A Review of Tool Support for User-Related Communication in FLOSS Development

  • Aapo Rantalainen
  • Henrik Hedberg
  • Netta Iivari
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 365)


Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects rely on Internet tools for communication and in coordinating their work. Communication between developers is well supported in FLOSS projects, but user-developer communication has proven out to be challenging. This paper examines the following questions: ”What kinds of means for communication exist in FLOSS projects for user-developer communication? What kinds of means should there be?” We have carried out a literature review addressing communication in FLOSS projects, and contrasted the findings with Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) literature on user-developer communication. HCI literature indicates that user-developer communication is needed during requirements construction, design and evaluation tasks, and HCI specialists are needed for orchestrating the communication and the user related tasks. Communication during the evaluation task is somewhat supported in FLOSS projects, but design and requirements construction are badly in need for support, even though ideas have already been presented. In addition, HCI specialists are in need of different kinds of communication support in FLOSS projects.


Free/Libre/Open Source Software Human-Computer Interaction User-Developer Communication Tool Support 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aapo Rantalainen
    • 1
  • Henrik Hedberg
    • 1
  • Netta Iivari
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information Processing ScienceUniversity of OuluFinland

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