Analyzing the Usage of Traceability Links Within Open Source Software Projects
Sammanfattning: Traceability is important when it comes to many different software engineering activities. It is used as a means of enabling smoother maintenance and maneuvering within a repository. Because of its importance, traceability within com- mercial development has long been a subject of research and development. Meanwhile traceability link existence and usage in open source software (OSS) is not as common if compared to commercial use. In this paper, we identify the usage of explicit traceability links within open source software that contained some form of modeling. We do so through representative reposi- tories extracted from the Lindholmen Data Set, which at the time consisted of 24730 repositories based on Github. We investigate if these links exist as well as what the most common usage of these links are. Then we proceed to discuss the maintenance of traceability links over project lifetimes as well as how the responsibility of maintaining the traceability links is shared. The findings are that six out of our eight representative subjects contain some form of explicit link, although these links are for the most part not updated apart from a few exceptions. In the end the teams do not share the responsibilities of updating these traceability links but seemingly this task is performed only by a few select individuals. We have thus proven that there does indeed exist explicit types of traceability within OSS and that in some cases they are updated in regular intervals during the lifespan of the project. Through these results we present ideas for potential further research within the domain.
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