Open Group delivers new platform for the improved use of open source software

The Open Group, the vendor-neutral technology consortium, and the University of L’Aquila announced a partnership with a consortium of leading European research organizations, technology developers, industrial software developers, and open source forge providers.

Together, they have addressed the complexity of selecting and utilizing open source software (OSS) projects available from leading online providers, including Eclipse.org, OW2, GitHub, and many others.

Supported by the European Union, the Developer-Centric Knowledge Mining from Large Open-Source Software Repositories (CROSSMINER) project has invested €4.5 million (US$4.9 million) to develop an innovative platform that examines the programming code and interactions surrounding OSS projects.

The new CROSSMINER platform extracts detailed knowledge that assists software engineers in developing and maintaining products and services based on freely available OSS technologies.

The new platform enables major advances in managing software development, such as open source technologies that use innovative and customizable tools for analyzing and monitoring OSS software projects.

Along with traditional code metrics, the technology provides newer and more robust analysis and mining techniques. It goes far beyond the code to evaluate how the OSS project ethos is evolving, and alerts developers to dependencies and cross-project relationships.

At the same time, the platform delivers tools to mine the knowledge contained in the many thousands of OSS projects available from public forges.

The advanced tools the CROSSMINER platform provides software developers include:

  • Code analysis tools for evaluating OSS project quality.
  • State-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) and text mining techniques to evaluate information extracted from surrounding communication channels (e.g. newsgroups, forums, mailing lists), social media, and bug tracking systems used for supporting OSS projects.
  • Configuration analysis tools for identifying OSS dependencies on other components and for mining cross-project relationships.
  • Tools for quickly creating bespoke OSS analysis measures and knowledge extraction.
  • Developer dashboards and integration with existing development environments to provide software engineers with guidance and recommendations as development work progresses.

Coordinated by The Open Group with technical leadership from the University of L’Aquila, which is directing the advanced research, the CROSSMINER consortium includes: Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, a renowned organization for research in software programming technologies; Bitergia and FrontEndART, leading providers of tools and dashboards for analyzing software; University of York, Edge Hill University, and Athens University of Economics and Business, recognized leaders in their respective fields of software modeling and analysis, NLP, and large scale analytics.

Also the supplier of solutions for industry Softeam, which provides one of the most popular open source tools for model based software development; Unparallel Innovation and Castalia Solutions that specialize in guidance and services to industry for exploiting new technology innovations; along with two leading forge providers, Eclipse Foundation and OW2 Consortium, that host many popular open source projects used by industry.

The technology advances were driven by industrial requirements for OSS project assessment and knowledge extraction, which have been validated within several business scenarios by industrial partners in the project. The platform recently completed final evaluations by industrial software development organizations and open source forge providers.

“The CROSSMINER project has brought together experts in software project modeling, code analysis, configuration analysis, metrics, and NLP to develop a comprehensive set of tools for software developers to use in identifying high quality open source technologies, and to help developers better monitor and manage open source technologies for use in their own applications and platforms,” said David Lounsbury, Chief Technical Officer, The Open Group.

“Importantly, the new platform automates the tedious and time-consuming evaluation tasks most software developers undertake when trying to decide amongst the myriad of open source projects available online today. It also makes clear their interdependencies to reduce the costs and time in developing and maintaining new products and services that exploit open source technologies.”

“Software development organizations now have access to an open and customizable platform that provides comprehensive tools for use in selecting and deploying OSS projects. This gives them the ability to tailor monitoring aspects to their own requirements for quality and maintainability, while ensuring there is a vibrant community involved in the continued OSS project developments,” said Prof Davide Di Ruscio, University of L’Aquila.

“The CROSSMINER platform is itself available in open source and can be used by open source forge providers to provide clear guidance to users accessing individual OSS projects on their forges. It can also be used by organizations developing software as a key development tool for the improved management of software projects.”

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Open Group delivers new platform for the improved use of open source software