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Almost There: A Study on
Quasi-Contributors in Open Source
Software Projects
Igor STEINMACHER
@igorsteinmacher
Gustavo PINTO
@gustavopinto
Igor WIESE
@igorwiese
Marco GEROSA
@gerosa_marco
Sustainable OSS projects
2
3
4
Contributing to OSS
Many contributors
succeed when they
submit changes
5
Contributing to OSS
Some got some rejected
patches
6
Contributing to OSS
7
Quasi-contributors
Contributing to OSS
8
Goal
Investigate how and why quasi-contributorsfail
9
Research Questions
RQ1.How common are quasi-contributors
and quasi-contributions?
RQ2.Why were the quasi-contributions
not accepted?
RQ3.How do quasi-contributors perceive
nonacceptance?
10
angular
bitcoin
bootstrap
caffe
d3
django
docker
flask
jenkins
joomla!
jquery
Sampling kubernetes
laravel
mongo
opencv
rails
react
redis
scikit-learn
spring
tensorflow
11
Quasi-contributors
5,138
Quasi-contributors
234
Integrators
335 answers from
quasi-contributors
21 answers from
integrators
Mixed-Method Approach
Manualanalysis
263 PRs from
quasi-contributors 12
RQ2.Why were the quasi-
contributions not accepted?
RQ3.How do quasi-
contributors perceive
nonacceptance?
Mixed-Method Approach
Quasi-contributors
5,138
Quasi-contributors
234
Integrators
335 answers from
quasi-contributors
21 answers from
integrators
Manualanalysis
263 PRs from
quasi-contributors
RQ1.How common are
quasi-contributors and
quasi-contributions?
13
RQ1. How common? Considering all 21 projects:
→ 10,099 quasi-contributors
→ 14,623 actual contributors
14
RQ1. How common? ~85%
→
1attempt
15
"The fix I submitted remained unmerged
until someone else submitted the exact
same fix … the integrators accepted their
(identical) fix and closed mine.”
superseded/duplicatedpull-request(52/335)
[Gousios et al., 2014; Zhou et al., 2018]
“Other pull-requests fixed the same
issues as my pull-requests”
RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance
Quasi-contributors' perspective
16
Gousios, G., Pinzger, M., van Deursen, A. AnExploratoryStudyofthePull-basedSoftwareDevelopmentModel.In ICSE 2014
Zhou, S., Stãnciulescu, Ş., Leßenich, O., Xiong, Y., Wąsowski, A., Kästner, C. IdentifyingFeaturesinForks. In ICSE 2018.
"The fix I submitted remained unmerged
until someone else submitted the exact
same fix … the integrators accepted their
(identical) fix and closed mine.”
“when you add a new feature to the project,
your vision can be out of tune with the vision
of the project’s team, and this is natural.”
superseded/duplicatedpull-request(52/335)
[Gousios et al., 2014; Zhou et al., 2018]
“Other pull-requests fixed the same
issues as my pull-requests”
“The project decided that was not a bug they
wanted to provide a fix for”
RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance
Quasi-contributors' perspective
mismatchbetweendeveloper'sandteam'svision/opinion
(47/335)
17
RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance
Quasi-contributors' perspective
"I did not receive answers"
The process is too onerous, and bureaucratic.”
wasn’t important enough to warrant
merging”
PRnotneeded/notrelevant
(25/335)
bureaucracy
(6/335)
Lackofinterestfromintegrators
(37/335)
Quasi-contributors also offered mea culpa:
→ Not an optimal solution (20)
→ Contributors' lack of experience/commitment (24)
18
RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance
From integrators perspective:
→ PR not needed/not relevant (10/21)
→ guidelines not followed (9/21)
"Trivial PRs that are more
trouble than they are worth"
"proposed changes do not have real value"
"Does not adhere to internal
style or design guidance"
19
RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance
Manualanalysis
263 PRs from
quasi-contributors
Superseded/duplicated
(32/263)
20
RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance
Manualanalysis
263 PRs from
quasi-contributors
Superseded/duplicated
(32/263)
Lackofexperience/
commitment(25/263)
21
RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance
Manualanalysis
263 PRs from
quasi-contributors
Superseded/duplicated
(32/263)
Lackofexperience/
commitment(25/263)
PRnotneeded/notrelevant
(22/263)
22
RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance
Manualanalysis
263 PRs from
quasi-contributors
Superseded/duplicated
(32/263)
Lackofexperience/
commitment(25/263)
PRnotneeded/notrelevant
(22/263)
23
Manualanalysisresults
reverberatethequasi-contributors
answers
RQ3. Quasi-contributors' perception
24
RQ3. Quasi-contributors' perception
Felt demotivated
Agreed with non-acceptance Yes No
Yes 37 178
No 62 43
25
Disagreement→Demotivation
26
27
28
29
30Disagreement → Demotivation
igor.steinmacher@nau.edu
@igorsteinmacher
31
Conclusions
● Quasi-contributors are rather common (70% of the actual contributors)
● Different reasons lead to non-acceptance
○ Duplicated/superseded PRs
○ Mismatch between developer's and team's vision
○ Developers' fault
● Non-acceptance may incur in demotivation (⅓ felt demotivated)
● Results can be useful to OSS maintainers, newcomers, and Educators
32
RQ1. How common?
33
RQ1. How common?
Pull-requests by quasi-contributors are more
discussed
→ in line with Tsay et al. (2014) - more discussed
pull-requests are less likely to be accepted
Tsay, J.; Dabbishm L.; Herbsleb, J. Influenceofsocialandtechnicalfactorsfor
evaluatingcontributioninGitHub. In: ICSE 2014. 356–366. 34
RQ1. How common?
Pull-requests by quasi-contributors are more
discussed
→ in line with Tsay et al. (2014) - more discussed
pull-requests are less likely to be accepted
Quasi-contributors' pull-requests tend to be
smaller
Tsay, J.; Dabbishm L.; Herbsleb, J. Influenceofsocialandtechnicalfactorsfor
evaluatingcontributioninGitHub. In: ICSE 2014. 356–366. 35

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Almost there a study on quasi contributors in open source software projects [icse2018]

  • 1. Almost There: A Study on Quasi-Contributors in Open Source Software Projects Igor STEINMACHER @igorsteinmacher Gustavo PINTO @gustavopinto Igor WIESE @igorwiese Marco GEROSA @gerosa_marco
  • 3. 3
  • 4. 4
  • 5. Contributing to OSS Many contributors succeed when they submit changes 5
  • 6. Contributing to OSS Some got some rejected patches 6
  • 9. Goal Investigate how and why quasi-contributorsfail 9
  • 10. Research Questions RQ1.How common are quasi-contributors and quasi-contributions? RQ2.Why were the quasi-contributions not accepted? RQ3.How do quasi-contributors perceive nonacceptance? 10
  • 12. Quasi-contributors 5,138 Quasi-contributors 234 Integrators 335 answers from quasi-contributors 21 answers from integrators Mixed-Method Approach Manualanalysis 263 PRs from quasi-contributors 12
  • 13. RQ2.Why were the quasi- contributions not accepted? RQ3.How do quasi- contributors perceive nonacceptance? Mixed-Method Approach Quasi-contributors 5,138 Quasi-contributors 234 Integrators 335 answers from quasi-contributors 21 answers from integrators Manualanalysis 263 PRs from quasi-contributors RQ1.How common are quasi-contributors and quasi-contributions? 13
  • 14. RQ1. How common? Considering all 21 projects: → 10,099 quasi-contributors → 14,623 actual contributors 14
  • 15. RQ1. How common? ~85% → 1attempt 15
  • 16. "The fix I submitted remained unmerged until someone else submitted the exact same fix … the integrators accepted their (identical) fix and closed mine.” superseded/duplicatedpull-request(52/335) [Gousios et al., 2014; Zhou et al., 2018] “Other pull-requests fixed the same issues as my pull-requests” RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance Quasi-contributors' perspective 16 Gousios, G., Pinzger, M., van Deursen, A. AnExploratoryStudyofthePull-basedSoftwareDevelopmentModel.In ICSE 2014 Zhou, S., Stãnciulescu, Ş., Leßenich, O., Xiong, Y., Wąsowski, A., Kästner, C. IdentifyingFeaturesinForks. In ICSE 2018.
  • 17. "The fix I submitted remained unmerged until someone else submitted the exact same fix … the integrators accepted their (identical) fix and closed mine.” “when you add a new feature to the project, your vision can be out of tune with the vision of the project’s team, and this is natural.” superseded/duplicatedpull-request(52/335) [Gousios et al., 2014; Zhou et al., 2018] “Other pull-requests fixed the same issues as my pull-requests” “The project decided that was not a bug they wanted to provide a fix for” RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance Quasi-contributors' perspective mismatchbetweendeveloper'sandteam'svision/opinion (47/335) 17
  • 18. RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance Quasi-contributors' perspective "I did not receive answers" The process is too onerous, and bureaucratic.” wasn’t important enough to warrant merging” PRnotneeded/notrelevant (25/335) bureaucracy (6/335) Lackofinterestfromintegrators (37/335) Quasi-contributors also offered mea culpa: → Not an optimal solution (20) → Contributors' lack of experience/commitment (24) 18
  • 19. RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance From integrators perspective: → PR not needed/not relevant (10/21) → guidelines not followed (9/21) "Trivial PRs that are more trouble than they are worth" "proposed changes do not have real value" "Does not adhere to internal style or design guidance" 19
  • 20. RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance Manualanalysis 263 PRs from quasi-contributors Superseded/duplicated (32/263) 20
  • 21. RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance Manualanalysis 263 PRs from quasi-contributors Superseded/duplicated (32/263) Lackofexperience/ commitment(25/263) 21
  • 22. RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance Manualanalysis 263 PRs from quasi-contributors Superseded/duplicated (32/263) Lackofexperience/ commitment(25/263) PRnotneeded/notrelevant (22/263) 22
  • 23. RQ2. Reasons for non-acceptance Manualanalysis 263 PRs from quasi-contributors Superseded/duplicated (32/263) Lackofexperience/ commitment(25/263) PRnotneeded/notrelevant (22/263) 23 Manualanalysisresults reverberatethequasi-contributors answers
  • 25. RQ3. Quasi-contributors' perception Felt demotivated Agreed with non-acceptance Yes No Yes 37 178 No 62 43 25 Disagreement→Demotivation
  • 26. 26
  • 27. 27
  • 28. 28
  • 29. 29
  • 32. Conclusions ● Quasi-contributors are rather common (70% of the actual contributors) ● Different reasons lead to non-acceptance ○ Duplicated/superseded PRs ○ Mismatch between developer's and team's vision ○ Developers' fault ● Non-acceptance may incur in demotivation (⅓ felt demotivated) ● Results can be useful to OSS maintainers, newcomers, and Educators 32
  • 34. RQ1. How common? Pull-requests by quasi-contributors are more discussed → in line with Tsay et al. (2014) - more discussed pull-requests are less likely to be accepted Tsay, J.; Dabbishm L.; Herbsleb, J. Influenceofsocialandtechnicalfactorsfor evaluatingcontributioninGitHub. In: ICSE 2014. 356–366. 34
  • 35. RQ1. How common? Pull-requests by quasi-contributors are more discussed → in line with Tsay et al. (2014) - more discussed pull-requests are less likely to be accepted Quasi-contributors' pull-requests tend to be smaller Tsay, J.; Dabbishm L.; Herbsleb, J. Influenceofsocialandtechnicalfactorsfor evaluatingcontributioninGitHub. In: ICSE 2014. 356–366. 35