7th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology
The track report is available here
Michel Wermelinger (The Open University, UK)
According to various studies, ICT systems evolution accounts for a large part of the whole lifecycle cost. Successful systems inevitably have to be maintained, to cope with the rapidly changing requirements of customers who regard efficiency and functionality improvements as essential elements of long-lived systems. Therefore, whilst evolving ICT systems, managers and developers must not only improve their external quality, in order to keep customer satisfaction, but also avoid degradation of the internal qualities in order to reduce maintenance costs.
While evolution is a powerful force on the natural degradation of quality, if no contrary efforts are exerted, the interplay between the two can also be seen from different perspectives. One looks at the evolution of the system’s quality, which includes among other issues how to prevent or correct decay of the quality attributes, while the other perspective is the quality of the system’s evolution, which covers among other concerns how to sustain an effective evolution process over a long time span. Following those two perspectives, the papers of this thematic track have been divided into two groups, although it can be argued that most papers touch upon both perspectives.
The first paper in the quality of evolution group, by Alain April, investigates the trends of the amount of different types of maintenance (corrective, etc.) carried out over a certain period of time within a Canadian company. The author wishes to investigate whether maintenance activities are ‘adding value’, as customers expect. Work like this raises the interesting question that quality is in the eye of the beholder and is linked to stakeholders’ expectations, which must be appropriately managed.
In the second paper, Denis Kozlov et al. look at a whether the amount of cloning between open source software project forks is related to their code quality, according to various attributes. Whereas most quality-related clone literature looks at intra-project clones, the authors look at projects that developed from a single original project. The paper thus addresses the quality of evolution at the level of an ecosystem of related applications.
The paper by Daniel Izquierdo-Cortazar et al. also looks at the quality of evolution of open source projects, but from a different perspective. The authors use their OSS database, which brings together project data from issue tracking, code management and mailing list systems, in order to provide a rich view on community aspects of OSS development, e.g. how long each developer contributes to a project on average. Such quality measures are important for managers and prospective users to grasp how active the project is. The notion of quality is therefore a ‘social’ one.
The first paper in the evolution of quality group, by Reinhold Ploesch et al., proposes a process for continuous monitoring of code quality based on static analysis tools, which may be off-the-shelf (like FindBugs and PMD). The authors also report on two industrial projects that applied the approach. This paper therefore provides a blended process+technology approach to monitor the evolution of quality.
Last but not least, Aletéia Bettin et al. follow the installation and operation of a Project Management Office (PMO) within a Brazilian R&D organization. The authors investigate whether the set up of a PMO led to better compliance with the ISO 9001:2000 quality standard, for the organization’s hardware projects. This work therefore looks at organizational approaches to quality standards and how they affect the evolution of compliance.
In summary, the papers in this track show a fascinating diversity of subjects and approaches, based both on processes and tools. The authors investigate various kinds of software (proprietary and open source, single applications and ecosystems), of quality (organizational, technical and social), and of organizations (industrial and R&D). This small sample is indication enough that the intersection of software quality and software evolution is a promising, exciting and relevant research field for many years to come.
|14.00-15.30||Quality of Evolution (chair: Ricardo J. Machado)|
|⇒||Studying Supply and Demand of Software Maintenance and Evolution Services||Alain April (École de Technologie Supérieure)|
|⇒||Exploratory analysis of the relations between code cloning and open source software quality||Denis Kozlov, Jussi Koskinen, Markku Sakkinen (University of Jyväskylä) and Jouni Markkula (University of Oulu)|
|⇒||Towards Automated Quality Models for Software Development Communities: the QualOSS and FLOSSMetrics case||Daniel Izquierdo-Cortazar, Jesus M Gonzalez-Barahona, Santiago Dueñas and Gregorio Robles (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)|
|16.00-17.00||Evolution of Quality (chair: Michel Wermelinger)|
|⇒||A method for continuous code quality management using static analysis||Reinhold Plösch, Harald Gruber (Johannes Kepler University Linz), Christian Körner and Matthias Saft (Siemens AG)|
|⇒||A PMO Installation for TI Project Management in a R&D Institution||Aletéia Bettin (Eldorado Research Institute), Carlos Tobar (PUC-Campinas), Denise Prado (Eldorado Research Institute), Íris Silva (Mechanic Engin. Faculty, UNICAMP)|
|17.00-17.30||Quality & Evolution: quo vadis? (group discussion)|