Monitoring"Health"Status of Open Source Web Engineering Projects

D. Wahyudin, K. Mustofa, A. Schatten, A. Tjoa, S. Biffl:
"Monitoring"Health"Status of Open Source Web Engineering Projects";
International Journal of Web Information System,1/2(2007), 3; S. 116 - 139.

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Abstract:


In response to the increasing number of open source software (OSS) project
initiatives and the increasing demand of OSS products as alternative solutions by industries, it is
important for particular stakeholders such as the project host/supporter (e.g., Apache
Foundation, Sourceforge), project leading teams, and prospective customers to determine
whether a (new) project initiative is likely to sustain and worthwhile to support. From a software
project management point of view, a typical web-based OSS project can be viewed as a web
engineering process, since most OSS projects exploit the benefits of a web platform and enable
the project community to collaborate using web-based project tools and repositories such as
mailing lists, bug trackers, and versioning systems (CVS/SVN) to deliver web systems and
applications. These repositories can provide rich collections of process data, and artifacts which
can be analyzed to better understand the project status. This paper proposes a concept of
"health"indicators and an evaluation process that can help to get a status overview of OSS
projects in a timely fashion and predict project survivability based on the project data available
on web repositories. For initial empirical evaluation of the concept, we apply the indicators to
well known web-based OSS projects (Apache Tomcat and Apache HTTP Server) and compare the
results with challenged projects (Apache Xindice and Apache Slide). We discuss the results with
OSS experts to investigate the external validity of the indicators.