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Libre software communities meet research community at Fosdem 2008

by Nicolas Bossut last modified 2008-02-20 16:07

Researchers investigating open source software quality invite Fosdem participants to a research room. The goal is to explore opportunities of exchange and collaboration between open source researchers and open source communities. This workshop will take place in Brussels on Feb 23-24, 2008

The "Research Room" will host a workshop with participants from the academia and the libre (free / open source) software community. The workshop will be organized in collaboration with the EC-funded FLOSSMetrics and QUALOSS projects.

The topic of the workshop will be "Research friendly projects". The main idea behind that label is try to smooth the collaboration among research and libre software projects. We are thinking of launching a service to mirror all the different data sources available in libre software projects (control version repositories, mailing list archives, bug tracking databases, etc), so all those sources are easily available for the community. For that purpose, we need the collaboration of the projects, to make the task of mirroring easy. We will provide results and reports back to the projects that would collaborate with this initiative.

Another aspect is that Research Friendly will be a hub to gather information about the developers. Think for instance of surveys. It is very typical to send hundreds of emails requesting the collaboration of developers to fill a survey. Research Friendly will launch a &quote;call for surveys&quote;, and will announce those surveys so developers may participate if they want. This will make the process much less intrusive for developers. Moreover, Research Friendly will publish the results of the surveys, so developers know the results, and can be sure that their participation has been worthy.

The workshop will present these ideas, with participants from the above mentioned research projects, and from the community.


FOSDEM, probably the largest meeting point for libre software developers in Europe, provides an opportunity for this contact and exchange of ideas. The idea of the Research Room at FOSDEM is to explore the opportunities of this exchange, and what happens when developers and researchers are put together in the same (physical) space.

To frame and provide input to this ResearchFriendly initiative, we're asking for contributions both from researchers and developers, on the following topics (the list is not exhaustive), to be presented at the Resarch Room @ FOSDEM

  • What developers feel could be useful from research on libre software
  • Feedback from the developer community to researchers
  • Experiences of developers and researchers working together
  • Results of applying research methodologies and analysis to libre software projects
  • Results (including expected results) of research projects studying libre software
  • What can the research community offer to libre software development
  • Methodologies and techniques that could be used to address specific problems in libre software development

Organizing committee :

  • Adriaan de Groot (KDE)
  • Sebastian Kugler (KDE)
  • Jean-Christophe Deprez (CETIC, Belgium)
  • Roberto Di Cosmo (University of Paris VII, France)
  • Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain)
  • Gregorio Robles (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain)
  • Israel Herraiz (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain)
  • Stefan Koch (Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria)
  • Martin Michlmayr (HP, Austria)
  • Diomidis Spinellis (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece)
  • Georgios Gousios (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece)
  • Ioannis Stamelos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
  • Megan Squire Conklin (Elon University, USA)
  • James Howison (Syracuse University, USA)
  • Greg Madey (University of Notre-Dame, USA)
  • Daniel M. German (University of Victoria, Canada)
  • Stephane Lauriere (Mandriva, France)
  • Andrea Capiluppi (University of Lincoln, UK)

Sponsoring projects

The Research Room at FOSDEM is sponsored by the following projects (although the meeting is completely open to anyone interested):

Most of these projects are funded in part by the European Commission, under the Information Society Technologies (IST) research programme of the Sixth Framework Program. A list of the IST projects in the area of Software Technologies is available from