Using Software Distributions to Understand the Relationship among Free and Open Source Software Projects
May 20, 2007 to May 26, 2007
Daniel M. German , University of Victoria, Canada
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MSR.2007.32
Success in the open source software world has been measured in terms of metrics such as number of downloads, number of commits, number of lines of code, number of participants, etc. These metrics tend to discriminate towards applications that are small and tend to evolve slowly. A problem is, however, how to identify applications in these latter categories that are important. Software distributions specify the dependencies needed to build and to run a given software application. We use this information to create a dependency graph of the applications contained in such a distribution. We explore the characteristics of this graph, and use it to define some metrics to quantify the dependencies (and dependents) of a given software application. We demonstrate that some applications that are invisible to the final user (such as libraries) are widely used by end-user applications. This graph can be used as a proxy to measure success of small, slowly evolving free and open source software.
Daniel M. German, "Using Software Distributions to Understand the Relationship among Free and Open Source Software Projects", MSR, 2007, Fourth International Workshop on Mining Software Repositories (MSR 2007), Fourth International Workshop on Mining Software Repositories (MSR 2007) 2007, pp. 24, doi:10.1109/MSR.2007.32