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Butler, S., Gamalielsson, J., Lundell, B., Brax, C., Mattsson, A., Gustavsson, T., . . . Lönroth, E. (2020). Maintaining interoperability in open source software: A case study of the Apache PDFBox project. Journal of Systems and Software, 159, Article ID 110452.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Maintaining interoperability in open source software: A case study of the Apache PDFBox project
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2020 (English)In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 159, article id 110452Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Software interoperability is commonly achieved through the implementation of standards for communication protocols or data representation formats. Standards documents are often complex, difficult to interpret, and may contain errors and inconsistencies, which can lead to differing interpretations and implementations that inhibit interoperability. Through a case study of two years of activity in the Apache PDFBox project we examine day-to-day decisions made concerning implementation of the PDF specifications and standards in a community open source software (OSS) project. Thematic analysis is used to identify semantic themes describing the context of observed decisions concerning interoperability. Fundamental decision types are identified including emulation of the behaviour of dominant implementations and the extent to which to implement the PDF standards. Many factors influencing the decisions are related to the sustainability of the project itself, while other influences result from decisions made by external actors, including the developers of dependencies of PDFBox. This article contributes a fine grained perspective of decision-making about software interoperability by contributors to a community OSS project. The study identifies how decisions made support the continuing technical relevance of the software, and factors that motivate and constrain project activity. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2020
Keywords
Community open source software, Portable document format, Software implementation, Software interoperability, Standards, Decision making, Interoperability, Semantics, Data representations, Fine grained, Open source software projects, Portable document formats, Project activities, Thematic analysis, Open source software
National Category
Software Engineering Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Software Systems Research Group (SSRG)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17883 (URN)10.1016/j.jss.2019.110452 (DOI)000502883100013 ()2-s2.0-85074353150 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-11-14 Created: 2019-11-14 Last updated: 2020-01-29Bibliographically approved
Butler, S., Gamalielsson, J., Lundell, B., Brax, C., Sjöberg, J., Mattsson, A., . . . Lönroth, E. (2019). On Company Contributions to Community Open Source Software Projects. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On Company Contributions to Community Open Source Software Projects
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2019 (English)In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The majority of contributions to community open source software (OSS) projects are made by practitioners acting on behalf of companies and other organisations. Previous research has addressed the motivations of both individuals and companies to engage with OSS projects. However, limited research has been undertaken that examines and explains the practical mechanisms or work practices used by companies and their developers to pursue their commercial and technical objectives when engaging with OSS projects. This research investigates the variety of work practices used in public communication channels by company contributors to engage with and contribute to eight community OSS projects. Through interviews with contributors to the eight projects we draw on their experiences and insights to explore the motivations to use particular methods of contribution. We find that companies utilise work practices for contributing to community projects which are congruent with the circumstances and their capabilities that support their short- and long-term needs. We also find that companies contribute to community OSS projects in ways that may not always be apparent from public sources, such as employing core project developers, making donations, and joining project steering committees in order to advance strategic interests. The factors influencing contributor work practices can be complex and are often dynamic arising from considerations such as company and project structure, as well as technical concerns and commercial strategies. The business context in which software created by the OSS project is deployed is also found to influence contributor work practices. CCBY

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2019
Keywords
Collaboration, Companies, company contribution, Interviews, Licenses, Open source software, Software, Technological innovation, work practices, Computer software, Industry, Motivation, Open systems
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects Software Engineering
Research subject
Software Systems Research Group (SSRG)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17466 (URN)10.1109/TSE.2019.2919305 (DOI)2-s2.0-85068577239 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-07-22 Created: 2019-07-22 Last updated: 2019-11-08Bibliographically approved
Butler, S., Gamalielsson, J., Lundell, B., Jonsson, P., Sjöberg, J., Mattsson, A., . . . Lönroth, E. (2018). An Investigation of Work Practices Used by Companies Making Contributions to Established OSS Projects. In: ICSE-SEIP '18 Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice: . Paper presented at ICSE-SEIP ’18: 40th International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice Track, Gothenburg, Sweden — May 27 - June 03, 2018 (pp. 201-210). New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
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2018 (English)In: ICSE-SEIP '18 Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2018, p. 201-210Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Professionals contribute to open source software (OSS) projects aspart of their employment. Previous research has addressed motivationsof individuals and the ways they engage with OSS projects.However, there is a lack of research which examines and explainswork practices used by companies in their engagement with projects.Work practices used by companies to contribute to five establishedOSS projects are investigated through examination of the actions ofemployees in public communication channels and draw on our experienceswhen analysing engagement with the same projects. Wefind that companies utilise work practices for contributing whichare congruent with the circumstances and their capabilities thatsupport their short and long term needs. We find that companiescontribute to OSS projects in different ways, such as employing coreproject developers, making donations, and joining project steeringcommittees in order to advance strategic interests.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2018
Keywords
Open source software, company contribution, work practices
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Software Systems Research Group (SSRG)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-15585 (URN)10.1145/3183519.3183531 (DOI)2-s2.0-85049698497 (Scopus ID)978-1-4503-5659-6 (ISBN)
Conference
ICSE-SEIP ’18: 40th International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice Track, Gothenburg, Sweden — May 27 - June 03, 2018
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2018-06-14 Created: 2018-06-14 Last updated: 2018-10-09Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-6215-3753

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