Identifying exogenous drivers and evolutionary stages in FLOSS projects

Beecher, Karl and Capiluppi, Andrea and Boldyreff, Cornelia (2009) Identifying exogenous drivers and evolutionary stages in FLOSS projects. Journal of Systems and Software, 82 . pp. 739-750. ISSN 0164-1212

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Official URL: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jss

Abstract

The success of a Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) project has been evaluated in the past through
the number of commits made to its configuration management system, number of developers and num-
ber of users. Most studies, based on a popular FLOSS repository (SourceForge), have concluded that the
vast majority of projects are failures.
This study's empirical results confirm and expand conclusions from an earlier and more limited work.
Not only do projects from different repositories display different process and product characteristics, but
a more general pattern can be observed. Projects may be considered as early inceptors in highly visible
repositories, or as established projects within desktop-wide projects, or finally as structured parts of
FLOSS distributions. These three possibilities are formalized into a framework of transitions between
repositories.
The framework developed here provides a wider context in which results from FLOSS repository mining
can be more effectively presented. Researchers can draw different conclusions based on the overall char-
acteristics studied about an Open Source software project's potential for success, depending on the repos-
itory that they mine. These results also provide guidance to OSS developers when choosing where to host
their project and how to distribute it to maximize its evolutionary success.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The success of a Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) project has been evaluated in the past through the number of commits made to its configuration management system, number of developers and num- ber of users. Most studies, based on a popular FLOSS repository (SourceForge), have concluded that the vast majority of projects are failures. This study's empirical results confirm and expand conclusions from an earlier and more limited work. Not only do projects from different repositories display different process and product characteristics, but a more general pattern can be observed. Projects may be considered as early inceptors in highly visible repositories, or as established projects within desktop-wide projects, or finally as structured parts of FLOSS distributions. These three possibilities are formalized into a framework of transitions between repositories. The framework developed here provides a wider context in which results from FLOSS repository mining can be more effectively presented. Researchers can draw different conclusions based on the overall char- acteristics studied about an Open Source software project's potential for success, depending on the repos- itory that they mine. These results also provide guidance to OSS developers when choosing where to host their project and how to distribute it to maximize its evolutionary success.
Keywords:Open Source software, Software evolution, Software repositories
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G600 Software Engineering
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:1854
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:26 Mar 2009 12:00
Last Modified:26 Feb 2013 20:56

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