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Developers in Open Source Software (OSS) projects communicate using mailing lists. By convention, the mailing lists are used only for task-related discussions, so they are primarily concerned with the software under development, and software process issues (releases, etc.). The authors focus on the discussions concerning the software, and study the frequency with which software entities (functions, methods, classes, etc) are mentioned in the mail. They find a strong, striking, cumulative relationship between this mention count in the email, and the number of times these entities are included in changes to the software. When they study the same phenomena over a series of time-intervals, the relationship is much less strong. This suggests some interesting avenues for future research.
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