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A qualitative study of open source software development: the OpenEMR project

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conference contribution
posted on 2012-02-29, 16:06 authored by John Noll, SARAH BEECHAM, Dominik Seichter
Open Source software is competing successfully in many areas. The commercial sector is recognizing the benefits offered by Open Source development methods that lead to high quality software. Can these benefits be realized in specialized domains where expertise is rare? This study examined discussion forums of an Open Source project in a particular specialized application domain – electronic medical records – to see how development roles are carried out, and by whom. We found through a qualitative analysis that the core developers in this system include doctors and clinicians who also use the product. We also found that the size of the community associated with the project is an order of magnitude smaller than predicted, yet still maintains a high degree of responsiveness to issues raised by users. The implication is that a few experts and a small core of dedicated programmers can achieve success using an Open Source approach in a specialized domain.

History

Publication

5th International Symposium of Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement;2011

Publisher

IEEE Computer Society

Note

peer-reviewed

Other Funding information

SFI

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“© 2011 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

Language

English

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