New quantitative analysis for free/open source software projects

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid has created some quantitative analysis tools for free/open source projects, used for extracting information from code repositories.

I like a few things about this article:

they define “open source” with a simple definition,

Open source software is that which, once it is received, can be used any way one wishes: it can be redistributed (for free or for a fee) and modified, if one knows how to do so.

they mention an advantage of participating in free/open source development,

The main advantage for companies when they participate in open source software projects is that, because they are participating in a development community, they are sharing costs with the other participants, so company resources can be used more efficiently. “The risks come from there as well: you are dependent, as least partially, on how well, or how poorly the development community behaves,” warns the researcher.

they also state that free/open source is much more transparent and therefore much easier to verify for correctness,

The difference that exists in the evaluation process with respect to proprietary software is that, in the majority of open source software projects the data sources are public, because these projects are very interested in transparency. This makes it possible for anyone to analyze reliable data without the need to even have agreements with the projects. In the case of proprietary software this is impossible: it is only for authorized users who have a special agreement with the program’s producer.



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