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Open source projects have resulted in numerous high-quality, widely used products. Understanding the defect-handling strategies such projects employ can help us use the publicly accessible defect data from these projects to provide valuable quality-improvement feedback and to better understand the defect characteristics for a wider variety of software products. We conducted a survey to understand defect handling in selected open source projects and compared the particular approaches taken in different projects. We focused on defect handling instead of the broader quality assurance activities other researchers have previously reported. Our results provided quantitative evidence about the current practice of defect handling in an important subset of open source projects.
Date of Publication: July-Aug. 2004