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5 Challenges Limited to Open Source Software Development

by Constance Faison (2020-01-11)

Open Source Software Development uses source code available as a free source. Popular products like Mozilla Firefox and Android are the most common examples of it. They are available much in the form of a public library domain for team building access and further study.

The world wide web has innumerable resources for t? ch?c team building Open Source software development. Due to which there exist a varied number of open source software development projects.

Garden variety of software programs and t? ch?c team building libraries, Distributions, BSD derivatives and Standalone projects are the most common types of open-source projects known.

The ease of access is a merit for a project involving Open Source software development. But the same collaborative feature at times works against its development.

Following is a list of common challenges that are typical to Open Source Software Development projects.

Legal Issues Related to Licenses : Open source software development does require certain permissions to use the source codes. Though available as a free source, certain usages and edits need licenses. The legality may require conforming to specifying certain copyright notices. In some cases, a disclaimer in the end-user documentation may fulfill the need. Though at a later stage, non-adherence to stipulated legality and regulations causes issues. For example, the modifications to product library may restrict in absence of licensing requirements.

Lack of Consistent Documentation : It is common to find poor quality documentation with the Open Source development projects. The underlying cause is the priority allotted to coding rather than the user document. This causes confusion among the users community who are not the original contributors.

Integration and Architecture Issues : An Open source software product is a developing project as long as its community keeps it alive. This leads to evolution of new features within it. This sounds like having development for free. But it causes issue for backward compatibility when the product integration depends on APIs.

Migrations and Usage Incompatibility : As mentioned before, the lack of proper documentation causes challenges. It creates confusion with the on-going usage; but also causes problems with user-enthronement set-ups. Moreover, the challenges increase multi-fold at the times of migration. Switching from a proprietary license software to an Open Source is an additional cost. Infrastructure integration and trained manpower with required skill-sets are the major issues.

Community Support Issues : The community of Open Source software development is huge. It means a lot many contributors, but also a lot of confusion at the same time. The age old adage of "Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth" holds true here. The progress of a project slows down with iterations from the developer community. Undefined tasks and unassigned responsibilities from the beginning add more to the troubles.
This list does not outweigh the merits of an open source software development project. On the contrary, these serve as a guidelines to focus on the end goal of t? ch?c team building a good open source project.

These challenges serve as an awareness to avoid potential bottlenecks with a project. A defined plan and its execution at all stages of open source software development is the way forward.

Shawn Paulman loves to write about Open Source Software Development Technology. He explores everything latest related to Open Source World of things.

ISSN: 1946-1879