Evidences in the evolution of OS projects through Changelog Analyses

TitleEvidences in the evolution of OS projects through Changelog Analyses
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsCapiluppi, A
Secondary TitleProceedings of the 3rd ICSE Workshop on Open Source
Keywordsclassification, freshmeat, loc, modularity, repository, size, sloc, source code

Most empirical studies about Open Source (OS) projects or products are vertical and usually deal with the flagship, successful projects. There is a substantial lack of horizontal studies to shed light on the whole population of projects, including failures. This paper presents a horizontal study aimed at characterizing OS projects. We analyze a sample of around 400 projects from a popular OS project repository. Each project is characterized by a number of attributes. We analyze these attributes statically and over time. The main results show that few projects are capable of attracting a meaningful community of developers. The majority of projects is made by few (in many cases one) person with a very slow pace of evolution. We then try to observe how many projects count on a substantial number of developers, and analyze those projects more deeply. The goal is to achieve a better insight in the dynamics of open source development. The initial results of this analysis, especially growth in code size and tendency to stability in modularity, seem to be in line with traditional close source development.


"In this study we concentrate on a very large sample (406 projects) selected randomly from an OS portal[20]" (freshmeat)

"We define three clusters of projects: 'large' projects as long as they are based on more than 1000KB(40KLOC)..."

Full Text
PDF icon capiluppi2003.pdf191.01 KB