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Re: <nettime> Six Limitations to the Current Open Source Development Met
Felix Stalder on Sat, 16 Aug 2003 12:21:11 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Six Limitations to the Current Open Source Development Methodology

Hi Ben,

> I would be hesitant to define the "open source approach"
> solely or even primarily in terms of the characteristics you mention.

Perhaps I did not put it as clearly as I should have. I did not mean to 
characterize the "open source approach" in terms of its internal 
organization. Rather, my focus was on the characteristics of the problems to 
which it has been so far applied successfully.

I totally agree that, from organizational point of view, the points you list 
such as open participation are very important. Your list is fully consistent 
with my elaborations. The fact that software, or an encyclopedia, do not come 
with any product liability *does* facilitates open collaboration. If you 
could sue, say, the Apache Software Foundation for a server crash, or 
Wikipedia for erroneous information, I'm sure their development model would 
look different.

> The Open Organizations project (http://www.open-organizations.org) is an
> attempt to synthesize these principles, and some others, into a workable,
> general-purpose model.

I'm skeptical about the possibility of a "workable, general-purpose
model". My post was about the fact that the type of problem affects the
social organization through which the solution is being developed.
Different types of problems demand different types organizations to
address them. You cannot organize the development of drugs the same way
you organize the development of software. For one, very few people would
be willing to be beta-testers.

There are certain aspects that will be universal to all "open" development
processes, such as common ownership of knowledge. However, the type of
social organization in which commonly owned knowledge can be created will
be vastly different depending on the type of knowledge.

So far, we have learned how to create commonly owned knowledge as long as
the type of knowledge exhibits, among others, the six characteristics I
listed. The next round of social innovation is about finding ways to
create free knowledge / information in other areas as well.


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