The Total Growth of Open Source (Abstract)

Authors: Amit Deshpande, Dirk Riehle

Abstract: Software development is undergoing a major change away from a fully closed software process towards a process that incorporates open source software in products and services. Just how significant is that change? To answer this question we need to look at the overall growth of open source as well as its growth rate. In this paper, we quantitatively analyze the growth of more than 5000 active and popular open source software projects. We show that the total amount of source code as well as the total number of open source projects is growing at an exponential rate. Previous research showed linear and quadratic growth in lines of source code of individual open source projects. Our work shows that open source is expanding into new domains and applications at an exponential rate.

Reference: In Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2008). Springer Verlag, 2008. Page 197-209.

Available as a PDF file or in HTML, also see the Addendum.

Global Open Source Trends and Public Initiatives

I’ll be moderating the experts panel on “Global Open Source Trends and Public Initiatives” at the half-day Global Open Source Conference on March 24th, 2008, in San Francisco. Panel participants are Mark Radcliffe of DLA Piper, Sander Ruiter from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Tony Wasserman of CMU West, and Arnaud Le Hors of IBM. The event precedes the Open Source Business Conference which will start the next day.

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Continuous Integration in Open Source Software Development

Authors: Amit Deshpande, Dirk Riehle

Abstract: Commercial software firms are increasingly using and contributing to open source software. Thus, they need to understand and work with open source software development processes. This paper investigates whether the practice of continuous integration of agile software development methods has had an impact on open source software projects. Using fine-granular data from more than 5000 active open source software projects we analyze the size of code contributions over a project’s life-span. Code contribution size has stayed flat. We interpret this to mean that open source software development has not changed its code integration practices. In particular, within the limits of this study, we claim that the practice of continuous integration has not yet significantly influenced the behavior of open source software developers.

Reference: In Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2008). Springer Verlag, 2008. Page 273-280.

Available as a PDF file.

SDN: Is there Money in Open Source Services?

IDC’s Matt Lawton recently released a new report about open source adoption:

“However, project vendors, project partners, and vendor partners need to step up and provide support and attendant services in order to move the adoption of OSS from early adopters to the mainstream. Only 12% of all projects are supported by a commercial software vendor, and, incredibly, less than 1% of the projects have attendant services sourced from service providers.” […]

Wow! Open source is in the enterprise, and only 1% of those off-the-shelf software components have attendant services for them?

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Onward! 2008 Call for Papers

Is DNA recombination your inspiration for a new programming language? Or do you simply think it is time to improve generics in Java?

Do you think that we need new paradigms for bringing programming to the masses in Second Life and on Wikipedia? That we need new and significantly more robust systems than before that can function autonomously, perhaps inspired by biological metaphors?

Read more…

Towards End-User Programming With Wikis

Abstract: When business software fails to provide the desired functionality, users typically turn to spreadsheets to perform simple but general computational tasks. However, spreadsheets enforce a view of the world that consists mostly of tables and numbers rather than the domain concepts users have in mind. We are using wikis as a platform for empowering end-users to perform computational tasks of their choice. This paper discusses how core properties of wikis can support end-user programming. We illustrate our approach using wiki prototype software for working with business objects as made available by SAP’s business application suite.

Reference: Craig Anslow, Dirk Riehle. In Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop in End-User Software Engineering (WEUSE IV). IEEE Press, 2008. Page 61-65.

Available as a PDF file.

How to Benefit From Open Source

Title: How to Benefit from Open Source

Presenter: Dirk Riehle

Institution: SAP Research, SAP Labs LLC

Abstract: Open source is changing the game of how software is built and how money is made. This talk analyzes the economics of open source software from three main perspectives: The system integrator perspective, the start-up firm perspective, and the individual software developer perspective. A focus is on the distinction between community open source and commercial open source, and how the different stakeholders use different approaches to win in the market, e.g. to gain market share or to keep a job. The dual-license strategy is explained as well as why committers to important open source software projects can expect a higher salary. The talk shows how every stakeholder can benefit and thereby explains why open source is here to stay.

Event/location: Software Engineering Today 2008 (SET 2008) in Zurich, May 6-7th 2008