The Impact of Formal QA Practices on FLOSS Communities – The Case of Mozilla

TitleThe Impact of Formal QA Practices on FLOSS Communities – The Case of Mozilla
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBarham, Adina
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary TitleIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology 378 (OSS 2012)
Date Published09/2012
PublisherIFIP AICT, Springer
Keywordsemail, information flow, mailing lists, mozilla, quality assurance, social network analysis, test

The number of FLOSS projects that include a QA step in the development model is increasing which suggests that a new layer may be emerging in the classic “onion model”. This change might affect the information flow within projects and implicitly their sustainability. Communities, the essential resource of FLOSS projects, have been extensively studied but questions concerning QA remain. This paper takes a step towards answering such questions by analyzing QA mailing lists and issue tracker data for the Mozilla group of projects. Because the Bugzilla data set contains over half a million bugs, data processing and analysis is a considerable challenge for this research. The provisional conclusions are that QA activity may not be increasing steadily over time but is dependent on other factors and that the QA team and other groups of contributors form a highly connected network that doesn’t contain isolates.