The Workshop on the Future of Research on Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) was recently held in Newport Beach, California.
FOSS 2010 was an invitation-only workshop aimed at identifying the key research projects and challenges for free and open source software. FOSS is funded by the Computing Research Association and the National Science Foundation, and hosted by the Institute for Software Research at UC Irvine.
The workshop focused on articulating emerging problems and questions that arise in the development, use, and evolution of FOSS systems, tools, techniques, and concepts, and to do so in ways that give rise to a new research agenda that will become the basis for a new cross-disciplinary research program on FOSS.
Dr. Tony Wasserman, Professor of Software Management Practice at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, presented a talk on "Software Engineering and FOSS," addressing the differences among FOSS projects and how they affect Software Engineering processes. "The key research challenges from a software engineering perspective is whether FOSS is 'higher quality' than traditional commercial software; whether its more secure; whether the community-based open source development model is more effective; and what the most effective approaches are to open source leadership and project governance," he explained.
The invited talks were followed by two days of small group discussions around various research themes, including collaboration, learning, and practice, with the goal of producing a report that enumerates major research issues for open source software.