Re: Help for OSS Survey

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Re: Help for OSS Survey

Sven Luther
Hi James,

CCing the DPL and the debian-project mailing list, Anthony, fellow Debian
project members, i received a survey request from Chuck Wu, and since not a
week ago i suggested Anthony contact persons with such skills and interest,
and i was suggested to do so myself, i jumped on the occasion to get neutral
third parties to analyse the so called experiment.

On Fri, Dec 22, 2006 at 12:41:00PM -0700, Gerlach, James wrote:

> Sven,
>
> I am Dr. James Gerlach, Chuck Wu's PhD advisor.  When you responded to
> Chuck Wu's invitation to participate in his survey, he naturally
> forwarded your email to me.  
>
> The issue you raised is one we were interested in originally, over a
> year and a half a go.  We theorized that the involvement of paid OSS
> developers would negatively impact the involvement of volunteer OSS
> developers.  However, early analysis did not reveal a problem; but that
> appears to have changed.
>
> It should be possible to create a special version of Chuck's survey that
> would attempt to look at the impact of paid involvement on OSS
> developers.  We theorize the involvement of paid developers might have
> negatively impacted various motivational forces (including knowledge
> generation and other intrinsic/extrinsic motivators), commitment to OSS
> ideologies, effort, and intention to continue working on OSS.  I don't
> know if these are the kinds of impact you witnessed?  Also, we surveyed
> OSS developers (including Debian developers) over a year ago, so this
> data might serve as some sort of a baseline for comparison.
>
> A first step would be for Chuck and I to gain a better understanding of
> the situation that occurred.  I don't know if there is a report or a
> newsletter that would summarize the situation?  Any kind of description

There is to my knowledge no particular summary. There are various posts in
debian-project on this topic, which started around july/august i think.
Probably on other lists too (debian-devel most probably, and possibly
debian-private, but i am unsure if and how you could gain access to that
material, maybe others may comment about this, or maybe Anthony could ?

The latest thread started at :

  http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2006/12/msg00064.html

I know there was recently a slashdot story too, which mentioned the missed
december 6 release deadline, and involved the events surrunding this
experiment.

There are two sites which i know off, and which are related to this event :

  http://www.dunc-tank.org/ 
  http://dunc-bank.zoy.org/

There is also the position statement of Joerg Jaspert at :

  http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2006/10/msg00026.html

Which also has links to other threads at the end, but this is all from memory,
and i probably miss many interesting material. Again, others could contribute
other link starting points.

Notice that this event also took place in the middle of various other highly
emotive flamewars (of which i was part of some).

> that would give us a starting point for better understanding the
> situation would be useful.  Also, you mentioned the possibility of
> gaining the cooperation of the Debian community to conduct the study
> (access to email, involved parties, etc.).  That support would be most
> useful.  Any ideas on how to solicit that support?  Contact person, etc?

I am forwarding this to the DPL and Debian-project, i am a bit unsure what the
right method is, but debian-project should be read by most people involved in
that event, so maybe it would be a good contact point. Debian-private could
also be if the discussion should not be publicly archived.

> I think your proposal has much merit and we are very interested in
> exploring it with you.  

Thanks, i think that debian will gain much by a neutral outsider analysis of
the situation, and as said, it is probably an interested research topic for
you :)

Friendly,

Sven Luther

--- Rest of the quoted mails below ---

> Thanks, Jim
>
> James Gerlach
> Professor of Information Systems
> University of Colorado -- Denver
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Sent: Friday, December 22, 2006 3:09 AM
> To: Gerlach, James
> Subject: Fwd: Re: Help for OSS Survey
>
> Jim,
>
> A Debian's developer ask me if I am interested in a research topic
> described as the followings. I am not sure whether it worths
> investigating although it sounds interesting. I told the developter
> that I would consult my academic advisor first.
>
> Chuck
>
> ----- Forwarded message from [hidden email] -----
>     Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2006 08:52:02 +0100
>     From: Sven Luther <[hidden email]>
> Reply-To: Sven Luther <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: Help for OSS Survey
>       To: Chuck Wu <[hidden email]>
>
> On Thu, Dec 21, 2006 at 06:01:24PM -0700, Chuck Wu wrote:
> > Dear Debian contributor,
> >
> > I am Chuck Wu, a PhD student at University of Colorado at Denver.
> > Currently, I am conducting research on open source software
> development
> > for my doctoral thesis.  You are selected for this study because of
> > your involvement in open source projects.  As an experienced
> developer,
> > your responses are essential to developing an understanding of this
> > issue.  My goal is to understand the reasons why OSS development is
> > successful and to identify ways to improve OSS experience for
> > developers.  Therefore, your help is much appreciated and
> acknowledged.
> >
> > This is a ONE TIME survey.  It will take you about 20 minutes to
> > complete it.  Please click on the following link
> > http://carbon.cudenver.edu/~jgerlach/OSSks.html to access the survey.
> > If there is anything I can do to assist you, please feel free to email
> > me.
> >
> > Please be assured that any information you provide will be used with
> > the strictest of confidence.  Your individual responses to the survey
> > will not be disclosed and will be reported as part of statistical
> > summaries only.  PARTICIPATION IN THIS SURVEY IS VOLUNTARY.
> Completion
> > of this survey implies informed consent.  Please contact the Human
> > Subjects Research Committee (HSRC) of University of Colorado at Denver
> > regarding your rights as a research subject.
> >
> > Thank you very much for your support of my research.
>
> Hi, ...
>
> I wonder if you would also be interested in something else, also related
> to
> debian and the OSS community, but maybe not directly to your ownresearch
> area.
>
> There was an event which happened in the second half of 2006, and which
> involved a payement of two debian developpers, in order to get the etch
> release out the door in a much quicker way. This lead to huge disputes
> and
> flamewars, and an "experiment" was set up involving an external entity
> called
> "dunc-tank". There is a problem though, as this was called an
> "experiment",
> but no real experimental protocol was set up, nor do i see any evidence
> that a
> real analysis will happen, which will mean that the whole experimental
> nature
> of this thing will be lost, and that any number of people will give
> their own
> interpretation, instead of having a study done by some neutral third
> party
> competent in doing such an analysis, which could maybe be your case ?
>
> If you are interested, or know someone else who is interested, i am sure
> that
> a study on the impact of money on an OSS project would be most
> interesting,
> and we have here an unique occasion, as well as ample material (numerous
> email
> exchange, maybe we could even give you access to the private material
> involving this issue), and a rather huge demgraphic base for a survey
> (over
> 1000 developpers, and various other would-be-maintainers and
> contributors),
> and it would also do a service to the OSS community you are using as
> experimental subjects in your survey :)
>
> Friendly,
>
> Sven Luther
>
>
> ----- End forwarded message -----
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Orange vous informe que cet  e-mail a ete controle par l'anti-virus mail.
> Aucun virus connu a ce jour par nos services n'a ete detecte.
>
>
>


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Re: Help for OSS Survey

Amaya Rodrigo Sastre
Sven Luther wrote:
> Thanks, i think that debian will gain much by a neutral outsider
> analysis of the situation, and as said, it is probably an interested
> research topic for you :)

As I understand it, his original topic of research was not what you are
asking him to do.

I would also love to see what people like Biella Coleman would come up
with after studying "The DunkTank" effect.

Why was there no such negative reaction back in the days where Ximian
hired Gnome developers to do their Gnome work? Why is this so different
in Debian, if Ximian's CEO was also the Gnome Project Leader? Why did
the rest of the Gnome Developers accept this situation without the
bitterness we've seen in Debian?

I am also very interested in thir party observation and analisys by
outsiders with tools coming from social studying fields, like
anthropology, psicology or $insert_field_here.

--
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 : :' :                                            -- Emma Goldman
 `. `'           Proudly running Debian GNU/Linux (unstable)
   `-     www.amayita.com  www.malapecora.com  www.chicasduras.com


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Re: Help for OSS Survey

Kalle Kivimaa-3
Chuck, James, sorry to flood your mailboxes, please let us know if you
don't wish to receive this discussion directly.

Amaya <[hidden email]> writes:
> Why was there no such negative reaction back in the days where Ximian
> hired Gnome developers to do their Gnome work? Why is this so different
> in Debian, if Ximian's CEO was also the Gnome Project Leader? Why did
> the rest of the Gnome Developers accept this situation without the
> bitterness we've seen in Debian?

I'm not party to any internal communication in other large FOSS
projects, but considering that no such flamewars have reached the
Slashdot, I gather our Dunc-Tank dispute is pretty unique. It would be
very nice to have a comparative study between say the Ximian case and
Dunc-Tank case.

--
* Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology (T.P)  *
*           PGP public key available @ http://www.iki.fi/killer           *


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Re: Help for OSS Survey

Emanuele Rocca
In reply to this post by Amaya Rodrigo Sastre
* Amaya <[hidden email]>, [2006-12-23  8:33 +0100]:
>  Why was there no such negative reaction back in the days where Ximian
>  hired Gnome developers to do their Gnome work? Why is this so different
>  in Debian, if Ximian's CEO was also the Gnome Project Leader? Why did
>  the rest of the Gnome Developers accept this situation without the
>  bitterness we've seen in Debian?

I don't know the Gnome community well enough to try to say why they
accepted the situation better than we did. What is interesting to me,
however, is that Ximian was a .com.

Try to think what would have happened if Dunc-Tank was a for-profit
company as well.

ciao,
    ema


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Re: Help for OSS Survey

Sven Luther
In reply to this post by Amaya Rodrigo Sastre
On Sat, Dec 23, 2006 at 08:33:25AM +0100, Amaya wrote:
> Sven Luther wrote:
> > Thanks, i think that debian will gain much by a neutral outsider
> > analysis of the situation, and as said, it is probably an interested
> > research topic for you :)
>
> As I understand it, his original topic of research was not what you are
> asking him to do.

Indeed, but as said, i think it is important to do something such, and when i
received the survey a few days after having suggested we do such a thing, i
guess destiny wanted that i ask them about it.

> I would also love to see what people like Biella Coleman would come up
> with after studying "The DunkTank" effect.

Indeed, it was her which i had in mind originally, and which i urged Anthony
as DPL to contact. I was mostly ignored except one post saying "why don't you
contact them yourself". Do you know her contact info ? Would you like to ask
her what is possible or such ?

> Why was there no such negative reaction back in the days where Ximian
> hired Gnome developers to do their Gnome work? Why is this so different
> in Debian, if Ximian's CEO was also the Gnome Project Leader? Why did
> the rest of the Gnome Developers accept this situation without the
> bitterness we've seen in Debian?

Because gnome is not debian ? Because of the personality of our current DPL and
the way he handles such things ? Because the current climate since a year or
more was very prompt to leading to flames and anger ? This kind of stuff
already started in the Vancouver days, and ties in strongly with the equality
among all DDs and the fact that some may feel themselves more important than
others, or take badly from orders comming from up the hierarchical scale.

> I am also very interested in thir party observation and analisys by
> outsiders with tools coming from social studying fields, like
> anthropology, psicology or $insert_field_here.

Indeed.

Friendly,

Sven Luther


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Re: Help for OSS Survey

Gunnar Wolf
In reply to this post by Amaya Rodrigo Sastre
Amaya dijo [Sat, Dec 23, 2006 at 08:33:25AM +0100]:
> I would also love to see what people like Biella Coleman would come up
> with after studying "The DunkTank" effect.

Yes. That's the only way the "experiment" can actually become an
experiment :) By doing a serious analysis, from as much a neutral and
outside position as possible.

> Why was there no such negative reaction back in the days where Ximian
> hired Gnome developers to do their Gnome work? Why is this so different
> in Debian, if Ximian's CEO was also the Gnome Project Leader? Why did
> the rest of the Gnome Developers accept this situation without the
> bitterness we've seen in Debian?

There are many, many differences between our projects. Some that
become obvious to me is that, in 2000, Miguel was not just the guy
elected to be the single point of contact and to act as an abstract
leader, but he was really the main coordinator for the Gnome
development. Miguel has a strong, natural outwards personality, and he
has always led the group he is in (or at least, where I have happened
to meet him ;-) ). The leadership in Debian is completely in different
story, and I don't mean by this to say that AJ is any less - When this
whole mess began, I privately congratulated him, not because of a good
or bad decision, but for having the guts to go forward with it and
actually act as a _leader_. Of course, maybe we are too equal, so
pushing to a controversial move is much too harder. AJ has been rated
high on (at least my) radar of the DD meritocracy since I joined in,
but still, the spike where he and the rest of the cabal^Wmost active
members are is not such a peak as Miguel over most Gnome people.

Besides that, while nobody in his right mind will deny that getting
involved with enterprises has helped Gnome get more professional,
it's also undeniable that the nature of the project is completely
different. It's no longer a bunch of individuals, and although the
Gnome Foundation is still separated from Novell, I know many people
that left the Gnome development for bitterness because things were no
longer done following the community's ways, but in a much more
enterprise-driven fashion.

Greetings,

--
Gunnar Wolf - [hidden email] - (+52-55)5623-0154 / 1451-2244
PGP key 1024D/8BB527AF 2001-10-23
Fingerprint: 0C79 D2D1 2C4E 9CE4 5973  F800 D80E F35A 8BB5 27AF


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Re: Help for OSS Survey

Anthony Towns
In reply to this post by Sven Luther
On Sat, Dec 23, 2006 at 01:30:48PM +0100, Sven Luther wrote:
> Indeed, it was her which i had in mind originally, and which i urged Anthony
> as DPL to contact. I was mostly ignored except one post saying "why don't you
> contact them yourself". Do you know her contact info ? Would you like to ask
> her what is possible or such ?

Err, she's on Planet Debian -- which links to her blog at:

        http://www.healthhacker.org/satoroams/

She links to her CV from that page, via:

        http://healthhacker.org/satoroams/?page_id=531

and the CV and contact information itself is at:

        http://www.healthhacker.org/biella/web_cv.pdf

Cheers,
aj


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Re: Help for OSS Survey

Sven Luther
On Sun, Dec 24, 2006 at 01:04:36PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 23, 2006 at 01:30:48PM +0100, Sven Luther wrote:
> > Indeed, it was her which i had in mind originally, and which i urged Anthony
> > as DPL to contact. I was mostly ignored except one post saying "why don't you
> > contact them yourself". Do you know her contact info ? Would you like to ask
> > her what is possible or such ?
>
> Err, she's on Planet Debian -- which links to her blog at:
>
> http://www.healthhacker.org/satoroams/

Ah, yeah, and how should i know that ? I didn't even remember her name, and
don't consult planet regularly.

Which is why i asked you to look into this, and was, as i am come to expect
from you, totally ignored.

See also the email from gregor earlier in this thread, and i hope you learn
something from this, and don't fail your duties as DPL so much in the future.

Friendly,

Sven Luther


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