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Contents

Introduction

The Open Source development cycle tends to be quite different from the proprietary model. Software is developed faster, and defects are tracked by the community. Developers work together to find resolutions and address needed enhancements. The studies below describe the process.

Studies on Bugs and their Fixes

According to Ahmed et al. (2009), OSS does not follow proprietary vendors’ “traditional life cycle of software development,” and in general delivers software more quickly and depends on user involvement in “bug/defect detection.” (p. 175). Discounting concerns about the quality of OSS, the authors use statistical analysis to conclude that the OSS community’s use of group forums is more effective when it comes to tracking and resolving software defects than are propriety vendors’ use of maintenance teams. This empirical study of 619 group forums and project defect tracking systems found a positive correlation between group forum messages and defect resolution. The authors conclude that in an OSS project, “defects are not simply accepted” but rather the project’s “support network” collaboratively works to quickly resolve them. (p. 177). Closed software has a more traditional method of managing its software, and its “profit oriented vendors” generally assign maintenance teams to support maintenance releases (p. 174), while OSS has a “well-defined community with common interests” who in general contribute without “being employed, paid, or recruited.” The authors assert that by having many interested developers working on a common project, the quality of the software is greatly improved and defects are resolved faster. (p. 174).

References

  • Ahmed, F. et al. (2009). Defects in open source software: The role of online forums. Proceedings of World Academy of Science: Engineering & Technology, 40, 174-178.

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