Distributed Collective Practices and F/OSS Problem Management: Perspective and Methods

TitleDistributed Collective Practices and F/OSS Problem Management: Perspective and Methods
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsGasser, Les, and Ripoche Gabriel
Secondary TitleConference on Cooperation, Innovation & Technology (CITE 2003)
KeywordsAutomated process extraction, bug fixing, bug reports, bugzilla, Collective knowledge management, Information extraction from natural language texts, mozilla, Software problem management

This paper presents the state of our research on Distributed Collective Practices (DCPs) in Free/Open-Source Software (F/OSS) projects, focusing on sensemaking and resolution of software problems. We are exploring the hypothesis that variations in the content and in the articulation of these socio-technical processes have an impact on the outcome of the activity of F/OSS collectives, and more specifically on problem resolution. Our preliminary techniques for combining qualitative data analysis with automated process extraction result in a scalable analysis method called Computational Amplification (CA). We are applying CA to 128,000 problem reports from the Mozilla F/OSS project. The paper illustrates how CA is used to create multidimensional process models and shows types of conclusions we can reach.


"We have begun studying in detail the general issues raised above using a large collection of research data from the Mozilla project"
"Our Bugzilla snapshot contains over 128,000 problem reports, of which about 88,000 have been resolved"