Open source programmers' information seeking during software maintenance

Khaironi Yatim Sharif, Mohd Rosmadi Mokhtar, Jim Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Problem statement: Several authors have proposed information seeking as an appropriate case study for studying software maintenance and evolution that have provided empirical classifications of information seeking in commercial software evolution settings. Approach: However, there is minimal research in the literature describing the information seeking behavior of Open Source programmers, even though Open Source contexts would seem to exacerbate the information seeking problems to a certain extend; where team members are typically delocalized from each other and they are often forced into asynchronous communication. Results: This study reports on an empirical study that classifies Open-Source programmers' information needs generated through open-coding of questions that appear on developers' mailing lists. Based on the generated Information Seeking Schema (ISS), details of the information sought by programmers on 6 different mailing lists over several years are analyzed and discussed. Conclusion/Recommendations: The result shows several interesting findings that describe the programmers' information needs across the mailing lists. Firstly, there are a similar pattern of information artifact and attribute across all projects. Secondly, majority of the programmers' information seeking concentrated on the systems' implementations. Thirdly, the OS programmers have also shown to be team-oriented and they tended to rely on documentation more than what have previously reported. These results suggest the applicability of the ISS in evaluating OS programmers information seeking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1060-1071
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Computer Science
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Computer software maintenance
Communication

Keywords

  • Information seeking
  • Information seeking schema
  • Open source
  • Probed artifacts
  • Program comprehension
  • Software maintenance
  • Theoretical harness
  • Theoretical review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence

Cite this

Open source programmers' information seeking during software maintenance. / Sharif, Khaironi Yatim; Mokhtar, Mohd Rosmadi; Buckley, Jim.

In: Journal of Computer Science, Vol. 7, No. 7, 2011, p. 1060-1071.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sharif, Khaironi Yatim ; Mokhtar, Mohd Rosmadi ; Buckley, Jim. / Open source programmers' information seeking during software maintenance. In: Journal of Computer Science. 2011 ; Vol. 7, No. 7. pp. 1060-1071.
@article{f996c01e6165409a827f5e340fb1f558,
title = "Open source programmers' information seeking during software maintenance",
abstract = "Problem statement: Several authors have proposed information seeking as an appropriate case study for studying software maintenance and evolution that have provided empirical classifications of information seeking in commercial software evolution settings. Approach: However, there is minimal research in the literature describing the information seeking behavior of Open Source programmers, even though Open Source contexts would seem to exacerbate the information seeking problems to a certain extend; where team members are typically delocalized from each other and they are often forced into asynchronous communication. Results: This study reports on an empirical study that classifies Open-Source programmers' information needs generated through open-coding of questions that appear on developers' mailing lists. Based on the generated Information Seeking Schema (ISS), details of the information sought by programmers on 6 different mailing lists over several years are analyzed and discussed. Conclusion/Recommendations: The result shows several interesting findings that describe the programmers' information needs across the mailing lists. Firstly, there are a similar pattern of information artifact and attribute across all projects. Secondly, majority of the programmers' information seeking concentrated on the systems' implementations. Thirdly, the OS programmers have also shown to be team-oriented and they tended to rely on documentation more than what have previously reported. These results suggest the applicability of the ISS in evaluating OS programmers information seeking.",
keywords = "Information seeking, Information seeking schema, Open source, Probed artifacts, Program comprehension, Software maintenance, Theoretical harness, Theoretical review",
author = "Sharif, {Khaironi Yatim} and Mokhtar, {Mohd Rosmadi} and Jim Buckley",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.3844/jcssp.2011.1060.1071",
language = "English",
volume = "7",
pages = "1060--1071",
journal = "Journal of Computer Science",
issn = "1549-3636",
publisher = "Science Publications",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Open source programmers' information seeking during software maintenance

AU - Sharif, Khaironi Yatim

AU - Mokhtar, Mohd Rosmadi

AU - Buckley, Jim

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Problem statement: Several authors have proposed information seeking as an appropriate case study for studying software maintenance and evolution that have provided empirical classifications of information seeking in commercial software evolution settings. Approach: However, there is minimal research in the literature describing the information seeking behavior of Open Source programmers, even though Open Source contexts would seem to exacerbate the information seeking problems to a certain extend; where team members are typically delocalized from each other and they are often forced into asynchronous communication. Results: This study reports on an empirical study that classifies Open-Source programmers' information needs generated through open-coding of questions that appear on developers' mailing lists. Based on the generated Information Seeking Schema (ISS), details of the information sought by programmers on 6 different mailing lists over several years are analyzed and discussed. Conclusion/Recommendations: The result shows several interesting findings that describe the programmers' information needs across the mailing lists. Firstly, there are a similar pattern of information artifact and attribute across all projects. Secondly, majority of the programmers' information seeking concentrated on the systems' implementations. Thirdly, the OS programmers have also shown to be team-oriented and they tended to rely on documentation more than what have previously reported. These results suggest the applicability of the ISS in evaluating OS programmers information seeking.

AB - Problem statement: Several authors have proposed information seeking as an appropriate case study for studying software maintenance and evolution that have provided empirical classifications of information seeking in commercial software evolution settings. Approach: However, there is minimal research in the literature describing the information seeking behavior of Open Source programmers, even though Open Source contexts would seem to exacerbate the information seeking problems to a certain extend; where team members are typically delocalized from each other and they are often forced into asynchronous communication. Results: This study reports on an empirical study that classifies Open-Source programmers' information needs generated through open-coding of questions that appear on developers' mailing lists. Based on the generated Information Seeking Schema (ISS), details of the information sought by programmers on 6 different mailing lists over several years are analyzed and discussed. Conclusion/Recommendations: The result shows several interesting findings that describe the programmers' information needs across the mailing lists. Firstly, there are a similar pattern of information artifact and attribute across all projects. Secondly, majority of the programmers' information seeking concentrated on the systems' implementations. Thirdly, the OS programmers have also shown to be team-oriented and they tended to rely on documentation more than what have previously reported. These results suggest the applicability of the ISS in evaluating OS programmers information seeking.

KW - Information seeking

KW - Information seeking schema

KW - Open source

KW - Probed artifacts

KW - Program comprehension

KW - Software maintenance

KW - Theoretical harness

KW - Theoretical review

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80053089334&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=80053089334&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3844/jcssp.2011.1060.1071

DO - 10.3844/jcssp.2011.1060.1071

M3 - Article

VL - 7

SP - 1060

EP - 1071

JO - Journal of Computer Science

JF - Journal of Computer Science

SN - 1549-3636

IS - 7

ER -