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From "Karim R. Lakhani" <lakh...@MIT.EDU>
Subject [MIT Research Project] Identifying "features" in Cocoon 2.1
Date Wed, 17 Nov 2004 16:08:33 GMT
Dear Cocoon Community Members,

I am a PhD candidate at MIT researching new models of software development and in particular
how open source communities innovate and create products in a distributed, global setting.
 I have done extensive research on open source - some papers are here (
and also run the MIT-based open source research community ( 

For my doctoral dissertation I am studying software development practices in Apache Cocoon
and PostgreSQL communities.  My method is to trace the social and technical history of each
new feature developed by the community over an approximately 1 year period of time.  I do
this by tracking software features to CVS/SVN commits and then to the related email discussion
on the development list.  This allows me to create a history of each feature and change in
the software. An overview of my research project and its method is here:

I have been in extensive conversations with Sylvain and Stefano and they recommended that
I approach the community with my request to determine "important features" in Cocoon 2.1.
 My plan is to create histories of each of the changes that exist up to the 2.1 (August 2003)
release (  However I would like to get the community
to tell me which are the more important features in 2.1 - that were NOT present in the 2.0
release.  For instance in my conversation with Stefano and Sylvain - we determined that some
of the important features in 2.1 included:

- Flow Script
- Cocoon Forms

It will probably be the case that some of the detailed changes will be absorbed into the "features"
and some will be independent.

However all three of us felt that it would be good for the community to tell me what they
considered to be important features in 2.1.  So I wanted to request the wider community to
suggest features that should go in the analysis.  Think of features that you use in 2.1 or
you tell your clients about - that were exclusively developed for 2.1

Please nominate features and I will summarize what was reported back to the community.  I
will then do the "dirty work" of compiling and matching it to the CVS commits and the email
discussion:)  Of course all my findings and writings will be public as well.

Thanks so much in advance.  
Karim R. Lakhani
MIT Sloan | The Boston Consulting Group
Mobile: +1 (617) 851-1224 | 

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