The impact of cross-distribution bug duplicates, empirical study on Debian and Ubuntu
2015 IEEE 15th International Working Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation (SCAM)
Although open source distributions like Debian and Ubuntu are closely related, sometimes a bug reported in the Debian bug repository is reported independently in the Ubuntu repository as well, without the Ubuntu users nor developers being aware. Such cases of undetected cross-distribution bug duplicates can cause developers and users to lose precious time working on a fix that already exists or to work individually instead of collaborating to find a fix faster. We perform a case study on Ubuntu
... and Debian bug repositories to measure the amount of cross-distribution bug duplicates and estimate the amount of time lost. By adapting an existing within-project duplicate detection approach (achieving a similar recall of 60%), we find 821 cross-duplicates. The early detection of such duplicates could reduce the time lost by users waiting for a fix by a median of 38 days. Furthermore, we estimate that developers from the different distributions lose a median of 47 days in which they could have collaborated together, had they been aware of duplicates. These results show the need to detect and monitor cross-distribution duplicates. 978-1-4673-7529-0/15 c 2015 IEEE SCAM 2015, Bremen, Germany Accepted for publication by IEEE. c 2015 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/ republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.