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Global Software Development

By Daniel M. German


Many successful free/open source software (FOSS) projects start with the premise that their contributors are rarely colocated, and as a consequence, these projects are cases of global software development (GSD). This article describes how the GNOME Project, a large FOSS project, has tried to overcome the disadvantages of GSD. The main goal of GNOME is to create a GUI desktop for Unix systems, and encompasses close to two million lines of code. More than 500 individuals (distributed across the world) have contributed to the project. This article also describes the software development methods and practices used by the members of the project, and its organizational structure. The article ends by proposing a list of practices that could benefit other global software development projects, both FOSS and commercial. Copyright

Year: 2009
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