Studying the use of developer IRC meetings in open source projects

TitleStudying the use of developer IRC meetings in open source projects
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsShihab, Emad, Jiang Zhen Ming, and Hassan Ahmed E.
Secondary Title2009 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM)
Pagination147 - 156
Place PublishedEdmonton, AB, Canada
ISBN Number978-1-4244-4897-5
Keywordsevolution, gtk, irc

Open source developers communicate with each other via various online outlets. Thus far, mailing lists have been the main coordination mechanism. However, our previous study shows that the use of developer IRC meetings is increasing in recent years. In this paper, we perform a study on the IRC meetings of two large open source projects: the GTK+ and Evolution projects. We explore three dimensions: who participates in the meetings, what do they discuss and how do they run the meetings. We find (1) that a small and stable number of the participants contribute the majority of messages in meetings, (2) that there are commonly discussed topics as well as project specific topics (3) that meeting styles vary across different projects.