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Abstract

There is a general consensus about the lack of usability in most open source software (OSS). Academics and practitioners have offered several suggestions to improve the usability of such software. However, a realistic assessment of OSS projects, specifically the motivations of OSS developers and their attitude toward software usability, lack of user feedback, and absence of usability experts in OSS projects, leads to the conclusion that strategies to improve OSS usability are unlikely to succeed anytime soon. The only exceptions will be OSS which enjoy sufficient financial support from individuals and organizations, and software that were developed by commercial software producers and later released under an open source license.

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