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Quality factors and coding standards - a comparison between open source forges

By Andrea Capiluppi, Cornelia Boldyreff, Karl Beecher and Paul Adams


Enforcing adherence to standards in software development in order to produce high quality software artefacts has long been recognised as best practice in traditional software engineering. In a distributed heterogeneous development environment such those found within the Open Source paradigm, coding standards are informally shared and adhered to by communities of loosely coupled developers. Following these standards could potentially lead to higher quality software.\ud \ud This paper reports on the empirical analysis of two major forges where OSS projects are hosted. The first one, the KDE forge, provides a set of guidelines and coding standards in the form of a coding style that developers may conform to when producing the code source artefacts. The second studied forge, SourceForge, imposes no formal coding standards on developers. A sample of projects from these two forges has been analysed to detect whether the\ud SourceForge sample, where no coding standards are reinforced, has a lower quality than the sample from KDE.\ud \ud Results from this analysis form a complex picture; visually, all the selected metrics show a clear divide between the two forges, but from the statistical standpoint, clear distinctions cannot be drawn amongst these quality related measures in the two forge samples

Topics: G600 Software Engineering
Year: 2008
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