[Context and motivation]
The use of websites for gathering and prioritizing requirements in large-scale distributed projects is becoming increasingly prevalent in the software industry. These websites include both forums and wiki-style collaborative tools, and are designed to allow large numbers of stakeholders to participate in the requirements gathering process.
This paper explores and evaluates the forum-based requirements gathering and prioritization processes adopted by vendor-based open source software projects. The findings of this work have implications far beyond the domain of open source projects as they highlight requirements processes that could be applicable to any distributed, web-based requirements process.
The effectiveness of various requirements gathering and prioritization practices adopted by vendor-based projects are evaluated, through observing how feature requests are managed in the forums, and also through a survey of vendor-based forum users and project managers.
Our results highlight practices that could lead to more effective requirements processes in web-based requirements gathering and prioritization tools.