From the Cathedral to the Bazaar: An Empirical Study of the Lifecycle of Volunteer Community Projects

  • Andrea Capiluppi
  • Martin Michlmayr
Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 234)

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.

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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Capiluppi
    • 1
  • Martin Michlmayr
    • 2
  1. 1.University of LincolnUK
  2. 2.University of CambridgeUK

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