Forge++: The changing landscape of FLOSS development

TitleForge++: The changing landscape of FLOSS development
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSquire, M
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary Title47th International Hawai'i Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-47)
Date Published01/2014
PublisherIEEE Computer Society

Software forges are centralized online systems that provide useful tools to help distributed development teams work together, especially in free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS). Forge-provided tools may include web space, version control systems, mailing lists and communication forums, bug tracking systems, file downloads, wikis, and the like. Empirical software engineering researchers can mine the artifacts from these tools to better understand how FLOSS is made. As the landscape of distributed software development has grown and changed, the tools needed to make FLOSS have changed as well. There are three newer tools at the center of FLOSS development today: distributed version control based forges (like Github), programmer question-and-answer communities (like Stack Overflow), and pastebin tools (like Gist or These tools are extending and changing the toolset used for FLOSS development, and redefining what a software forge looks like. The main contributions of this paper are to describe each of these tools, to identify the data and artifacts available for mining from these tools, and to outline some of the ways researchers can use these artifacts to continue to understand how FLOSS is made.


Note, Georgios Gousios, the author of GHTorrent, has this to say about the Github programming language query given in the paper:

"GHTorrent only records the primary language of a repository at the time the repository data was requested, as this is the only thing the Github API returns. Therefore, your query is correct but the interpretation of the results may be not."

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