Conference Proceeding Article
Change introduces conict into software ecosystems: breaking changes may ripple through the ecosystem and trigger rework for users of a package, but often developers can invest additional effort or accept opportunity costs to alleviate or delay downstream costs. We performed a multiple case study of three software ecosystems with different tooling and philosophies toward change, Eclipse, R/CRAN, and Node.js/npm, to understand how developers make decisions about change and change-related costs and what practices, tooling, and policies are used. We found that all three ecosystems differ substantially in their practices and expectations toward change and that those differences can be explained largely by different community values in each ecosystem. Our results illustrate that there is a large design space in how to build an ecosystem, its policies and its supporting infrastructure; and there is value in making community values and accepted tradeos explicit and transparent in order to resolve conicts and negotiate change-related costs.
Collaboration, Dependency Management, Qualitative Research, Semantic Versioning, Software Ecosystems
Computer Sciences | Software Engineering
FSE 2016: Proceedings of the 24th ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, Seattle, November 13-18, 2016
City or Country
Bogart, Christopher; K\303\244stner, Christian; Herbsleb, James; and FERDIAN THUNG.
How to break an API: Cost negotiation and community values in three software ecosystems. (2016). FSE 2016: Proceedings of the 24th ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, Seattle, November 13-18, 2016. 109-120. Research Collection School Of Information Systems.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/sis_research/3621
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.