Detecting Agility of Open Source Projects Through Developer Engagement

TitleDetecting Agility of Open Source Projects Through Developer Engagement
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsAdams, P, Capiluppi, A, de Groot, A
Secondary TitleOSS2008: Open Source Development, Communities and Quality (IFIP 2.13)
Pagination333 - 341
Date Published2008///
ISSN Number978-0-387-09683-4

The principles behind the agile development methods and common practise within the Open Source community are vastly different. In recent years there has been a rise of interest in these, in order to detect and inform on areas of compatible shared practises. This paper argues that it is possible to quantify the level of agility displayed by Open Source projects. An indicator of agility, the Mean Developer Engagement (MDE) metric is introduced and tested through the analysis of public project data. Projects sampled from two repositories (KDE and SourceForge) are studied and a hypothesis is formulated: projects from the two samples display a similar level of MDE. This paper provides two main contributions: first, the MDE metric is shown to vary significantly between the KDE and SourceForge projects. Second, by combining MDE with a project’s lifespan, it is also shown that SourceForge projects have insufficient uptake of new developers resulting in more active, shorter, initial activity, and in a quicker “burning out” of the projects.

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