Enterprise Software

The Economics of Community Open Source Software Projects: An Empirical Analysis of Maintenance Effort

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Executive Summary

Previous contributions in the empirical software engineering literature have consistently observed a quality degradation effect of proprietary code as a consequence of maintenance. This degradation effect, referred to as entropy effect, has been recognized to be responsible for significant increases in maintenance effort. In the Open Source context, the quality of code is a fundamental design principle. As a consequence, the maintenance effort of Open Source applications may not show a similar increasing trend over time.

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