Book Chapter

Hacker culture and the FLOSS innovation



Lin Y (2007) Hacker culture and the FLOSS innovation. In: St AK & Still B (eds.) Handbook of Research on Open Source Software: Technological, Economic, and Social Perspectives. 3 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8LU: Information Science Reference, pp. 34-46.;

This chapter aims to contribute to our understanding of the free/libre open source software (FLOSS) innovation and how it is shaped by and also shapes various perceptions on and practices of hacker culture. Unlike existing literature that usually normalises, radicalises, marginalises, or criminalises hacker culture, I confront such deterministic views that ignore the contingency and heterogeneity of hacker culture, which evolve over time in correspondence with different settings where diverse actors locate. I argue that hacker culture has been continuously defined and redefined, situated and resituated with the ongoing development and growing implementation of FLOSS. The story on the development of EMACSen (plural form of EMACS-Editing MACroS) illustrates the consequence when different interpretations and practices of hacker culture clash. I conclude that stepping away from a fixed and rigid typology of hackers will allow us to view the FLOSS innovation from a more ecological view. This will also help us to value and embrace different contributions from diverse actors including end-users and minority groups. © 2007, IGI Global.

Publication date31/12/2007
PublisherInformation Science Reference
Publisher URL…rce-software/494
Place of publication3 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8LU