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Code Forking, Governance, and Sustainability in Open Source Software
Linus Nyman,Juho Lindman
Technology Innovation Management Review , 2013,
Abstract: The right to fork open source code is at the core of open source licensing. All open source licenses grant the right to fork their code, that is to start a new development effort using an existing code as its base. Thus, code forking represents the single greatest tool available for guaranteeing sustainability in open source software. In addition to bolstering program sustainability, code forking directly affects the governance of open source initiatives. Forking, and even the mere possibility of forking code, affects the governance and sustainability of open source initiatives on three distinct levels: software, community, and ecosystem. On the software level, the right to fork makes planned obsolescence, versioning, vendor lock-in, end-of-support issues, and similar initiatives all but impossible to implement. On the community level, forking impacts both sustainability and governance through the power it grants the community to safeguard against unfavourable actions by corporations or project leaders. On the business-ecosystem level forking can serve as a catalyst for innovation while simultaneously promoting better quality software through natural selection. Thus, forking helps keep open source initiatives relevant and presents opportunities for the development and commercialization of current and abandoned programs.
A Novel Metric For Measuring The Readability of Software Source Code
Bajeh, A. O.
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences , 2011,
Abstract: Software metrics gives developers and their client and users of Software information about the quality of their Software products. They are employed in taking decisions at various levels of Software Life Cycle (SLC). This paper presents a novel metric for measuring the readability of Software Source Code (SC). Maintenance changes (addition, removal or modification), though, are initially carried out on the Software design artifacts, they are eventually performed on the Software SC as the finished product. Thus this metric is relevant in estimating the readability quality of SCs. The metric is ratio scaled and size independent. Results showed that the metric objectively measures the readability of SC.to alleviate such impacts.
IMPEX: An Approach to Analyze Source Code Changes on Software Run Behavior  [PDF]
David Nemer
Journal of Software Engineering and Applications (JSEA) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/jsea.2013.64020

The development of software nowadays is getting more complex due to the need to use software programs to accomplish more elaborated tasks. Developers may have a hard time knowing what could happen to the software when making changes. To support the developer in reducing the uncertainty of the impact on the software run behavior due to changes in the source code, this paper presents a tool called IMPEX which analyzes the differences in the source code and differences on the run behavior of two subsequent software versions, in the entire repository, demonstrating to the developer the impact that a change in the source code has had on the software run, over the whole software history. This impact helps the developers in knowing what is affected during execution due to their changes in the source code. This study verifies that the software runs that are most impacted by a given change in the source code, have higher chances in being impacted in the future whenever this part of the code is changed again. The approach taken in this paper was able to precisely predict what would be impacted on the software execution when a change in the source code was made in 70% of the cases.

Predicting Software Build Failure Using Source Code Metrics
Andy M. Connor,Jacqui Finlay
International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Research , 2011,
Abstract: In this paper, we describe the extraction of source code metrics from the Jazz repository and the application of data mining techniques to identify the most useful of those metrics for predicting the success or failure of an attempt to construct a working instance of the software product. We present results from a study using the J48 classification method used in conjunction with a number of attribute selection strategies applied to a set of source code metrics calculated from the code base at the beginning of a build cycle. The results indicate that only a relatively small number of the available software metrics that we considered have any significance for predicting the outcome of a build. These significant metrics are discussed and implication of the results discussed, particularly the relative difficulty of being able to predict failed build attempts. The results also indicate that there is some scope for predicting the outcomes of an attempt to construct a working instance of the software product by analysing the characteristics of the source code to be changed. This provides the opportunity for software project managers to estimate the risk exposure of the planned changes in the build prior to commencing the coding activities.
Code forking in open-source software: a requirements perspective  [PDF]
Neil A. Ernst,Steve Easterbrook,John Mylopoulos
Computer Science , 2010,
Abstract: To fork a project is to copy the existing code base and move in a direction different than that of the erstwhile project leadership. Forking provides a rapid way to address new requirements by adapting an existing solution. However, it can also create a plethora of similar tools, and fragment the developer community. Hence, it is not always clear whether forking is the right strategy. In this paper, we describe a mixed-methods exploratory case study that investigated the process of forking a project. The study concerned the forking of an open-source tool for managing software projects, Trac. Trac was forked to address differing requirements in an academic setting. The paper makes two contributions to our understanding of code forking. First, our exploratory study generated several theories about code forking in open source projects, for further research. Second, we investigated one of these theories in depth, via a quantitative study. We conjectured that the features of the OSS forking process would allow new requirements to be addressed. We show that the forking process in this case was successful at fulfilling the new projects requirements.
An efficient high-quality hierarchical clustering algorithm for automatic inference of software architecture from the source code of a software system  [PDF]
Sarge Rogatch
Computer Science , 2012,
Abstract: It is a high-quality algorithm for hierarchical clustering of large software source code. This effectively allows to break the complexity of tens of millions lines of source code, so that a human software engineer can comprehend a software system at high level by means of looking at its architectural diagram that is reconstructed automatically from the source code of the software system. The architectural diagram shows a tree of subsystems having OOP classes in its leaves (in the other words, a nested software decomposition). The tool reconstructs the missing (inconsistent/incomplete/inexistent) architectural documentation for a software system from its source code. This facilitates software maintenance: change requests can be performed substantially faster. Simply speaking, this unique tool allows to lift the comprehensible grain of object-oriented software systems from OOP class-level to subsystem-level. It is estimated that a commercial tool, developed on the basis of this work, will reduce software maintenance expenses 10 times on the current needs, and will allow to implement next-generation software systems which are currently too complex to be within the range of human comprehension, therefore can't yet be designed or implemented. Implemented prototype in Open Source: http://sourceforge.net/p/insoar/code-0/1/tree/
A proposed metamodel for the implementation of object oriented software through the automatic generation of source code
Salesian Journal on Information Systems , 2008,
Abstract: During the development of software one of the most visible risks and perhaps the biggest implementation obstacle relates to the time management. All delivery deadlines software versions must be followed, but it is not always possible, sometimes due to delay in coding. This paper presents a metamodel for software implementation, which will rise to a development tool for automatic generation of source code, in order to make any development pattern transparent to the programmer, significantly reducing the time spent in coding artifacts that make up the software.
COLUMN: We Love Open Source Software. No, You Can't Have Our Code  [cached]
Dale Askey
Code4Lib Journal , 2008,
Abstract: Librarians are among the strongest proponents of open source software. Paradoxically, libraries are also among the least likely to actively contribute their code to open source projects. This article identifies and discusses six main reasons this dichotomy exists and offers ways to get around them.
Data Mining for Secure Software Engineering – Source Code Management Tool Case Study  [PDF]
A.V.Krishna Prasad,,Dr.S.Rama Krishna
International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology , 2010,
Abstract: As Data Mining for Secure Software Engineering improves software productivity and quality, software engineers are increasingly applying data mining algorithms to various software engineering tasks. However mining software engineering data poses several challenges, requiring various algorithms to effectively mine sequences, graphs and text from such data. Software engineering data includes code bases, execution traces, historical code changes,mailing lists and bug data bases. They contains a wealth of information about a projects-status, progress and evolution. Using well established data mining techniques, practitioners and researchers can explore the potential of this valuable data in order to better manage their projects and do produce higher-quality software systems that are delivered on time and with in budget. Data mining can be used in gathering and extracting latent security requirements, extracting algorithms and business rules from code, mining legacy applications for requirements and business rules for new projects etc. Mining algorithms for software engineering falls into four main categories: Frequent pattern mining – finding commonly occurring patterns; Pattern matching – finding data instances for given patterns; Clustering – grouping data into clusters and Classification – predicting labels of data based on already labeled data. In this paper, we will discuss the overview of strategies for data mining for secure software engineering, with the implementation of a case study of text mining for source code management tool.
Automated Source Code Analysis to Identify and Remove Software Security Vulnerabilities: Case Studies on Java Programs  [PDF]
Natarajan Meghanathan;
International Journal of Software Engineering , 2013,
Abstract: The high-level contribution of this paper is to illustrate the development of generic solution strategies to remove software security vulnerabilities that could be identified using automated tools for source code analysis on software programs (developedin Java). We use the Source Code Analyzer and Audit Workbench automated tools, developed by HP Fortify Inc., for our testing purposes. We present case studies involving a file writer program embedded with features for password validation, and connection-oriented server socket programs to discover, analyze the impact and remove the following software security vulnerabilities: (i) Hardcoded Password, (ii) Empty Password Initialization, (iii) Denial of Service, (iv) System Information Leak, (v) Unreleased Resource, (vi) Path Manipulation, and (vii) Resource Injection vulnerabilities. For each of these vulnerabilities, we describe the potential risks associated with leaving them unattended in a software program, and provide the solutions (including the code snippets in Java) that can be incorporated to remove these vulnerabilities. The proposed solutions are very generic in nature, and can be suitably modified to correct any such vulnerabilities in software developed in any other programming language.
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