In Project Evaluation subjetc we talk about different types of metrics and methodologies that give us information when making a decision about adopt a program or another, such as functionality, performance, quality, support, maintainability, documentation, licensing, community, etc.
As mentioned above, using a methodology for evaluation of FLOSS projects is an important piece of the puzzle, but does not provide all the metrics that are necessary to complete a decision in favor of a tool. Provide other metrics can be an element destabilizing the balance towards a solution and for this reason we can not ignore the Popularity of a program.
For example, if we make one simple question such as:
What web browser you use?
|2005||68.9 %||23.6 %||2.8 %||0.4 %||1.5 %|
|2011||20.2 %||37.7 %||34.6 %||4.2 %||2.5 %|
A few years ago the answer was obvious, however we can saw that some FLOSS tools have gained ground to other solutions and have gained great popularity among users, which has caused a radical change in this decision. Obviously, popularity is not a parameter or a metric that provide technical information but it can give us an idea that has gained presence in the market because there are many people using it, providing a higher quality, with improvements and solutions and ultimately making expand the program and get great results in part due to this increased popularity.
From my point of view it is clear that a program’s popularity causes others users opt for using a specific tool. It may therefore be a factor to consider when performing an evaluation of projects, this “fame” can bring a lot of metrics from a deeper perspective when evaluating a project, it not only provides information about the number of people are using the program, but other issues we can set a different place take account of when evaluating draft, among these:
- Having a greater number of users using the program, allowing us to obtain information about scalability, performance and product quality.
- Greater number of tests conducted on an ongoing basis about the program, so that we can get more reporting by users of the program functionality and usability.
- Possibility of greater participation in the project, the greater interest of the users, more interest from other projects and companies.
- Staff report bugs that allow us to measure the ability to support the project, its ability to solve problems and the proper functioning of the community.
- More room for expansion to other users, due to the popularity effect itself, statistics and word of mouth from them.
- Results have real experience in different environments, increased adoption by enterprises for their production environments and thus obtain feedback on maturity, performance and quality.