Coordination practices for bug fixing within FLOSS development teams

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


1st International Workshop on Computer Supported Activity Coordination, 6th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, Porto, Portugal (2004)


Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) is primarily developed by distributed teams. Developers contribute from around the world and coordinate their activity almost exclusively by means of email and bulletin boards. FLOSS development teams some how profit from the advantages and evade the challenges of distributed software development. Despite the relevance of the FLOSS both for research and practice, few studies have investigated the work practices adopted by these development teams. In this paper we investigate the structure and the coordination practices adopted by development teams during the bug-fixing process, which is considered one of main areas of FLOSS project success. In particular, based on a codification of the messages recorded in the bug tracking system of four projects, we identify the accomplished tasks, the adopted coordination mechanisms, and the role undertaken by both the FLOSS development team and the FLOSS community. We conclude with suggestions for further research.


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