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CAA2014 Community Archaeology and Technology: Making community-driven, open source investment work in archaeology
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CAA2014 Community Archaeology and Technology: Making community-driven, open source investment work in archaeology

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Benjamin Ducke …

Benjamin Ducke
Paper presented at Computer Applications in Archaeology Conference 2014, 22nd - 25th April 2014, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris as part of Session 12: Community Archaeology and Technology. Session organisers: Nicole Beale and Eleonora Gandolfi. Session blog: http://blog.soton.ac.uk/comarch/

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  • 1. "As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?" (Bill Gates) Bill Gates, An Open Letter to Hobbyists, Homebrew Computing Club Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 31, 1976 The pay-per-license model assumes distrust between producer and consumer. How about paying directly for the service of making software? How about breaking the divide between the producer and consumer roles?
  • 2. "As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?" (Bill Gates) Bill Gates, An Open Letter to Hobbyists, Homebrew Computing Club Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 31, 1976 The pay-per-license model assumes distrust between producer and consumer. How about paying directly for the service of making software? How about breaking the divide between the producer and consumer roles?
  • 3. "As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?" (Bill Gates) Bill Gates, An Open Letter to Hobbyists, Homebrew Computing Club Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 31, 1976 The pay-per-license model assumes distrust between producer and consumer. How about paying directly for the service of making software? How about breaking the divide between the producer and consumer roles?
  • 4. "As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?" (Bill Gates) Bill Gates, An Open Letter to Hobbyists, Homebrew Computing Club Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan. 31, 1976 The pay-per-license model assumes distrust between producer and consumer. How about paying directly for the service of making software? How about breaking the divide between the producer and consumer roles?
  • 5. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in commerce There is no "open source versus commercial" antagonism! The real divide is "free versus proprietary". Designing, documenting, teaching or creating software for money are examples of commercial activities based on FOSS. Most programmers (FOSS or not) earn their money by making customised software for their clients.
  • 6. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in commerce There is no "open source versus commercial" antagonism! The real divide is "free versus proprietary". Designing, documenting, teaching or creating software for money are examples of commercial activities based on FOSS. Most programmers (FOSS or not) earn their money by making customised software for their clients.
  • 7. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in commerce There is no "open source versus commercial" antagonism! The real divide is "free versus proprietary". Designing, documenting, teaching or creating software for money are examples of commercial activities based on FOSS. Most programmers (FOSS or not) earn their money by making customised software for their clients.
  • 8. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in commerce There is no "open source versus commercial" antagonism! The real divide is "free versus proprietary". Designing, documenting, teaching or creating software for money are examples of commercial activities based on FOSS. Most programmers (FOSS or not) earn their money by making customised software for their clients.
  • 9. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in commerce There is no "open source versus commercial" antagonism! The real divide is "free versus proprietary". Designing, documenting, teaching or creating software for money are examples of commercial activities based on FOSS. Most programmers (FOSS or not) earn their money by making customised software for their clients.
  • 10. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in commerce The global market for FOSS and FOSS-based services is huge and constantly growing. Cost estimates for some FOSS projects (www.ohloh.net): Apache HTTP Server: $15 million. Mozilla Firefox: $87 million. Linux Kernel (2.6): $173 million OpenOffice.org: $428 million We are dealing with a very "hot" market. There are strong incentives for increased commercialisation.
  • 11. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in commerce The global market for FOSS and FOSS-based services is huge and constantly growing. Cost estimates for some FOSS projects (www.ohloh.net): Apache HTTP Server: $15 million. Mozilla Firefox: $87 million. Linux Kernel (2.6): $173 million OpenOffice.org: $428 million We are dealing with a very "hot" market. There are strong incentives for increased commercialisation.
  • 12. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in commerce Exemplary figures for the cost* of FOSS projects: 1. Analytical plug-ins for (GRASS) GIS: r.xtent, r.dst.*, ... • thousands of lines of source code • 3,000-10,000 EUR per job 2. Surveying software: survey2gis (www.survey-tools.org) • tens of thousands of lines of source code • 10,000-15,000 EUR 3. Full-featured desktop GIS: gvSIG CE (www.gvsigce.org) • hundreds of thousands of lines of source code • > 20 mio. EUR (estimated) *Includes: concept writing, cost estimate, programming work, testing, end- user documentation & training. Does not include maintenance.
  • 13. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in commerce Exemplary figures for the cost* of FOSS projects: 1. Analytical plug-ins for (GRASS) GIS: r.xtent, r.dst.*, ... • thousands of lines of source code • 3,000-10,000 EUR per job 2. Surveying software: survey2gis (www.survey-tools.org) • tens of thousands of lines of source code • 10,000-15,000 EUR 3. Full-featured desktop GIS: gvSIG CE (www.gvsigce.org) • hundreds of thousands of lines of source code • > 20 mio. EUR (estimated) *Includes: concept writing, cost estimate, programming work, testing, end- user documentation & training. Does not include maintenance.
  • 14. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in commerce Exemplary figures for the cost* of FOSS projects: 1. Analytical plug-ins for (GRASS) GIS: r.xtent, r.dst.*, ... • thousands of lines of source code • 3,000-10,000 EUR per job 2. Surveying software: survey2gis (www.survey-tools.org) • tens of thousands of lines of source code • 10,000-15,000 EUR 3. Full-featured desktop GIS: gvSIG CE (www.gvsigce.org) • hundreds of thousands of lines of source code • > 20 mio. EUR (estimated) *Includes: concept writing, cost estimate, programming work, testing, end- user documentation & training. Does not include maintenance.
  • 15. Size of the FOSS GIS commons Rank sizes of FOSS desktop GIS projects (Code Analyzer): Name Prog. Lang. Lines of Code k Lines of Code gvSIG CE Java 811697 812 QGIS C/C++/Python 703105 703 GRASS GIS C/Python 498895 499 Kosmo Desktop Java 399174 399 OSSIM C/C++ 340586 341 uDig Java 309386 309 MapWindow .Net 308838 309 SAGA GIS C/C++ 264443 264 Whitebox Java 242811 243 OrbisGIS Java 149756 150 OpenJUMP Java 144575 145 GMT C 137992 138 deegree2 desktop Java 87836 88
  • 16. FOSS in Archaeology Almost everybody uses it. Almost nobody invests money into it. Why? Hyp. 1: Not enough information ("politician's hypothesis"). Hyp. 2: FOSS is unattractive ("null hypothesis"). Hyp. 3: Market is underdeveloped ("economist's hypothesis").
  • 17. FOSS in Archaeology Almost everybody uses it. Almost nobody invests money into it. Why? Hyp. 1: Not enough information ("politician's hypothesis"). Hyp. 2: FOSS is unattractive ("null hypothesis"). Hyp. 3: Market is underdeveloped ("economist's hypothesis").
  • 18. FOSS in Archaeology Almost everybody uses it. Almost nobody invests money into it. Why? Hyp. 1: Not enough information ("politician's hypothesis"). Hyp. 2: FOSS is unattractive ("null hypothesis"). Hyp. 3: Market is underdeveloped ("economist's hypothesis").
  • 19. FOSS in Archaeology Almost everybody uses it. Almost nobody invests money into it. Why? Hyp. 1: Not enough information ("politician's hypothesis"). Hyp. 2: FOSS is unattractive ("null hypothesis"). Hyp. 3: Market is underdeveloped ("economist's hypothesis").
  • 20. FOSS in Archaeology Almost everybody uses it. Almost nobody invests money into it. Why? Hyp. 1: Not enough information ("politician's hypothesis"). Hyp. 2: FOSS is unattractive ("null hypothesis"). Hyp. 3: Market is underdeveloped ("economist's hypothesis").
  • 21. FOSS in Archaeology Almost everybody uses it. Almost nobody invests money into it. Why? Hyp. 1: Not enough information ("politician's hypothesis"). Hyp. 2: FOSS is unattractive ("null hypothesis"). Hyp. 3: Market is underdeveloped ("economist's hypothesis").
  • 22. Is there money to be made in archaeological software? Table: staff training actions (Source: German Association of State Archaeologists 2008: www.discovering-archaeologists.eu) Sample Size: n=112 Planned Trainings (%) Information Technology 49.1 DTP/Editing 15.2 Project Management 13.4 Accounting 11.6 Marketing 10.7 Business Management 8.9 Staffing 8.9 Misc. 8.9 Customer Relations 5.4 Teaching Skills 4.5 Consulting Skills 4.5 Language Skills 3.6
  • 23. Some conclusions from recent survey data: 1. Most archaeologists work as diggers/surveyors, either within academic institutions or commercial units. 2. The university curricula largely ignore the job market and do not provide enough IT education. From 1 & 2 follows: There is a significant demand for specific software solutions and education within applied archaeology (foremost field work). But: The archaeological software market is challenging and small!
  • 24. Some conclusions from recent survey data: 1. Most archaeologists work as diggers/surveyors, either within academic institutions or commercial units. 2. The university curricula largely ignore the job market and do not provide enough IT education. From 1 & 2 follows: There is a significant demand for specific software solutions and education within applied archaeology (foremost field work). But: The archaeological software market is challenging and small!
  • 25. Some conclusions from recent survey data: 1. Most archaeologists work as diggers/surveyors, either within academic institutions or commercial units. 2. The university curricula largely ignore the job market and do not provide enough IT education. From 1 & 2 follows: There is a significant demand for specific software solutions and education within applied archaeology (foremost field work). But: The archaeological software market is challenging and small!
  • 26. Some conclusions from recent survey data: 1. Most archaeologists work as diggers/surveyors, either within academic institutions or commercial units. 2. The university curricula largely ignore the job market and do not provide enough IT education. From 1 & 2 follows: There is a significant demand for specific software solutions and education within applied archaeology (foremost field work). But: The archaeological software market is challenging and small!
  • 27. Economic aspects of FOSS Creating software costs money. No investment, no software. FOSS offers many options to keep the cost down: 1. No redundant investment needed. 2. Strong synergies and opportunities for shared investment. 4. Low maintenance cost through community involvement.
  • 28. Economic aspects of FOSS Creating software costs money. No investment, no software. FOSS offers many options to keep the cost down: 1. No redundant investment needed. 2. Strong synergies and opportunities for shared investment. 4. Low maintenance cost through community involvement.
  • 29. FOSS as social capital Hypothesis: The technological and economical strength of FOSS results from its social structure. 1. Flat hierarchies & low barriers to entry. 3. Direct networking & collaboration. 4. Shared stakeholding & return on investment.
  • 30. FOSS as social capital Hypothesis: The technological and economical strength of FOSS results from its social structure. 1. Flat hierarchies & low barriers to entry. 3. Direct networking & collaboration. 4. Shared stakeholding & return on investment.
  • 31. FOSS as social capital Some lessons learned the hard way: 1. Do not host projects under domains such as "www.abc-university.edu/project-name" 2. Release (source code) early, release often. 3. Start the community building early. 4. Find a strong platform for increased longevity. 5. Remember to delegate and give up control.
  • 32. FOSS as social capital Some lessons learned the hard way: 1. Do not host projects under domains such as "www.abc-university.edu/project-name" 2. Release (source code) early, release often. 3. Start the community building early. 4. Find a strong platform for increased longevity. 5. Remember to delegate and give up control.
  • 33. FOSS as social capital Some lessons learned the hard way: 1. Do not host projects under domains such as "www.abc-university.edu/project-name" 2. Release (source code) early, release often. 3. Start the community building early. 4. Find a strong platform for increased longevity. 5. Remember to delegate and give up control.
  • 34. FOSS as social capital Some lessons learned the hard way: 1. Do not host projects under domains such as "www.abc-university.edu/project-name" 2. Release (source code) early, release often. 3. Start the community building early. 4. Find a strong platform for increased longevity. 5. Remember to delegate and give up control.
  • 35. FOSS as social capital Some lessons learned the hard way: 1. Do not host projects under domains such as "www.abc-university.edu/project-name" 2. Release (source code) early, release often. 3. Start the community building early. 4. Find a strong platform for increased longevity. 5. Remember to delegate and give up control.
  • 36. FOSS as social capital Some lessons learned the hard way: 1. Do not host projects under domains such as "www.abc-university.edu/project-name" 2. Release (source code) early, release often. 3. Start the community building early. 4. Find a strong platform for increased longevity. 5. Remember to delegate and give up control.
  • 37. Case study 1: survey2gis (www.survey-tools.org)
  • 38. Case study 1: survey2gis (www.survey-tools.org) Purpose: A compact tool for producing high-quality GIS data from survey (totalstation, GPS, etc.) data. Funding: Currently a single investor (State Heritage Baden- Württemberg/Germany). Community: Archaeologists and surveyors from other fields.
  • 39. Case study 2: gvSIG CE (gvsigce.org)
  • 40. Case study 2: gvSIG CE (gvsigce.org) Purpose: Provide a full-featured desktop GIS with advanced processing capabilities. Funding: Currently multiple investors. Community: GIS users from multiple fields; academic, public services, private businesses.
  • 41. Further Food for thought: "Academic computer science has an odd relationship with software: Publishing papers about software is considered a distinctly stronger contribution than publishing the software. The historical reasons for this paradox no longer apply, but their legacy remains." Hafer & Kirkpatrik 2009: Assessing Open Source Software as a Scholarly Contribution. Communications of the ACM. 52(12), 126-129.