Fwd: Amarok case study

Mark Kretschmann markey at web.de
Fri Nov 17 16:26:03 UTC 2006

----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: Amarok case study
Date: Friday 17 November 2006 16:16
From: Tor Arne Vestbø <torarnv at stud.ntnu.no>
To: Mark Kretschmann <markey at web.de>, Max Howel <max.howell at methylblue.com>, 
Christian Muehlhaeuser <chris at chris.de>, Seb Ruiz <me at sebruiz.net>


My name is Tor Arne and I’m a graduate student in information system
(IS) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. I’m writing
my master thesis on communication and cooperation in open source
projects, and I’m currently in the process of finding a suitable case
for my study.

That’s where you guys come in :) You see, I’ve been following Amarok for
a while now, both on #amarok and by browsing e-mail archives and bug
reports, and I think this project would be ideal for my research topic.
I’m specifically interested in how open source projects do quality
control, i.e. making sure that what’s integrated into the code base is
both bug free and does the job. This is interesting because if Eric
Raymond’s statement that “all bugs are shallow” is true, then the need
for some mechanism to make sure a random patch doesn’t introduced new
bugs is imperative. The classical explanation is that the process of
peer-reviewing takes care of quality, but I would like to investigate
this further in a longitudinal (~6 months) empirical case study.

What this would mean for you is that I would use already existing
archives (e-mails, bug-reports, forums, IRC-logs) to try to get a clear
picture of the day to day activities in Amarok, and how they contribute
to this quality control. I would also hope to get some interviews
(through IRC or Skype) in the later stages of my study, but only as an
addition to the other data, and on a volunteer basis :) Although my
KDE/C++ experience is limited I’m a very competent programmer, and would
be happy to contribute my part in making Amarok stay as the killer media
player on Linux. I’m also somewhat of a discography nerd, so Amarok is a
project that really excites me—not just something I picked on random ;)

Of course all of the normal scientific “oaths” would apply for my final
write-up and results. Names would be anonymized and credit given where
appropriate. So, does this sound like something you would be OK with? I
don’t want to step on anyone’s toes — that’s why i sent you this e-mail
— so feel free to tell me to get lost :)

Hoping to hear from you!

Tor Arne Vestbø / torarne@#amarok

Tor Arne Vestbø, Student, IDI, NTNU
Gløshaugveien 15, 7030 Trondheim
Mob: 95821371 | MSN: tavst at msn.com



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