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starting off: developer motivations and the sense of power

So first off, a warm welcome to all of you, and thanks for joining
the list. As you may well suspect, this list partially exists due to
self-interest, but I think it could also become a valuable resource
to those of use interested in linking Debian to academia. I hope we
will share some fruitful and interesting discussions.

Let me start off with a question: you all probably know ESR's and
all the others' treatments about why F/OSS developers do their
thing. Heller & Fitzgerald provide an excellent model for it in
_Understanding Open Source Software Development_.

I am missing one motivation though, and I cannot find any literature
on it: the sense of power. This is maybe less often found in
traditional F/OSS projects, but I think it exists in Debian in quite
a few places. For instance, a package maintainer may be driven to
donate time to the project because of the sense of power maintaining
the package gives to him/her. This can be an altruistic sense of
power, because just being in power can be a kick. Or it can be
a malicious one, culminating in refusing to address a wishlist or
fix a certain bug.

Similarly, I think the situation we are seeing with the various
"cabal" teams may also fall under this category.

Do you know of any literature I should look up on this topic?

Do you have any thoughts on this matter?


PS: at one point it may be interesting for posters here to identify
themselves, and give a short introduction, so that we know what
everyone else is doing wrt academic Debian...

Please do not send copies of list mail to me; I read the list!
 .''`.     martin f. krafft <madduck@debian.org>
: :'  :    proud Debian developer and author: http://debiansystem.info
`. `'`
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing a system

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