Similarities, challenges and opportunities of Wikipedia content and open source projects

TitleSimilarities, challenges and opportunities of Wikipedia content and open source projects
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsCapiluppi, A
Secondary TitleJournal of Software: Evolution and Process
Paginationn/a - n/a
Date Published08/2012

Several years of research and evidence have demonstrated that open source software portals often contain a large amount of software projects that simply do not evolve, developed by relatively small communities, struggling to attract a sustained number of contributors. These portals have started to increasingly act as a storage for abandoned projects, and researchers and practitioners should try and point out how to take advantage of such content. Similarly, other online content portals (like Wikipedia) could be harvested for valuable content. In this paper we argue that, even with differences in the requested expertise, many projects reliant on content and contributions by users undergo a similar evolution, and follow similar patterns: when a project fails to attract contributors, it appears to be not evolving, or abandoned. Far from a negative finding, even those projects could provide valuable content that should be harvested and identified based on common characteristics: by using the attributes of ‘usefulness’ and ‘modularity’ we isolate valuable content in both Wikipedia pages and open source software projects.


The Sourceforge repository was chosen as the largest and most representative OSS repository. In order to extract a sample from it, the database [20] was downloaded, containing the basic information of all the Sourceforge projects. The latest available dump of such data, at the time of the extraction (April 2009) contained 126,142 projects. From this database, three filters were applied: one based on the given status of the projects; one classifying the activity of the project, and imposed by the SourceForge site (“active” and “inactive”); and one relative to the specific topic (or application domain) that each project is developed for.

Short TitleJ. Softw. Evol. and Proc.
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