How Shallow is a Bug? Open Source Communities as Information Repositories and Solving Software Defects

38 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2009

See all articles by Diederik W. van Liere

Diederik W. van Liere

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); RSM Erasmus University

Date Written: November 16, 2009

Abstract

A central tenet of the open source software development methodology is that the community of users and developers is instrumental in improving the quality of software. I conceptualize open source communities as information repositories to understand how community members help in improving software quality. The information repository contains the accumulated experiences and encoded knowledge of a community that reflects the software architecture. I investigate how community members contribute to the development of this information repository and how the information repository influences the repair time of software defects. Using a 10-year longitudinal dataset from the Firefox community, I find empirical evidence that user contributions and comprehension of the information repository shorten the repair time of software defects. Increased comprehension of the information repository allows a community to offset detrimental effects of community churn.

Keywords: Open source community, software development, productivity, community dynamics, software quality, software bug

JEL Classification: D83, L15, L86, M10

Suggested Citation

van Liere, Diederik W., How Shallow is a Bug? Open Source Communities as Information Repositories and Solving Software Defects (November 16, 2009). ERIM Report Series Reference Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1507233 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1507233

Diederik W. Van Liere (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam
Netherlands

RSM Erasmus University ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31104081778 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
124
Abstract Views
714
rank
226,158
PlumX Metrics