December 23, 2003
Quantifying the Benefits of Anthill Development

eWeek is running a story about the open-source database package MySQL that features a study by research group Reasoning, Inc. that makes a pretty startling claim: the open-source development methodology behind MySQL has led to code quality six times better than that of comparable closed-source commercial products.

Reasoning performed its independent analysis using defect density as a prime quality indicator. Defined as the number of defects found per thousand lines of code, MySQL’s defect density registered as 0.09 defects per thousand lines of source code. Through its analysis, Reasoning concluded that the commercial average defect density‚??covering 200 recent projects and totaling 35 million lines of commercial code‚??came to 0.57 defects per thousand lines of code.

Now, we’ve heard the claim that open-source development results in more bug-free code before, but this is the first time I’ve seen an attempt to quantify whether or not this is true, and if so, by how much. Of course, I always recommend taking these studies with a grain of salt, but in this case you can download the full report if you want to take a closer look and see if eWeek is full of it or not. [Seen on Slashdot]

Posted by Jason Lefkowitz at December 23, 2003
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Ant's Eye View is edited by Jason Lefkowitz, a consultant and Web developer in Alexandria, Virginia. Got a question, comment, or concern? Let me hear it!

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