Successful Reuse of Software Components: A Report from the Open Source Perspective

TitleSuccessful Reuse of Software Components: A Report from the Open Source Perspective
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsCapiluppi, A, Boldyreff, C, Stol, K-J
Secondary TitleOpen Source Systems: Grounding Research (OSS 2011)
Date Published10/2011
Keywordscomponent-based software development, OSS components, Software reuse

A promising way of software reuse is Component-Based Software Development (CBSD). There is an increasing number of OSS products available that can be freely used in product development. However, OSS communities themselves have not yet taken full advantage of the “reuse mechanism”. Many OSS projects duplicate effort and code, even when sharing the same application domain and topic. One successful counter-example is the FFMpeg multimedia project, since several of its components are widely and consistently reused into other OSS projects. This paper documents the history of the libavcodec library of components from the FFMpeg project, which at present is reused in more than 140 OSS projects. Most of the recipients use it as a black-box component, although a number of OSS projects keep a copy of it in their repositories, and modify it as such. In both cases, we argue that libavcodec is a successful example of reusable OSS library of components.

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