This chapter introduces several users who participate in American communities, how they can contribute themselves and what their responsibilities are. The traditional onion model has been explained and a new hypothesis model created by Hedberg and Ivari has been introduced as a comparison with the traditional model, which is the first one that collaborates most with specialists during the latter’s development processes.
2.1.1 Core Members
A survey conducted by Gosh and Prakash (2000) found that there was a large number of cases in the Aus project with a very small core group. The essential members usually assume a large part of the responsibilities and do most of the work in the project. And other participants in the large group, mainly play a role as a reminder (Ghosh and Prakash, 2000).
2.1.2 Maintainers, patchers & bug reporters In addition to the main members, other roles in the OSO community also contribute in different ways. The readers, who basically only read the source code and try to understand it without modifying it, the bug fixes and the journalists contribute with their efforts discovering, identifying and reporting2.1.3 HCI specialists It has been argued that user participation in information system research is important because it helps build better and better IT tools from the user’s point of view (Evari, 2008). The Hesse specialists play a key role in the communication between developers and users. They are very necessary as a role for surveys and user interviews, so user research studies serve as a way to bridge communication with developers (Ogawa, Ma, Birds, Devanbo and Gorelli, 2007; Paul; , 2009).2.1.4 The level of user roles In the onion model mentioned in Figure 1, there is no such place to show the position of your specialists. The traditional model of the AWS project has changed in one way or another in the current development model, since the current organization and the company pay more attention from the perspective of the end user to the show. Hedberg and Ivari (2009) proposed a new model to follow in the OSS community, which included all the important roles, HCI added.
To understand the development process of open source software, one should focus on studying the structure of Open Source Software environment, the communities within it and and their participants’ roles. The community plays an important part in the likelihood of success in any Open Source Software project. 2.2.1 Problems in communication between the different roles Usability testing and reporting of bugs have both been suggested as ways to increase the rate of user involvement. (Zhao and Deek, 2005, 2006) However, non-technical users might be uninterested or even intimidated about using communication tools such as IRC, discussion forums, mailing lists, feature requests and bug reports (Ge, Dong & Huyang, 2006; Ye & Kishida, 2003; Cetin, Verzulli & Frings, 2007) 2.2.2 Suggestions User experience and usability issues differ from bugs and other issues, therefore they should be separated from one another. Both bugs and usability issues are generally collected into the same view with bug tracker and thus linked together. It would be advisable to have a dedicated tab, for example, for user experience issues in order to clarify the development process and reporting. (Bach et al., 2009).
3.1 Result of the research In this research paper, literature studies were conducted about the different user roles in OSS community, what are their responsibilities and positions, and how they should cooperate with each other so that to contribute themselves in a more user satisfaction way. The traditional onion model has been illustrated first, and consider the importance of HCI specialists role, another hypothesis model which is designed by Hedberg and Iivari has also been shown. All in all the study found out that it is important to allow users fully involved into OSS project, since their feedbacks and suggestions are crucial. 3.2 Limitations The limitations of this research study are related to relying on other researcher’s studies. Triangulation of the information, for example, poses a challenge when building a uniform view regarding the role of users in an open source software communities. There is no agreed terminology in this field, and hence analysing and combining the research findings of other researchers has been challenging. In addition, we have not conducted own survey research about the roles but merely are contributing to the field with our literature review contrasting the latest research findings.
3.3 Recommendation for future research Acceptance studies about the use of open source software may contribute to the general understanding of the open source software users. Understanding what affects the use of open source will help in building an understanding of the role of the user in more depth. Relevant research about OSS can be conducted by collecting research data in organizations and companies, and gain better understanding about different user roles among them.
Specific comparative studies about the user participation in the different phases of open source software development would help in understanding how the role of the user is throughout an OSS project. There may be differences regarding the role and the rate of participation of user depending whether the project is in requirements phase, development phase, evaluation or testing phase. Such research would help in identifying different ways to motivate participation.