Characteristics of Sustainable OSS Projects: A Theoretical and Empirical Study

TitleCharacteristics of Sustainable OSS Projects: A Theoretical and Empirical Study
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHata, H, Todo, T, Onoue, S, Matsumoto, K
Secondary TitleProceedings of the Eighth International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering
PublisherIEEE Press
Place PublishedPiscataway, NJ, USA

How can we attract developers? What can we do to incentivize developers to write code? We started the study by introducing the population pyramid visualization to software development communities, called software population pyramids, and found a typical pattern in shapes. This pattern comes from the differences in attracting coding contributors and discussion contributors. To understand the causes of the differences, we then build game-theoretical models of the contribution situation. Based on these results, we again analyzed the projects empirically to support the outcome of the models, and found empirical evidence. The answers to the initial questions are clear. To incentivize developers to code, the projects should prepare documents, or the projects or third parties should hire developers, and these are what sustainable projects in GitHub did in reality. In addition, making innovations to reduce the writing costs can also have an impact in attracting coding contributors.



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