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open source communities have three main traits
Community lessons from architecture and urban planning
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Dave Neary manages open source standards at Red Hat, so he thinks a lot about what makes open source communities work and what makes them unique.
First, everything we are doing in open source is not brand new. People have gone before us; we should take notice of the lessons they learned and learn them ourselves. Then, two books, one about architecture and the other city planning, highlight key guidelines for design and process.
A Pattern of Language examines the intimacy gradient, which is moving people from the most public space to the most intimate, in that order only. This can be applied to how we communicate with people too, i.e. from forum to moderated mailing list to private email.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities details how successful neighborhoods and centers have primary, secondary and mixed uses. By using all three, people are made to feel safe and highly productive. For example, having employees in a variety of geographic locations, working at variuous times, and having employees who work fulltime and parttime hours.