Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Conception de l'artefact, conception du collectif: dynamique d'un processus de conception ouvert et continu dans une communauté de développement de logiciels libres

Abstract : This research deals with Open Source Software (OSS) Design, seen as a new form of work organization based on : a design process open to users voluntary participation; a continuous design process; an distribution of the design process into three activity spaces over the Internet (discussion, documentation et implementation spaces).
The methodological contribution of this research deals with contextual analyses of a Python language formal design process: Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP). PEP processes are analyzed according a synchronic dimension (PEP-discussion focused) and a diachronic dimension (PEP evolution in the three interaction spaces) These analyses combined to interviews with project actors leads us to select contextual design data in the three activity spaces. We adopt an original methodology coupling structural analyses of usage and design oriented mailing-lists (e.g. visualization of discussions) with content analyses (e.g. collaborative design activities), and finally analyzing modifications in the documentation and implementation spaces.
Regarding the artefact design organization, we outline the specialization of the usage et design oriented mailing-lists, in terms of steps of the design process and activities. We make clear links between actions in the mailing-lists (discussion space) and actions in the two other spaces. Online design discussions are focused and marked by quasi-synchronic interactions, highlighting implicit rules framing discussions. After all, collaborative activities distribution and pattern are similar to the ones revealed in other studies dealing with face-to-face design meeting.
Regarding the design community organization, we show that the Python design community is constituted by local design networks combining users from various application domains around a core group of developers. In this community, participation is based on effective roles performed by participants more than their statuses (users vs. developers). Cognitive roles (generation-evaluation, clarification) and epistemic roles (knowledge sharing) are performed by all participants, users included. However, specific profiles (roles combination) occur to appear. Project leader and champion (the one who propose the new functionality with a PEP) have an animator profile characterized by a coordination role, a central interactive role (interaction management) in discussions, and sometimes a socio-relational role (interpersonal relations). Boundary spanners profiles, mediating usage and design, appear to be key participants for the design process performance. Their interactive role is based on cross-participation between design and usage mailing-lists, and a central position in discussions. Their epistemic role is based on knowledge sharing about design application domains. They also support the champion in defending his proposition.
These results may found specification of tools enhancing participation to OSS projects, going beyond various barriers (e.g. temporal cost to take part in a project) and supporting construction and preservation of project awareness (design process and social awareness).
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Flore Barcellini <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 6, 2009 - 11:20:29 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 11:52:11 AM
Document(s) archivé(s) le : Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 5:14:30 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-00350212, version 1



Flore Barcellini. Conception de l'artefact, conception du collectif: dynamique d'un processus de conception ouvert et continu dans une communauté de développement de logiciels libres. Sciences de l'Homme et Société. Conservatoire national des arts et metiers - CNAM, 2008. Français. ⟨tel-00350212⟩



Record views


Files downloads