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Categorizing Developer Information Needs in Software Ecosystems

Publikationsart Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Tagungsbeitrag (peer-reviewed)
Publikationsdatum 2013
Projekt Agile Software Assessment
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Tagungsbeitrag (peer-reviewed)

Titel der Proceedings Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Ecosystem Architectures


We present the results of an investigation into the nature of the information needs of software developers who work in projects that are part of larger ecosystems. In an open-question survey we asked framework and library developers about their information needs with respect to both their upstream and downstream projects. We investigated what kind of information is required, why is it necessary, and how the developers obtain this information. The results show that the downstream needs are grouped into three categories roughly corresponding to the different stages in their relation with an upstream: selection, adoption, and co-evolution. The less numerous upstream needs are grouped into two categories: project statistics and code usage. The current practices part of the study shows that to satisfy many of these needs developers use non-specific tools and ad hoc methods. We believe that this is a largely unexplored area of research.