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Re: <nettime> Six Limitations to the Current Open Source Development Met
Benjamin Geer on Tue, 19 Aug 2003 05:55:41 +0200 (CEST)

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

Felix Stalder wrote:
> 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 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.

Agreed.  OpenOrg, though relatively general-purpose, isn't meant to be a 
universal model.  It's meant to suggest processes that from which you 
can pick and choose for the situation you find yourself in, discarding 
what doesn't fit.  Since it's a theory based on practices used in real 
groups, we don't know what its limitations are (though some may well be 
determined by the criteria you listed), how far it will scale, etc.  But 
it's at least an attempt at articulating a set of organizational 
practices at a more general level than software development.  So far, 
we've seen some parts of it used successfully in the Indymedia network 
(see http://docs.indymedia.org/), and in some small activist groups.

One thing we've observed is that, once people have the tools to make 
openness easy, it quickly becomes second nature to them.  We've found 
that giving mailing lists and Wikis to activists is a much more 
effective way to promote openness than talking to them about 
organizational processes.  With the right tools, groups of people become 
open without having to have the theory explained to them, because it's 
so much easier to work that way.


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