Appropriation of the Eclipse Ecosystem: Local Integration of Global Network Production
Eclipse and Mozilla Firefox represent a new type of open software that can be supplemented by manifold extensions, being implemented by independent software vendors and open source projects. Research on such software ecosystems shows that collaboration patterns in the software industry evolve from value chains to value nets. An often ignored side-effect of this development is a vast extent of integration work that needs to be done by users. Taking a user point of view, this paper presents an empirical study on the practices of appropriating the Eclipse ecosystem as an example of radical tailorability, based on new opportunities given by the surrounding ecosystem. We show the practices users have developed to manage the antagonism of maintaining a stable and productive working environment, while simultaneously innovating it. Based on these results, we outline different opportunities to improve flexible software by supporting cooperation among the diverse actors involved, in a network of production and consumption.