Michael Goldhaber on Thu, 18 May 2000 20:39:45 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> OFSS01: First Orbiten Free Software Survey]

Byfield makes an  important point.

Incidentally, in my 1986 book Reinventing Technology, I pointed out that
introducing technologies which gain wide use is a form of legislation
uninfluenced by democracy.

In the case of open source, inevitably the code that is produced is tailored to
the worldviews of the producers, unless the users' comments, referred to by
Rishab have any sort of corrective effect.

Are there openings for a more wide ranging, rather than technical, set of
discussions re what a wider set of potential users would want open source code
to be? Presumably, those of us who are inexpert at programming would not only
make some very hard-to-fulfill requests, but we may be unduly influenced by
existing commercial software in imagining what is possible.

t byfield wrote:

> mgoldh@well.com (Wed 05/17/00 at 09:36 AM -0700):
> > One thing about the study results that struck me is their general
> >  similarity in shape of distribution  and authorship to a simlar analysis
> >  of publications in science. Most scientists turn out to have only one
> >  publication in thier name; a tiny percentage contribute very many. these
> >  statistics were first discussed about 40myears ago by Derek J. DeSolla
> >  Price, included, I believe, in a book of his  called "Big Science, Little
> >  Science." It would be interesting to make a more detailed comparison. I
> >  suspect the factors leading to these distributions may actually be
> >  similar in both fields.
> an analogous study: richard delgado, 'the imperial scholar: reflec-
> tions on a review of civil rights literature' (in crenshaw, gotanda,
> peller, thomas, _critical race theory_ [nyc: new press, 1995]), rev.
> and reprinted as 'the imperial scholar revisited: how to marginalize
> outside writing, ten years later' (pennsylvania law rev. 140 [1992],
> 1349).

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