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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/818

Title: Understanding meaning and bridging divides: the use of an African metaphor for the South African Open Source Centre
Authors: Byrne, E
Jolliffe, B
Mabaso, NM
Keywords: Open source software
Metaphors
Free software
South Africa
Issue Date: Jul-2006
Citation: Byrne, E, Jolliffe, B and Mabaso, NM. 2006. Understanding meaning and bridging divides: the use of an African metaphor for the South African Open Source Centre. Social inclusion: Societal and Organizational Implications for Information Systems, IFIP TC8 WG8.2, International Working Conference, Limerick, Ireland, 12-15 July 2006, pp 1-11
Abstract: This paper describes a conscious attempt to use metaphor to both promote, and also reinterpret, ideas and values from the global Free and Open Source Software movement in the context of South Africa. A case study is given of an initiative launched by South African Council for Industrial and Scientific Research to stimulate awareness and promote the use of Free and Open Source Software in South Africa and the region. The new Open Source Centre made use of an African language metaphor to relate the concept of shared intellectual property in software to traditional communal land management. Whereas “western” metaphors are commonly used in the field of organisational studies and Information Systems to facilitate meaning, the deliberate use of an African language metaphor to describe software systems is less common (even in Africa). This paper provides a background as to why such a metaphor was chosen as well as some reflection on its effectiveness.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/818
Appears in Collections:Open source
General science, engineering & technology

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