OSS popularity: understanding the relationship between user-developer interaction, market potential and development stage

Clémence Cheruy, Nassim Belbaly, Frank Robert


Following the growing interest and concerns regarding the open source software (OSS) phenomenon among academics and practitioners, many studies have been conducted to understand the factors that influence OSS success. However, research has primarily explored such factors in the context of well-known projects, such as Linux and Apache. Yet, lesser-known projects must be examined to gain a more complete understanding. Accordingly, this paper focuses on lesser-known projects to examine three factors that influence OSS popularity: user-developer interaction, market potential and development stage. Specifically, we develop an empirical model of OSS popularity and test our hypotheses on data from 657 open source projects. The findings show that the combination of the three factors has a positive effect on OSS popularity. Moreover, in contrast to previous research, the results reveal that exchanges among users and developers have a stronger influence on OSS popularity than bug-related activities. Overall, this research provides a novel way to measure OSS popularity for lesser-known projects and offers organizations a better understanding of OSS. 



Open source software; software development; OSS popularity; user-developer interaction; market potential; development stage

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9876/sim.v22i3.762