Techniques and processes for improving the quality and performance of open-source software

TitleTechniques and processes for improving the quality and performance of open-source software
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsPorter A, Yilmaz C, Memon AM, Krishna AS, Schmidt DC, Gokhale A
JournalSoftware Process: Improvement and Practice
Pagination163 - 176
Date Published2006///
ISBN Number1099-1670
Keywordsdistributed continuous quality assurance, open-source software development and testing

Open-source development processes have emerged as an effective approach to reduce cycle-time and decrease design, implementation, and quality assurance (QA) costs for certain types of software, particularly systems infrastructure software, such as operating systems (OS), compilers and language processing tools, text and drawing editors, and middleware. This article presents two contributions to the study of open-source software processes. First, we describe key challenges of open-source software and illustrate how QA processes—specifically those tailored to open-source development—help mitigate these challenges better than traditional closed-source processes do. Second, we summarize results of empirical studies that evaluate how our Skoll distributed continuous quality assurance (DCQA) techniques and processes help to resolve key challenges in developing and validating open-source software. Our results show that: (a) using models to configure and guide the DCQA process improves developer understanding of open-source software, (b) improving the diversity of platform configurations helps QA engineers find defects missed during conventional testing, and (c) centralizing control of QA activities helps to eliminate redundant work. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.