Blogxter: Opting out of surveys of OSS developers
Opting out of surveys of OSS developers
Nov 27, 2007 5:46:46 PM, steve

I am officially opting out of surveys of OSS developers. This posting will be the documentation of such an event, and its URL will be returned to whoever posts requests to me.

I know it may seem an easy way to do some undergraduate research -identify developers on a project and email them, but it becomes repetitive after a while, and is always time consuming.

More importantly, the SCM repositories form a wonderful repository of information that could be mined instead. Want to see when developers work on OSS: look at the clock on commits, correlate that with TZ info on their emails and you know whether they work weekdays or weekends. Want to know whether commits are done in a process involving tests or open issues: look for jira IDs in commits, or changes to test classes in the same commit as new features. Want to know how much lag between code and tests, measure the delay between code, test cases that use that code.

The SCM commits, more than the code or developers themselves, is the central repository of interesting information. So ask it, instead of the individuals.

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