Two case studies of open source software development: Apache and Mozilla

TitleTwo case studies of open source software development: Apache and Mozilla
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsMockus, A, Fielding, R, Herbsleb, JD
Secondary TitleACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology
Accession NumberWOS:000177759000002
Keywordsapache, bug fixing, bug reports, bugzilla, change history, core, defect density, email, email archives, mailing list, mozilla, ownership, participation, productivity, scm, source code

According to its proponents, open source style software development has the capacity to compete successfully, and perhaps in many cases displace, traditional commercial development methods. In order to begin investigating such claims, we examine data from two major open source projects, the Apache web server and the Mozilla browser. By using email archives of source code change history and problem reports we quantify aspects of developer participation, core team size, code ownership, productivity, defect density, and problem resolution intervals for these OSS projects. We develop several hypotheses by comparing the Apache project with several commercial projects. We then test and refine several of these hypotheses, based on an analysis of Mozilla data. We conclude with thoughts about the prospects for high- performance commercial/ open source process hybrids.


apache data sources:
email, cvs, bug database
regarding email: "We wrote Perl scripts to extract date, sender identity, message subject, and the message body that was further processed to obtain details on code changes and problem reports (see below). Manual inspection was used to resolve such things as multiple email addresses in cases where all automated techniques failed."
(but the rest of the paper does not address this data source at all)

mozilla data sources
bugzilla, cvs

Full Text
PDF icon mockusFieldingHerbsleb2002.pdf365.14 KB