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From the cathedral to the bazaar: An empirical study of the lifecycle of volunteer community projects
- Open Source Development, Adoption and Innovation, pages 31–44. International Federation for Information Processing , 2007
"... Abstract. Some free software and open source projects have been extremely successful in the past. The success of a project is often related to the number of developers it can attract: a larger community of developers (the `bazaar') identifies and corrects more software defects and adds more features ..."
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Abstract. Some free software and open source projects have been extremely successful in the past. The success of a project is often related to the number of developers it can attract: a larger community of developers (the `bazaar') identifies and corrects more software defects and adds more features via a peer-review process. In this paper two free software projects (Wine and Arla) are empirically explored in order to characterize their software lifecycle, development processes and communities. Both the projects show a phase where the number of active developers and the actual work performed on the system is constant, or does not grow: we argued that this phase corresponds to the one termed 'cathedral ' in the literature. One of the two projects (Wine) shows also a second phase: a sudden growing amount of developers corresponds to a similar growing output produced: we termed this as the `bazaar ' phase, and we also argued that this phase was not achieved for the other system. A further analysis revealed that the transition between `cathedral' and `bazaar ' was a phase by itself in Wine, achieved by creating a growing amount of new modules, which attracted new developers. 1Introduction Prominent free software (or open source software, OSS) projects such as Linux , Apache  and FreeBSD  have been extremely successful. Anecdotal evidence has been used in the past to characterize successful OSS projects: users/developers acting as "more eyeballs " in the correction of bugs, developers implementing new features independently, skillful project managers dealing with a mostly flat organization, and the resulting coordination costs . Previous studies have provided empirical evidence on the process of successful OSS projects: the definition of various types of developers has been discussed for the Mozilla and the Apache projects, justifying different levels of effort , and claiming that the first type (core developers) contribute to the success of a system.