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This book is open access under a CC BY license.
This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 13th IFIP WG 2.13 International Conference on Open Source Systems, OSS 2017, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in May 2017.
The 16 revised full papers and 3 short papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 32 submissions. The papers cover a wide range of topics related to free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS), including: licensing, strategies, and practices; case studies; projects, communication, and participation; tools; and project management, development and evaluation.

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Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Projects, Communication, and Participation

Frontmatter

Open Access

Considering the Use of Walled Gardens for FLOSS Project Communication

Abstract
At its core, free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS) is defined by its adherence to a set of licenses that give various freedoms to the users of the software, for example the ability to use the software, to read or modify its source code, and to distribute the software to others. In addition, many FLOSS projects and developers also champion other values related to “freedom” and “openness”, such as transparency, for example in communication and decision-making, or community-orientedness, for example in broadening access, collaboration, and participation. This paper explores how one increasingly common software development practice - communicating inside non-archived, third-party “walled gardens” - puts these FLOSS values into conflict. If communities choose to use non-archived walled gardens for communication, they may be prioritizing one type of openness (broad participation) over another (transparency). We use 18 FLOSS projects as a sample to describe how walled gardens are currently being used for intra-project communication, as well as to determine whether or not these projects provide archives of these communications. Findings will be useful to the FLOSS community as a whole as it seeks to understand the evolution and impact of its communication choices.
Megan Squire

Open Access

Investigating Relationships Between FLOSS Foundations and FLOSS Projects

Abstract
Foundations function as vital institutional support infrastructures for many of the most successful open source projects, but the role of these support entities remains an understudied phenomenon in FLOSS research. Drawing on Open Hub (formerly known as Ohloh) data, this paper empirically investigates the different ways these entities support projects and interact with different projects and with each other.
Juho Lindman, Imed Hammouda

Open Access

Designing for Participation: Three Models for Developer Involvement in Hybrid OSS Projects

Abstract
This paper reports governance practices of three profit oriented companies that develop OSS software with the help of their respective open development communities. We explore how the companies allow development contributions from external stakeholders, and what knowledge they let out of their internal software development activities. The results lay ground for further research on how to organize openness of the software development process in hybrid setups where the needs of different stakeholders are partly competing - yet complementary.
Hanna Mäenpää, Terhi Kilamo, Tommi Mikkonen, Tomi Männistö

Open Access

Principled Evaluation of Strengths and Weaknesses in FLOSS Communities: A Systematic Mixed Methods Maturity Model Approach

Abstract
Context: Free and Open Source Software usually results from intricate socio-technical dynamics operating in a diverse and geographically dispersed community. Understanding the fundamental underpinnings of healthy and thriving communities is of paramount importance to evaluate existing efforts and identify improvement opportunities. Objective: This paper presents a novel reference model for evaluating the maturity of FLOSS communities by mixing quantitative and qualitative methods. Method: We build upon established guidelines for Design Science research in order to devise a well-informed and expressive maturity model, describing how those methods and procedures were used in the design and development of such a model. Results: We present the model structure and functions, as well as instructions on how to instantiate it as evaluations of FLOSS communities. The use of the proposed maturity model is demonstrated in four FLOSS communities. Conclusion: Whilst instantiating the model may be burdensome if aiming at sketchy evaluations, results indicate our model effectively captures the maturity regardless aspects such as community size and lifetime.
Sandro Andrade, Filipe Saraiva

Posters and Tools

Frontmatter

Open Access

Measuring Perceived Trust in Open Source Software Communities

Abstract
We investigate the different aspects of measuring trust in Open Source Software (OSS) communities. In the theoretical part we review seminal works related to trust in OSS development. This investigation provides background to our empirical part where we measure trust in a community (in terms of kudo). Our efforts provide further avenues to develop trust-based measurement tools. These are helpful for academics and practitioners interesting in quantifiable traits of OSS trust.
Mahbubul Syeed, Juho Lindman, Imed Hammouda

Open Access

The Open Source Officer Role – Experiences

Abstract
This papers describe the Open Source Officer role and the experiences from introducing this role in several companies. We outline the role description, main responsibilities, and interfaces to other roles and organizations. We investigated the role in several organization and bring interesting discrepancies and overlaps of how companies operate with OSS.
Carl-Eric Mols, Krzysztof Wnuk, Johan Linåker

Open Access

Digging into the Eclipse Marketplace

Abstract
Eclipse is an integrated development environment that can be extended with plug-ins. Thanks to Eclipse’s success, a diverse community has been established with members coming from industry, open-source projects, and others, and a marketplace with more than 1.700 different plug-ins developed. Hence, the question arises how this marketplace is composed: Who contributes plug-ins? Which plug-ins are successful? Are there common characteristics or trends? To answer these questions, extensive investigations are necessary. In this paper, we present (i) an initial approach for corresponding analyses and (ii) preliminary results. Overall, we aim to pave the way for further research addressing, for example, motivations to participate in, or the evolution of, open marketplaces.
Jacob Krüger, Niklas Corr, Ivonne Schröter, Thomas Leich

Licensing, Strategies, and Practices

Frontmatter

Open Access

How are Developers Treating License Inconsistency Issues? A Case Study on License Inconsistency Evolution in FOSS Projects

Abstract
A license inconsistency is the presence of two or more source files that evolved from the same original file containing different licenses. In our previous study, we have shown that license inconsistencies do exist in open source projects and may lead to potential license violation problems. In this study, we try to find out whether the issues of license inconsistencies are properly solved by analyzing two versions of a FOSS distribution—Debian—and investigate the evolution patterns of license inconsistencies. Findings are: license inconsistencies occur mostly because the original copyright owner updated the license while the reusers were still using the old version of the source files with the old license; most license inconsistencies would disappear when the reusers synchronize their project from the upstream, while some would exist permanently if reusers decide not to synchronize anymore. Legally suspicious cases have not been found yet in those Debian distributions.
Yuhao Wu, Yuki Manabe, Daniel M. German, Katsuro Inoue

Open Access

Addressing Lock-in, Interoperability, and Long-Term Maintenance Challenges Through Open Source: How Can Companies Strategically Use Open Source?

Abstract
This industry paper reports on how strategic use of open source in company contexts can provide effective support for addressing the fundamental challenges of lock-in, interoperability, and longevity of software and associated digital assets. The fundamental challenges and an overview of an ongoing collaborative research project are presented. Through a conceptual model for open source usage in company contexts we characterise how companies engage with open source and elaborate on how the fundamental challenges can be effectively addressed through open source usage in company contexts.
Björn Lundell, Jonas Gamalielsson, Stefan Tengblad, Bahram Hooshyar Yousefi, Thomas Fischer, Gert Johansson, Bengt Rodung, Anders Mattsson, Johan Oppmark, Tomas Gustavsson, Jonas Feist, Stefan Landemoo, Erik Lönroth

Open Access

Understanding the Effects of Practices on KDE Ecosystem Health

Abstract
Open source software ecosystems have adjusted and evolved a set of practices over the years to support the delivery of sustainable software. However, few studies have investigated the impacts of such practices on the health of these ecosystems. In this paper, we present the results of an ethnographic-based study conducted during the Latin-American KDE users and contributors meeting (LaKademy 2015) with the goal of collecting practices used within the KDE ecosystem and understanding how they affect ecosystem health. The analysis was based on softgoal interdependency graphs adapted to represent practices and relate them to non-functional requirements and goals. Our results provide a preliminary insight to understand how KDE ecosystem community interacts, which working practices have been adopted and how they affect ecosystem health.
Simone da Silva Amorim, John D. McGregor, Eduardo Santana de Almeida, Christina von Flach Garcia Chavez

Open Access

Challenges in Validating FLOSS Configuration

Abstract
Developers invest much effort into validating configuration during startup of free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) applications. Nevertheless, hardly any tools exist to validate configuration files to detect misconfigurations earlier. This paper aims at understanding the challenges to provide better tools for configuration validation. We use mixed methodology: (1) We analyzed 2,683 run-time configuration accesses in the source-code of 16 applications comprising 50 million lines of code. (2) We conducted a questionnaire survey with 162 FLOSS contributors completing the survey. We report our experiences about building up a FLOSS community that tackles the issues by unifying configuration validation with an external configuration access specification.
We discovered that information necessary for validation is often missing in the applications and FLOSS developers dislike dependencies on external packages for such validations.
Markus Raab, Gergö Barany

Case Studies

Frontmatter

Open Access

Progression and Forecast of a Curated Web-of-Trust: A Study on the Debian Project’s Cryptographic Keyring

Abstract
The Debian project is one of the largest free software undertakings worldwide. It is geographically distributed, and participation in the project is done on a voluntary basis, without a single formal employee or directly funded person. As we will explain, due to the nature of the project, its authentication needs are very strict—User/password schemes are way surpassed, and centralized trust management schemes such as PKI are not compatible with its distributed and flat organization; fully decentralized schemes such as the PGP Web of Trust are insuficient by themselves. The Debian project has solved this need by using what we termed a “curated Web of Trust”.
We will explain some lessons learned from a massive key migration process that was triggered in 2014. We will present the social insight we have found from examining the relationships expressed as signatures in this curated Web of Trust, some recommendations on personal key-signing policies, and a statistical study and forecast on aging, refreshment and survival of project participants stemming from an analysis on their key-handling.
Gunnar Wolf, Víctor González Quiroga

Open Access

Understanding When to Adopt a Library: A Case Study on ASF Projects

Abstract
Software libraries are widely used by both industrial and open source client projects. Ideally, a client user of a library should adopt the latest version that the library project releases. However, sometimes the latest version is not better than a previous version. This is because the latest version may include additional developer effort to test and integrate all changed features. In this study, our main goal is to better understand the relationship between adoption of library versions and its release cycle. Specifically, we conducted an empirical study of release cycles for 23 libraries and how they were adopted by 415 Apache Software Foundation (ASF) client projects. Our findings show that software projects are quicker to update earlier rapid-release libraries compared to library projects with a longer release cycle. Moreover, results suggest that software projects are more likely to adopt the latest version of a rapid-release library compared to libraries with a longer release cycles.
Akinori Ihara, Daiki Fujibayashi, Hirohiko Suwa, Raula Gaikovina Kula, Kenichi Matsumoto

Open Access

Adoption of Academic Tools in Open Source Communities: The Debian Case Study

Abstract
Component repositories play a key role in the open software ecosystem. Managing the evolution of these repositories is a challenging task, and maintainers are confronted with a number of complex issues that need automatic tools to be adressed properly.
In this paper, we present an overview of 10 years of research in this field and the process leading to the adoption of our tools in a FOSS community. We focus on the Debian distribution and in particular we look at the issues arising during the distribution lifecycle: ensuring buildability of source packages, detecting packages that cannot be installed and bootstrapping the distribution on a new architecture. We present three tools, distcheck, buildcheck and botch, that we believe of general interest for other open source component repositories.
The lesson we have learned during this journey may provide useful guidance for researchers willing to see their tools broadly adopted by the community.
Pietro Abate, Roberto Di Cosmo

Open Access

Assessing Code Authorship: The Case of the Linux Kernel

Abstract
Code authorship is a key information in large-scale open-source systems. Among others, it allows maintainers to assess division of work and identify key collaborators. Interestingly, open-source communities lack guidelines on how to manage authorship. This could be mitigated by setting to build an empirical body of knowledge on how authorship-related measures evolve in successful open-source communities. Towards that direction, we perform a case study on the Linux kernel. Our results show that: (a) only a small portion of developers (26%) makes significant contributions to the code base; (b) the distribution of the number of files per author is highly skewed—a small group of top-authors (3%) is responsible for hundreds of files, while most authors (75%) are responsible for at most 11 files; (c) most authors (62%) have a specialist profile; (d) authors with a high number of co-authorship connections tend to collaborate with others with less connections.
Guilherme Avelino, Leonardo Passos, Andre Hora, Marco Tulio Valente

Project Management, Development and Evaluation

Frontmatter

Open Access

Release Early, Release Often and Release on Time. An Empirical Case Study of Release Management

Abstract
The dictum of “Release early, release often.” by Eric Raymond as the Linux modus operandi highlights the importance of release management in open source software development. Nevertheless, there are very few empirical studies addressing release management in open source software development. It is already known that most open source software communities adopt either feature-based or time-based release strategies. Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages that are context-specific. Recent research reported that many prominent open source software projects have moved from feature-based to time-based releases. In this longitudinal case study, we narrate how OpenStack shifted towards a liberal six-month release cycle. If prior research discussed why projects should adopt time-based releases and how they can adopt such a strategy, we discuss how OpenStack adapted its software development processes, its organizational design and its tools toward a hybrid release management strategy — a strive for balancing the benefits and drawbacks of feature-based and time-based release strategies.
Jose Teixeira

Open Access

Technical Lag in Software Compilations: Measuring How Outdated a Software Deployment Is

Abstract
Large software compilations based on free, open source software (FOSS) packages are the basis for many software systems. When they are deployed in production, specific versions of the packages in the compilation are selected for installation. Over time, those versions become outdated with respect to the upstream software from which they are produced, and from the components available in the compilations as well. The fact that deployed components are outdated is not a problem in itself, but there is a price to pay for not being “as much updated as reasonable”. This includes bug fixes and new features that could, at least potentially, be interesting for the deployed system. Therefore, a balance has to be maintained between “being up-to-date” and “keeping the good old working versions”. This paper proposes a theoretical model (the “technical lag”) for measuring how outdated a system is, with the aim of assisting in the decisions about upgrading in production. The paper explores several ways in which technical lag can be implemented, depending on requirements. As an illustration, it presents as well some specific cases in which the evolution of technical lag is computed.
Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona, Paul Sherwood, Gregorio Robles, Daniel Izquierdo

Open Access

OSSpal: Finding and Evaluating Open Source Software

Abstract
This paper describes the OSSpal project, which is aimed at helping companies, government agencies, and other organizations find high quality free and open source software (FOSS) that meets their needs. OSSpal is a successor to the Business Readiness Rating (BRR), combining quantitative and qualitative evaluation measures for software in various categories. Instead of a purely numeric calculated score OSSpal adds curation of high-quality FOSS projects and individual user reviews of these criteria. Unlike the BRR project, for which there was no automated support, OSSpal has an operational, publicly available website where users may search by project name or category, and enter ratings and reviews for projects.
Anthony I. Wasserman, Xianzheng Guo, Blake McMillian, Kai Qian, Ming-Yu Wei, Qian Xu

Open Access

Longitudinal Analysis of the Run-up to a Decision to Break-up (Fork) in a Community

Abstract
In this paper, we use a developer-oriented statistical approach to understand what causes people in complex software development networks to decide to fork (break away), and what changes a community goes through in the run-up to a decision to break-up. Developing complex software systems is complex. Software developers interact. They may have the same or different goals, communication styles, or values. Interactions can be healthy or troubled. Troubled interactions cause troubled communities, that face failure. Some of these failures manifest themselves as a community split (known as forking). These failures affects many people; developers and users. Can we save troubled projects? We statistically model the longitudinal socio-grams of software developers and present early indicators and warning signs that can be used to predict an imminent break-up decision.
Amirhosein “Emerson” Azarbakht, Carlos Jensen

Backmatter

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