Bug Fixing Practices within Free/Libre Open Source Software Development Teams

Bug Fixing Practices within Free/Libre Open Source Software Development Teams

Kevin Crowston (Syracuse University, USA) and Barbara Scozzi (Politecnico di Bari, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-058-5.ch046
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Abstract

Free/Libre open source software (FLOSS, e.g., Linux or Apache) is primarily developed by distributed teams. Developers contribute from around the world and coordinate their activity almost exclusively by means of email and bulletin boards, yet some how profit from the advantages and evade the challenges of distributed software development. In this article we investigate the structure and the coordination practices adopted by development teams during the bug-fixing process, which is considered one of main areas of FLOSS project success. In particular, based on a codification of the messages recorded in the bug tracking system of four projects, we identify the accomplished tasks, the adopted coordination mechanisms, and the role undertaken by both the FLOSS development team and the FLOSS community. We conclude with suggestions for further research.

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