Quality Practices in Open Source Software Development Affecting Quality Dimensions

Sheikh Umar Farooq, S. M. K. Quadri


Purpose: The quality of open source software has been a matter of debate for a long time now since there is a little concrete evidence to justify it. The main concern is that many quality attributes such as reliability, efficiency, maintainability and security need to be carefully checked, and that fixing software defects pertaining to such quality attributes in OSDM (Open Source Development Model) can never be guaranteed fully. In order to diminish such concerns, we need to look at the practices which affect these quality characteristics in OSS (Open Source Software) negatively. This paper presents an exploratory study of the quality dimensions and quality practices and problems in OSDM. An insight of these problems can serve as a start point for improvements in quality assurance of open source software.

Design/Methodology/Approach: A survey was administered based on existing literature. On the basis of this survey those practices in OSDM are described which affect quality attributes negatively in OSS.

Findings: The quality characteristics which should be taken into consideration to select or evaluate OSS are presented. Furthermore, quality practices in OSDM which affect the quality of OSS in a negative manner have also been highlighted.

Research Implications: Further research is suggested to identify other quality problems not found in this paper and to evaluate the impact of different practices on project quality.

Originality/Value: As a first step in the development of practices and processes to assure and further improve quality in open software projects, in addition to quality attributes, existing quality practices and quality problems have to be clearly identified. This paper can serve as a start point for improvements in quality assurance of open source software’s.

Keywords: Open Source Software; Software Quality; Quality Practices; Quality Problems.

Paper Type: Survey Paper

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