Call for Papers: OOPSLA 2010, Expanded Scope!

Update 2010-05-28: The accepted papers are listed here now. If you are looking for a well-documented object-oriented framework to try your method, check-out this JUnit 3.8 documentation. There is more object-oriented software design case study documentation, of course.

OOPSLA 2010 Research Papers

October 17 to 20

Reno/Tahoe Nevada, USA

Paper Submission Deadline: March 25, 2010

Accept/Reject Notification Date: May 24, 2010

OOPSLA 2010 solicits research papers that present new research, report novel technical results, advance the state of the art, or discuss experience or experimentation. The scope of OOPSLA includes all aspects of programming languages and software engineering, broadly construed.

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Research Positions for CCC’s 2010 Future of Open Source Research Workshop

I will be participating in the Computing Community Consortium’s workshop on the future of open source research at UC Irvine next month. The organizers asked participants to provide a short opinion on three research areas they feel warrant further research. I chose the following three general topics:

  1. Quantitative Analyses of Actual Programmer Behavior
  2. Improved Open Source Process and Tooling
  3. Decision Models for Industry Participation in Community Open Source

You can find the full descriptions of these topics over at the website of the open source research group. For your convenience, I’ve also appended it as a PDF file.

Call for Open Source Dated Dec 12, 1968

Ike Nassi, an Executive Vice President and my former manager at SAP, writes in an email:

By accident, while reviewing a very old CACM paper “Programming Semantics for Multiprogrammed Computations” by Dennis and Van Horn from March 1966 (!) reprinted in the CACM 25th Anniversary issue (Volume 26, Issue 1 (Jan. 1983) Special 25th Anniversary Issue) I found a letter to the editor from Galler et al. dated 12-DEC-1968 (“Proprietary Packages: a Point of View”) in which the authors call for what is essentially open source:

“… In any case, we believe that the protected nature of such a proprietary package and the fact that it cannot be examined and evaluated impartially imply that descriptions and evaluations of it deserve to be related as sales literature and by nature are not appropriate for professional publications. When a scholarly report on such work is published in a professional publication, all supporting data (and programs) which are referenced in a professional publication should be freely available to all readers, as is usual with such a publication …”

There were follow up letters on the same theme. I wonder if this is the earliest reference to the concept.

Ike may well be right and this may be the earliest reference arguing against closed source, at least in research. Pointers for earlier references, if there are any, are welcome! And yes, open source licenses had still to be invented…

The Economic Case for Open Source Foundations (Abstract)

Abstract: An open source foundation is a group of people and companies that has come together to jointly develop community open source software. Examples include the Apache Software Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, and the Gnome Foundation. There are many reasons why software development firms join and support a foundation. One common economic motivation is to save costs in the development of the software by spreading them over the participating parties. However, this is just the beginning. Beyond sharing costs, participating firms can increase their revenue through the provision and increased sale of complementary products. Also, by establishing a successful open source platform, software firms can compete more effectively across technology stacks and thereby increase their addressable market. Not to be neglected, community open source software is a common good, creating increased general welfare and hence goodwill for the involved companies.

Reference: Dirk Riehle. “The Economic Case for Open Source Foundations.” IEEE Computer, vol. 43, no. 1 (January 2010). Page 86-90.

Available as HTML or as a PDF file.

Workshop on Open Source, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

The Chair for Economic Policy (Prof. Andreas Freytag) at the Friedrich-Schiller-University and the Max Planck Institute of Econonics, Jena, Germany, are organizing a workshop on “open source, innovation, and entrepreneurship.” It takes place next week, on Jan 14, 2010. It used to be a private, invitation-only workshop, but the organizers decided to open it up to the general public.

The workshop program (PDF) consists mainly of invited speakers from economics and related departments around the world; I guess it is more of a small symposium than a workshop in any way. I’ll be giving the closing keynote of the event talking about “why open source is hard for closed source vendors.”

Participation is free but you’ll have to cover your travel and accommodation costs, if any. If you are interested in participating, please contact Sebastian von Engelhardt.

Four Months of Open Source Professorship

2009 is coming to an end and so are my first four months as a professor. Time to take stock, if only shortly.

All in all, a good end to a year that most of us would prefer to forget. But as Matt Asay is suggesting, this may have been the year that Open Source made it big, so this is something to celebrate!

Stay tuned for upcoming research work on open source, using this blog’s RSS feed, or the OSR group’s home page and RSS feed, and of course the @dirkriehle and @osrgroup Twitter streams!

And of course a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010 to everyone!

2010 Open Source Research Workshops Galore!

It is no big news that open source research has been growing strongly in recent years. However, the recent string of conference and workshop announcements is just amazing. Here is a short run-down of what reached me the last two weeks:

These are all international academic/research open source research events!

Open Source Vendor Lock-in

Yesterday, SAP’s CTO Vishal Sikka called for a more open approach to the Java standardization process (JCP), asking SUN to stop ruling it with a heavy hand. Not surprisingly, he got some pushback using the argument that SAP isn’t one to talk about being more open, given its slow involvement with open source.

I don’t think that this is a fair critique. SAP has always provided the source code of its main business applications suite to user-customers as part of a commercial license, and users have always customized SAP’s business suite to their heart’s content. In fact, it is the only way to make it work for their needs.

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Talk Slides: Design Pattern Density Defined

Here the slides for my OOPSLA Onward! 2009 talk on “Design Pattern Density Defined.” First the abstract:

Design pattern density is a metric that measures how much of an object-oriented design can be understood and represented as instances of design patterns. Expert developers have long believed that a high design pattern density implies a high maturity of the design under inspection. This paper presents a quantifiable and observable definition of this metric. The metric is illustrated and qualitatively validated using four real-world case studies. We present several hypotheses of the metric’s meaning and their implications, including the one about design maturity. We propose that the design pattern density of a maturing framework has a fixed point and we show that if software design patterns make learning frameworks easier, a framework’s design pattern density is a measure of how much easier it will become.

The talk slides are available as a PDF file and are licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.

For a discussion of the talk’s contents I recommend reading the original article.