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The process of Open Design: collective / collaborative #17

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trox opened this issue Jul 27, 2013 · 3 comments

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commented Jul 27, 2013

A collaborative process has been established in FOSS as a matter of fact through the "release early, release often &c." approach and involving users as beta-testers and co-developers, I would expect similar developments in design (co-design moving into open design). Should we state so?

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commented Sep 7, 2013

Usually, in definitions there are no references to the processes adopted, but to the nature of the knowledge shared. The reasons for this is that there are many different processes available. I would also love to see collaborative processes inside Open Design (my whole research in Open P2P Design has been devoted exactly to this), but it should still be possible to call Open Design the work of a single person, if released as open source (for example: Ronen Kadushin and most of the stuff on Thingiverse).
Shall we just write that "we hope that Open Design will bring more collaborative processes" ?

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commented Sep 7, 2013

It makes sense perhaps to mention collective/collaborative aspect in the introductory part for the purpose of illuminating yet another dimension of the applicability of open design. As a part of the definition, it would seem extraneous, though.

As Peter already mentioned, the collaboration is an outcome, a reasonable social effect resulting from the way the open paradigm is defined and practiced. Although it is not explicitly stated, it just seems "right" to collaborate, i.e. to work jointly within a roughly common time frame, so, many people do it because they choose to. In other words, the open paradigm supports collaboration but it is not a sine qua non of open paradigm.

Furthermore, I think we should not forget that the open creative processes are very often asynchronous (If we are building upon someone's work from 5 years ago, let's say) and concurrent (when we fork a project and take it to some other course), too. In the future, perhaps, our work (done through forking and branching...) might become a part of some bigger project and someone might take a look on that big project and say "Weeee, behold the fruits of collaboration!" when in honesty, at the time we certainly did not feel as if we were collaborating, so the verb to collaborate does not apply. On the other hand, I think that we can use the verb to contribute instead ;) as in: contributing to the totality of openly accessible information.

I beg a devil's advocate moment in favor of the defense of solitude: to emphasize further what Massimo (openp2pdesign) said, there are cases a developer/designer couldn't care less about collaboration, collectivity and other fuzzy-cuddly co-whatever and still be "in the open" and all her/his work would still matter a lot. Further examples purely for effect, of course... Stallman and Torvalds developed key tools and OS kernels working alone. FontForge and Filezilla applications are still mostly developed by single developers, van Rossum did the early implementations of Python language alone... The beauty of the open source paradigm is that it elegantly includes and equally rewards both solitary and collaborative creative work and, at the same time, makes sure no work goes to waste.

Solitude is a beautiful thing, too. Ah!

So, imho, collective and collaborative aspects should not be explicitly stated in the definition.

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commented Jul 7, 2016

This aspect is a great topic for research and practice on real life projects, more than on definitions. As @alex-kovac rightly says, there are many cases of "Open" projects that are one-man-band efforts, but they are still open. With commit 16bb1e9 I added another section about the wider Open Design ecosystem of a project, and the second item is participation / presence of a community or other type of organization... I'd close this issue now, and I'd suggest to discuss on that section with another issue or by reopening this, if necessary.

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