations of control in an organizational setting where no formal authority exists. In so doing, it studies what control is, how it is enforced, and with what consequences for open-source software goals. To do so, it leverages naturally-occurring data from the ‘Linux Kernel’ project, analyzed by integrating a qualitative approach to the study of meanings with a text classifier based on Deep Learning. Hence, it charts the topology of control as situated in peer-to-peer interaction, uncovering the individual facets of control and appreciating their relationship with linguistic means offered by online sociality. The topology results in a set of control foci, linguistic tools, and their association which is further tested against the community-level goals of participation and contribution. Overall, the project enquires about the boundaries and nature of control, offering momentum on how independent or organizational agents enforce control within organizations whose actors are not bound by any employment relationships and pursue different goals.