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." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really
Windows NEIN skipped, tech preview due out on Wednesday
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.