The Lives and Deaths of Open Source Code Forges

Title: The Lives and Deaths of Open Source Code Forges

Author: Megan Squire:Elon University

Abstract: Code forges are third party software repositories that also provide various tools and facilities for distributed software development teams to use, including source code control systems, mailing lists and communication forums, bug tracking systems, web hosting space, and so on. The main contributions of this paper are to present some new data sets relating to the technology adoption lifecycles of a group of six free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS) code forges, and to compare the lifecycles of the forges to each other and to the model presented by classical Diffusion of Innovation (DoI) theory. We find that the observed adoption patterns of code forges rarely follow the DoI model, especially as larger code forges are beset by spam and abuse. The only forge exhibiting a DoI-like lifecycle was a smaller, community-managed, special-purpose forge whose demise was planned in advance. The results of this study will be useful in explaining adoption trajectories, both to practitioners building collaborative FLOSS ecosystems and to researchers who study the evolution and adoption of socio-technical systems.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2017 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

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