Human-Computer Interaction

INTERACT 2015: Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2015 pp 9-26 | Cite as

Non-response, Social Exclusion, and False Acceptance: Gatekeeping Tactics and Usability Work in Free-Libre Open Source Software Development

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9298)

Abstract

Usability is an important aspect of Free-Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS), but barriers exist for usability specialists’ participation in such projects. Organizational boundary literature is interested in the tensions of online communities, including FLOSS communities. While this literature recognizes the importance of managing boundaries in online communities, little empirical research has been conducted on actual gatekeeping tactics project members perform against outsiders’ contributions. Based on several years of engaged research with FLOSS projects, we characterize three gatekeeping tactics in FLOSS projects: non-response, social exclusion, and false acceptance. They all have hindered usability work. We also offer examples of usability specialists and their contributions succeeding in avoiding these gatekeeping tactics in FLOSS projects. This paper provides an important contribution to the boundary management literature through detailed examination of gatekeeping tactics in action, as well as to the Human Computer Interaction literature interested in contributing to FLOSS projects through usability work.

Keywords

Usability specialist FLOSS Boundary management Gatekeeping 

References

  1. 1.
    Stallman, R.: The GNU manifesto. Dr. Dobb’s J. Softw. Tools 10(3), 30–35 (1985)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    von Hippel, E., Krogh, G.: Open source software and the “private-collective” innovation model: issues for organization science. Organ. Sci. 14(2), 209–223 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    von Hippel, E.: Innovation by user communities: learning from open-source software. MIT Sloan Manag. Rev. 42(4), 82–86 (2001)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Franke, N., Shah, S.: How communities support innovative activities: an exploration of assistance and sharing among end-users. Res. Policy 32(1), 157–178 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gulliksen, J., Boivie, I., Göransson, B.: Usability professionals – current practices and future development. Interact. Comput. 18(4), 568–600 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Iivari, N.: Discourses on ‘culture’ and ‘usability work’ in software product development, Acta Universitatis Ouluensis, Series A, Scientiae rerum naturalium, vol. 457 (2006)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Andreasen, M., Nielsen, H., Schrøder, S., Stage, J.: Usability in open source software development: opinions and practice. Inf. Technol. Control 25, 3A (2006)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bødker, M., Nielsen, L., Orngreen, R.N.: Enabling user centered design processes in open source communities. In: Aykin, N. (ed.) HCII 2007. LNCS, vol. 4559, pp. 10–18. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Çetin, G., Verzulli, D., Frings, S.: An analysis of involvement of HCI experts in distributed software development: practical issues. In: Schuler, D. (ed.) HCII 2007 and OCSC 2007. LNCS, vol. 4564, pp. 32–40. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Nichols, D., Twidale, M.: The usability of open source software. First Monday 8(1), 21 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rajanen, M., Iivari, N.: Power, empowerment and open source usability. In: Proceedings of CHI 2015 (2015)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rajanen, M., Iivari, N., Anttila, K.: Introducing usability activities into open source software development projects – searching for a suitable approach. J. Inf. Technol. Theory Appl. 12(4), 5–26 (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jarvenpaa, S.L., Lang, K.R.: Boundary management in online communities: case studies of the nine inch nails and ccmixter music remix sites. Long Range Plan. 44(5/6), 440–457 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    O’Mahony, S., Ferraro, F.: Managing the boundary of an ‘Open’ project. In: Harvard NOM Working Paper No. 03–60 (2004)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Faraj, S., Jarvenpaa, S.L., Majchrzak, A.: Knowledge collaboration in online communities. Organ. Sci. 22(5), 1224–1239 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shaw, A.: Centralized and decentralized gatekeeping in an open online collective. Politics Soc. 40(3), 349–388 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Raymond, E.: The cathedral and the bazaar. Knowl. Technol. Policy 12, 3 (1999)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Coleman, G.: The political agnosticism of free and open source software and the inadvertent politics of contrast. Anthropol. Q. 77(3), 507–519 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bach, P.M., Terry, M.: The future of FLOSS in CHI research and practice. In: CHI 2010 Extended Abstracts, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. (2010)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Aberdour, M.: Achieving quality in open source software. IEEE Softw. 24, 1 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Barcellini, F., Détienne, F., Burkhardt, J.M.: A situated approach of roles and participation in open source software communities. Hum.–Comput. Interact. 29(3), 205–255 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Feller, J., Fitzgerald, B.: A framework analysis of the open source software development paradigm. In: Proceedings of the ICIS, pp. 58–69 (2000)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mockus, A., Fielding, R.T., Herbsled, J.: A case study of open source software development: the apache server. In: Proceedings of ICSE, pp. 263–272 (2000)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ljungberg, J.: Open source movements as a model for organizing. Eur. J. Inf. Syst. 9(4), 208–216 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Steinmacher, I., Silva, M.A.G., Gerosa, M.A., Redmiles, D.F.: A systematic literature review on the barriers faced by newcomers to open source software projects. Inf. Softw. Technol. 59, 67–85 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    von Krogh, G., Spaeth, S., Lakhani, K.R.: Community, joining, and specialization in open source software innovation: a case study. Res. Policy 32(7), 1217–1241 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Clayman, S.E., Reisner, A.: Gatekeeping in action: editorial conferences and assessments of newsworthiness. Am. Sociol. Rev. 63(2), 178–199 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lewin, K.: Frontiers in group dynamics: II. channels of group life; social planning and action research. Hum. Relat. 1(2), 143–153 (1947)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Bach, P.M., Carroll, J.M.: FLOSS UX design: an analysis of user experience design in firefox and OpenOffice.org. In: Boldyreff, C., Crowston, K., Lundell, B., Wasserman, A.I. (eds.) OSS 2009. IFIP AICT, vol. 299, pp. 237–250. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bach, P., DeLine, R., Carroll, J.: Designers wanted: participation and the user experience in open source software development. In: Proceedings of CHI 2009, pp. 985–994 (2009)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Benson, C., Müller-Prove, M., Mzourek, J.: Professional usability in open source projects: GNOME, OpenOffice.org, NetBeans. In: Extended Abstracts of the CHI 2004, (2004)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Nichols, D., Twidale, M.: Usability processes in open source projects. Softw. Process Improv. Pract. 11, 149–162 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Zhao, L., Deek, F.: Improving open source software usability. In: Proceedings of the 11th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS2005), Omaha, USA (2005)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Zhao, L., Deek, F.: Exploratory inspection: a learning model for improving open source software usability. In: Extended Abstracts CHI 2006, pp. 1589–1594 (2006)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rajanen, M., Iivari, N.: Open source and human computer interaction philosophies in open source projects – incompatible or co-existent? In: Proceedings of Academic MindTrek 2013, Tampere, Finland (2013)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Terry, M., Kay, M., Lafreniere, B.: Perceptions and practices of usability in the free/open source software (FOSS) community. In: Proceedings of CHI 2010, pp. 999–1008 (2010)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Rajanen, M., Iivari, N.: Traditional usability costs and benefits - fitting them into open source software development. In: Proceedings of ECIS 2010 (2010)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Bach, P., Twidale, M.: Social participation in open source: what it means for designers. Interactions 17(3), 70–74 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Rajanen, M., Iivari, N., Keskitalo, E. Introducing usability activities into open source software development projects: a participative approach. In: Proceedings of NordiCHI, pp. 683–692 (2012)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Walsham, G.: Interpretive case studies in IS research: nature and method. Eur. J. Inf. Syst. 4(2), 74–81 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Walsham, G.: Doing interpretive research. Eur. J. IS 15(3), 320–330 (2006)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Iivari, N., Rajanen, M., Hedberg, H.: Encouraging for enculturation - an enquiry on the effort of usability specialists entering OSS projects. In: Proceedings of ACIS 2014 (2014)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information Processing ScienceUniversity of Oulu, Oulun yliopistoOuluFinland

Personalised recommendations