Impact of switching bug trackers: a case study on a medium-sized open source project

Théo Zimmermann 1, 2 Annalí Casanueva Artís 3
1 PI.R2 - Design, study and implementation of languages for proofs and programs
Inria de Paris, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7, PPS - Preuves, Programmes et Systèmes
Abstract : For most software projects, the bug tracker is an essential tool. In open source development, this tool plays an even more central role as it is generally open to all users, who are encouraged to test the software and report bugs. Previous studies have highlighted the act of reporting a bug as a first step leading a user to become an active contributor. The impact of the bug reporting environment on the bug tracking activity is difficult to assess because of the lack of comparison points. In this paper, we take advantage of the switch, from Bugzilla to GitHub, of the bug tracker of Coq, a medium-sized open source project, to evaluate the impact that such a change can have. We first report on the switch itself, in particular the migration of 4900 preexisting bug reports using the GitHub issue import API. Then we analyze data from before and after the switch using a Regression on Discontinuity analysis, a novel methodology in the context of empirical software engineering. We show that the switch induces an increase in bug reporting, particularly from principal developers themselves, and more generally an increased engagement with the bug tracking platform, with more comments by developers and also more external commentators.
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01951176
Contributor : Théo Zimmermann <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 11:59:49 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - 1:14:49 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01951176, version 2

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Théo Zimmermann, Annalí Casanueva Artís. Impact of switching bug trackers: a case study on a medium-sized open source project. 2019. ⟨hal-01951176v2⟩

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