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FLOSS Communities : Analysing Evolvability and Robustness from an Industrial Perspective

Daniel IzquierdoCortazar, Jesús GonzálezBarahona, Gregorio Robles, Jean-Christophe Deprez and Vincent Auvray, FLOSS Communities : Analysing Evolvability and Robustness from an Industrial Perspective, OSS, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, Vol. 319, pp. 336-341, Springer, 2010.

Plenty of companies try to access Free/Libre/Open Source software (FLOSS) products, but they find a lack
of documentation and responsiveness from the libre software community. But not all of the communities
have the same capacity to answer questions. Even more, most of these communities are driven by
volunteers which in most of the cases work on their spare time. Thus, how active and reliable is a
community and how can we measure their risks in terms of quality of the community is a main issue to be
resolved. Trying to determine how a community runs and look for their weaknesses is a way to improve
themselves and, also, a way to obtain trustworthiness from an enterprise point of view. This paper presents
work done in the QualOSS project, which aims at building a methodology and tools to evaluate the
communities around FLOSS products (among other quality attributes). Following the GoalQuestionMetric
approach, QualOSS describes goals, the associated questions and then metrics whose measurements
helps answer those questions. In order to have a statistical basement, around 1400 FLOSS projects have
been studied to create thresholds which will help to determine a project’s current status compared with this
initial set of FLOSS communities.