An Exploration of Code Quality in FOSS Projects


It is a widely held belief that Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) development leads to the creation of software with the same, if not higher quality compared to that created using proprietary software development models. However there is little research on evaluating the quality of FOSS code, and the impact of project characteristics such as age, number of core developers, code-base size, etc. In this exploratory study, we examined 110 FOSS projects, measuring the quality of the code and architectural design using code smells. We found that, contrary to our expectations, the overall quality of the code is not affected by the size of the code base, but that it was negatively impacted by the growth of the number of code contributors. Our results also show that projects with more core developers don’t necessarily have better code quality.

In International Symposium on Open Source Software: Mobile Open Source Technologies (OSS), Springer Berlin Heidelberg.