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Project Title

How the material practices in programming contribute to FOSS principles and practices


Brad Weikel, Georgetown University

Garrison Lemasters, Georgetown University

Project Abstract

This research considers the material practices of programming (programming strategies, languages, development environment, and so on), and the degree to which they contribute to or reinforce FOSS principles and practices. More specifically, access to the SourceForge.net data set will allow me to examine the relationship between the programming language used to write a FOSS application and the characteristics of the community that develops around that application.

For instance, FOSS participation can generally be described using a power law distribution (the "80-20 rule," where 80% of contributions come from 20% of the contributors), but is the distribution curve shifted for applications written in scripting languages like PHP, compared to non-scripting languages like C++? How do the characteristics of the language affect FOSS participation?