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Project Title

The History of and its Success


John Thomson, Jr., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dietram Scheufele, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Project Abstract

This paper will examine SourceForge in this context by documenting its history along the features available to developers and users which make open source software possible. With this background, an examination of SourceForge projects may indicate what is important to the success of an open source project. This information could be valuable in understanding what structures and use patterns are enabling of other civic projects.

It is clear that much of this valuable resource remains untapped, and this project will begin to look at a few of the aspects of successful projects. Topics to focus on are: number of active developers, number of active users/bug reporters (in relation to project size), responsiveness to bug reports (time until close), and relation to popularity/rank. The research questions will hopefully become more clear after closer examination of the features of SourceForge, and after a clearer view of what is included in the data. Gaining an understanding of how this online community has been structured in a way that enhances a project's chance of completion may be an example for other civic projects (online and real-world).