Title page for ETD etd-05142012-215203


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Brewer VIII, John
Author's Email Address jb8@vt.edu
URN etd-05142012-215203
Title The Effects of Open Source License Choice on Software Reuse
Degree Master of Science
Department Computer Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Frakes, William B. Committee Chair
Egyhazy, Csaba J. Committee Member
Kulczycki, Gregory W. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Open Source License
  • Software Reuse
  • Dependency Analysis
  • Package Repository
Date of Defense 2012-05-04
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Previous research shows that software reuse can have a positive impact on software de-

velopment economics, and that the adoption of a specific open source license can influ-

ence how a software product is received by users and programmers. This study attempts

to bridge these two research areas by examining how the adoption of an open source li-

cense affects software reuse. Two reuse metrics were applied to 9,570 software packages

contained in the Fedora Linux software repository. Each package was evaluated to deter-

mine how many external components it reuses, as well as how many times it is reused

by other software packages. This data was divided into subsets according to license type

and software category. The study found that, in general, (1) software released under a

restrictive license reuse more external components than software released under a per-

missive license, and (2) that software released under a permissive license is more likely

to be reused than software released under a restrictive license. However, there are ex-

ceptions to these conclusions, as the effect of license choice on reuse varies by software

category.

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