On organisational influences in software standards and their open source implementations

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Abstract

Context It is widely acknowledged that standards implemented in open source software can reduce risks for lock-in, improve interoperability, and promote competition on the market. However, there is limited knowledge concerning the relationship between standards and their implementations in open source software. This paper reports from an investigation of organisational influences in software standards and open source software implementations of software standards. The study focuses on the RDFa standard and its implementation in the Drupal project. Objective The overarching goal of the study is to establish organisational influences in software standards and their implementations in open source software. More specifically, our objective is to establish organisational influences in the RDFa standard and its implementation in the Drupal project. Method By conduct of a case study of the RDFa standard and its implementation in the Drupal project we investigate organisational influences in software standards and their implementations in open source software. Specifically, the case study involved quantitative analyses of issue tracker data for different issue trackers for W3C RDFa and the Drupal implementation of RDFa. Results The case study provides details on how and to what extent organisational influences occur in W3C RDFa and the Drupal implementation of RDFa, by specifically providing a characterisation of issues and results concerning contribution to issue raising and commenting, organisational involvement over time, and individual and organisational collaboration on issues. Conclusion We find that widely deployed standards can benefit from contributions provided by a range of different individuals, organisations, and types of organisations either directly to a standardisation project or indirectly via an open source project implementing the standard. Further, we also find that open processes for standardisation adopted by W3C may also contribute to open source projects implementing specific standards.

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APA

Gamalielsson, J., Lundell, B., Feist, J., Gustavsson, T., & Landqvist, F. (2015). On organisational influences in software standards and their open source implementations. In Information and Software Technology (Vol. 67, pp. 30–43). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infsof.2015.06.006

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