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The unlimited number of open-source software (OSS) users and the importance of end users' experience in determining software quality make usability an even more critical quality attribute for OSS than it is for proprietary software. The research model of this study establishes the relationship between usability errors in OSS and online public forums. The results of this empirical analysis provide evidence about active management of usability-related issues in OSS. To conduct this research, the authors used a dataset consisting of 1753 OSS projects, covering a broad range of categories. The results of the study show that online forums play a significant role in identifying and fixing usability bugs in OSS.
Date of Publication: June 2012