Meet with Prof Dirk Riehle – Developer Belief vs. Reality: The Case of the Commit Size Distribution

August 23 (Thursday), 2012 at 7:30 PM – 10 PM

Classroom B5-208, 5/F Academic 1, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Road, Kowloon Tong.

Meet with Prof Dirk Riehle – Developer Belief vs. Reality: The Case of the Commit Size Distribution

Abstract: The design of software development tools follows from what the developers of such tools believe is true about software development. A key aspect of such beliefs is the size of code contributions (commits) to a software project. In this paper, we show that what tool developers think is true about the size of code contributions is different by more than an order of magnitude from reality. We present this reality, called the commit size distribution, for a large sample of open source and selected closed source projects. We suggest that these new empirical insights will help improve software development tools by aligning underlying design assumptions closer with reality.

Keywords: Commit size; commit size distribution; code contribution; open source; closed source; software engineering; tool usability

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Dirk Riehle, M.B.A., is the Professor for Open Source Software at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. Before joining academia, Riehle led the Open Source Research Group at SAP Labs, LLC, in Palo Alto, California (Silicon Valley). Riehle founded the Wiki Symposium, a conference dedicated to wiki research and practice. He was also the lead architect of the first UML virtual machine. He is interested in open source software engineering and agile methods, complexity science and human collaboration, and software design. Prof. Riehle holds a Ph.D. in computer science from ETH Zürich and an M.B.A. from Stanford Business School. He welcomes email at [email protected], blogs at, and tweets as @dirkriehle.

Sammy Fung

Sammy is the President and Founder of Open Source Hong Kong. He is also the founder of the Open Platform Society. In 2022, He become a board member of the GNOME Foundation and a fellow member of the Python Software Foundation.

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