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The impact of project licence and operating system on the effectiveness of the defect-fixing process in open source software projects

Published Online:pp 413-424

Open source software (OSS) products have been widely adopted by commercial as well as government organisations. However, despite their increased adoption, many OSS projects still fail in responding to users’ quality needs such as resolving software defects. Hence, this paper investigates the responsiveness of OSS projects to users’ needs in terms of resolving software defects. To do so, we develop and test a model of antecedents to the effectiveness of the defect-fixing process for OSS projects. Data gathered for this study from 1481 OSS projects confirms that OSS projects that apply a less restrictive licence are less dependent on their team to operate their defect-fixing process. It is also demonstrated that OSS projects developed to run on a broader range of operating systems are more likely to have an effective defect-fixing. The study provides practitioners with insightful recommendations on project characteristics and defect-fixing effectiveness.


open source software, OSS, defect-fixing effectiveness, operating system, OSS licence


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