The Role of Modularity in Free/Open Source Software Development

The Role of Modularity in Free/Open Source Software Development

Alessandro Narduzzo (Universita di Bologna, Italy) and Alessandro Rossi (Universita di Trento, Italy)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-369-2.ch004
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Abstract

Software design and development in Free/Open Source projects are analyzed through the lens of the theory of modularity applied to complex systems. We show that both the architecture of the artifacts (software) and the organization of the projects benefited from the paradigm of modularity in an original and effective manner. In particular, our analysis on empirical evidence suggests that three main shortcuts to modular design have been introduced and effectively applied. First, some successful projects inherited previously existing modular architecture, rather than designing new modular systems from scratch. Second, popular modular systems, like GNU/Linux kernel, evolved from an initial integrated structure through a process of evolutionary adaptation. Third, the development of modular software took advantage of the violation of one fundamental rule of modularity, that is, information hiding. Through these three routines, the projects can exploit the benefits of modularity, such as concurrent engineering, division of labor, decentralized and parallel development; at the same time, these routines lessen some of the problems posed by the design of modular architectures, namely imperfect decompositions of interdependent components. Implications and extensions of Free/Open Source projects experience are discussed in the conclusions.

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Table of Contents
Preface
Stefan Koch
Acknowledgments
Stefan Koch
Chapter 1
Jesper Holck, Niels Jørgensen
For two Free/Open Source Software projects, Mozilla and FreeBSD, we describe the central elements in the soft­ware development processes: the... Sample PDF
Do Not Check in on Red: Control Meets Anarchy in Two Open Source Projects
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Chapter 2
Jesús M. Gonzalez-Barahona, Gregorio Robles, Miguel Ortuno-Perez, Luis Rodero-Merino, José Centeno-Gonzalez, Vicente Matellan-Olivera, Eva Castro-Barbero, Pedro de-las-Heras-Quirós
GNU/Linux distributions are probably the largest coordinated pieces of software ever put together. Each one is in some sense a snapshot of a large... Sample PDF
Analyzing the Anatomy of GNU/Linux Distributions: Methodology and Case Studies (Red Hat and Debian)
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Chapter 3
Yunwen Ye, Kumiyo Nakakoji, Yasuhiro Yamamoto, Kouichi Kishida
Because a Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) project is unlikely to sustain a long-term success unless there is an associated community that... Sample PDF
The Co-Evolution of Systems and Communities in Free and Open Source Software Development
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Chapter 4
Alessandro Narduzzo, Alessandro Rossi
Software design and development in Free/Open Source projects are analyzed through the lens of the theory of modularity applied to complex systems.... Sample PDF
The Role of Modularity in Free/Open Source Software Development
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Chapter 5
Michael Hahsler
Several successful projects (Linux, Free-BSD, BIND, Apache, etc.) showed that the collaborative and self-organizing process of developing open... Sample PDF
A Quantitative Study of the Adoption of Design Patterns by Open Source Software Developers
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Chapter 6
Thomas Basset
This chapter tackles the issue of the distribution of work in an open source project through the influence of social relationships among developers.... Sample PDF
Coordination and Social Structures in an Open Source Project: VideoLAN
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Chapter 7
Margaret S. Elliott, Walt Scacchi
This chapter presents an empirical study of a free software development community and how its virtual organizational culture influences its work... Sample PDF
Free Software Development: Cooperation and Conflict in a Virtual Organizational Culture
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Chapter 8
I. P. Antoniades, I. Samoladas, I. Stamelos, L. Angelis, G. L. Bleris
This chapter will discuss attempts to produce formal mathematical models for dynamical simulation of the development process of Free/Open Source... Sample PDF
Dynamical Simulation Models of the Open Source Development Process
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Chapter 9
Gregory Madey, Vincent Freeh, Renee Tynan
In this chapter we summarize the latest results from an ongoing study examining Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) Development communities as... Sample PDF
Modeling the Free/Open Source Software Community: A Quantitative Investigation
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Chapter 10
Jiayin Hang, Heidi Hohensohn, Klaus Mayr, Thomas Wieland
This chapter intends to show how companies can benefit from open source software and its development culture and how the open source communities... Sample PDF
Benefits and Pitfalls of Open Source in Commercial Contexts
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Chapter 11
Jonathan M. Smith, Michael B. Greenwald, Sotiris Ioannidis, Angelos D. Keromytis, Ben Laurie, Douglas Maughan, Dale Rahn, Jason Wright
This chapter reports on our experiences with POSSE, a project studying “Portable Open Source Security Elements” as part of the larger DARPA effort... Sample PDF
Experiences Enhancing Open Source Security in the POSSE Project
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Chapter 12
Bernd C. Stahl
This chapter discusses the impact that open source software has on our perception and use of intellectual property. The theoretical foundation of... Sample PDF
The Impact of Open Source Development on the Social Construction of Intellectual Property
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Chapter 13
E.G. Coleman, Benjamin Hill
This chapter examines the way that participation in Free software projects increases commitments to information freedom among participants. With the... Sample PDF
The Social Production of Ethics in Debian and Free Software Communities: Anthropological Lessons for Vocational Ethics
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