Forking and coordination in multi-platform development

Anh Nguyen Duc, Audris Mockus, Randy Hackbarth, John Palframan
2014 Proceedings of the 8th ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement - ESEM '14  
With the proliferation of desktop and mobile platforms the development and maintenance of identical or similar applications on multiple platforms is urgently needed. We study a software product deployed to more than 25 software/hardware combinations over 10 years to understand multi-platform development practices. We use semi structured interviews, project wikis, VCSs and issue tracking systems to understand and quantify these practices. We find the projects using MR cloning, MR review meeting,
more » ... cross platform coordinator's role as three primary means of coordination. We find that forking code temporarily relieves the coordination needs and is driven by divergent schedule, market needs, and organizational policy. Based on our qualitative findings we propose quantitative measures of coordination, redundant work, and parallel development. A model of coordination intensity suggests that it is related to the amount of paralel and redundant work. We hope that this work will provide a basis for quantitative understanding of issues faced in multi-platform software development.
doi:10.1145/2652524.2652546 dblp:conf/esem/DucMHP14 fatcat:lnrdgyyu5fhnbjuvqs7vrbezay