A couple of weeks ago, Oliver Günther and I reported about the results of the Micro-Blogging in the Enterprise Focus Groups we had undertaken in December 2008. The report was an internal talk at SAP Labs LLC in Palo Alto and drew a record audience. I’m glad to report that we can publish the slides for this talk. Mark Finnern had previously blogged about it. If you are interested in this work, a more comprehensive presentation can be found in our upcoming AMCIS paper on micro-blogging adoption in the enterprise.
You may have noticed our work on improving corporate software development at SAP using an in-house software forge. The main benefit is in transferring open source best practices to our software development processes. At an upcoming industry conference presentation I’ll be talking about some of the lessons we learned. Here is the abstract of the talk:
Abstract: A software forge is a tools platform for collaborative software development, similar to integrated CASE environments. Unlike CASE tools software forges have been designed for the software development practices of the open source community. Open source software projects succeed where waterfall and agile methods fail: They can cope with changing requirements and they can scale to large project sizes. Thus, corporate software development can learn from open source best practices. In this presentation, I discuss our experiences with using a software forge to bring open source best practices into SAP. We present the design principles and benefits of a firm-internal software forge, and we present a case study of how one project inside SAP benefited significantly from being on the forge.
Reference: Dirk Riehle. “Bringing Open Source Best Practices into Corporations Using a Software Forge.” Talk at SEACON 2009. Hamburg, Germany: 2009.
For your information, the call for papers for Onward! 2009. I’m on the program committee (and was last year’s chair).
ONWARD! 2009 CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
The conference for new ideas, new paradigms,
and reflections on everything to do with programming and software.
Co-located with OOPSLA 2009
Orlando, Florida October 25-29 2009
Sponsored by ACM SIGPLAN in cooperation with SIGSOFT
Abstract: Over the past 10 years, open source software has become an important cornerstone of the software industry. Commercial users have adopted it in standalone applications, and software vendors are embedding it in products. Surprisingly then, from a commercial perspective, open source software is developed differently from how corporations typically develop software. Research into how open source works has been growing steadily. One driver of such research is the desire to understand how commercial software development could benefit from open source best practices. Do some of these practices also work within corporations? If so, what are they, and how can we transfer them?
Keywords: Inner source, firm-internal open source, corporate source, software forge, open collaboration, open source.
Reference: Dirk Riehle, John Ellenberger, Tamir Menahem, Boris Mikhailovski, Yuri Natchetoi, Barak Naveh, Thomas Odenwald. “Open Collaboration within Corporations Using Software Forges.” IEEE Software, vol. 26, no. 2 (March/April 2009). Page 52-58.
Authors: Philipp Hofmann, Dirk Riehle
Abstract: The quantitative analysis of software projects can provide insights that let us better understand open source and other software development projects. An important variable used in the analysis of software projects is the amount of work being contributed, the commit size. Unfortunately, post-facto, the commit size can only be estimated, not measured. This paper presents several algorithms for estimating the commit size. Our performance evaluation shows that simple, straightforward heuristics are superior to the more complex text-analysis-based algorithms. Not only are the heuristics significantly faster to compute, they also deliver more accurate results when estimating commit sizes. Based on this experience, we design and present an algorithm that improves on the heuristics, can be computed equally fast, and is more accurate than any of the prior approaches.
Reference: In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2009). Springer Verlag, 2009. Page 105-115.
Available as a PDF file.
In a large-scale study of active working open source projects we have found an average comment density of about 20% (= one comment line in five code lines). Given that much of open source remains volunteer work, we believe that a comment density of 20% represents the sweet spot of code commenting in open source projects: Neither are you over-documenting your code and hence wasting resources, nor are you under-documenting and thereby endangering your project.
Author: Oliver Arafat, Dirk Riehle
Abstract: The development processes of open source software are different from traditional closed source development processes. Still, open source software is frequently of high quality. Thus, we are investigating how open source software creates high quality and whether it can maintain this quality for ever larger project sizes. In this paper, we look at one particular quality indicator, the density of comments in open source software code. In a large-scale study of more than 5,000 projects, we find that active open source projects document their source code, and we find that the comment density is independent of team and project size, but not of project age. In future work, we intend to correlate comment density with project success or failure.
Reference: In Companion to Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2009). IEEE Press, 2009. Page 195-198.
Available as a PDF file.
Stormy Peters recently tagged me to post seven items about my life. This is a “viral” pyramid scheme; you are supposed to write these seven items and then tag seven other people to do the same. It is not the first time I got such a request; I also got tagged on Facebook to post 25 items about my life, and in general it is quite tempting to let your personal thoughts hang out on a blog like this.
I usually ignore such requests for reasons of privacy. Everything you do or say on the Internet can be used at some future point in time. The saying “on the Internet, nobody knows you are a dog” is completely wrong; on the Internet anyone with enough resources cannot only know you are a dog but can also know everything about you down to hereditary diseases—even things you may not know yourself. Or, as Scott McNealy is famous for saying: “You have no privacy. Get over it.”
Here then seven things about my take at privacy in the Internet age:
There, he said it again, at the Open Source Meets Business conference in Nuremberg, Germany: “We would like to donate this code to the community.” Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, I’m not so sure. Or, to be frank, I think if somebody talks about donating code to the community they probably don’t understand effective open source.
For your information, the fourth workshop on wikis for (in) software engineering. I’m on the program committee.
CALL FOR PAPERS
Fourth Workshop on “Wikis for Software Engineering”, May 16, 2009, at ICSE 2009, Vancouver, Canada, May 16-24, 2009
Submissions are due on January 26 (abstracts), February 2 (papers), 2009