IFIP International Conference on Open Source Systems

OSS 2007: Open Source Development, Adoption and Innovation pp 109-120

Innovation in Open Source Software Development: A Tale of Two Features

  • John Noll
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-72486-7_9

Volume 234 of the book series IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing (IFIPAICT)


Open Source Software Development appears to depart radically from conventional notions of software engineering. In particular, requirements for Open Source projects seem to be asserted rather than elicited.

This paper examines two features of selected open source products: “tabbed browsing” as realized in the Firefox web browser, and “edge magnetism” found in the Gnome desktop environment’s Metacity window manager. Using archives of mailing lists and issue tracking databases, these features were traced from first mention to release, in attempt to discover the process by which requirements are proposed, adopted, and implemented in their respective Open Source projects. The results confirm the importance of user participation in Open Source projects.

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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Noll
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Engineering DepartmentSanta Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA