Feeds

EC throws money at OSS quality control

How 'good' is good?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The European Commission is investing some of the final chunks of change in its Framework 6 Research and Development budget into four projects dedicated to defining and checking the quality of open source software. The total investment is in the region of €25m, and is being matched by money from industry.

The work is being coordinated by UK open source services firm Sirius, and involves software experts from industry, academia and the open source community.

Mark Taylor, Sirius's CEO, says one of the aims of the projects is to develop a way that companies can properly evaluate the quality of an open source product.

"In our work as consultants, we only advise clients to use so-called enterprise class products. But beyond taking advice from experts, how do you quantify what counts as 'enterprise class'. Working that out is part of the motivation for us on these projects."

The four projects are as excruciatingly-named as we have come to expect from anything the EC funds.

Firstly there is QualIPSO, a four year project involving more than 30 partners. Its aim is to look at the wider picture of software quality - not just open source software. Paul Adams, Sirius's head of R&D, notes that even defining what counts as software quality is an interesting question.

Next up we have FlossMetrics, which aims to document the current state of the art of software quality measurement, and then work out what should be used in the future. QualOSS then aims to develop tools based on current metrics, while Sqo-OSS (pronounced squash) is intended to develop tools based on the newly identified metrics.

Taylor explains that they are already identifying new ways that the quality of a piece of software can be assessed, such as the level of developer activity, the kind of support a user can expect, the growth of new features and so on.

"Many of these are intangible things, intuitive and experiential," he notes.

What he hopes to achieve with the EC research is a way of formalising these measures, and turning them into tools people can use as developers to improve their work, and as customers, to make better informed purchasing decisions.

As a founder of the Open Source Consortium, Taylor also has an interest in increasing the level of professionalism in the open source community. He explains that one of the major criticisms of open source is that it is "cobbled together by a bunch of acne-ridden teens" He argues that having a way of demonstrating "provable quality" will really help tackle that.

He adds with a smile: "And we can say to the proprietary firms: I've shown you mine, now you show me yours." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10
A third of them are doing it in VMs, but early feedback focuses on frippery
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Do Moan! MONSTER 6-day EMAIL OUTAGE hits Domain Monster
Customers freaked out by frightful service
Ploppr: The #VultureTRENDING App of the Now
This organic crowd sourced viro- social fertiliser just got REAL
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.