Strictly speaking, Open Source Software is any program that is covered by an Open Source Software license. However, the notion of Open Source Software Development conjures images of high-quality, market dominating products developed by armies of volunteer programmers, who work only for the joy of programming. Certainly, banner projects like Apache, the Linux kernel, and Mozilla/Firefox resemble this notion, even if they do employ significant numbers of paid programmers.
This paper examines three Open Source Software projects related to the Vista Electronic Medical Record system developed and maintained by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and released to the public domain. While all three claim to be “Open Source” projects, there is considerable deviation from the strong community-oriented model that Linux, Apache, and Mozilla represent.