Analyzing Risks associated to FLOSS Communities

Bitergia participated in the last LinuxTag event in Berlin that brought together the industry and FLOSS (Free/Libre/Open Source Software) communities in the same event.

I had the pleasure to present the basics of the analysis of FLOSS communities from a quantitative point of view, specifically focusing on the analysis of companies. Openstack was the project selected as a case study, where volunteers and companies are working together to build an open source software to build public or private clouds.

Among other questions,

  • Main developers
  • Understand who are the main developers: a company could be interested in hiring them or providing some financial support for specific activities.
  • Typical patterns of activity: in order to guess the effort that is being actually developed.
  • Regeneration of developers: turnover is almost impossible to avoid, but some policies could be derived in order to avoid knowledge loss.
  • Study of companies participating: some companies could be interested in better understanding what other companies are doing and the regions of the source code that they are modifying. Or even their importance in terms of number of developers and overall productivity.
  • Responsiveness of the community: when fixing issues in the source code, process is usually undertaken in the issue tracking systems or for instance, support provided in the mailing lists or forums.
  • Evolution of licensing and issues derived from them: this is probably a key difficulty when redistributing source code and integrating third part software
  • Orphaned areas of the source code that might be more prone to be buggy as well as low maintained areas of the source code.

From this perspective, companies, public administrations or other actors in the open source world might be interested:
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