Linchpin Developers in Open Source Software Projects

TitleLinchpin Developers in Open Source Software Projects
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsCorona, Erika Ingrid Mastranzo, and Rossi Bruno
Secondary TitleArtificial Intelligence and Applications
Place PublishedInnsbruck, AustriaCalgary,AB,Canada

In Open Source Software (OSS) development, the so-called linchpin developers are those that contribute contemporaneously to several projects, contributing to keeping the community tied together. While such developers have been identified in previous research, their importance within the OSS community has not been widely discussed. The main objective of this work is to analyze their “weaving” role across projects. With this aim, we mined software repositories, using text mining techniques as log-likehood ratio and co-word analysis, further building social networks of developers within emerging communities. The findings show that linchpin developers generally attach in a preferential way to projects in a single specific domain. They tend to be more “project managers”, and “all-hands-persons”, meaning that they bring multi-disciplinary experience across projects. They tend to cover the same role across projects. They generally have high centrality in their projects, and contribute to create projects that ease the transition from a fragmented projects community to a more core-periphery community.


"The datasources used have been FLOSSmole[5], providing statistical data about each project. From this repository we extracted the role assumed by the developers, and domains of participation. "

"We compared our dataset, mined from the FLOSSmole repository [5], based on Sourceforge data, with the one given in [9]. "