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[ontolog-forum] Scientific Research Backs Wisdom of Open Source - Yahoo

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Peter Yim <peter.yim@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 19:19:46 -0800
Message-id: <3FDFCB52.6030603@xxxxxxxx>
Sharing a news article (if you haven't already read it) ... thought 
you might find it relevant to what we are all embarking upon.    (01)

Cheers.  -ppy    (02)

<http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=1817&e=2&u=/nf/20031215/tc_nf/22862&sid=96120760>    (03)

=======    (04)

Scientific Research Backs Wisdom of Open Source
Mon Dec 15, 2003 4:13 PM ET    (05)

Mike Martin , science.newsfactor.com    (06)

Open-source can be faster, better and cheaper than closed corporate 
software development, say researchers at the University of California, 
Irvine (UCI) and the National Science Foundation (news - web sites).    (07)

In a series of online reports UCI computer science researcher Walt 
Scacchi is documenting how open-source development breaks many of 
software engineering's formal rules, representing a new and better 
approach based on community building.    (08)

"This is perhaps a new fertile ground between software engineering and 
the world of open-source, and maybe what the open-source community can 
contribute to new academic and commercial development efforts," 
Scacchi told NewsFactor.    (09)

Software Wants to be Free    (010)

"Free and open-source software development is faster, better and 
cheaper in building a community and at reinforcing and 
institutionalizing a culture for how to develop software," said 
Scacchi, a senior research scientist at UC Irvine's Institute for 
Software Research.    (011)

"We're not ready to assert that open-source development is the be-all 
and end-all for software engineering practice, but there's something 
going on in open-source development that is different from what we see 
in the textbooks."    (012)

Studying open-source projects to understand when the processes and 
practices work and when they don't, Scacchi and his colleagues hope to 
help businesses understand the implications of adopting open-source 
methods internally or investing in external open-source communities.    (013)

Bug Influence    (014)

Scacchi joins other researchers -- Les Gasser at the University of 
Illinois, John Noll of Santa Clara University, and UC Irvine's Richard 
Taylor -- "in applying lessons learned from open-source practices to 
create new design, process-management and knowledge-management tools 
for large-scale, multi-organization development projects," said 
National Science Foundation (NSF) spokesperson David Hart.    (015)

Mining open-source project databases, which record hundreds of 
thousands of bug reports, Gasser and Scacchi are trying to understand 
how bug reporting relates to software quality.    (016)

"These are unprecedented data sets in software engineering research," 
Scacchi told NewsFactor. "We're thinking of these databases in a 
'national treasure' sense. We're never going to get this from a 
corporate source."    (017)

When Open Sources Close Up Shop    (018)

While a small number of open-source projects, such as Linux (news - 
web sites), have become well known, the vast majority fail, Scacchi 
explained.    (019)

Understanding how successful projects, such as the Linux kernel, grow 
from a few individuals to thousand-developer communities is essential 
to open-source research.    (020)

"In many ways, open-source development projects are treasure troves of 
information for how large software systems get developed in the wild, 
if you will," Scacchi said.    (021)

Scacchi and colleagues are looking at more than a hundred open-source 
projects in several categories. On their list of more to explore: 
network games such as PlaneShift and id Software's Quake; Internet and 
Web infrastructure projects, such as Apache and Mozilla; and 
industry-sponsored open-source projects, such as NetBeans from Sun 
Microsystems and IBM's Eclipse.    (022)

Evolution Revolution    (023)

Informal, agile, and cheaper, open-source development provides faster 
software evolution. It also quickly spreads expertise through the 
development community, Scacchi explained.    (024)

"Open-source is not a poor version of software engineering, but a 
private-collective approach to large-software systems," Scacchi said.    (025)

"The software-intensive systems in today's world have become so 
complex that we need every available design tool at our disposal," 
said NSF program director Suzanne Iacono. "Open-source development has 
achieved some remarkable successes, and we need to learn from these 
successes as our systems become increasingly distributed, complex and 
heterogeneous."    (026)

========    (027)

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