A longitudinal analysis of bug handling across eclipse releases

Zeinab Abou Khalil, Eleni Constantinou, Tom Mens, Laurence Duchien, Clément Quinton

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Large open source software projects, like Eclipse, follow a continuous software development pro- cess, with a regular release cycle. During each re- lease, new bugs are reported, triaged and resolved. Previous studies have focused on various aspects of bug fixing, such as bug triaging, bug prediction, and bug process analysis. Most studies, however, do not distinguish between what happens before and after each scheduled release. We are also unaware of studies that compare bug fixing activities across different project releases. This paper presents an empirical analysis of the bug handling process of Eclipse over a 15-year period, considering 138K bug reports from Bugzilla, including 16 annual Eclipse releases and two quarterly releases in 2018. We compare the bug resolution rate, the fixing rate, the bug triaging time and the fixing time before and after each release date, and we study the possible impact of “release pressure”. Among others, our results reveal that Eclipse bug handling activity is improving over time, with an important decrease in the number of reported bugs before releases, an increase in the bug fixing rate and an increasingly balanced bug handling workload before and after releases. The recent transition from an annual to a quarterly release cycle continued to improve the bug handling process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2019 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME)
    PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781728130941
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
    Event35th International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution - Cleveland, Ohio, United States
    Duration: 30 Sep 20194 Oct 2019


    Conference35th International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution
    Abbreviated titleICSME 2019
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityCleveland, Ohio


    • Bugzilla
    • Releases
    • bug fixing process
    • bug triaging
    • empirical analysis
    • rapid release cycle
    • software maintenance


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