Open Source Software (OSS) communities have not yet taken full advantage of reuse mechanisms. Typically many OSS projects which share the same application domain and topic, duplicate effort and code, without fully leveraging the vast amounts of available code.
This study proposes the empirical evaluation of source code folders of OSS projects in order to determine their actual internal reuse and their potential as shareable, fine-grained and externally reusable software components by future projects.
This paper empirically analyzes four OSS systems, identifies which components (in the form of folders) are currently being reused internally and studies their coupling characteristics. Stable components (i.e., those which act as service providers rather than service consumers) are shown to be more likely to be reusable. As a means of supporting replication of these successful instances of OSS reuse, source folders with similar patterns are extracted from the studied systems, and identified as externally reusable components.