A Study of Demand-Driven Documentation in Two Open Source Projects

TitleA Study of Demand-Driven Documentation in Two Open Source Projects
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsAndersson, J, Larsson, S, Ericsson, M, Wingkvist, A
Secondary TitleHawaii International Conference on System Sciences 48

We investigate how demand-driven documentation
is used by open source projects. Our study relies on questions
and answers (i.e., demand-driven documentation) posted to Stack
Overflow and focuses on two projects: Apache POI and Fennec
(Firefox for Android). We find that the demand-driven documentation
provided by respective community is of good quality and
contributions are made within an acceptable amount of time.
We conclude that demand-driven documentation can be suitable
as a primary information source if other resources accompany
it, e.g., websites. However, the suitability is closely related to
size and activity of the project’s community. We also investigate
whether the type of project (e.g., API, application, product, etc.)
matters, and find that given the nature of a forum, projects
where the intended users are developers have larger and more
active communities and are thus better suited for demand-driven

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