Resilience in Free/Libre/Open Source Software: Do founder decisions impact development activity after crisis events?
Hale, Wm Salt
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Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) is perhaps the most studied of the information-based communal public goods. In this piece, I conceptualize development resilience and founder decisions as two important characteristics of FLOSS. By asking whether the impact of the latter can be measured through the former, I outline three hypotheses concerning software licensing, crisis events, and the interaction between the two. I then conduct a time series analysis of a novel dataset containing longitudinal measures of software packages from the Debian Project. I determine that while the development activity of all projects declines over time, this decline is slower for protectively licensed projects than permissively licensed ones. I also find that the development activity of FLOSS projects increases after encountering a Debian Security Advisory. Combining these predictors, I find that permissively licensed projects demonstrate more development resilience than protectively licensed ones.
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