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Consensus Building in Distributed Technical Discussions

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Title: Consensus Building in Distributed Technical Discussions
Author(s): Zilouchian Moghaddam, Roshanak
Contributor(s): Bailey, Brian P; Fu, Wai-Tat
Subject(s): Consensus building Open Source Software
Abstract: The issue management systems in open source software projects contain different categories of discussions, but they all share the goal of reaching consensus on solution proposals. In this paper, we examine the consensus building process in distributed discussions of technical issues in one mature open source software community. Our analysis shows that providing a concrete solution in the form of a patch implementation is most predictive of reaching consensus in technical discussions. This is in sharp contrast to prior work on consensus building in distributed UI design discussions which showed that having participants with more experiences and prior interaction histories are more predictive of reaching consensus. Our results highlight that consensus building depends on the nature of the issue. In technical issues that tend to be more driven by objective evaluations providing more patches promotes consensus. However, in UI design issues that tend to be more driven by subjective evaluations, having more experience participants helps discussions to reach consensus.
Issue Date: 2012-10
Genre: Article
Type: Text
Language: English
Publication Status: unpublished
Peer Reviewed: not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-10-28

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