A Quantitative Study of the Adoption of Design Patterns by Open Source Software Developers

A Quantitative Study of the Adoption of Design Patterns by Open Source Software Developers

Michael Hahsler (Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-939-7.ch045
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Abstract

Several successful projects (Linux, Free-BSD, BIND, Apache, etc.) showed that the collaborative and self-organizing process of developing open source software produces reliable, high quality software. Without doubt, the open source software development process differs in many ways from the traditional development process in a commercial environment. An interesting research question is how these differences influence the adoption of traditional software engineering practices. In this chapter we investigate how design patterns, a widely accepted software engineering practice, are adopted by open source developers for documenting changes. We analyze the development process of almost 1,000 open source software projects using version control information and explore differences in pattern adoption using characteristics of projects and developers. By analyzing these differences, we provide evidence that design patterns are an important practice in open source projects and that there exist significant differences between developers who use design patterns and who do not.

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