Structural Complexity and Decay in FLOSS Systems: An Inter-Repository Study

Conference paper


Capiluppi, Andrea and Beecher, Karl 2009. Structural Complexity and Decay in FLOSS Systems: An Inter-Repository Study. 13th European Conference on Software Maintenance and Reengineering (CSMR 2009) March 24-27. 2009 Fraunhofer IESE Kaiserslautern pp. 169-178
AuthorsCapiluppi, Andrea and Beecher, Karl
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Past software engineering literature has firmly established that software architectures and the associated code decay over time. Architectural decay is, potentially, a major issue in Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects, since developers sporadically joining FLOSSprojects do not always have a clear understanding of the underlying architecture, and may break the overall conceptual structure by several small changes to the code base.
This paper investigates whether the structure of a FLOSS system and its decay can also be influenced by the repository
in which it is retained: specifically, two FLOSS repositories are studied to understand whether the complexity of the software structure in the sampled projects is comparable, or one repository hosts more complex systems than the other. It is also studied whether the effort to counteract this
complexity is dependent on the repository, and the governance it gives to the hosted projects.
The results of the paper are two-fold: on one side, it is shown that the repository hosting larger and more active projects presents more complex structures. On the other side, these larger and more complex systems benefit from more anti-regressive work to reduce this complexity.

KeywordsOpen Source Software; Complexity; empirical study; statistics
Year2009
Conference13th European Conference on Software Maintenance and Reengineering (CSMR 2009) March 24-27
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Publication dates
PrintMar 2009
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Sep 2009
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/CSMR.2009.37
http://hdl.handle.net/10552/282
Additional information

Citation:
Capiluppi, A; Beecher, K. (2009) ‘Structural Complexity and Decay in FLOSS Systems: An Inter-Repository Study’ 13th European Conference on Software Maintenance and Reengineering (CSMR 2009) March 24-27, 2009 Fraunhofer IESE, Kaiserslautern, Germany pp.169-178.

Place of publicationKaiserslautern
Page range169-178
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/863y7

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