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  • 1.
    Butler, Simon
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Gamalielsson, Jonas
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Lundell, Björn
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Brax, Christoffer
    Combitech AB, Linköping, Sweden.
    Mattsson, Anders
    Husqvarna AB, Huskvarna, Sweden.
    Gustavsson, Tomas
    PrimeKey Solutions AB, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Feist, Jonas
    RedBridge AB, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Lönroth, Erik
    Scania IT AB, Södertälje, Sweden.
    Maintaining interoperability in open source software: A case study of the Apache PDFBox project2020In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 159, article id 110452Article in journal (Refereed)
    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. 

  • 2.
    Butler, Simon
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Gamalielsson, Jonas
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Lundell, Björn
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Brax, Christoffer
    Combitech AB, Linköping.
    Sjöberg, Johan
    Findwise AB, Göteborg.
    Mattsson, Anders
    Husqvarna AB.
    Gustavsson, Thomas
    PrimeKey Solutions AB, Stockholm.
    Feist, Jonas
    RedBridge AB, Stockholm.
    Lönroth, Erik
    Scania IT AB, Södertälje.
    On Company Contributions to Community Open Source Software Projects2019In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520Article in journal (Refereed)
    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

  • 3.
    Butler, Simon
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Gamalielsson, Jonas
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Lundell, Björn
    University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
    Jonsson, Per
    Combitech AB.
    Sjöberg, Johan
    Findwise AB.
    Mattsson, Anders
    Husqvarna AB.
    Rickö, Niklas
    JAK.
    Gustavsson, Tomas
    PrimeKey Solutions AB.
    Feist, Jonas
    RedBridge AB.
    Landemoo, Stefan
    Saab AB.
    Lönroth, Erik
    Scania IT AB.
    An Investigation of Work Practices Used by Companies Making Contributions to Established OSS Projects2018In: 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 (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.

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